The Arsenal board, led by Stan Kroenke and Ivan Gazidis, tell us that they are doing the right thing when it comes to finance. The famous self sustaining model is lauded as the role model that all clubs should aspire to. Arsenal fans are reassured that the new Financial Fair Play rules will help to propel the Gunners to the pinnacle of world football while the Chelsea’s and Manchester City’s struggle to cope.
The figures released by Deloitte, which show the list of football’s biggest earners seems to indicate a less optimistic future for Arsenal, however. Chelsea have already overtaken us in the league of revenue, and City are on the verge of doing so. The reason for this is the success the club’s have achieved by spending money.
If the trend continues, City will soon be competing with Manchester United as the top English team on the list. There is about to be a big rise in TV money in the Premier league, which will give English teams an advantage over those from other countries, but it will also increase the gap between the top and the bottom in England, making successful teams richer.
There we have the basic flaw in Kroenke’s plan. By not spending money, we allow other teams to overtake us in football success. That then leads to them overtaking us in revenue. Teams winning things are more attractive to sponsors than those not doing. More of their games will be shown, while Arsenal will drop further behind, especially if Kroenke refuses to spend to try and stop the decline.
If Arsenal miss out on the Champions league places, the effect could be disastrous for years to come. The Arsenal board need to understand that a bit of money spent now could come back with interest in the next few years. Now is the time to invest, before the FFP rules kick in.