Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Financially, Arsenal’s doing well

Thinking about Arsenal’s finances, and we’re remarkably stable. When you consider that Chelsea and Man City are basically printing money to stay afloat, Liverpool is one step away from being nationalised and run by a bank, Man Utd are owned by family who are about to be squeezed by debts from both ends, Aston Villa can’t run a profit and run a proper club, and Tottenham have highly plastic accounts... the fact they we make the Champions League every year and still make a £30m profit every year is highly remarkable.

Just read an article from Swiss Ramble about Internationale. They’re owned by the Moratti family, and while you know that the club is subsidised by the family, it’s shocking to realise that they lose over €100m a year. It’s incredible that wages constitute 104% of revenue. And it’s staggering to think that Massimo Moratti’s lost €1.15 billion in his time as president. They’ve managed to win the Champions League again after 40 years(?) of trying, and they’re top dogs of Italy again after decades of dominance by Milan, but was it really worth €1.15 billion?

I think we’re probably the only big club in the world (except Bayern Munich?) which posts regular profits and stays near the top of the league. The price we’ve had to pay is that we’re not in contention for the major trophies, and we’ve had to rely on kids and journeymen instead of star players. Our financial position is something to be proud of, but I can’t help but think we’ve gone too extreme in our policy.

There’s got to be a middle road we could tread. Maybe there’s a fiscally responsible way to buy a few experienced players of the right age, temperance and ability. We could get a Kjaer or a Zapata and still turn a profit. We could hire a tactical coach to drill our team in set pieces and defensive marking. We could buy a fucking keeper who can do the job. All of these things can be done without breaking the bank.

Of course, we got into the financial position we’re in because we didn’t address our problems by throwing money at them. So maybe glaring, unsolved weaknesses are the price to pay for where we’re at.

So on the 243rd last day of my 20s, I went for a run, went to work, had dinner with a friend. Broke my vegetarian vow by having tuna at breakfast and beef vindaloo at dinner. Never mind, will start again tomorrow.

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