Do Arsenal finances mean Wenger will Spend, Spend, Spend?

Arsenal Football Club has today confirmed that it has once again made a profit the season of 2012 / 2013, in some news that will surely be received with mixed responses. Firstly without getting into all the financial details, basically at the end of day, the main figure we need to focus on as fans is the ‘Group profit before tax’ which was £6.7 million. This isn’t the most spectacular figure in the club’s history, with the amount actually being £36.6 million in the 2011 / 2012 accounting.

The sheer drop in amount is largely down to the fact that we had so many ‘deadwood’ players on our wage bill, which with some simple calculation came to the excess of around an extra £400k per week because of these players. It’s a staggering amount and it is in fact very strange to hear from a club of Arsenal’s calibre who are normally so financially tight, however it should no longer be such an issue because as I’m sure you are all aware, Arsenal managed to ship out the majority of deadwood one way or another this summer.

For full details on the finances of Arsenal Football Club for the 2013 accounting, they can be found at Arsenal.com.
One man that was particularly happy, aside from Wenger and Gazidis of course was new chairman Sir Chips Keswick, who was extremely proud of the club’s stability.

Sir Chips stated: “It is my job to ensure we steer further along the course we have set. We must continue to grow commercially to provide the Club with the best opportunity to achieve success and we must do this in a way which remains true to our values and which ensures and protects the long-term sustainability of the Club. We face a competitive landscape across the top of the Premier League and across Europe’s elite clubs which is tougher than ever. Despite fair play initiatives the financial competition for top players remains intense and transfer prices and player wages continue to move ever higher. It is therefore positive that the strong financial platform we have created in recent years allows us to continue to be competitive at the highest level.”

It’s good to see someone on the Arsenal management being so open with the club’s progression, and although I suspect it’s all just talk, I have confidence that this club will now continue in this direction now that most of the expenses have been paid off. Of course we still have Silent Stan Kroenke and other such management still crucial to our success but hopefully this news will be the first of many less profitable seasons and more efficiently spent summers.

Have Arsenal turned the corner? Will we keep making big signings like Ozil? Who do you think they should be?

Hill-Wood may be happy with Chips but Arsenal need Champagne and Caviar

When Peter Hill Wood stepped down in the summer it was certainly a shame as it brought an end to a long serving history in the chairmanship of Arsenal Football Club. The Hill-Wood’s had been a key part of Arsenal’s boardroom for several generations and to finally bring it to a close seemed strange. But it was also a much wanted change with many believing that a change in the boardroom might mean a change in attitude.

Hill-Wood was happy to hand the role over to Sir Chips Keswick and we immediately knew that there would be no change. We knew Chips was as stingy as Hill Wood and so ultimately we weren’t expecting anything to be run differently aside from being under a new name. And well over 2 months in and that fact is certainly beginning to gather some evidence.

“We couldn’t have a better man at the helm than Chips, he’s absolutely first-class,” Hill-Wood said in an interview with the club’s official website. “There are huge sums of money involved in football now and Chips certainly understands the world of finances better than most – he was a director of the Bank of England and has worked in finance all his life. He has a very good grasp.”

I think the problem is our boardroom is filled with an old generation. A generation where money in football was nothing. They have experienced a time when professional football was a job on the side, and that from football you were never likely to even reach the heights of what players now earn in a day, for what they would earn over the course of their career. Therefore the change in attitude towards money in football has meant they are protective over it. Stan Kroenke doesn’t exactly help the situation but I think that if you want to see a change in how the club is actually run behind the scenes, i.e. not like a business, then you need to switch up the boardroom and bringing in some younger but still highly experienced people with a genuine passion for the game, rather than the money.

Lastly employing a former banker wasn’t the best choice was it? Bankers are all about saving money rather than investing in potentials, maybe he should let Wenger take out a bigger loan!

Adams as Arsenal chairman? Maybe not but Chips IS too old

Tony Adams. What can you say? A true Arsenal legend, captain, leader and role model on the pitch, but off it, well he’s not the greatest. Failed managerial attempts have seen his profile drop and in my opinion he certainly hasn’t helped himself with his latest comments.

Upon the announcement that Peter Hill-Wood would be stepping down and his replacement would be Sir Chips Keswick, Adams came out in response today, stating that he too applied for the chairmanship.

In what turned into a rather long rant, Adams said; “I don`t need the money, I would put the good of the club first in every case and I could mediate well within the club. Then I read an interview with Peter saying they wanted younger blood on the board but it was not easy finding people willing to take on second jobs who were not money-orientated. I thought I ticked boxes, so I wrote to Peter and said ‘I`ve got a statue outside and I know a bit about the club`s principles and values`. I didn`t hear anything back, which was unusual for Peter, but I know he has been ill.

“But if they just wanted a figurehead, they should have gone for me. I think it would have been a better visionary decision than Chips, even though I love him to bits. But maybe the owner thinks that Chips is better politically than me. He was probably the only one who spoke to the 30 per cent owner of the club Alisher Usmanov and was good at reaching out. But if Chips wants to pick up the phone, I will be happy to have lunch with him.”

First and foremost, I’m not slating Adams in any way. I think he was an excellent role model and still is in some ways and the fact he has a statue outside the Emirates, tells you all you need to know of how highly rated he is at the club. However clearly not high enough to gather a place on the board.

I am actually torn between Adam’s comments. I think the club made the right decision not to take his application into serious consideration because ultimately he isn’t the right person for the role. However I also believe it should be someone younger than Keswick. Keswick’s appointment was purposely chosen by Silent Stan because it will mean there is little change to the way the club is run.

Adam’s was basically stating he believes Arsenal need a new driving force to take them back up to the next level and Sir Chips certainly isn’t the answer. At 73 he will have the same business mentality as Peter Hill Wood and so don’t expect any real change at Arsenal under this new chairmanship.