Have Arsenal really broken their budget this summer? I don’t think so….

Still Not Excited by Dan Smith

Josh Kroenke did a PR masterclass this summer telling us ‘to be excited’. Adidas have been delighted with their shirt sales and for the first time under their ownership you were in the minority if you questioned Silent Stan. Many feel he has proven his ambition by going above the reported 50-70 million transfer budget.

When Pepe mania was going wild, I was called negative by trying to put the numbers into context while pointing out the centre of our defence was somehow weaker. I asked for fans to wait until the window closed in Europe to wait and see if we quietly brought some cash back in. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to get rid of deadwood and I praise our recruitment team for being so resourceful. But once you realise we haven’t spent the 100 million plus the media quote, then see how much we have reduced our wage bill. I personally will be waiting a while longer until I celebrate any change.

In total Pepe will cost just over 70 million but only 19 has been taken out of this summer’s kitty Some might think I am being awkward, that lots of deals are paid in instalments. Not like this though, normally you’d have to pay more as a first payment, which is why we had no chance getting Zaha.

We found a club in Lille who couldn’t say no to such a sum and therefore were flexible. So, for the moment our outgoings are 19 million with the 25 for Tierney and the 8 million for Luiz, that’s 52 million.
At the last possible moment though we covered that cost by getting 35-40 for Iwobi, 6 for Koscielny and 9 for Bielik. So, to clarify, the thought of the management wasn’t to use incoming funds to get a world class centre back (for months a problem position) but to balance the books. The loss of Ospina (3 million), Jenkinson (2 million) and Asano (1 million), that paid for Martinelli.

When the press quotes how much we spent, they include the 30 million we will pay for Saliba, even though we are not doing that transaction until next year, the whole reason Saint Etienne haven’t asked for anymore. If I’m wrong, we won’t be reminded in 12 months how that budget includes the Pepe and Saliba money? If I’m wrong that’s been accounted for?

Then in the last few days Monreal was sold, Elneny and Mkhitaryan loaned to slash the wage bill. It begs the question why Monreal started every game this season and Myki was a sub second half on Sunday if they had no future with us? You fancy if we had our way, bids would have come in for Ozil and Mustafi to make more money?
Some will say it’s good business to essentially swap Ceballos’s wage for Mkhitaryan. But I still argue was that done for footballing reasons, or a way to fill a hole in the squad as cheaply as possible. In reality, net profit-wise we stuck to a budget we fans originally protested against.

Josh Kroenke has manipulated us into thinking we spent more than we have, somehow our defence is worse, but we have failed to notice, all the while there’s been record sales for our Adidas shirts. See what we spend in 12 months to see if I’m wrong.

But don’t be surprised we are reminded next summer that we still have to pay off Pepe and Saliba…

Dan Smith


  1. Dan-I believe most supporters are like you.They counted how much was going out against what we got in.So it seems we actually spent nothing.If that’s the case it beggars belief we did not get a top drawer CB got this season.But even putting that to one side I don’t believe the squad is actually weaker because the younger players will move up and out existing first team squad is better than last years.So all in all I believe it was a very good transfer window.£45m off the wage bill and if that nets down to £20m to cover the new players surely we still have the reported £50-70m transfer budget in the bank

    1. What 50 to 70 million?

      The money was never there in the first place and some very clever deals had the fans thinking it was. No, once again Arsenal have done some good business without breaking the bank!!

      It’s a system that convinces people of great efforts and costs without costing much at all. Very clever Americans really..

      1. Ok-it was “reported” we had £50-70m.But whichever way the figures are cooked the Club still need to find the £130m for the buys we did make even if it’s all pId in instalments

  2. Dan, why do you think that the fanbase hasn’t noticed in the same way as you have?
    It was talked about quite a lot, with Kenny Rolfe saying that, in instalments or not, the club have committed themselves to the transfe figures.

    One can also say that he listened to the fans, who were saying that the “deadwood” needed to go and the players that came under that heading were certainly listed on this site at least!!

    Like everything in life, one can choose to be positive or negative…he has brought in Edu, promoted freddie and kept his word.
    What more could we ask for?

    1. and we cannot wait for ozil to go, i will be there waving him off. what a relief that will be , the bones of one and a half million a month gone, oh wow.

      1. GunneRay, then blame those who bought players for different positions.
        Josh Kronkie supplied the money, how it was spent he must surely leave to those he is paying a fortune to.
        Otherwise why have them there in the first place?

    2. Ken, I have raised the same issue and agree totally. What we have seen with the manipulation of the accounting for the transfer budget, is all “smoke and mirrors”.
      We have witnessed a Kroenke con job; the man could sell ice to Eskimos!

  3. Although Pepe and Saliba purchases are in installments, Arsenal’s debt have added with 100+ M for those two players

    So maybe it would be difficult to expect Kroenke sanction another 20+ M purchase in January. And we might get only one marquee signing in the next summer because of the debt

    Unless Arsenal are able to sell one of their 30+ M players in January, but this is highly unlikely

    If Kroenke would surprise us again in the next transfer window, the new purchase would most likely be a creative midfielder like Ceballos

  4. As much as I hate Kroenke (the Rick Ellis suicide, hunting and other things), I no longer consider him cheap.

    Pepe was a complete shock and hopefully will be well worth the £70 million

    I wish we could have got
    1. LW
    2. CAM
    3. Backup RB
    And sold
    1. Mustafi
    2. Xhaka
    3. Ozil

    But it was impossible to do all that in one summer

    We did A LOT this summer



    Emery has done a lot. Much more than Winger ever did in a single summer
    Only time will tell if it will be the right decisions

    1. Not all Emery’s decisions, though.
      Raul is the boss while Emery is a coach. I thought this has been cleared up enough times by now.

      That’s why, for example, we brought Torreira even though Emery wanted Nzonzi instead.

  5. The Club’s executive has done well to structure the transfer deals within the cash flow stream which is good news.However we cannot forget that the deal for Pepe is a real obligation with £20m paid from the Bank balance and/or by way of overdraft with £50m which is included in our Balance Sheet as a creditor.This is a liability which has to be paid whether or not the asset acquired,namely Pepe is productive or not.This type of arrangement is fairly normal in the football industry, but unfortunately during the past few years we have acquired assets with little in the way of resale value, namely, Mustafi,Xhaka,Sokratis etc. , hence the need to drastically cut our wage bill.Ozil is of course the classic example of an unsaleable asset brought upon by his ludicrous salary and his lack of success on the field.On a brighter note Arsenal are not alone in having to watch the pennies and were it not for TV money many Big Clubs would go under.The fact that more and more loan deals are being done is an indication that the financial affairs of numerous Clubs are becoming serious.It’s only a matter of time before the bubble bursts I’m afraid.

  6. Who cares if the club is making profits or not if we can make profits and still have the type of transfer we have had then it’s not bad the fact is it must continue since making profits allows us to get better players while selling under performing dudes then let the profits roll on. Am not happy with us for not getting cb and rb but that doesn’t dispute the fact that we are stronger and I know other positions will be looked at once the window reopens

  7. I saw different calculations till now everywhere, and not all are same. Like Saliba wont cost us 27mil next season, that is also broken over 4-5 years. We lost Cech, Welbeck, Ramsey, Kos, Lichtsteiner, Mkhitaryan, Iwobi from wage bill and I am sure new signings wont make up for that. Any calculation you take, we spent in the range of 0 to 40mil(depends on which calculation you take), and moved lot of deadwood, freed up a lot of wages, which is a good way to go. That makes us have money to spend next window or next summer, hopefully Xhaka/Mustafi goes then and we get Dani permanent, a CB and a new CDM. Nketiah comes back as reinforcement, and we can be all set with UCL

  8. I have maintained that Arsenal is weaker now than last season in terms of personnel and this will be revealed over time.

    1. Attack – the attack (striking) has improved with Pepe. However, it wasn’t really a problem last season though some would argue that Arsenal lacked wingers. However, if Welbeck stayed, he would have strengthened the attack as well. He may not score a lot of goals but he brings a lot of energy to the attack.

    2. Midfield – Arsenal midfield is now weaker. The loss of Iwobi and Ramsey will tell across the season. Ramsey has great energy and provides decisive runs and goals from the midfield. Iwobi for all the criticisms carries the ball well from the base of midfield to attack. In this respect, midfield as part of attack is weaker.

    Again, Elneny and Mkhitaryan may not be first team regulars but they are important for squad duties especially in the cups.Now that they are gone, first team will inevitably be stretched and the long term effect will be felt.

    In midfield, only Ceballos is a new addition, with Nelson returning from loan (Willock is in his third first team season after playing regularly during the Europa and cup campaigns under Wenger and Emery). Ceballos and Nelson are no upgrades on Ramsey and Iwobi no matter how anyone tries hard to discredit duo. Yes, Ceballos has shown early promise but Ramsey is in a different level from him at this time of their careers.

    3. Defence – this department is weaker. Koscielny has been lost but Luiz comes in. This is a downgrade. Tierney replaces Monreal but is injured and would take almost half of the season to get into rhythm.

    Overall, what Raul has done is to unleash a PR machine knowing that merely selling the players fans love to hate would win hearts of many fans. Though Pepe is a record signing, but Raul has almost convinced many fans that this is the first time Arsenal is paying huge money. Ozil? Lacazette? Aubameyang? Ozil’s deal in relative and comparative terms to average fees in today’s market is surely bigger than Pepe’s but fans are acting like is a first.

    Across the season, fans would realise that you need a big squad and you need experienced even if “average” squad players to compete for either the title or top 4.

    1. So adding pepe to our attack is nothing and you even went on to claim it wasn’t our problem.hmmn yea no real at 33 for Tierney is no upgrade ok. Maybe you have not heard about team balance.
      Did you mention welbeck what have he been doing since he joined us other than collecting wage for staying at treatment room.
      We are massively stronger than last year.

      Introduction of cebellos,willock, maturity of geundouzi
      Hey you forget martineli
      Other than kochielny,monreal and somehow iwobi other have
      Mainly been trash no better than our academy players I
      Will play any academy player over micki

    2. Well gotta say I disagree with most of this comment TH14.

      Attack – definitely strengthened, Pepe will be a success and allows us to not only have a better shape going forward but also gives us a player who is capable of taking his man on – something we have been sorely missing.

      Midfield – whilst Ramsey will be missed I think that between Guendouzi, Willock, ESR and Ceballos we have adequate replacements, as for Iwobi well imo he wasn’t anything special and we have Nelson, Saka and Martinelli who all seem promising to greater or lesser degree and ESR can play on the left too. So imo it is on par at least with last season.

      Defence – yes Koscielny is a loss but with his age and injury record there is no guarantee he would have lasted the season in form anyway, same to a lesser extent with Monreal. KT may not be PL proven or fit yet but I’m confident that he will take to the league easily and is definitely an upgrade on both Monreal and Kolasinac.
      True Luiz is not an upgrade on Koscielny but imo he is on Sokratis and Chambers and Holding can take the other slot until either Saliba comes next season or we get Upamecano in January so again I wouldn’t consider the defence weakened too much.
      I would also say that we have a bigger squad than last season as so many of our rotational options last season were the dead wood we all wanted rid of and now we have exciting young prospects so all in all a brilliant window imo,not perfect but in comparison to our usual efforts much better.

    3. I dont agree with most of it, except Midfield is not stronger. Yes, Iwobi did not have end product, Ramsey was gr8 – but the board had to cut losses when Ramsey wanted Ozil money.
      Iwobi fetched more than his value, remember Ox fetched the same and is English, has not done anything at Pool.
      Pepe and Nelson improve our forward line, dont forget Martineli too. For Welbeck, lets see at end of year how many he scores and how many minutes he plays even for Watford.
      At back we got what we need position wise, Tierney is better than what we have, I would say Luiz is better than what we have too and we got him for cheap.

      Elneny and Mkhi wages saved, they did not contribute minutes anyway

    4. TH14 you must be crazy! You wanted Welbeck to stay? Ceballos is an upgrade of ramsey definitely, ramsey was always inconsistent and underperform in most of the matches. Iwobi could help us if stayed in my opinion but for 40m was definitely the best thing we did. I agree with you only in defence, we needed something better there than luiz, so we could use luiz as a cdm.

      It was a very good business from Arsenal this year and we still got profit and gave a lot of deadwood, so now we have money on the bank as well to get something on January.

  9. Those figures you added as dept is mainly because the management choose it to be that that way. They got enough money from Adidas and sales to pay up. It’s the nature that they of payment that they want to follow

  10. Why are you criticizing the installments we are paying but totaling up the fees for the players we have sold- do you think we’re getting all of the money for the players we sold up front? Just another example that you can’t please everyone as some of our fans always need something to moan about.

    1. Nitsram, some fans are just used to moaning. We brought in good players, sold players we did not need and reduced the wage bill. Overall we had a good transfer window.
      More of the same next window

  11. If we spend at least as much as Everton next year, then it’s okay. AT LEAST, though we can definitely afford more. MUCH more if we qualify for UCL.

    But if we are told our budget is limited due to still paying installments, then f… the Kroenkes.

    1. Diogenes very good point! we have to wait and see how they will react to those instalments, they may say next year that our budget will be limited due to still paying installments which it will show that we are definitely facked! But still I am happy with the transfers this year from the board. A good defender in January would be great so we can use Luiz as a CDM.

  12. Not really against this article but neither do I see reason why the writer is so worked up.

    I will take this season transfer dealing over our past 10years transfers even if the board acquires millions through it as long as they are bringing in good players and selling out not so good players.

    What more do we want, we want an upgrade and we are given, we want dead wood gone and they are almost gone.

    More of the same next season and you will see the whole squad is full of good players.

    Let them make whatever money they want to make and get us better players.

    Some fan are sometimes confusing.

    1. You have to remember. Our defense was the biggest problem last season and undoubtedly will continue to be this season. It has not been fixed. So why didn’t Arsenal break the bank to fix the obvious problem? I feel this is why fans still feel a little less satisfied with the current squad? It’s clear to everyone that as far as cash goes, we didn’t go into debt and yet we made plenty in sales and loans to make a profit during a period that most fans wanted the club to make it clear that defensive failings would be rectified even if we did have to break the bank a little. We didn’t and we still have a massive weakness at the back!

      I’m with many other fans and feel Arsenal played safe again whilst cleverly turning a nice profit. Yes it’s good business, but it still looks like top 4 is good enough still with little ambition fo fo above and beyond..

      1. Grandad,I much agree that sooner or later this inflated financial bubble will be bound to burst, thus impoverishing some even huge clubs too. SANE PEOPLE WHO ARE WORLDLY WISE KNOW FULL WELL THAT IT IS ONLY A MATTER OF WHEN, NOT IF, THIS WILL HAPPEN. The human being in me as opposed to the nutty football fan which I also am, welcomes this busting bubble as only THEN will sanity and a semblance of normality return to our “sport”. Anything that stops the obscenity of players and agents enriching themselves still further on the bent backs of devoted yet naive and sometimes also gullible fans is to be welcomed.

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