The millions that Arsenal have lost in the transfer market

Arsenal’s Missed Revenue By Beast Mode

Plenty of articles have been published in the media about Arsenal’s wasteful transfers, but few to none have been written about the missed revenue that we have lost through player sales.

It is estimated that Arsenal have missed over £200 Million of Revenue from sale of players because of several different factors, but mostly on free transfers. Aside from Manchester City, Arsenal is the only team among the big six (The two Manchester club, Chelsea, Liverpool, Spurs, and Leicester City) that have not sold a player for at least £50M. Even Arsenal’s most prized assets left for what is considered as peanuts. This is the reason why any popular bookie would never put us amongst the favourites for the Premier League while our financial management has been so poor.

For God sake, even Chelsea managed to sell David Luiz for £50M when he transferred to PSG. Meanwhile, Arsenal’s highest player sale was the £35 Million fee they received for Alex Chamberlain. Most of the revenue missed was due to players running down their contracts and leaving for free at the end of the contract. Arsenal have on several occasions allowed players to enter the final year of their contract where the players have all the leverage, and the club is at their mercy. This is an irony of epic proportion for a team that pride itself for being financially responsible and frugal.

Here are some of the reasons why Arsenal missed on possible revenue:

Injury- The club couldn’t get any revenue when the likes of Cazorla, Diaby, Rosicky, Ramsey and Wilshere left at the expiry of their contracts. This is forgivable because there is little the team could do, since these players were always on the treatment table and couldn’t stay fit to attract any suitors.


Running out of time- This is where the management lost the plot completely by allowing the players to enter into the last year of their contract. RvP, Sanchez, AOC, and Nasri are among the notable names that could have fetched more than the amount they were sold for. There was nothing the team could do to stop the “little boy” in RvP from screaming Manchester United as they had no leverage other than selling him on the cheap.

Free transfers- This is where the team had lost the most revenue. The team allowed Ozil, Welbeck, Ramsey, Mkhitaryan to all run down their contract and leave for free. It looks like Mustafi too will be joining this group in summer if he isn’t sold at the end of January.

Sokratis too left through mutual agreement but still no revenue was recouped for his departure.

These errors could be avoidable if the management were less sentimental and knowing when to move on from certain players. Arsenal could have gained £60 million had they sold Sanchez to Man City when they received the bid from them. Likewise they could have received £10 Million for Mkhitaryan had they not shot down the bid from Roma. This club needs to learn when to move on from players, even their prized ones. Fans are allowed to be sentimental, but management should be smart and brutal in transfers.

I am afraid the history might repeat itself with Auba, Laca, and Willian.


READ MORE: The philosophical posts of the gorgeous Mrs Soares


  1. Grandad says:

    Let’s hope we learn from the costly mistakes of the past.Weak ,incompetent management coupled with an absentee Owner is a recipe for disaster, and the apparent lack of accountability rubs salt into the wounds.I may be wrong, but I do feel our current hierarchy are more adept businesswise than their predecessors who have cost our Club a fortune.

    1. patH says:

      The owner is a American,with almost all his business interest in America. What do you want him to do relocate to London and concentrate on Arsenal Holdings. There is an old saying “why give a dog and bark yourself”. I do not know of a single case, where the head of large business corporation, of which Kroenke is one, looks after the day today running of their subsidiaries He has appointed a team to look after AFC and has in the last few months made considerable changes in the management structure. These changes were made, because as you say the incumbents were incompetent. Only time will tell if the next lot improve. Do not forget that there also is Board of Directors one of which is Josh Kroenke who am sure looks after the Interest of the Kroenke investment. I think you are wrong about the absentee owner, he might not be here in body but believe me he is here in every other aspect . After all he stands to lose a couple of billion if all goes pear shape.

      1. ozziegunner says:

        PatH, I agree totally, particularly that great saying “you don’t own a dog and bark yourself.”
        Where Kroenke Sports & Entertainment can be criticised over this issue, is their mistakes in selecting and retaining senior executives and Board members, who have let them and the Club down by their lack of competence.
        As you state, they have moved, (we may argue belatedly) to bring in additional/replacement expertise to the Board (Tim Lewis) and senior management (Richard Garlick as Director of Football Operations ex FA and West Bromwich Albion administrator). Both these appointees appear to have the relevant expertise and experience to take the Club forward and not repeat the mistakes of the past. Tim Lewis is also a life long Arsenal supporter, as well as being a top contracts lawyer.

  2. jon fox says:

    Some thoughts Beast mode: A well written and essentially true article . I wish you had named those responsible like Gazidis, Sanllehithough instead of hiding behind the “club” generality.

    The club is after all a collection of individduals at its core. I do NOT refer to the team on that comment though as A TEAM IS A TEAM,IE ONE ENTITY.

    I also far more respect those who when they write a decent article have the guts to use their own name, not a made up name like Beastmode. I always wonder what some people who avoid using their real name have to hide. But a good article as far as it went, nevertheless.

    Essentially, I am saying be specific and talk fearlessly and stand up in PERSON for what you think and have written!

    1. beast mode says:

      jon, You don’ know if this is my name. Heck, I don’t know if jon is your real name. As for not naming the culprits of the mismanagement, I felt I didn’t need to because I think almost everyone on JA knows who they are.

      1. jon fox says:

        Please don’t insult my intelligence or that of all the readers. You name is NOT Beastmode as everyone including me knows . As you prefer to hide your real name, then just say so. And have the guts to be honest about wanting to hide it!

        1. beast mode says:

          jon fox you don’t know that. I can call myself whatever I want just the way you call yourself jon fox. Your name ain’t conventional either with using small caps at the beginning of both 1st and last names

  3. Jax says:

    This has been a stick the media have beaten us with for quite some time now. Allowing the likes of Gnarbry, Ramsey, Wilshere, Welbeck who could have earned us sizeable transfer fees to leave on a free was poor business so we’ve been told, and it’s hardly likely we could have sold Ozil to a club that was willing to pay his wages, but to my knowledge a player can’t be forced to transfer and has the option of staying put until their contract expires and they move on to get a better pay deal. Can you blame them!

    1. Jax says:

      …and we did benefit when we got Sol. Could do with a few more like that.

  4. PJ-SA says:

    Well written!

    We are too desperate hang onto our “stars”….this is the route cause of all our poor sales history. We act like players are bigger than the club and become clingy

    Liverpool is the perfect example, selling Suarez and Coutinho. Do you think we would have sold them? Zero chance

    Just because someone is on good form and contributes a lot….it shouldn’t exclude them from being a selling option.

  5. McLovin says:

    We need to sell players when:

    A) Its clear they don’t want to renew

    B) When they are actually playing well at the moment (because no one wants to buy deadwood for high prices)


    1. RSH says:

      Agree. This is why Laca must be sold. Both reasons in fact. He is playing well right now, and he is nearing end of his contract. I honestly would’ve been fine if we sold him last summer too. Hope he still has a good value and there is still demand…

      1. OnceGreat says:

        I hate to admit it but yes, this is high time for Laca to be sold. And the same should happen with Xhaka (he’s really been on form recently) and at some point even with Auba. Should Barcelona come knocking in the 2022/2023 summer transfer window, we should sell even for 20-30 million.

  6. S.J says:

    Let’s forget about the past mismanagement of club funds, and think about the future.

    I believe our future is bright with this young group of players we have.

    Saka, Martinelli, Smith-Rowe, Tierney, Gabriel, Saliba, Azeez, (Balogun).

    Arteta, Edu and The new technical director will steady the ship and we will return to the champions league

  7. gotanidea says:

    According to Sky Sports, Arsenal aren’t even in the top 10 highest revenue-generating football clubs last year

    One of the solutions to generate more revenue is by finding more hidden gems like Holding, Saka, Smith-Rowe, Bellerin and Martinelli, instead of splashing the cash for 70+ M players. Therefore, a Moneyball-like scouting system is essential

  8. AndersS says:

    Good article.
    You put your finger on one of our big problems.
    In contrast to clubs like Liverpool, Spurs and Chelsea, we have not for many years been able to develop and improve players to make them more valuable, make revenue on and reinvest in other players that maybe we needed more. And as you write, our contract management has also been absolutely abysmal.
    This has forced us to make much nett investment in the squad, than others, and contrary to what some believe, our owner has actually sanctioned a lot of nett investment. Far more than Spur and Liverpool, yet they have managed to overtake us, because they have sold and reinvested in players they needed. Just look at Liverpool, in recent years they have twice sold their most valuable attacking players, Suarez and Coutinho, and the revenue from Coutinho they used on Van Dijk, because that was their missing piece at the time.
    The likes of Wenger, Gazidis etc. weren’t clever enough and we have been “beaten” here.
    Hopefully, we are now on a better track.

  9. Trudeau says:

    Each individual decision not to sell early can be rationalized but I agree that taken in totality, it seems like Arsenal.are rubbish at monetizing assets.

    Mustafi is the latest example as I’m sure he was sell-able following his performances at the end of last year.

    But the root cause is giving high salaries that are not proportionate to players’ abilities. This makes any sales night on impossible.

    Still let’s not forget some successes – Iwobi, AOC and Walcott were all good sales. Especially Walcott given his salary after signing da ting.

    1. RSH says:

      Yup. Too many ppl got fooled by Mustafi. He always has good small run of games, but is a disappointing player in the end and everyone at Arsenal should’ve realized this and put him up for sale for the last SEVERAL windows. Huge shame we spent 35mill on this guy and lose him for nothing. Start letting clubs know right now Pepe is available please…

    2. ozziegunner says:

      Trudeau, I agree the wage structure at Arsenal is all wrong; high wages for average players.
      From my research Emi Buendia is on £8,000 per week at Norwich City. How much would he be offered at Arsenal? The highest paid player at Norwich is Sam Byram on £30,000 per week. Yes I realize Norwich City play in the Championship, but Arsenal aren’t playing in the Champions League. The highest paid player at Southampton is striker Danny Ings on £75,000!
      If one wants to argue that Arsenal has to pay high wages, due to being a London Club and the higher cost of living, the highest paid player at West Ham United is Sebastian Haller on £115,385 per week.
      At Crystal Palace only 3 players earn more than £100k per week, with Wilfred Zaha the highest on £130,000. Ex Chelsea Gary Cahill is on £65,000 compared to what Arsenal pay David Luiz.
      And we wonder why underperforming Arsenal players don’t want to move on? The Club pays average players too much.

      1. John says:

        Spot on Ozzie,I was hoping that Arsenal had learnt their lessons of paying average players too high wages which then meant that they can’t move them on but along came Willian.I can’t imagine any other club would of paid his wage especially in the current climate and at his age.

        1. OnceGreat says:

          Willian is Edu’s Pepe and that’s why he should be sacked, come next season.

          I believe he has a verbal agreement with Willian that involves money going from footballer’s massive contract into Edu’s pockets.

          As long as Kroenke allows people like sanlehi and Edu put themselves ahead of the club, we won’t see much footballing success.

          1. ozziegunner says:

            And just to think the great George Graham was sacked as Arsenal manager after being accused of “taking a bung” to facilitate transfers.

  10. ThirdManJW says:

    I think people are starting to see why many fans wanted Wenger gone long before he was finally sacked.

    By the time the correct decision was made, it was too late. We were already sinking, and sinking fast!

  11. The Real Vieira Lynn says:

    The fact that only two posters even mentioned Wenger, when assigning blame for this absolutely unforgivable set of circumstances, goes to show just how far we still need to go before we can finally escape the shadow of ineptitude that engulfed our club for the past decade…for a club that adheres to a strict self-sustaining business model there’s nothing more damaging than missing out on in-house revenue streams over and over and over again…I feel for those who were left to deal with the abject failures of our past; that said, Arteta and Edu looked equally as foolish when they got nothing for a revived Miki and signed Willian to an “unsellable” 3 year contract

  12. Joe. S says:

    Yes, someone should write a modern history of the past 25 years at Arsenal and call it, “From Bergkamp to William, inspiration to desperation”. Look, Wegner is not to blame for the past two seasons, but he left a hell of a mess. The same manager who could spot and chase TH, Viera, Van Persie, Campbell,Sagna,Ramsey,,Clichy, Nasri, Rosicky, Carzola etc had lowered his standards post Kroenke and Gazadis.

  13. OnceGreat says:

    And just when you think the club has divorced themselves from those bad practices, they buy Pepe and Willian.

    The latter is looking likely to be the worst transfer in the history of this football club. That’s around 30 million pounds down the drain with absolutely no return. That’s worse than Mustafi, the “recent” transfer we probably regret the most.

    Let’s see if from 2021 and onward things really change.

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