Sunday, October 1, 2023

Report: Arsenal repay £120 million loan

Arsenal have repaid a £120 million loan to the Bank of England after making use of the Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) to provide liquidity during the pandemic.

The Gunners met the criteria for the loan in January and decided to take advantage of the scheme to help offset Covid-hit broadcast and matchday revenue streams.

While we couldn’t use the money to buy new players during the last transfer windows, it looks as though we did use some cash to pay off high-profile departures, including Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis.

The low interest on the loan – reported to be around £600,000 in total – made the terms particularly attractive even though we knew it was going to have to be paid off by May.

How did we repay it? That’s not entirely clear at this point. Either KSE stuck their hands down the sofa and paid it off with some spare change or, as The Athletic reports, we’ve taken out another loan from elsewhere, presumably on less favourable terms.

CCFF loans have been provided to a variety of different businesses in the last year with Sp*rs, Boots and Easyjet all getting involved.

In total, more than £18.8bn has been lent to 55 businesses.

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Generic “Willian salary paid off” joke here


If we do pay him off, it won’t be cheap given he’s on a reported £7 million a season with a couple of seasons left on his contract. For comparison, apparently we saved almost no money at all on Ozil’s contract when he left “early” – contrary to initial expectations.


They are banking on getting the revenue from the biggest prize in football, St Totteringham’s Day.


Well it certainly won’t come from the European conference league.
As harsh as it sounds it is imperative we draw with Brighton this weekend.

I really don’t want us anywhere near that tinpot competition. Never mind it being embarrassing, as just to be associated with the inaugural season will do huge harm to our standing in the game. Finish 8th, forget the season and move on.

How anyone can justify a 20 hour round trips to Siberia in November is beyond me.

Freezedawg of Sweden

A shot at being the first club to win the Conerence league. Making history! Money schmoney – let’s go!


I have to disagree. In isolation it may be a good idea to give minutes to fringe players and youth. But when you factor in the extra travel, the continuation of the dire Thursday-Sunday schedule and the unnecessary extra workload on all the staff and Arteta for very little reward it makes little to no sense for me.

Both Leicester and Chelsea made huge leaps up the league in seasons without European football. This club needs a fresh start and a reset without this distraction.

Freezedawg of Sweden

All good points and my brain agrees. I do however prefer kids in Europe making history.

Heavenly Chapecoense

So you think we won’t get eliminated by RC Lens or Celta Vigo in semifinals?

Freezedawg of Sweden

Dreamers gonna dream 🙂


Reminds me of the time we had just fallen out of the champions league and almost everyone here would talk about how we shouldn’t be playing in it at all because it was a shit competition and associating our name with it was disgusting. We are that billionaire that went broke and is now hiding from friends hoping he gets rich quick and resumes their company. 500M deal in town? no thanks. How will people see me chasing such peanuts? I am the mighty Arsensl. I once had 20 billion every season, dined with the best (Although Bayern regularly made… Read more »


Oh, meant the Europa. Gone are the days we thought not playing in the Europa at all was good because it was a stain on our image as a big club with every right to be higher than 4th.

Now we are 9th or 10th and trying to distance ourselves and image from a shit tournament you only qualify for if you are a lowly 7th.

We are the Arsenal we should only be seen competing in the champions league. Or going out 10-1 in the last 16. Even if we are the 9th best team in the league

Ordnance Dave

If only we had an owner, to whom £120 million, is a parking ticket.


I don’t think any owner, even those at Chelsea or City, would consider that.


I didn’t realize this until this week but we paid more for Pepe than Man city has ever paid for a player. Crazy.


It’s wages where City over pay. Initially they used inflated wages to attract ‘quality’ mercenaries to build a reputation and now have a model that works.


Aren’t all players mercenaries, quality or not, to one extent or another?


Giggs, Gerrard and Messi would object


I think Messi can afford to reduce his demands given what he earns currently, but a handful of exceptions don’t disprove the rule of course.


Although the owners of Chelsea and (even more so) City have huge financial resources, they don’t throw around money with no purpose. Chelsea, for example, sell very well on the whole – better than we do, for example. And as you say, although City “splash the cash”, they don’t just spend it for the sake of it – they pick their transfer targets carefully, and usually for medium-range fees.


Yes. They’re extremely well run. Most of their big purchases are top young players.


Batshayi 35m
Morata 60m
Bakayoko 36m
Drinkwater 34m
Zappacosta 22.5m
Emerson 18m
Jorginho 51m
Higuan 7m loan fee
Kepa 72m
Mendy 21m

That’s only in the last 4 years they are not well run. They spend big on flops as much as anyone. The difference is they can just continue to throw money at it if transfers don’t work out.

The Kolkata Gooner

Chelsea has no shame in spending crazy amounts of money. They spent 72m on Kepa and when they realized he was not good enough, they went and bought another goalie for decent money. They are going to do the same with Werner/Havertz. Plus they keep sacking their manager which would cost them plenty. They are literally the embodiment of the idea that throwing money at a problem would make it go away.


Their net spend the past 5 years is lower than ours.


But it’s not just what they spend, it’s what they recoup through sales. I understand that their recent net spend is less than ours. If so, that suggests that they are better run (in that aspect) doesn’t it?


They’re consistently competing for the PL & Europe. That’s a well run club. They also sell extremely well – their net spend over the past 5 years is less than ours

The Kolkata Gooner

I think the point some of us are trying to make is NOT whether they are more successful than us or not, but the fact that they spend insane amounts of money on bad players as well. They are not well run, they can just afford to buy flops. An example of a well run club would be Leicester.


You’re only considering 1/2 of the picture. You can’t just talk about what they spend and ignore they sell players for huge fees as well. Hazard for what 100m to Madrid. They spend less money than Arsenal does on net. The reason our flops are so crushing is we rarely sell players for anything.

Eric Blair

You are forgetting the money Man City and others are giving players and agents off the record, squirreled away in off shore banks and stock options in national fossil fuel industries and so on.

This ‘dark’ money allows them a pretence of following financial rules but is not something we can compete with.

Our executives simply funnel money into their own bank accounts.

The Kolkata Gooner

Yes, Chelsea did well with Hazard and Courtois, but look at how they spent that money – they bought Kepa, Werner and Havertz as replacements. And I can’t remember Man City selling anyone for good money. And I’m not saying all this to take the blame away from Arsenal. Right now, we are the worst run of the Big 6 teams, barring Tottenham, who are probably level with us. I just think Chelsea and Man City shouldn’t be looked at as the only viable models for success. That would be, for me, the easier way out, and I don’t neccessesary… Read more »


Every club will have transfers that don’t work out. However the point I’m making is Chelsea is a very successful & well run club. Abrahamovich has appointed very competent people who manage it to a much more self sustaining model than people realize & keep the team consistently successful all while investing in youth. This idea that Chelsea is only above us because they spend so much more money than we do is just flat out wrong. Yes they did that 15 years ago but that hasn’t been the case for quite awhile.

The Kolkata Gooner

I disagree. They are not special when it comes to investing in the youth. All the big 6 teams have young stars, several of them. Its the same with Chelsea. Yes, every club will have transfers that don’t work out, but not every club will have the means to replace those transfers with equally expensive ones. What makes Chelsea “self-sustaining” is that they can afford to replace a Kepa and a Werner. Wait and see them go for a top striker this summer to replace Werner. A “self-sustaining” model would be to somehow make Werner a better player, or to… Read more »


This is just basic math & finance. They actually made a profit last year while we had a huge loss. Do they win? Yes. Do they invest in youth? Yes. Are they run relatively self sustaining? Yes.

I’m really not sure what your vision of a well run club is then since those aren’t your criteria.

The Kolkata Gooner

They are a well run club coz they spend enough money. And I have already said that I think we are a very poorly managed club. But what can we expect from our club realistically to change our fortunes? That our owners will splash the cash till we get a few transfers right, and change our manager every spring, like Chelsea do? Or do we spend intelligently, through good scouting, and have a more robust system in place from competent board members down to the manager and players? At the moment, neither seems likely to me.


We’ve spent plenty of money. Wenger/Raul and to a lesser extent Arteta have badly mismanaged our resources, especially in terms of assets. We let Sanchez/Miki/Ramsey/Ozil/mustafi/wojo run down their contracts and leave for 15m combined. That should have been 200m in player sales.

El Mintero

What are the exact net spend figures last 5 years, City vs Chelsea vs Arsenal?


Past 5 years. Chelsea bought 659.6 million gbp and sold 523.6m for net 133.2m. Arsenal bought 443.1m and sold 194.2m for net 249 m. Only city & United have significantly outspent us the past 5 years. Everton by 26m.


No that’s a well funded club.


This is the issue Atom. It’s how poorly we sell. And yet again we have fans clamouring for Bellerin, Auba, Willock, AMN, Nketiah, and Laca. All the while complaining when we can’t sell Kola or Torreira or Douzi three more examples of players we frozen out. I really like all those players and some have exceptional characters, some I liked more in the past. AMN we should have sold high last year, but Arteta fuked that one up by convincing him he would play a part then not playing him. Now we might get 10-15M for AMN, but it’s unlikely… Read more »


Yes. It’s much easier for fans to argue other clubs spend more money than to recognize we’ve bought extremely poorly and allowed most players to leave for virtually nothing. You have to get buys right if you don’t sell.

City arguably do spend for the sake of it. If our net spend on flops was as high as theirs we would the joke of the town.

Mendy – £51.5m
Ake – £40.7m (not a flop yet but he wasn’t needed + too many goals conceded)
Mangala – £40.5m for a kung-fu defender
Otamendi – £40m
Bony – £29m
Jesus – £28m
Daniel – £27m
Jovetic – £23m
Negredo – £22m

Aside from Mendy, the rest of the players were bought to backup squad members.


Biggles, 120 million to a Kroenke with £8 billion is equivalent to £60 to someone with £4000 in savings. Seems like a parking ticket is a pretty accurate comparison to me.


This kind of comparison is interesting as a debating point, but it’s nonsense. Billionaires don’t tend to throw their money away where business is concerned – which is why they are as rich as they are. Comrade A at Chelsea would no more throw away £120 million just because he could, than Kroenke or any other billionaire.

SB Still

Supporters are spoilt by Chelsea, PSG and ManC ownership models.

Not every club has a sugar daddy and I prefer the self-sustaining model more akin to Bayern Munich. Most owners see a football club as a business, investment, ultimately with the sponsorship, commercial deals and supporters footing the bills – players, staff, etc. Only Abramovich, Sheikh Mansour and PSG owner see their respective clubs as a hobby, ego project – how it’s going to end, only time will tell.

The Kolkata Gooner

I absolutely agree. Its a dangerous precedence these clubs have set.

Very dangerous indeed. Some of these overseas owners might be more likely “to splash the cash” but we seem to overlook what their real motives might be for spending so exorbitantly. When Shinawatra got most of his assets confiscated in Thailand, he still had Man City FC over here in the U.K. to fall back on. He was able to sell the club for ~£210 million and go into exile in, lo behold, the UAE. I think a lot of these owners who come from countries where power is very concentrated are using these clubs, like real estate, as a… Read more »


Bayern is an awful model. They have monopolised the German market by dominating TV revenue (, manipulating the transfer market through 3rd party teams (e.g. Gnabry), buying players they don’t need to remove quality from opposition (e.g. Götze). They aren’t a good model, they’re a market bully and it works because they’re seen as not only Bavaria’s team, but Germany’s team by blanket publicity through behind closed doors mass media dealings. None of the big teams in Europe have any sort of moral high ground to stand on. They are all responsible for the corporatization of football and building of… Read more »


The big question is, obviously, where was the money repaid from? As the article mentions, it can come from the owner or from a new, commercial, loan. If it’s the former, then “horray” for the owner – unpopular as that will be at this time. If the latter, then the club’s debt has increased quite considerably (for perspective, we still owe around £140 million on the stadium) at a time when income is falling. It should be clearer from the next financial results.


Exactly. If it is from another commercial loan, it’s really not good news for the club – we’re just going deeper into debt with nothing to show for it. If it was from the owners, why wouldn’t they let that “be known”? They must surely know they could use some good publicity with the fanbase.


£120 million would certainly be a lot of good publicity in my book. However, unless there’s an announcement that the owner has written off the money (and that would be good timing, wouldn’t it), I guess it’s another loan.


Loan refinancing refers to the process of taking out a new loan to pay off one or more outstanding loans. Borrowers usually refinance in order to receive lower interest rates or to otherwise reduce their repayment amount.
Pretty much standard practice for any business.
The rate for the covid loan was so low of course they took it to pay off other higher interest loans.
Would have thought this was pretty obvious


It’s not obvious because it’s not correct. The loan from the Govt. was taken out to finance an immediate shortfall in income due to there being no spectators at games. It was a cheap way of filling a black hole in income. If the purpose of the loan was to pay off more expensive loans then almost every club would have taken one out, wouldn’t they – who would turn down cheap money? They didn’t – only Sp*rs and us took loans out as far as I’m aware. The Govt. laid down strict conditions for the loan, including a very… Read more »

If every club could have done no doubt they would

Medium Mozart

Currently listening to the post-Villareal EL disaster Arsecast. As everyone, I’m aware how badly KSE run their sports franchises (Arsenal included, obviously). What I was unaware of was the Stain isn’t even a self-made man – much of his wealth is inherited!

Then you’ve Josh, whose wealth is completely interested… and these are the people running the club.

Deeper in debt too now, by the sounds of it.

Perhaps it won’t be long before they’re regretting not accepting that £1.8bn offer from Ek…


All a little different to Ek, who was born into fairly modest stock and made all his money by using his initiative…..




Eat the rich.


Season tickets renewals start on Monday. I imagine the loan will be short term to be repaid from this cash flow.
im jus5 glad the taxpayer isn’t picking up the bill.
I’d like to know when/if The Middlesex Rovers will be repaying theirs.

Cuckoo Clock FC rolled their existing loan into a new one with the Bank of England. Their new deadline is March 2022 to pay off the £175 million.

Their stadium debt either remains at £831 million or has been restructured to £733 million. Depending on who is to be believed.


Fortunately, Arsenal’s stadium debt is around £144 million. If I were in charge of Cuckoo Clock FC, I’d seriously consider declaring bankruptcy.

El Mintero

Boycott the season ticket scam, drive KSE out of our club NOW.


I feel good when I pay £50 off my credit card.


When money loses value, assets increase in value, and any debt secured against those assets will shrink in comparison to the value of the asset

The good new is this £120million debt will be worthless soon enough

The bad news is, if you don’t have any assets, and aren’t on the property ladder yet, you’re basically fuc*ed

Soon you’ll be able to leave a wheelbarrow full of £50 notes outside, and thieves will steal the wheelbarrow and leave the money, because the money won’t be worth the paper it’s written on

per berg

should have put it in crypto:P

Leave my Arsealona

I guess they put the £120 million in a high interest account and made some cash from it. Paying it off and making money at the same time


The money was borrowed because the club lost 25% of its income as there were no spectators at games. Although the wage bill was reduced through a voluntary deduction by the playing staff that wasn’t enough to make up the shortfall in income needed to pay remaining wages, running costs etc. for the club – hence the loan. Some of the money was also used (and the article refers to this) to pay off players to remove them and their wages from the books. The issue isn’t that the loan was needed, it clearly was, the question is where is… Read more »


Are you really that dense that you can’t understand they took out the full loan on the lowest interest rate ever available to service other higher interest loans?
This article is a joke and has no details of anything even linking to another article with no details of anything and no quotes from anyone.
“It looks as though we did use some cash to pay off high profile players”
No shit I thought we payed them off with magic beans.

Neil Bamford

It must be another loan. With the fan confidence in the owners at an all time low this would have been the perfect chance for them to say it was them to get some fans back on side.

I’ve got a bad feeling about this summer. I hope I’m wrong but I think KSE saying they will support the manager financially is all smoke and daggers.


”or, as The Athletic reports, we’ve taken out another loan from elsewhere, presumably on less favourable terms”.
The athletic reports that it has no details and knows nothing about any loans. Great reporting.


Or they took out the loan and used it to pay off loans for their other franchises.

Uk government got taken for a ride…

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