Arsenal has a £262m transfer deficit over the last 5 years

Arsenal has lost £262m in net transfer spend in the last 5 years, but that figure is better when compared to some Premier League sides.

The transfer window is an important part of the football calendar, with teams able to strengthen their sides to pursue their seasonal objectives.

It isn’t so much of a level playing field with some teams having almost unlimited spending powers, while others have limits.

In the last 5 years, Arsenal has been busy in the transfer market, landing the likes of Alexandre Lacazette, Shkodran Mustafi, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for substantial amounts.

They have also sold some players for good transfer fees, but the amount they have spent bringing players into the club has been more.

CIES Football Observatory has released a study into the amount of money spent to move talented footballers around Europe since 2016 and shows just how big football transfers have become financially.

The report shows that Arsenal has spent £515m since that time and made £253m from player sales in the last 10 transfer windows.

That leaves them with a deficit of -£262m, but that is better than what the likes of Everton and Aston Villa have spent at the same time.

Everton has a deficit of -£303m, while Villa has -£297m. Obviously, Man City has the biggest deficit of 631 million Euros.

READ MORE: “Mikel Arteta sent away when confronting referee after Villa loss

Tags Arsenal transfers


    1. Is that sarcasm?
      Cos i hope so.
      If not, how is it Kreonke’s fault when he’s not in charge of running the club.
      Over 500m in 5years, thats about 100m per year and some would still like to call him greedy or stingy when the real problem lies with the board and executhieves running the club

      1. Yeah sarcasm. Kronke isn’t great I’ll admit but it’s not like we haven’t spent a fortune.

        We buy poorly and sell even worse, main issue is internal.

  1. Would be interesting to see how many of those players that Everton, City and Aston Villa bought are still at the clubs. In other words, are they still assets?

    One of our big problems is that we shoot ourselves in the right foot by buying mediocre players and then shoot ourselves in the left foot by paying them too much. Then, for good measure, we kick ourselves in the testicles by letting them go for free or even worse buying them out.

  2. The problem at Arsenal is the deficit has not brought about success, whereas ,in the case of Man City, it has.Their income from winning the EPL on a number of occasions allied to funds generated from their regular qualification for the Champions League competition, outweighs their deficit.In essence, the end justifies the means in the case of Man City, but not unfortunately in the case of Arsenal.

  3. On the surface this seems incredibly inept, but when you take an even closer look it’s actually far worse than the numbers suggest…the fact that this insanely large deficit doesn’t even take into account our piss poor wage bill management or more complicated variables, like opportunity cost, means that the deeper one digs the more incompetence one uncovers…we’re clearly the modern day example for how not to run a professional footballing club…in fact, we’re actually fortunate it’s not even worse because this organizational neglect started when the Emirates was first built and the real brains of the operation, David Dein, was shown the door…usually when something is allowed to fester for such a lengthy period it’s difficult to reverse course…I can only hope someone at the club has the stones to face these harsh realities head-on before they have any truly permanent affect(just look how long it took Leeds to recover from their differing by similarly systemic issues)

  4. The disastrous transfer policy is only the tip of the iceberg. Four years ago we were a cash rich club with something like £130 million in the bank. Now we are have just borrowed £120 million pounds to get us through the season. We owe money on Pepe, Saliba and wages are a shambolic noose that is strangling this club to death. We are not only falling down the table at an alarming rate, we are heomoriging money at an ever worrying rate. Add that to being run at the top of the club and the tranfers by complete novices, we are in deep dung.

    1. Well said Reggie

      On top of all of that we have our future revenue at massive risk, that will be diminished as a result of shrinking future fan base.

      Do you think kids that have grown up over the last decade are likely to be Arsenal supporters, unless guided by family members the answer is likely a big NO.

      This will cost Arsenal big time over the next few decades unless we can turn this around in the next few years.

    2. Who’s to say we still don’t have a very large cash reserve in the bank? Businesses don’t spend their own money when interest rates are extremely low as they are now, they borrow at these low rates rather than spend their reserves.

  5. I dont see the change in transfer policy to stop the deficit from getting even worse. buy players that have resale values, stop killing the values of the players that aren’t in first XI, stop signing 30 year olds on high wages that are average at best.

    1. When we do have players that have resale value, we hold onto them for dear life like if they leave Arsenal will implode.

      Then the usual happens, contract runs down and we get zip.

      Either way we get little to nothing most times.

  6. This is exactly why we should be very concerned about our forthcoming summer spree to replace our so-called “deadwood.” I am yet to be convinced that we have right people and processes in place to find and recruit the right players at the right price.
    To the sum of 262M, we could add another 30M for Saliba, player of the month for Nice, and 3OM for Willian, struggling to cut in on our bench bench. I have excluded 40M earmarked for a new striker, despite the fact our own player, Balogun, is available for free.

  7. Not taking a dig at the author but that’s not how a deficit is calculated. Transfer ins doesn’t necessarily equals Transfer out. We have to look at all revenues too. However, the author is spot on highlighting the massive amount spent on player recruitments and mismanagement on the player sales.

  8. Deficit is the wrong word for this. The figure actually shows, we have a nett investment in the team, that is significant. It also shows that the club/Kroenke has been willing to invest massively in improving the results, and people claiming otherwise are simply misinformed or deliberately promoting a myth.
    Unfortunately, the investment seems to have been mismanaged by the people in charge of the daily running of the club and the team over the latest years, and that includes the likes of Wenger, Gazidis, Emery, Sanllehi etc..

  9. I came on here months ago and posted the following quote from Mr Kroenke;

    “If you want to win Championships, then you would never get involved.”

    Kroenke warned Arsenal fans that he doubts they will be able to compete with rival clubs such as Chelsea and Manchester City in terms of expenditure, claiming:

    “I think the best owners in sports are the guys that sort of watch both sides a bit. If you don’t have a good business then you can’t really afford to go out and get the best players unless you just want to rely on other sources of income.”

    A statement which has subsequently proved to be flawed at best.

    The above quotes were made back in 2016, and made my blood run cold then.

    Look where were are today.

    In order to successfully run the self-sustaining “business” model Kroenke refers to, your ASSETS ARE KEY.

    We are woefully mismanaged in this direction.

    Basic principle is buy at a price improve and sell on at a profit, or develop the “asset” (home grown, or very low cost purchase) at low cost and sell on again at a profit.

    The third option is to buy the finished article, who in joining increases the chances of personal and team success – in turn retaining, if not increasing in value.

    We have failed miserably on all fronts – why ?

    Remember Kroenke employs those in key positions at our club inc’ scouting and bringing in the players we need.

    Does he have the footballing acumen to recognise these key staff – I suspect not.

    (The buck stops at the very top. If you see the need to “point the finger” – fix it man).

    Upon recommendation, the man does not then know the world market in terms of players worth, ability and what they will bring to the Arsenal first team.

    Therefore the risk of sanctioning any given purchase turning out to be an expensive (purchase price and wage) and
    DEPRECIATING asset is high.

    Many replies when I posted these opinions previously, came back as “why should an owner spend his own fortune etc, etc. and anyway he has done with Pepe & Partey (he probably thought Pepe was something you sprinkle on his steak).

    Please remember, there is a huge difference in the SANCTIONING of spending the CLUBS money than say the Chelski, Man’ City model – spending driven to be winners.

    Remember, Arteta wanted both Partey AND Auoar, with only Partey (his 2nd choice) being sanctioned – I suspect from the clubs funds made available to Mikel, not the Kroenke coffers.

    Most reports (I accept how reliable are these) point to the fact that Kroenke has not spent a single penny of his own fortune on the team.

    I know not if this is fact or fiction.

    What I do know is, again, there is a world of difference in sanctioning the spending of the clubs money as opposed to the “investment” of your own.

    Grandad has hit the nail on the head above.

    Ambition drives your spending, and what you spend on.

    If you are truly spending to succeed, the book balancing act should take care of itself via the success “ambitious squad building” brings.

    If you overpay for dross with an eye on landing 4th to 6th slot in the table, this is a extremely risky strategy – again, look at where we are today.

    And of course the above leads to supporter division and dissatisfaction which will affect other revenue streams, most damagingly “bums on seats”.

    In my opinion we are being brought to our knees by an unambitious, absent owner who does not have the drive, passion, burning desire and KNOWLEDGE OF WHAT ARSENAL F.C. IS REALLY ABOUT to take OUR Club back to former glories (or at least competing so to do).

    Do not take for granted Arsenal will always be considered a huge global brand, automatically invited into the inevitable European Super League when formed (for example).


    By any measure, whatever your stance, , this is unacceptable from the top at Arsenal Football Club, sending out the completely wrong message to every single employee, investor and supporter of our great club.

    Actually Mr Kroenke – WE DO WANT TO WIN “CHAMPIONSHIPS” !

    Sadly, and very depressingly I very much doubt this will be the case under the ownership of “Kroenke Sporting Enterprises” !

    P.S Have you heard anything from Josh “be very excited” Kroenke lately – ’cause I haven’t.

    Gone to ground.

    And I strongly suspect this was a case of something akin to “Here you go son, I’ve bought Arsenal Soccer Team, over to you” !!!!!!

    1. I tend to agree to some degree.
      But, the fact remains as good as every club is run as a business on a self sustaining model, incl. the likes of Liverpool, Spurs, Man Utd., and I don’t see the owners spending their own money on those clubs.
      You might even say, that those spending their own money to some degree may be doing it not because of ambition, but just as much as part of “Sports washing”.
      However, ideally an owner should be part of installing a winning culture, and maybe we are lacking there compared to teams like Liverpool, although they do spend much less.

  10. Real estate development is big part of KSE business.
    At look at Arsenal Holdings will show that the Emirates is a completely different company to AFC. Kroenke is a business man and by most standards a good one. Whether he is liked or not is totally irrelevant. A long as the stadium gains in value he will not be overly concerned about AFC’s position in the league. He will of course inject money into the club should the self sustaining model start to falter because it is not in his interest to let the club sink lower. He also may well still owe money to the bank for the initial purchase of Arsenal Holdings and be constrained by the bank from certain actions. If you look at Kroenke’s billion dollar sports stadium complex in Los Angles you can see what he is capable of achieving. So instead of moaning about an owner who does not care just be thankful he has not turned he full attention to us.

  11. Hi patH.

    “If you look at Kroenke’s billion dollar sports stadium complex in Los Angles you can see what he is capable of achieving”

    And the average Arsenal fan cares about what he’s achieving in L.A. ?

    Kroenke gained full “control” of the club back in August 2018 – when will he “turn his full attention” to us ?

    You actually make a powerful point for my argument.

    1. Its not likely he will turn his attention to AFC but to the real estate development possibility afforded by the stadium. The football club and the stadium are not mutually inclusive. Its not so far fetched that he could sell the club at some point but not the stadium. I only have a few million not billions. (joke).

  12. The Americans seem to love him ;

    ” The Rams’ Stan Kroenke Represents the Worst of the NFL.”

    The Los Angeles Rams are owned by multibillionaire Stan Kroenke.

    Also the owner of the Arsenal football club, much to their fans’ chagrin, Kroenke made his money the old fashioned way: by marrying it. His wife is Ann Walton Kroenke, the niece of Walmart founder Sam Walton.

    But it’s not the Walmart fortune that makes the Walton-Kroenkes so impossible to cheer.

    The Rams, as recently as three years ago, were located in Kroenke’s home state of Missouri. But there was no sentimentality on Kroenke’s part to keep the team in St. Louis. Instead, he is in that select group of pro-sports owners—the worst of the worst—who moved their team because they weren’t getting enough corporate welfare from their cash-strapped cities. (Five hundred million in city money was not enough for the multibillionaire. Kroenke said in response to that offer that he “couldn’t sit there and be a victim.”)

    The Rams, originally founded in Cleveland, were based in Los Angeles from 1946–94, but from 1995–2015, they found a loving home in St. Louis.

    The divorce from St. Louis and move to glitzier, flashier LA was anything but pretty. Kroenke stuck St. Louis with a $129 million tax bill for what was still owed on the old stadium, and will need to be paid out of the public coffers until 2021.

    Now they are located in LA, and in 2020, will be opening the doors on a dream project as big as Los Angeles: a $4.3 billion stadium/mega-complex intended to be a kind of Shangri-La for the NFL fan.

    The deal was originally set to involve no public money whatsoever. Yet as the Los Angeles Times reported, the truth is “not that simple.”

    When it comes to stadium deals, it rarely is. In looking at the fine print of the deal, it was determined that tax breaks could reach $100 million.”

    The above relocation brought at least 4 lawsuits against Kroenke.

    Comment too long I know – but I wouldn’t trust this guy further than I can throw numerous grand pianos’ !

    1. Nice work AJ…he royally screwed over the fans in St. Louis, who before his arrival had won a Super Bowl and were referred to as the “Greatest Show on Turf”…he weaseled in when their previous owner was on her deathbed and promised to never take the team out of town, even though when he pushed to have the taxpayers pay for a new stadium he let it be known that he just happened to have some undeveloped land on the outskirts of LA, which would be perfect for just such an undertaking…there is no doubt in my mind that unless the taxpayers paid for everything, he was going to head west without a single regret…he’s a real piece of work

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