Friday, March 20, 2009

Arsenal's Fiscals

"A sold out stadium and significant broadcast income can sustain a 100 million wage bill and service the new stadium debt - just!"

- Nigel Phillips, a dude from the Arsenal Trust who analysed Arsenal's fiscals

I'm no accountant, but I suppose Nigel Phillips is. He's the guy who did an analysis of Arsenal's interim accounts for the six months before November 2008. I'm just the guy who's going to do an analysis on Nigel's analysis. Brace yourselves for some hard-hitting stuff; Nigel's a guy who knows his shit, and has the comfort of comprehension. I'm just a guy who likes parrot the bad news and swear a lot.

Basically, we're fucked.

The housing market's collapsed and we're fucked. We're fucked because we need to sell another 340 apartments to reach the break-even point. Highbury Square isn't going to be the cash bonanza we all hoped it would be, and to be honest, I've seen the piddly little apartments they're trying to flog, and they're pretty shit. If it wasn't for the fact that fat-arsed gooners once ate pies and drank beer there, they'd be almost unsellable.

Our sponsorship deals with Emirates and Nike are fucked because they were front-loaded to provide funds for the stadium construction, and we're now at the back-end of it. Peter I-don't -renegotiate-crappily-thought-out-long-term-sponsorship-deals-Hill-Wood ain't going to renegotiate because well, the Arsenal don't do things like run a business as a business and not as an old boys' club.

And what about being 30 million a year better off now that we've a new stadium? Well, we're fucked. Player payments have increased 50% in four years, meaning that a lot of that extra revenue is swallowed up by Adebayor's bling. To put it another way, we've got 54 crap players in the squad now compared to 61 awesome ones four years ago, and we're paying them 50% more. Even though we're saving 5 million a year by loaning out some of our youngsters, that's a fucked up wage structure.

Nigel does have some encouraging news, though.

Arsenal can still a sustainable enterprise, but only if there's a full stadium. Nigel estimates that it takes a 55,000 crowd to break even. Which means we're all going to have to tighten our belts and buy those grossly inflated football tickets, if we want our glorious Board to continue swimming in champagne and bathing in caviar.

I'm trying to be positive. I want us to draw Barcelona in the quarter-finals because I genuinely think we can beat them. We're going to thump Newcastle 3-1 on Saturday, and Song's going to be man of the match again. And we're going to dump Chelsea out of the FA Cup and make Terry cry like a little girl.

We love the Arsenal, we do!


Anonymous said...

Mate, the guy from Arsenal SPOT has been using my login details.

That's why there are load of abusive comments on there.

Anyway, keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

weg you slag. I thought you being positive these days. quite interesting though.


Patt said...

Nice one weg. Love the new look. Keep up the good work fella.

Connolly's agent said...

Thanks fellas. Didn't know that, goonerchris. I was wondering where the aggro was coming from.