The subject of money is never far from the forefront of debate between Arsenal fans about whether Arsene Wenger and the board are running our great club the right way or if the resistance to the money way of throwing mountains of cash at things is nothing more than an excuse for being tight fisted and making lots of profit.
While the team are playing well, winning games and looking on course to challenge for a major trophy or two then the critics of our manager are less vocal if not completely quiet. A bad game or two, however, or a bad run of results that sees our chances of silverware slip away sees those voices get much louder and more numerous and we start to hear about protests and the like.
This weekend could be a turning point is Wenger’s approval ratings this season when we travel to face the struggling Manchester United of Jose Mourinho, but before we head to Old Trafford I think it is worth taking a look at the Premier League salary numbers printed by the Evening Standard today.
If you think that the wages of players probably reflects the quality of a club then Arsenal’s numbers would support that theory as we are fourth on the list with the average Gunner earning just over £3.7 million a year and Arsenal currently fourth in the EPL table. And the two clubs directly above Arsenal in the table are also paying their players more.
But the team paying the most is Manchester United with an eye watering average wage of almost £5.8 million per player per year. Add to this the fact that the current champions Leicester City are paying their stars an average of around £2 million a year which is just over half what we pay and just over a third of United’s outgoings.
Does this mean that Arsenal are right to be more careful than the league’s big spenders? Or are United and Leicester just exceptions to the rule?