Arsenal need to come clean on our financial situation – How bad is it?

How Bad Is Our Financial Situation? By Dan Smith

So, the Premier League got their way, for better or worse football in the UK will be resuming in June. Most owners would be breathing a sigh of relief, at least knowing how much of the TV contract they now have to pay back. Knowing how much revenue they will now make from now till the end of the season should at least make it possible to now draw up a shortlist for transfers.

What do Arsenal do?

Less than 24 hours after confirming a restart date of June 17th the club released 10 of their scouts. This is having already got the majority of our squad to agree to a 12.5% salary cut.

The likes of Sky and BT are still owed approx. 340 million by all 20 topflight sides although discussion is ongoing about a compromise, such as added matches on the next contract.

Purely based on business we have always been known as a club well run financially, so all cutbacks could simply be a precaution until we know what the future looks like.

It’s hard to read the government right now. The 20/21 campaign could go on for months inside empty stadiums, could be delayed due to a second spike, or everyone’s safety yet again ignored for the sake of money.

Stan Kroenke didn’t become a Billionaire by splashing cash without knowing what his overheads are. First, he will want confirmation the new season will be happening, then an estimate on how long the Emirates will be empty.

Only Man United make more matchday revenue then us, so if the worse was to happen we will miss out on 96 million we normally can rely on. Every home fixture that goes by with zero fans is 3.3 million maybe already catered for. In fact, we rely on this revenue stream more than anyone else in the topflight as it is a quarter of our income in total.

This is where all those years being tight with their spending has helped. Yes, paying Champion’s League wages to a Europa League squad for three years is catching up on us, but based on figures for last season we still have the 2nd most cash in reserve (167 million). The Kroenke family might argue the reason we have that in the bank is due to how they operate, and therefore they should be trusted in these hard times.

But are our American owners being overly cautious or are they safeguarding our future?

Man United are happy to be in debt, we are not. Chelsea and Man City have benefactors who have proven they will pump their own wealth into their clubs to get them through this period, Silent Stan’s never done that for us.

A Liverpool and Leicester know how much money they will be getting from UEFA Champions League qualification.

We are in a unique position in terms of having one of the highest wage bills, in receipt of one of the highest match day revenues, yet we don’t earn the maximum from Europe’s Governing Body. We have become too big to be small and too small to be big.

Yet are we the only club who have mismanaged? Are we the only squad who have underachieved in terms of their pay slips.

There are poorer clubs then us? Our owners are one of the richest families in the world. So why are we the only ones who seem to be cutting corners?

Players taking pay cuts, scouts sacked, possibly Luiz’s contract not being renewed ……all based on this Pandemic. Are we right to be basing everything on the worst-case scenario just in case? It would be foolish to hand out expensive contracts and transfer fees based on money we assume might come in.

As usual our biggest problem at our club is the lack of clarity? Gooners deserve to know just how bad would things look if we went a whole season with no Match Day Revenue? I always assumed if a crisis like this happened, we would be okay because of how much money we kept in the bank over the years. Yet the news we have sacked 10 scouts has scared me.

One day we are reading we are interested in a Coutinho and Dembele, but the next we are firing 10 of our staff for cost cutting measures.

If fans were told of our predicament, we wouldn’t put any pressure on the next window instead of having false hope, at the moment, that the intention is to still build a team that can challenge for trophies.

I’m asking all gooners because I don’t know the answer.

Fair enough if suddenly we can’t hand out contracts worth 200,000 pound a week or it re-addresses the inflation in fees, but that’s football adapting together, this feels like we are on an island on their own.

How bad is our financial situation and how bad could it get?

They say actions speak louder than words?

Our club have asked players to take pay cuts and now are sacking staff. Is this Stan Kroenke being tight or are we in trouble?

Be Kind In The Comments

Dan Smith


  1. James says:

    Its true we need an explanation orhint of the plan. Personally I think the owners are taking the opportunity to reduce the overheads. If you think about it the lower the overheads, higher the profit the less of their own money they have to invest. We need to cover the obvious drop were going to get in matchday revenue.

    From what I understand those scouts were part time scouts. Perhaps they sat down and said were paying these guys but not getting the required return. Then maybe they may hire 2-3 full time scouts who cover all these areas. Or were confident on Rauls connections who point us in the direction of young talent. Scouting has changed you dont necessarily have to go to games these days to watch players you see videos and invite them to a trial.

    We have the best youth players in the league. I think were building our own la Macia. Its how we have to operate, we can buy 2 60-90m players. Raul and Vinai said over the next few seasons there would be alot of changes to the club. This could be their continued restructure of the club. Dont forgot we hired a new club doctor whilst releasing 10 part time scouts. I wouldnt read into it too much.

    1. Gogo says:

      At least some people have common sense.
      Thank you James.

  2. Ackshay says:

    Our staff had become ridiculously large in the last few years with wenger and emery people brought in. Now Arteta has to trim the fat before bringing more. Good staff signings has been one of the rare good things gazidis did.

  3. Ackshay says:

    our financial situation was a horrible mess even before the covid crisis began and has been made more dangerous by no football.
    If you want insights on our club financial health, use deloitte yearly report to see our decreasing revenue, weak commercial side compared to the other big clubs. We are at a turning point either we become the next liverpool failure and languish in mid table for a decade or pick our self off the floor and back into battle for top 4.

  4. alexander says:

    it’s clear we are in trouble, just that the club directors are scared to speak up

  5. jon fox says:

    I much disagree with the conclusion of JAMES, above. My view is that KROENKE is clearly deeply concerned, alarmed even, at the vast and long term hit to, not only Arsenal, BUT ALSO his USA sports franchises. He is reputedly worth approx £8+ billion but has needed to borrow to complete the stadium for LA Rams(the one asset he seems to give a tinkers damn for!).

    As a money man to his toes he knows better than we “mere plebs” how huge a hit top football and other spectator sports will be taking and in my considered opinion, must be NOW seriously weighing up the possibility of off loading Arsenal from his empire altogether.

    In the meantime he is bunkering down, desperate to reduce all outgoings, while being acutely aware-on the other hand- of the certain reduction in asset value of our club in a forced sale. I doubt that right now he has decided either way.

    Obviously it would be great for we fans and the future of our club to be rid of this man and his appalling ownership. I think it probable that within a year or two he will be forced to sell us. Dangote is said to be waiting in the wings with a bid, once his refinery is complete. He too will be massively hit in his pockets, as will the whole world economy and us all too. But Dangote is still probably our best hope and is a Gooner.

    My own view for some years now is that we are never going to win the PREM under Kroenke and all the evidence of his tenure since 2007 shows that clearly. Personally, I crave his departure and am realistic enough not to expect any long term improvement under his ownership. I say this despite my total faith in MA. But no mere human, unaided by proper owner backing, can hope to win titles in our situation.

    Where do you think City and Liverpoool would have been if THEY had Kroenke as owner instead of owners who cared? Not anywhere near where they are, as all fans who really think must surely realise. The buck ALWAYS STOPS with the owner and always willl. THIS IS TRUE IN ANY BUSINESS!

    1. James says:

      Agreed, I was just stating that these staff movements are apart of the restructure cause we are top heavy with staff.

      Unfortunately none of us will ever know whats truly happening. But in reality if your super rich and are worth 8billion and not to mention his wife ownes Walmart group. For the Kronkes this COVID issue will give you a financial black eye nothing more serious.

      The Kronkes taking loans to fund a stadium build, this is the norm. Im a highend property developer, i never use my own money for builds and developments. Using all your own money is pure idiocy, use the banks money and if it all goes tits up your not risking your own assets.

      I agree with you on Kronke out, hes used arsenal to develop his company portfolio so he’s able to get these high end loans. It makes KSE more trustable for investments. Everyone does it, you have a asset (Arsenal) worth 1.5billion (which if he sold now to Dangot he’d make a massive profit). plus all the other sports franchises he ownes to banks there’s plenty there to sell off to clear debts.

      He needs to move on no questions

      1. jon fox says:

        James then you do not in fact agree with my central point that Kroenke is under severe financial pressure and may well be considering selling Arsenal?

        I am surprised, given your stated business background, that you, as have many others, seem to imagine his wifes Walmart wealth will be his to use. You must surely know as I do, given my own high business background, that his wifes money is hers, legally, and vice versa. Making ill informed assumptions to the contrary is not the usual way of high end business folk. in my long experience.

        All the signs point to Kroenke being alarmed at his total assets worth reduction, across all his franchises. As Arsenal is his only NON USA one,it points sto him at least properly considering his position as our current owner. I claim no specific actual proof of his finances but just a well honed ability to put to and two together and not make five.

  6. Mogunna says:

    Kroenke’s empire as all billionaires are bailed out first and always profit. They do never lose no matter what.

    Thats why and how he became a billionaire, made another one at Arsenal.

    He saves as much he can on players and staff, will sell every player he can, cash up and sell club, cash up 2 billions overall….

    Most would do this if in his position. Sell all bankable players, build around young players, add some experience.

    Top players wont come our way unless they see ambition & potential to win trophies. They actually want to leave, .fare enough, Laca, Auba, Torreira, Xhaka, Mikki, Elneny, Mustafi all want out and clubs ready to sign them, Ozil just holds on to his lifestyle, soon out to US or China

    I let u do the math, and imagine our team next season..

    Bellerin Koulibaly Saliba Tierny
    Partey Willock
    Pepe Martinelli Saka

    Sub & rotation : Nketiah, Gendouzi, Niles, Nelson, Chambers, Holding, Rowe. .

    I would be tempted by Jovic in a Real Auba swap. Kroenke will make some money in transaction, millions in yearly wage’s difference….

    He can sell club for good amount with that team, which only really takes 2 additions we be missing at DM and top CB; for years now.

    New owner will hopefully bring Wenger back to head Arsenal, bring back values shine respect, a better spirit and not such a mess in our beloved Arsenal sinking ship! Manage and mainly help MA fulfill is coach potential and bring back ambition spirit we have lost since Wenger.

    Even with a team of young players or rotated, every games we played were for a win. Rather we played home or not, we always looked that way. Not anymore… Can’t expect MA to keep us above 9th spot, 7th be a miracle allowing to make it to EL, thanks to City. Chelsea in bit of trouble but have this look as Man U, they play for a win when we play for survival, lost…

    For Saka to want out is simply nuts

  7. Mogunna says:

    Point made, we must bring Wenger to head club and help devellop and advise MA.

    Or we need a top coach as Allegri.

    Arteta is not ready for a too club, he left City who told him he was not guaranteed to be head coach after Pep, which was not planned before 2 years. With no CL for 2 years, I don’t see him stay there, but win it this year before and leave ..

    A food topic will to really look at team management and coaching, take a look around us, where we are since Wenger gone and why we are a midtable club today.

    To have team in a better spirit doesn’t mean it is good and right at all. We are 9th, fighting to not end up bellow that spot , 7th be a miracle looking at oponents’s. 8th be good, may allow us to play EL, thanks to City.

    I read a title here on why we are beating city.

    Anyway, looks to me that we are doing it all wring and hope someone with senses comes on board.

    Thankfully Auba is fighting for golden boot, or departing I doubt he would be putting as much without any ambition

  8. GB says:

    There’s no way Wenger is wanted back at Arsenal. Arteta is the future not someone who’s had his day and now very much past it.

  9. AndersS says:

    It must be a huge challenge to manage the business side of things at the moment. So many uncertainties:

    Will the rest of the games in fact be played and most of the TV revenue actually come? No certainty at the moment?

    Will we qualify for any European competition, and will there actually be the same revenue from European competitions next season? Very uncertain.

    How long will we have to play without income from tickets and other matchday sales? Very uncertain.

    How much TV revenue will we see next season and thereafter? Far from certain.

    What about our sponsors? Will they be looking to continue, or maybe to cut-back in light of economic crisis, that still is only in it’s early days?

    As I see it, any responsible CEO (and owner), would have to look at where costs can be cut to make the business as
    solid as possible for what might come.

    1. SueP says:


  10. Gogo says:

    Or maybe they are playing a game. I want to be optimistic and give the owner the benefit of the doubt. Last summer, Josh came out and said we should be excited and we were surely excited. This term Stan has said he will offer cash injections, I want to believe him on his words.

  11. jon fox says:

    Do you “want to believe” in Father Christmas and the Tooth fairy too! Reckon you probably do if you believe Kroenke. THAT IS BEYOND MERE NAIVETY.

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