Arsenal stay 5th (in Deloitte’s Football Money League)

Arsenal have remained in 5th position in the annual Deloitte Football Money League, which used the figure for total revenue extracted from the annual financial statements of the company or group in respect of each club, or other direct sources, for the 2010/11 season.

This is what they had to say about Arsenal.

Arsenal narrowly remain in fifth place in this year’s Money League after recording revenues of £226.8m (€251.1m) for 2010/11, which in sterling terms, is a £2.4m increase on the £224.4m earned in 2009/10.

Whilst football related revenues remained stable, Arsenal generated a further £30m (€33m) in property development revenue, despite a sharp though anticipated decrease, from the £157m reported in 2009/10. Our analysis focuses on football related revenue only. Although the Gunners reached the League Cup final, this was their sixth consecutive season without winning a major trophy or finishing in the top two of the Premier League.

Arsenal continue to benefit from excellent facilities and full capacity attendances at the Emirates Stadium, with a league match average of 60,025 in 2010/11. However, there were two fewer Champions League fixtures in 2010/11 and, as a result, a small reduction of £0.8m (1%) in matchday revenue from £93.9m to £93.1m (€103.2m).

Nonetheless, this still represents the fourth highest amount from this source of all Money League clubs and Arsenal are the only club in the top 20 who accumulated more revenue from matchday than any other source.

Broadcast revenue only increased slightly from £86.5m to £87.4m (€96.7m) in 2010/11 due in part to Arsenal’s UEFA distributions reducing from €33.8m to €30m (£27.1m), as a result of only reaching the last 16 of the
Champions League, compared to the quarter-finals the previous season. However, this was wholly offset however by an increase in Premier League distributions and for English clubs, a more beneficial exchange rate from the UEFA distributions.

In contrast to their strength in matchday revenue, commercial revenue only accounted for 20% of Arsenal’s total football related revenue. In absolute terms this is over £57m behind the leading English club, Manchester United. The club is bound to its long term (£90m) agreement with Emirates, which runs until 2020/21 for stadium naming rights and 2013/14 for shirt sponsor. Given the financial values of the shirt sponsor deals agreed by some of the other top clubs in the Money League, Arsenal will have a significant opportunity to boost commercial revenue when this deal expires.

The club is making headway with commercial revenue, growing from £44m in 2009/10 to £46.3m (€51.2m) in 2010/11. Looking ahead to the 2011/12 season, the club have agreed new partnership deals with Indesit, Betsson, Thomas Cook and Carlsberg, as well as a three-year renewal with Citroën, which should all contribute to an increase in commercial revenue in the next edition of Money League.

Arsenal remain committed to a long term vision of a self-sustainable football club built on solid foundations.
If the Gunners are to retain their position in the top five of the Money League, they will need to close the gap in commercial revenues with Europe’s other top clubs, whilst continuing to qualify for the Champions League.

You can see the top 10 below. Sp*rs are in 11th place with total revenue of who gives a fuck.

Deloitte Money Football League

Wenger: change loan rules

Arsene Wenger believes the current Premier League loan system is flawed and provides certain teams with an unfair advantage.

Currently no player can play against the club which holds his registration, but the Arsenal manager thinks that’s wrong and should be changed.

“Personally, I would not ban players on loan from playing against their own clubs,” he told this month’s edition of the Arsenal Magazine.

“At the moment it is a big opportunity for some clubs to reinforce other teams, without losing ownership of the player. For example, if a big club sends a big player to another club in the Premier League they only have benefits.

“That player cannot face his own club, yet he could win games against their rivals.”

And while many, Arseblog News included, think that the club taking a player on loan ought to pay the full wages of the player they’re taking – which would prove difficult in cases such as Emmanuel Adebayor – Wenger’s solution is more simple.

“What I would like to see is that you are not allowed loan players over the age of 21.”

Which, when you consider the loan deals we’re part of, including Bendtner, Denilson, Vela and even Yossi Benayoun, would prove to be quite restrictive, but perhaps it would make the club more efficient from a transfer/contract point of view.

The boss also explained what he hopes to get from sending young players out on loan. As well as the obvious benefits to their football development, time away from the safe environment of Arsenal and experiencing new challenges is a factor too.

“It’s a reality check for them,” he said, “because they are looked after extremely well here. They get to learn a little more about what real life is about.

“Even if it is still not ‘real life’ – being a professional – it’s closer to real life than being here. It’s a reminder to them what it could be like at another club.

“It’s also a reminder to them that it’s not the case that just because they play for Arsenal they will be an automatic pick at another club.”

Arsenal currently have 12 players out loan, it was 13 but Emmanuel Frimpong’s injury cut short his time at Wolves. They are: Nicklas Bendtner, Denilson, Carlos Vela, Joel Campbell, Henri Lansbury, Vito Mannone, Pedro Botelho, Wellington, Kyle Bartley, Chuks Aneke, Ryo Miyaichi and Samuel Galindo.

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Djourou signs 2-year contract extension


Swiss daily Le Matin reports that Johan Djourou has signed a 2-year contract extension with us.

Despite some admirable, if inconsistent, performances for us this season playing out-of-position at right-back, JD has come in for harsh criticism from some fans. Let us not forget that this was the same Johan Djourou who returned from a long-term injury last season, and was being acclaimed as the best in the league as he came back to shore up an absolutely horrific defensive unit in the fine form leading up to the Carling Cup final.

Opinions change quickly, and whilst Djourou would be the first to admit that he needs to work on certain areas of his game, he’s still only 25. He’s played more than 130 games for Arsenal, has 30 caps for Switzerland, and it’s great to have a player of that age with that experience. It’s widely accepted that central defenders start to peak towards their thirties, so it’s great news that he’ll be around to strengthen the squad.

Competition for places can only help him in the long-run, although he does need to play at centre-half and not at fullback (where he’s clearly not equipped to play on a regular basis). He really deserves more support than criticism, and people forget as well that he’s an Arsenal boy, and one of our longest-serving players. He’s been at the club almost 10 years, gone all they way from the scholars to the reserves to the first-team, and has rarely ever kicked up a fuss or caused trouble, and always plays with a smile on his face.

Carlos not a jolly Vela


In a rather unsurprising turn of events, intermittently underwhelming and then overwhelming, formerly teenage, chip-happy, Mexican strike sensation(!) Carlos Vela has decided he doesn’t want to come back to Arsenal from his loan spell at Real Sociedad.

“I would stay at Real,” Vela told El Diario Vasco. “I am happy and the people support me. I owe Arsenal affection and gratitude for the opportunity that they gave me, but I was not happy there and this affected my work.

“It was hard day to day and, when it came to training, I was thinking about going home. Here, however, I am happy and have made good friends.”

Regarding staying at Sociedad, Vela added: “It is too early to talk about these issues, but I do not close the door to Real. But, if you cannot reach an agreement with Arsenal, you cannot do anything.

“As I said, I’m happy here and would like to help the team stay up. Then we’ll see what happens in the summer. Right now, we cannot do anything even if we wanted to.”

Vela’s form has (somewhat) picked up of late… he’s scored 3 goals in his last 9 games (as opposed to 0 in the 9 games before that), including one against Barcelona, and this stupendous bicycle kick in a 3-2 win over Malaga.

The Mexican’s performances for Arsenal never quite lived up to his early promise. Apart from questions over his lifestyle and commitment, his performances over the last year and a half were quite ineffective. Like Eduardo before him, he offered very little in a front three, and failed to take whatever chances came to him.

His departure in the summer went relatively unnoticed… so much so that when a rather chunky Andre Santos (who also enjoys a chip or two) showed up on deadline day wearing #11, a lot of people just assumed he’d eaten little Carlos and taken his shirt.

Arsenal to rack up pre-season air miles

Arsenal look set to go globe trotting this summer, in an effort to win new fans and increase ‘brand’ awareness.

A report in this morning’s Guardian suggests that Arsenal will play pre-season games in Seoul, Beijing and Hong Kong, before playing a match in Nigeria.

Arsene Wenger has famously been reluctant to embark on overseas trips in the past, last summer’s far eastern jaunt at odds with the sedate Austrian training camp the manager prefered to use to get his players ready.

Arsenal have been working very hard to improve the commercial side of the club and it seems as if this will be the way forward – balancing the football needs with the financial and commerical benefits of pre-season tours. And the realities of modern football mean that’s not really a bad thing.

In the short-term it is crucial that Arsenal explore as many avenues as possible to increase commercial revenue. The deals struck with Nike, for the kit, and Emirates airline, for the naming rights of the stadium, were made at a time when the club was badly in need of cash for the new home.

At the time, geting much of the money up front, was quite a coup, but with increased television revenues driving shirt sponsorships and much more, Arsenal are somewhat paying the price for them now. The first of those deals runs out in 2014, which means until then the club must find other ways to make up the shortfall.

As well as increased revenue from ticket sales, merchandise and more, the tour also provides the chance for fans who would never be able to see the team to experience what many who can get to the stadium on a regular basis sometimes take for granted.


Foreign youngsters can benefit, rather than hinder, English talent

One of the key arguments for detractors of the Arsenal Academy is the perceived preferential treatment of foreign youngsters.

Players signed from abroad tend to become instant selections in the under-18 side upon their arrival, sign professional contracts automatically when they turn 17 and, in many cases, are likely to make their first-team debut in the Carling Cup before their 19th birthday.

Such a theory does have some weight to it, with the likes of Kyle Ebecilio and Elton Monteiro earning professional deals without really standing out for the under-18s, but the latest batch of internally-produced youngsters at the club are striving to be recognised in their own right.

The 2011 intake of scholars comprised seven players, four from abroad and three who graduated from the club’s Hale End system. Of the foreign recruits, Serge Gnabry and Jon Toral have already made their Reserve debuts, whilst Hector Bellerin and Kris Olsson are fixtures in the under-18 team.

The English youngsters are also making strides, however. Centre-back Zach Fagan earned his first Reserve call-up last week, Isaac Hayden has been installed as captain of Steve Bould’s side and Anthony Jeffrey has continued to impress since returning from injury.

It may well be the case that all seven players go on to become professionals at the club, and such a scenario, which also occurred with the 2009 intake, would reflect positively upon the club.

The main bone of contention is that players from abroad are deemed to be favoured, but surely it is more beneficial for the club as a whole if the introduction of a foreign player increases competition within the ranks. The majority of foreign youngsters signed by Arsenal below first-team level in recent years have been of a high quality and if that means that some comparatively less talented domestic youngsters fall by the wayside in the process, then that is a risk worth taking.

In terms of Carling Cup call-ups, many of the players summoned have been internally produced. Just this season, for example, the likes of Nico Yennaris, Chuks Aneke, Daniel Boateng and Jernade Meade have been called into the squad for the first time, and Benik Afobe would surely have joined them at some stage had he not been sidelined.

The reality is, the presence of the foreign youngsters helps to determine the level of the existing players. If they can compete with them then they are likely to be given an opportunity to shine. If they cannot, then a career away from the club is likely to await, but that is by no means a bad thing as it will help the English youngster to find his level more quickly.

In essence, there is no real bias towards foreign youngsters. They simply help to bring the best out of the players already at the club and increase the club’s depths of promising talents.


Oxlaide-Chamberlain playing the long game


Despite catching the eye more than a wicketkeeper who has a machine spurting cricket-ball sized eyes at him for two hours non-stop, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain isn’t getting carried away.

He’s impressed greatly since he was thrust into the team against Manchester United just a couple of weeks ago and already there’s talk of him being called up to the England squad for the European Championships this summer.

But The Ox, while obviously a precocious, ferocious and explodocious talent, is also an intelligent, well mannered and, most importantly, self-aware young man. He knows it’s early days in his career and he’s more than willing to put in the study required to ensure it’s as good as it can be.

“I’m one of the least experienced players in the squad so any player who gives me a comment always helps me, whether it is positive or constructive criticism,” he told the club’s official website.

“I listen to everybody. People like Thierry and Robin who score goals and are attacking players like myself, you can always learn a lot from them. That’s all I do, I listen and learn.

“I have belief in myself and in my own ability. I just know that I have to keep working hard and learn off the boys, and then hopefully the rest will come. At the moment it’s going quite well for me so I’m just going to keep working hard.”

Arsene Wenger and Robin van Persie have urged caution, to try and protect him from the media’s hype machine. When a young player comes along and plays well there’s a tendency for the praise to go rather too far, but when that young player is English he is expected to be both awesome at football and lift the spirits of a nation – until such time as the tabloids decide it’s time to take him down a peg or two for being too uppity have been made uppity by them in the first place.

And of his Euro 2102 chances, Oxlade-Chamberlain said,  “Obviously it would be very nice but I just have to keep my feet on the ground and take it step by step.”

And once he continues to do that, he’ll make good progress.

In Ox we trust.

Wenger likes Hazard, club requires profit


Arsene Wenger has admitted he’s a fan of Lille’s Edez Hazard but says that Arsenal have a requirement to make a profit of £15-£20m at the start of each season.

Speaking to Belgian paper, La Dernière Heure, about the winger everyone believes will turn us into Champions and trophy winners again, the boss said, “I like him a lot, and for several reasons. His creativity, his ability to unbalance the opposition, his vision and his consummate art of giving the final ball make him a player coveted by many.

“Hazard has the right profile to play at a top level club, and Arsenal is a top level club.”

Yet with the price tag likely to be very high for one of Europe’s most sought after young players, the boss sounded a warning, “You have to know that at every season’s start, Arsenal must imperatively make a profit of between £15m and £20m. I’d add to that that one of the missions of a coach is to always buy at a price he judges to be right.”

He doesn’t specifically say that the profit must come from transfers but given the way we’ve done business in the past it seems the easiest way to achieve this.

That said, with news filtering through that Arsenal will tour the far east and Nigeria this coming summer, it looks as if the club are looking at other ways of achieving that surplus. If the requirement for that profit is true, however, it might well suggest that Wenger is a manager whose hands are more tied than people think when it comes to the transfer market.

As for Hazard, he has already said he’ll be playing in England next season, it remains to be seen with who.

Hat tip Ollie for translation.

Frimpong suffers cruciate knee injury


Emmanuel Frimpong’s season is over having ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament during Wolves 2-1 win over QPR on Saturday.

Frimpong, who had been due to stay on loan at Wolves until the end of the season, will now see specialists in London over the next few days before having surgery and starting a programme of rehabilitation.

It’s a big blow for the midfielder who suffered a similar injury during pre-season two summers ago and missed all of the 2010-11 campaign.

Thankfully this appears to be bad luck, rather than a recurrence of the old problem. The new injury is in his right knee, the previous was in his left.

A statement on the Wolves website said, “Everyone at Wolves would like to thank the midfielder for his efforts whilst at the club and join Arsenal in wishing him a swift recovery.”

The typical recovery/rehab time for a cruciate injury is 6-9 month. All we can do is wish him well in his recovery and hope he’s back soon to Frimpong people right in their Frimpongs.


Robin honestly loves Theo


Robin van Persie’s goalscoring feats are well known to everyone at this stage. In his last 41 league games he’s scored a remarkable 40 goals*.

His hat-trick on Saturday included two assists from Theo Walcott, meaning 10 of Walcott’s last 11 assists have been for the Dutchman*. Yet while the skipper has spoken before about how much he enjoys getting on the end of Theo’s passes, he reckons there’s more to come from his Action Man haired chum in terms of scoring goals.

Walcott has been criticised recently for some sloppy finishing and wayward shooting, but van Persie believes there’s more to come in front of goal.

“I love him, I honestly love him,” Van Persie said.

“Theo was sharp, he was playing fantastically and, like anyone, he misses chances – but I miss chances. Ronaldo misses chances, Messi misses chances. It is life, you know.

“Sometimes I feel that people are a bit harsh on him. I don’t know why. If you look at his assists rate then it is unbelievable.

“Theo will score. Trust me, he will score. He will get 20 goals at least every season. You will see. He will, trust me. Have faith in him.”

Arseblog News would never try to suggest we know more about the game, or one of his teammates, than Robin van Persie, but 20 goal a season Theo, every season, would surprise us. In a very nice way, we’re happy to admit.

Right now, we’d settle for a bit better in front of goal Theo. Let’s do this step by step.

* Stats via @orbinho