Morning all, plenty going on but we’ll start this morning with some financial stuff.
Arsenal are set to release their interim financial results shortly which will cover the period June – November 2010. According to the Arsenal Supporter’s Trust we could well see the club post a loss for the first time in a long time. There are five main contributors to this:
- No major players sales in the summer – in previous years we’ve earned big on Adebayor, Toure, Henry, Hleb etc. This time only Eduardo left the first team squad. The £56m profit from last year included £38m from player sales.
- Improved contracts – 17 player contracts have been improved and the wage bill has increased by £7m
- Property deals done – a projected £4m profit on sales of Highbury Square flats and only the Queensland Road site remains. This is likely to be sold within 12-18 months
- Commercial income static – Arsenal’s sponsorship deals, tied in with the new stadium, mean we earn far less than many of our competitors and commercial income has stagnated. However, reviews of sponsorship deals are being looked at as is the prospect of a foreign tour this summer.
- Timing – as we play more fixtures, and more high profile fixtures, in the second half of the season, match day and TV revenue is greater in that period.
Now, that might all sound bad, but it’s merely an explanation as to why these results will be posted. The fact that we didn’t sell a major player this summer could easily be seen as a positive, for example, and hints at a greater underlying financial strength.
The AST also maintain that the manager has sufficient transfer funds at his disposal to strengthen the squad, should he so desire, this coming summer. They also suggest that a review of the player’s contracts, to ensure maximum value, would be a good idea. Ivan Gazidis himself said that when they offer a young player a new deal they’re gambling a bit on his potential. Obviously that doesn’t always pay off.
The commercial side of the operation has been revamped over the last 12 months with some new hires designed to improve matters. We’re still a bit hamstrung in terms of the main sponsorship deals, done as they were to aid the construction of the new stadium, but a lot of work is going on to ensure the club is in the best possible position when the time comes to renegotiate those deals, or make new ones, in 2014.
In terms of funds available to the manager to strengthen this summer they say:
Arsenal Supporters’ Trust members should also be reassured that the Transfer Proceeds Accounts (TPA) and the club’s underlying financial strength mean that Arsène Wenger will have sufficient funds for further squad investment (transfer and wages) in summer 2011.
A more in depth look at this can be found on the AST website and if you have any questions about it, or the other work the AST does, then follow Tim Payton on Twitter, I’m sure he’d be delighted to chat. You can also hear Tim on today’s Arsecast where he explains a bit more about their forecasts.
Back to football and as expected there’s bad news for Cesc and Theo, both of whom will miss Sunday’s Carling Cup final with their hamstring and ankle injuries. The initial prognosis for Cesc has turned out to be overly-pessemistic and he could well be back in time for the trip to Spain but as of yet we don’t have any news about the duration of Theo’s absence.
Obviously it’s a blow for the team and for both players with Arsene saying of Cesc:
We all feel sorry and sad for him. The only way we help him now is to win the Carling Cup as he contributed a lot in this competition.
And while I think everyone has sympathy for Cesc, and for Theo, Sunday is more important than either of them. Winning a trophy is vital in this team’s development and for its future. As I said yesterday there are still three other trophies to compete for and a lot of football still to be play so hopefully the disappointment they both feel at missing a cup final will just be short term.
There is some good news regarding injuries too. Robin van Persie, Laurent Koscielny and Abou Diaby all return and I suspect all three will play a part on Sunday. We can preview the game more fully over the weekend. One man who won’t be suffering any pre-game nerves is Wojscez©® who says:
All the top goalkeepers are crazy, you’ve seen in the past where they are a little bit bonkers so maybe I have a piece of that. Nothing worries me, not really, I am just very confident, I keep my feet on the ground.
Maybe? MAYBE? The thing is though a person can be good bonkers or bad bonkers. And he’s good bonkers. At least if you’re an Arsenal fan. I can’t imagine too many Chelsea fans, or Ashley Cole for example, consider him that much fun but there you go. Long may the good bonkers continue along with the good performances which allow the bonkersness to flourish.
Arsene’s pre-final press conference takes place this afternoon so if there’s any dramatic news or recovery we should find out there. Other than that we’ve just got to keep ourselves focused on what’s going to be a hugely important game this Sunday.
And I’ve pretty much ignored the Barcelona stuff this week. They’ve declared Arsene Wenger ‘public enemy number 1 of Barcelona‘ because of the young lad we’ve signed this week. Erm, I can’t see the pot for the kettle here. I mean, do they really think about what they’re saying given the orchestrated public pursuit of Cesc last summer? They do love a good bit of melodrama in the sports press over there in fairness and this is exactly that.
So, time then for this week’s Arsecast. Joining me to discuss Wembley, Barcelona, Stoke and more is comedian and Arsenal fan Dara O’Briain. Also, as mentioned above, Tim Payton from the AST on Arsenal’s finances. And there’s the usual guff from Internet Joe, Arshavin and more.
You can subscribe to the Arsecast on iTunes by clicking here. Or if you want to subscribe directly to the feed URL you can do so too. To download this week’s Arsecast directly – click here (26mb MP3) or you can listen directly below without leaving this very page.[audio:http://arseblog.com/podcasts/arsecast_episode190.mp3]
And that’s about that for this Friday. We have a general election here in Ireland today. A chance to vote out the cunts who got us into the worst financial mess since Nick Leeson said “Hey, I have an idea!”, and vote some new cunts in who everyone will hate within a week.
Don’t you just love politics?
Have a good one, back tomorrow with some Wembley build-up. Take it easy.