Are Arsenal more interested in finances than success? by AH
Whilst Arsenal have been relatively successful in recent years with two FA cups in the past three years, there were many seasons where the Gunners seemed more focused on finances rather than success.
Arsenal went on a barren spell of 9 years without winning a major honour, with the club finally winning silverware again in 2014, their first honour since the 2005 FA CUP win. It marked a period in which Arsenal could not compete financially with the big clubs, mainly as we looked to pay off the massive outstanding costs to the club’s new home, the Emirates Stadium.
But whilst fans of Arsenal football club have since been promised by the club officials, including manager Arsene Wenger, that the days of being financially constrained are over, some fans cannot still help but feel that the board is more interested in profits than success.
The main reason for such belief has to be down to Arsenal’s investment into the club regarding transfers. This is compared to the amount of income the club receives from TV deals, sponsorship, prize money and most importantly the sale of home tickets. As Arsenal fans we believe we should receive more and understandably expect more since the amount of money we pay into the club every week or so to watch the Gunners for 90 minutes at the Emirates. Arsenal Fans pay the highest home ticket prices in the Premier League and have a very high season ticket price, especially in comparison to some of Europe’s biggest clubs. Arsenal fans therefore come to expect more for the income that the club receives, and well respected manager Carlo Ancelloti has spoken out about the matter. Ancelloti spoke in an interview which was picked up on by the Metro, and he questions whether some clubs truly value the means of ambition and success or whether they are more interested in profits.
Ancelloti said: ‘It is unbelievable what happened to Manchester United and Arsenal. Both managers, Wenger and Ferguson, have done fantastic jobs for all the years they’ve been there. I think the difference now is that the owners of Arsenal and Manchester United are removed [from the club] in America. They are not so passionate. There are two important aspects in football – the result and the financial aspects. I think Arsenal and Manchester United are more focused on the financial aspects. One year you can win and reach the Champions League but [for their owners] the important thing is the financial situation. For other clubs the most important thing is the result.’
I must admit in the past I certainly wouldn’t have argued with Ancelloti’s point. Wenger, the board and the owners were all focused primarily on maintaining the balance of finances, during the transition of the club’s move to the emirates. Wenger did an exceptional job of keeping Arsenal consistently in the top four during this period, but his transfer policy and the sale of key players showed that he was restricted with finances and it played a major part in the club’s success over the past ten years.
However now I am slowly beginning to believe that Arsenal are no longer interested in maintaining profits as highly as they previously did, with a real ambition to compete and be successful amongst some of Europe’s biggest clubs once again.
What do you think? Is the club still focused too much on finances, or have we seen a spark of ambition reinstated at Arsenal football club?