If money talks, have Arsenal actually overperformed in last six years?


Following on from AndersS thought provoking article the other day, I decided to take a visit to the site myself and spent quite a while looking at what they have to offer.

One of their excellent spreadsheets keeps one up to date with what each club players values are, on a rolling season by season valuation.

This enables one to look at, not only total spend, but then also, how the valuations compare to where a club finishes and also the actual nett figure regarding the ins and outs of players (I have put in brackets their positions on spending and value for each season).

So, this is what I copied out from the site (adding the placings) and the figures relate to millions i.e. city’s first valuation in 2012/13 is £386.1 million of players at the club.



CITY……386.1(1) ….389.5(2) …409.0(1) …447.1(1) …610.0(1) ….728.8(1) ……765.5(1)

UTD……278.3(3) …..306.6(3) …391.2(2) …390.6(4) …478.1(2) …..590.7(2) …..608.7(2)

POOL…..242.4(4) …..289.2(4) ..285.5(4) …..406.9(3) …464.2(3) …….408.0(3) ……554.8(3)

CHELSEA……364.7(2) ……..391.0(1) ….340.5(3) ……..411.2(2) …….445.8(4) …….342.7(5) ……393.7(4)

EVERTON…….. 68.2(7) ……….70.8(7) ……..98.2((7) ……130.1(7) …..189.3(7) ……343.4. (4) ……388.9(5)

ARSENAL….179.9(5) ………182.6(5) ……241.8(5) ……246.2(5) ……..264.1(5) …….294.7(6) ……355.6(6)

SPUDS….144.7(6) ……….189.2(6) ……174.7(6) ……152.6(6) ……..211.6(6) …….258.8(7) ……241.8(8)

LEICESTER….0000………..0000……….26.1(8) ……..58.9(8) …….. 124.0(8) ………..200.6(8) ……269.9(7)

So, The Arsenal valuation has nearly doubled in seven years, much in line with city, while Chelsea’s has hardly moved, but Liverpool’s has more than doubled.

Also, worth noting that Leicester’s CL football revenue has increased their value and Everton’s new owner has been putting his money in to the club. spuds are…well just spuds, with the lowest overall running spend, perhaps due to their new stadium costs and no purchases for two seasons running?

In fact, only The Arsenal, Everton, City and Leicester (with two seasons less after promotion) actually increased year on year, with the four others showing at least one year of declining valuation.

Now, the really interesting thing is this – if we look at where The Arsenal finished in each of the seasons, compared to the value of the squad, we can tell if they were over performing or not, at least with regard to the valuation and transfer values that the site used in AndersS article.

In the 2012/13 season, we finished the league in 4th position – with the 5th most valuable squad…Therefore Over performing.

In the 2013/14 season, we finished the league in 4th position – with the 5th most valuable squad…Therefore Over performing.

In the 2014/15 season, we finished the league in 3rd position – with the 5th most valuable squad…Therefore Over performing.

In the 2015/16 season, we finished the league in 2nd position – with the 5th most valuable squad. Therefore, Over performing.

In the 2016/17 season, we finished the league in 5th position – with the 6th most valuable squad…Therefore Over performing.

In the 2017/18 season, we finished the league in 6th position – with the 6th most valuable squad… Therefore, In line with valuation.

Now, the point was made that we had spent the third largest amount of money since Kroenke had taken charge and the immediate reaction was to say that the club had been wasting money – the above stats show that, in actual fact, every single season bar the last (2017/18), the club was over achieving, thereby actually over performing versus the money being spent each season.

That’s not saying we have bought and sold wisely of course, we obviously haven’t in some cases.

I would also like to single out the season Leicester won the league when we were criticised for “only” finishing second.

Let me point out that City’s squad was valued at £200.9 million more than The Arsenal – Chelsea’s at £165 million more than The Arsenal – Liverpool’s at £160.7 million more than The Arsenal’s – United’s at £144.4 million more than The Arsenal’s – yet we were the only club who were criticised by the media and a section of our fans for missing “a golden opportunity”!!!!

We should also remember that during those seven seasons, only our club, The Arsenal, won the FA cup three times, while City, Chelsea and United won it once and Leicester, Everton and the Spuds a fat round zero.



  1. Trophies won. Since 2012.
    Man City.
    Titles 4. FA Cup 1 EFL Cup. 5. Comm Shield 3
    Titles 2 FA Cup 2 EFLCup 1
    Man U
    Title 1 FA Cup 1 EFL Cup 1 Comm Shield 2
    Liverpool Titles 1* CL 1 EFL Cup 1
    Titles 1
    FA Cups 3 Comm Shields 3.
    Tottenham –
    Everton –

  2. Players valuations are always subjective until they are sold when the price crystallises .Even then they are of limited worth as some players are clearly overpriced, e.g. Mustafi, Xhaka,Socratis , whilst others like Martinelli are absolute bargains.At the end of the day, it’s all about welding together , quality players to form a quality team.Sadly, during the past decade we have been lacking in both aspects,but under Arteta , there are at least signs he can get players to work hard for each other to create a decent team despite our obvious weaknesses.I feel we are now on the right road but have to make upgrades in certain positions to get to the next level.

  3. It just says to me that Leicester- not yet established in the PL – did brilliantly
    That those who have spent the most overall have enjoyed the most success in Europe and PL They have hugely wealthy owners who support winning trophies unlike our own
    Thee FA Cups are successes and I’m glad we won them but that is not the same as a league or European title
    Ultimately, money is no guarantee but it certainly helps

  4. I red somewhere that: When Leicester won that sensational league title 2015-16 they got (if I remember right) 13 penalties (Vardy etc) giving 10 goals. Asn’l got two penalties (one goal). Leicester ended on 81 points, Asn’l on 71. That 10 to 1 goals could have been the difference between the teams and cost Asn’l the title. I’m not saying that all Leicester’s penalties were diving’s, but JV was and still is a good actor.
    This figures sticks in the eyes when you read the VAR statistics and see that (the reborn) Leicester is in top with 21 VAR decisions. Asn’l on 12. Well, well, well… The Champs are back.

  5. @Ken – very interesting.
    I actually think your findings are not much contrary to, what I have shown. In a way they compliment each other.
    Look at it this way:
    We have spend much more than Liverpool, yet they have managed to not only produce at much better squad and of course a much more valuable squad, but also to get the results. They have been managed better, is the only logical conclusion.
    Spurs have also spent much less than us, and according to your findings, they have had a less valuable squad, yet they are on the way to finish above us for 4 years in a row.
    How can that be? They have been managed better.
    The fact remains: We have not been surpassed by the likes of Liverpool and Spurs, because our owner has not been willing to spend. We have been surpassed, because other clubs have done much better with less investment in the squad.
    Similarly, Utd. have outspent us by almost 100% over the last 5 years, and they haven’t gotten much out of it.
    Money is important, but it is possible to do much better, than how, we have done over the last 5 years, with less money if the right structure and the right people are in charge. Unfortunately, that is where we have failed, but hopefully, we have reached the bottom and are now on the way up.

    1. Anders, I agree that your article and mine support each other – but mine went a stage further in analysing if the money spent, wisely or otherwise, reflected in the teams performances – clearly we have been punching above our weight in that respect.

      What we haven’t been doing as well, is buying and selling and once again, it has to be remembered that gazidis and his new regime took over these responsibilities over three years ago – the time when our spending started to increase, including the record £72 million on Pepe.

      I would suggest then, that while the players were achieving better than their valuations on the field, the problem was the recruitment off the field… as you suggest

      Do I believe we have turned a corner?
      Well the Myk Auba and Saka situation doesn’t seem to be going along with that theory.

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