Arsenal and Man United owners have killed the passion for success?

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?



  1. One major signing for the past 3seasons.tht answers ur question,I hope we invest more than one marquee signing that will take us to another level.a striker asap

  2. I still think ManU still has the passion and the ambition..
    Am really confused about Arsenal,Wenger talks about ambition,and all but he doesn’t really show it in terms of spending on the team, while maintaining we have money to spend…but it seems like that is changing this season….

    Man U spends a lot of money every summer and have replacing coaches along with that just trying to get back where they belong…how else can a club/owner show ambition/passion??????

    1. Only because not winning trophies hurts Man. U’s brand which inevitably hurts their revenue and value. Football clubs need to make money to ensure sustainability but definitely not at the expense of it’s primary purpose which is entertaining the fans….that’s like a country privatizing it’s Department/Ministry of Justice!

      1. The question we need to ask is this, if these owners like Kroenke and the Glazers did not buy these respective clubs, would these two clubs have gone bankrupt? Absolutely not! In fact, the Glazers practically stole Man. U because they exploited a loophole in the system by buying through an L.B.O which essentially meant they borrowed money to buy Man. U using Man. U as collateral and non of their own money! If these two icons of the English game had been allowed to grow without these kind of investors who do it for the money rather than for the passion and prestige ala Chelsea and Man. City, I dare say we would be on par with the Reals, Bayerns and Barcas of these world. With clubs like Man. U and especially Arsenal and the kind of owners we have, if it came to making a choice between entertaining the fans and their profits, we all know which way they’ll lean. Barca were in trouble financially not too long ago, in fact they had to accept commercial shirt sponsors for the first time in their history but they’ll never go belly up, if push came to shove I’m certain the fans would rally round the table and stomp up from their own pockets to save the club; ’twas difficult for the fans of Leeds to do the same since Leeds was owned by one man, Ken Bates. All in all, with these guys in charge, we are only papering over the cracks, the only clubs that made it to the latter stages of the Champions League last season were either owned by the fans, sugar daddies or family owned, go figure.

    2. Goonerboy sorry to nitpick but you wrote

      “Man U spends a lot of money every summer and have replacing coaches along with that just trying to get back where they belong”.

      I think they are now closer to where they belong but just need to drop another fifteen places next season. I am sure you meant to say “where they think they belong”.

  3. There’s an improvement but we are not exactly where we suppose to be with regard to ambition and transfer.

    Improvements (+):
    -No more selling our best players
    -Buying established stars
    -reducing the Flops ( I don’t want that word ‘deadwood)

    Unimproved (-):
    -Not buying enough
    -Team spirit.

  4. OT:

    Allegri has stated that they are already looking for Morata’s replacement…and Morata is heavily linked with us…

    The Sun also reports that we have bidded 28m for him…

    Maybe Morata is our striker signing..

  5. Well when it comes to the owners at least finances will always come first because we can’t pretend that they became owners for free, they invested millions and expect to see returns so i can’t blame them for wanting to make money. Owners should also know that bigger investments especially when it comes to top players will only benefit them in the long run so if they have the money available they have no reasons not to pay for the proper top footballers out there.

    It is also clear that we are more focused on challenging for titles and winning them since we have more financial freedom BUT we still don’t have enough ambition. If we did the board and Gazidis would have forced Wenger to buy a top class striker last summer and we’d be singing a different song right now.

    What Arsenal suffers from mostly is an excess of faith and trust. The owners trust Wenger too much to deliver and he trusts his players WAY too much to do so as well even though everyone knows a reinforced squad will take us where we want to be.

  6. Can buy who ever there is the best around but nothing will change unless the managers mentality changes and that transfers to the players.

    There is lloyalty and then wenger and his obsession with players for e.g Ramsey, giroud Walcott, ox,gibbs, mert(still don’t think Gabriel or chambers are ready to replace though) all these jokes need to be sold and buy/promote youngsters for e.g Iwobi, Toral, Gnabry ,Hayden, willock
    (Haydon I’m not to sure about the others are more then capable to be part of first team squad carling/f.a cup etc )
    Everyone of the youngsters will be more hungry then the over paid over hyped prima donnas I mentioned we need to get rid of.

    Go out n also buy Lukaku/aubyemeang/morata, and a top c.b and maybe they can challenge.

    But we all know what’s going to happen players like Campbell as always are made the scapegoat and most likely Ramsey, Walcott will get rewarded with new contracts for being absolutely Shite that’s wenger mentality through and through.

    And if this xhaka signing is a dupe like cech was last year so ppl can foolishly renew season tickets etc then I hope ozil and sanchez do leave because they don’t deserve this rubbish.

  7. Three ways of looking at it.

    What if Wenger left 8 years ago and we still had this financial constraint and we ended up every season weaker and weaker challenging for 8th or 10th with a new manager that was not embedded in the Arsenal way.

    The second way is what if Wenger left and another manager with better tactics won us the league at least once but also our league table results were up and down because of our financial restraints.

    The third one is the situation we are in now. No BPL for 12 years but in the top for, still a strong club with great financial power and still able to make history by winning the BPL.

    This is just three. the last 10 years could have gone many ways. But we have to give Wenger at least some credit. My only concern is that Wenger seems to be lacking tactical awareness. Hopefully with some good signings and some good tactical football we can be champions again under Wenger. Let us get behind Wenger even if its just one more season. For me this is a do or die season for Wenger. No BPL no new contract. But a big thank you for your service.

  8. Wenger spent 1,700 million
    on salaries these past
    10 years for two FA cups.
    Is that financial success?
    The English corpse has been very expensive for little production.
    Ox 12 mill transfer 10 mill salary paid
    Walcot 7 mill transfer 30 mill salary paid
    Wilshere 23 mill in salary paid
    Wellbeck 16 mill transfer. 8 mill salary paid
    Chambers 16 mill transfer.
    Gibbs 17 mill salary paid.
    140 mill over ten years for what?
    Wenger is finally learning though because now he
    is bidding less than 2 mill on young English players.
    But we still get mixed messages because we hear about
    Arsenal promoting local youth players yet the club bought
    Xhaka a Swiss National for 30 mill and are pursuing Spaniard Morata for 30 mill.

    1. Davidnz you are correct about the english core. They have not lived up to the hopes. But if we look back on the golden generation, stevie G, lampard, beckham etc they achieved little for England and far less than our expectations. The difference of course is that our english core have not lived up to expectations when compared to other english players.

      Injuries have played a part in this, particularly wiltshire and now welbeck but also Ox, Walcott and Gibbs. But all very disappointing.

      Last euros we tied with Bayern Munich for most players at the euros, I think it was twelve.

  9. I wouldn’t put Man Utd in the same category as Arsenal, as they’ve spent huge amounts on players in recent years. They’ve not made the correct signings, and some didn’t fit into Van Gaal’s style, but at least the club was ambitious, and tried to take the squad to the next level.

    Whereas at Arsenal, they rip the fans off as much as possible, and keep the majority of the fans money in a bank, collecting interest. We’re all pleased with Xhaka, but all Arsenal fans will be stunned if we make another big money signing in this window.

  10. I have said this before but here goes again.

    I think that when we were paying off stadium debt and having to sell our best players, the aim of the club was top four in PL and last 16 in CL, for financial reasons. Us fans generally accepted this and the high ticket prices but expected that things would improve when the burden of stadium debt eased.

    Then Kroenke became the majority shareholder in 2011. The payments to the banks reduced. Kroenke then thought that as the fans had accepted high ticket prices and top four finish, he would continue this policy, and instead of arsenal paying the banks, the money would go to him (Kroenke).

    How do I know this? Well I do not, but I do know that Kroenke has told us that he is not “involved” to win championships. Jack Wiltshire on told us that the aim of the club is top four (not to win the PL). Then there is the response of the team, consistently they pull out all the stops if top four is threatened, but bottle chances to get clear ahead at top of PL.

    I know that for the last three seasons we have been fourth , third and second, however here is a summary:
    Format: Season, position, arsenal points, points behind winner
    13/14 4 79 7
    14/15 3 75 12
    15/16 2 71 10
    Basically for the last three seasons our points total has dropped and we have been well behind the leaders. At the end of the season we have not been challenging for the title but battling it out to get a top four spot.

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors