If you haven’t already seen the brilliant analysis of Arsenal’s financials from Swiss Ramble, you can check it out here.
It’s well worth your time and provides genuine context to the money in the bank. For example, the idea that Arsenal have £200m to spend on transfers is a fallacy, the cash balance is used for the day to day running of the club, but there are significant funds still available.
SWISS RAMBLE: Arsenal’s cash balance has steadily risen: May 2007 £74 million, May 2008 £93 million, May 2009 £100 million, May 2010 £128 million, May 2011 £160 million, May 2012 £154 million, May 2013 £153 million, May 2014 £208 million and May 2015 £228 million.
In other words, there is substantial money available to spend. It’s clearly not as much as the £228 million in the books, but we can say with some conviction that there would be enough available in the January transfer window to safely cover some of the glaring weaknesses in the squad: let’s say £70-80 million (with the usual caveats).
The changing financial landscape of the Premier League is also highlighted:
SR: Traditionally Arsenal have been one of the few football clubs able to make a profit, but the impact of the last TV deal has helped change this with only five Premier League clubs reporting a loss in the 2013/14 season. In fact, Arsenal’s £4.7 million profit was only the 12th highest that season, far behind clubs like Tottenham Hotspur £80 million, Manchester United £41 million, Southampton £29 million and Everton £28 million.
As is evidence of increased spending from the club on players:
SR: Looking at Arsenal’s cash flow statement, we can see signs of a change in approach: in the six seasons between 2007 and 2012 Arsenal spent just a net £4 million on player purchases, while they have spent a net £83 million in the last three seasons.
However, while healthy finances are obviously good news, they also lead to frustration about lack of investment in the squad this summer. The club is better placed than ever to be competitive in the market, and to be able to take some risks. Perhaps not to the extent that other clubs do, but certainly more than we saw this summer.
There’s also talk of another £3m payment to KSE LLC for the vague ‘strategic and advisory services’ they render to the club, a payment that drew much criticism when it was announced last year. For a club that has long prided itself on not paying dividends to board and owners, this feels very much like that.
Anyway, do read the Swiss Ramble post. It’s educational.