Arsenal missing a Champions League spot is not just a financial problem

Arsenal go into their final Premier League fixture today wondering as to whether they will be playing in the Champions League next season. Arsenal ideally need defeats for both Liverpool and Man City if they generally want to guarantee a place in Europe’s biggest club competition, but it seems unlikely given their respective opponents.

The Gunners are in real danger of missing out on the Champions League for the first time under Wenger and it could be one of his final courses of action for the club. Besides the FA Cup final held at Wembley, today could be Wenger’s final appearance as an Arsenal manager at the Emirates, and it could well be his final Premier League game. A non-appearance in the Champions League next season would mainly mean two things for the club. Firstly the Gunners may suffer a issue of potentially losing their best players, Alexis and Ozil, and also failing to attract new stars to the Emirates. And secondly the club would find itself without the added financial boost you get from playing in the competition.

In the past the Champions League has meant big money, playing amongst Europe’s elite. However Wenger now reckons the money isn’t as much of a necessity anymore as Arsenal finds itself in a financially strong position. Wenger said: “It [the top four] has not the financial weight that it had before, for sure, because television money has gone up (in the Premier League). Financially you don’t suffer anymore. I was sitting here during the period when we had to pay the stadium back and the income of the Champions League was absolutely vital. On the financial point we are not in trouble. It’s more the fact that we want to play in the best competition. Financially, no, it’s not a disaster.”

Arsenal are now debt free from paying off the stadium and have no major expenses on the books. It means that besides the astronomical wages paid each week to the players and some staff, the income generated can line the pockets of our owners and the Arsenal bank of funds. It’s understood that the Gunners are in a strong financial position and thus there is no concern about becoming unstable if the club was to miss out on the money generated from finishing in the top four. The biggest issue will be the fact that we will miss out on being one of the consistent members of the Champions League and we will have to be careful that missing out for the first time doesn’t send us on a spiral, much like what happened to Liverpool.

Arsenal are in fact a wealthy club, and that’s known to the general public. It is just an issue that the Gunners do not invest such wealth into improving the club’s situation and as a result, we find ourselves stagnating at just coming in the top four every year, or as we’ve seen this season, probably not even that.



  1. khangunners says:

    Guys we need to be analytical here. Since the news of us paying our debts which transfer market hve we been efficient and eager to fill the holes in our first 11?
    Say what you will but ozil was and will always be a panic buy.we landed him at the final hrs of deadline day . All our purchases tend to be final day this is clearly not good enough.
    If we are really challenging for pl and other titles then when should the crucial buys be completed before preseason or before transfer deadline day. Our club is rotten from top to bottom we are just participants without any desire of our own. So unless big changes happen we are yet to see worse.

  2. Jonm says:

    This article says that “Arsenal are now debt free from paying off the stadium and have no major expenses on the books”

    I have just looked at the 2015/16 statement of accounts on We have debts of £232.6 million. This is not debt free, the stadium is not payed off.

    It is true that we had cash reserves of £226.5m but that was in september 2016 and my understanding is that this money includes the proceeds from the sale of season tickets, in other words it is required for use during the year to pay operating costs like players wages. Most of it is not available to pay off debt or buy new players.

    1. Jonm says:

      My post was a factual statement, how can anyone thumb it down. If you believe what I haved said is incorrect then please post as to where it is incorrect. Thumbing down a true starement just because you do not like it is just deluding yourself.

  3. ArseOverTit says:

    Wow, the old still paying off the debt for a stadium one.

    Other teams have done it without becoming mediocre also rans ran by a blood sucking yank and board who could not give a flying f£ck about success and the fans as long as the cash tills rung and with a manager who is past his use by date.

    The emirates for all the debt it has caused is a bigger library than highbury ever was filled with day tripping season ticket renters and football tourists or business jolly ups wearing half and half scarves.

    When money is your god you loose your soul!

    1. Jonm says:

      Which teams have funded a new stadium from their own resources without financial difficulties? Man city which was funded by the taxpayer as part of the commonwealth games, west ham the same as part of the olympics.

      1. Jonm says:

        How can anyone thumb down a question, unless you believe that west ham have paid in full for the cost of the olympic stadium.

      2. ArseOverTit says:

        Athletics Madr D as one springs to mind. Sure there are others.

        Regardless Leicester City one a premier league with a fraction of AFCs resources during our 13yr baron spell.

        Has completely discredited that tired old excuse.

  4. Muffdiver wants change...not for arsenal...for.the vending machine, I'm thirsty as f### says:

    Self sustained when we have Stan kroenke

    I hate him
    Nine Bracewell Smith should be inside for crimes against arsenal

  5. Jonm says:

    Wenger gets a lot of criticism for treating top four like a trophy. However both Pep and Clopp will be doing their very best to secure a top four position and it is a big achievement. We now have the worlds top managers in the PL with huge funding available to them, they cannot all win so top four will have to satisfy most of them and will be closely contested in the future.

    The problem at arsenal, as I see it is that for many years we have had to sell our best players and maintain out top four position because of the stadium debt. Now the stadium debt is more manageable and we do not have to sell our best players. Our financial situation is much better but the top four business model is so engrained in the club that we cannot fight for the top spot, At critical points we bottle it and lose matches we should win, it is not the occasional match which can and does happen to any team but a number of matches.

    Basically I think the club needs a complete shake up. Wenger has done well to get us through the tough years of stadium debt but the last few years has shown that he cannot take us forward. I just hope he can see this and leaves.

    1. bran99 says:

      Good point, he should leave.. if he stays, Wenger’s trophy will always be the target while those new guys who missed out this season, will be gunning hard for that title from now on, this old man just can’t compete

    2. Darthballs says:

      For who to take his place

      1. philpalmer17 says:


        1. Dee23 says:

          Does Allgegri want to leave Juventus? Juvaentus are in the champions league final. Why would he want to leave a champions league spot to manage Arsenal who might not even qualify this season?

          This isn’t the fifa game it’s not as simple as getting who we want it’s about who is available. Manu got Mourinho when he didn’t have a job. I can’t see Allegri or Simione leaving their clubs who have champions league spots and are regular finalists and semi finalists in the competion to move to Arsenal, leaving their world class players like Griezmann or Higuain when we might not even have Sanchez next season. The question is, who is realistically available to replace Wenger? The best managers out there are managing teams that actually compete in the champions league, we wouldn’t get a Bayern munich,Barcelona,Real Madrid, Juventus or Athletico madrid manager as much as they may be on our wish lists. That is pretty much up there with fantasising about Messi or Neymar joint us next season when we couldn’t even get Agueiro and probably wouldn’t even be able to sign Lukaku.

  6. John Ibrahim says:

    Fans should start protesting correctly

    by indicating that we want the club to be run like Chelsea, City or PSG

    1. Jonm says:

      In what way “run like chelsea, city and PSG”? These clubs all have owners who make their money elsewhere and put money in to the clubs. We have an owner who makes his money from owning sporting clubs.

      Most PL clubs have to fund themselves, arsenal are fortunate that we are in a good financial position and have a new stadium. We do not have a sugar daddy and unfortunately at the moment do not appear to have a management structure and manager who can get the best out of the players for a complete season and consistently seems to have injured players.

  7. odein4 says:

    Arsenal won’t be missed in d Champions League after all they aren’t in it to do anything significant so I think it’s good for them to let other serious clubs qualify.. only Bayern n Barcelona would actually miss Arsenal, how their fans would be rooting n hoping we qualify so we can get Thrashed again…

    1. Dee23 says:

      ” I think it’s good for them to let other serious clubs qualify”

      Spoken like a tue Arsenal fan.(sarcasm). It’s not about whether or not Arsenal get far in the champions league. Finishing top 4 benefits us immensely.

      In what way would Arsenal finishing out of the top 4 be good for us(arsenal fans)? If we finish 5th we would struggle more in the league because of the football match schedule. Have you not heard Mourinho’s complaints? Playing on Thursday night in the Europa league will have us weakened by the time we play our league fixtures which is something Tottenham struggled with for years. Chelsea finished too low to even qualify for Europa if I recall so they were able to concentrate on the league as were Leicester.

      If Arsenal struggle in the league with the team we have and our more balanced match schedule how much harder will it be when we lose players like Sachez who will want to play champions league football and have to play Thursday and the weekend? We don’t have the luxury of a big quality squad. Granted, Wenger could field his reserves and leave the first team to focus on the league but he won’t do that. He would want to win the Europa just as Mourinho does now as it makes playing in the champions league possible for the following season. Not to mention the ridicule we would suffer if we were kicked out of that competion aswell.

  8. Auwalspeaker says:


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