Time for a reality check – Arsenal is and will remain a massive club

A few underperforming seasons and all of a sudden Arsenal are no longer a huge club, that appears to be the mistaken view in some quarters.

Just look through some of the comments on this very site and you will see what I mean, it is time for a reality check and to be honest, it has been a long time coming.

What constitutes a big club?

Is it history? Well, no, otherwise Preston North End would be a big club.

Is it finances, again, no, A rich Arab Sheikh can easily come along and take a tiny club and pump in a billion, that makes them all of a sudden rich but not a big club.

Is it the fanbase? you guessed it, no, loads of clubs have huge fanbases, Sunderland, Leeds United, Celtic etc. but that does not make them huge clubs.

There are other criteria that I could throw in but all, on their own, would not constitute a big club.

In my opinion, a big club is one that combines all of the above in some form or another.

So let’s take Arsenal

Arsenal is the seventh richest club on the planet according to Forbes with a huge $2.268 Billion valuation

Arsenal is the sixth biggest supported club in the world with 63.3 million followers on social media, according to Business Insider.

In terms of history, Arsenal has been winning titles and major domestic cups for the last 90 years and have won the second-most top-flight matches in English football history.

Last season Arsenal had the second highest average attendance in England and seventh highest in Europe.

Arsenal has the history, the value and the fanbase and so on to their current status.

We are about to start one of the biggest kit deals in history with Adidas, worth £60 Million a year over five years, only four clubs worldwide have ever had bigger deals, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Man Utd and Bayern Munich.

Arsenal squad is the tenth most valuable in the world, higher than the likes of Bayern Munich, Inter and AC Milan.

Finally, the much-debated transfer budget.

Yes, it is reportedly low, however this is purely the clubs decision, if they wanted to spend £300 Million this summer they easily could, they would fail FFP and incur debt but the reality is that they have chosen a self-sustaining model and have refused to spend huge amounts in one transfer window, again, purely a club decision.

I could go on but I think you can agree that by almost every single metric that you can imagine Arsenal is and will remain one of the biggest clubs on the planet.

Updated: June 23, 2019 — 11:45 am

37 Comments

  1. Well said mate but stand by to be called a fool by our overseas plastic fans who see trophies as the only factor when it comes to success.
    They declare us as failing because we didnt win a trophy during the last 2 seasons while bleating about spurs being more successful despite no trophy in 11 seasons

    1. I agree best club on the planet Cmon you Gunners

    2. I wouldn’t take into the overseas fans I doubt our 60 odd million social media followers are from north London. In my opinion we all know what arsenal are so we don’t need to go on about it. I doubt other big clubs are debating this issue it’s petty. This whole conversation on this site stemmed from what packie bonnar suggested. A little perspective needed I think ?.

    3. Why would you say overseas fans are plastic? Just cause I am not there all the time? When I come to the Emirates I spend a lot of time and money to get there to support a team I love that I would never call a small club. So get your head out your ass before you Make any further comments. And without us overseas fans that love the PL you wouldn’t have such a big club or successful league.

      1. I concur, Dan. Fans, who have supported the Arsenal through thick and thin, over 57 years shouldn’t be called “plastic”.
        I think you meant “arse” rather than “ass”; why involve a defenseless animal?

  2. I totally agree with you but Arsenal is just a shining example that you can not rest on your laurels,Wenger slacked of in his last years and believed to much in his ability to get players to renew their contracts like Sanchez and Ramsey etc but we lost a potenttial 150 mil right there that could go for reinvestment instead we got a really poor substitute for Sanchez namely miki and had to blow 100 big ones on Auba and Laca without anything coming the other way.We need to get back on the horse and start getting smart in the transfer market,if Auba cant get himself to renew,sell him asap any decent striker scoring this amount of goals will get us at least 100 mil.

    1. totally agree with you, except i am not so sure if the club chose sustaining business model or we just have a penny pinching owners. as much as i would like it to be the first option, i think we all are quite certain that the second option is more likely to be the one. we are a massive club but unfortunately for the owner we are just good business. sustainability sounds so healthy, independent and desirable but i’d really like to see an investment made without biting every coin on the way there. and if we were as sustainable as we like to claim i doubt we would let ramsey and ox leave, not even to mention gnabry whose qualities seem to be invisible to wenger and co

  3. Of course we are still a big club, one of the richest in the world but it is also obvious that we are in a decline from the place we use to be. Every club in history will go through this phase at one point in time. Man.u is a big club but have been on the decline after Sir Alex left

    1. Also we are the only top flight team that has not been relegated in decades in fact by the end of next season it will be 100 years since we were relegated

  4. Very well put, we are still a massive club in terms of Value but winning title’s ,being in the UCL & actually challenging does help but we have been failing miserably even when we were In the UCL/Top4 for all those years.

    AcMilan are a massive club, always will be & in the same boat as Arsenal in terms of going backwards and other clubs taking over us. Though they have won more league & European Trophies in the last 30years, Arsenal have not won in Europe is big difference. That doesn’t make us a bigger club than them does it just because we have attendance, revenue etc…

    We are always going to be a big club, we were suppose to be on the level with the Bayern/Barcas of the world when we moved to the stadium, so in part they have been spot on as a club we are worth over £2billion (7th richest as you stated) but on the Pitch with the players we have had and still do , it’s been abit of a shambles and an after thought as for so many years as all the club has been interested in is making money not winning titles.

    The Self sustaining model has worked in terms of finance (FFP) but the team is a mess and has been for last decade. Now is the time to press reset on the squad, partly it has begun being done with 6 gone already so may it continue.

    Lastly our stadium numbers will always be high as the season tickets are like hot cakes with a 130,000+ waiting list for anyone who decides not to take them they will be snapped up in a heartbeat. Merch will always sell and now esp with the Adidas deals I think everyone will be buying these Tops this season regardless. The figures will be sweet, now make the team no1 importance to the club as the rest will take care if itself financially.

  5. I don’t really get your point?, all those links are fine to prove a point but I think you’ll find we’re in decline in pretty much all of those different aspects of what makes ‘a big club’.

    We were a big club, we still are but we’re heading on a downward trajectory, and for that we have to thank KSE who are running the club into the ground, we are heading towards mediocrity, which is no surpise given that is what KSE are/do – own a string of mediocre sports franchises.

    The so called self sustaining model is just a PR spin on Kroenke not investing a penny in the club, give it another 5 years and we’ll be slipping down those lists from 10 into the 20’s.

    #KroenkeOUT

  6. Not forgetting we are……….The Arsenal !………….no other club is known as or by “The”, only in nicknames likes “The Spuds” !
    Oh ! and “The Celtic Transfer Window Lickers” ……….sorry to start that up again AdMart, you may discipline me ! hahahahaha

  7. Very true, some fans don’t realize just how large football is and how many teams are truly behind us without the capability of ever reaching our level. I think their argument is more, out of the top clubs we are at the back, but the key words there are “top clubs”. Our fans, history, finances, region, all make us a top club. I agree with the author of course but I would like to see if someone can differ with the piece and give us an ulterior way of seeing things.

    A different note.

    People won’t agree. But I was thinking on the best performers of our season. For me the best players of the season were Auba, Laca, Xhaka, Bellerin, and Holding, most consistent at good levels. Next group were Torriera, Leno, Guendouzi, Ramsey, Sokratis, Iwobi, and maybe Niles.

    If I was going to make it a three category format. I would put the two strikers in group one, and then proceed from there and maybe put Torriera in group two, then putting Sokratis, Niles and Iwobi in group three. The fact that some played a full season whereas others played a lot less makes it a little more difficult. Bellerin and Ramsey played very little compared to others, as could be said of Niles. But just going on the consistent performances within the amount of games they did play, this is how I see it.

    Having five or six players in the top consistent performers group is not enough, especially when some of them spend more time on the sidelines, this is where we come up short. And having only one defender who was playing well enough to come into the top equation or there about[s], again, it’s telling.

    1. I was supposed to add. The one defender that could’ve made the top equation or there about, would be Bellerin, if he had a full season and if he stayed consistent, he would’ve been the only other player to make it into that group of two strikers that I spoke about. He was very important to us before he got injured, Holding was too but Bellerin often looked as good as the top competition.

  8. We’re the greatest team the world has ever seen!!!

  9. Unfortunately big club with small club mentality
    That’s why we have Emery.

    1. I disagree with the notion that we are a big club for the simple fact that we don’t attract quality players but mediocre.

  10. Not forgetting that we are the winner of the greatest cup competition in the world the most times !………..The FA Cup !…..which should be renamed………The Arsenal FA Cup !…………..which should not be confused with The Spud FA Cup where the FA stands for……..do I really have to say It ?………alright then ……..F#ck All !

  11. I BELIEVE NO ONE IS SAYING ARSENAL IS NO BIG CLUB MOST OF WHAT IS WRITTEN IN THE ARTICLE WE ALREADY KNOW…ARSENAL IS A BIG CLUB BUT OUR FEAR IS ARSENAL DOESN’T HAVE A GREAT TEAM LIKE OTHER BIG CLUBS YOU MENTIONED ALONGSIDE US

  12. Tenth most valuable squad in the world is only because we have……….OZIL !…………..no filth please !
    😆

    1. You nearly got it right Le Coq Monster…it’s because we have all the “dross” that was left for UE that makes us the 10th most valuable squad in the world…get rid of the lot of them as they are dross, mentally weak, don’t run around like headless chickens and kronkie is paying them too much!!!!

      The real truth is that some of our fans take every opportunity to put the club down and that’s what our rivals love to see.

      I can’t believe that after finishing the season in, what should have been third place and contesting one of only two european finals, these fans want to ship out an average of ten players from that squad.
      They say how that will save on the wages…then suggest we buy players who will demand the same or even more in salaries.

      Nonsensical rubbish, that divides the fans and makes us open to ridicule and derision.

      “A big club?” Well, we certainly have enough fans who think they can become The Arsenal manager haven’t we?
      Inverted wingers?…The only “inverted I am aware of is the “inverted comma” and that has nothing to do with football.

      1. Hearing inverted Wenger all the time from comments here pissed me off that I it’s depressing reading comments from someone I dnt want to call his name….

        1. NONNY,

          Your the one who has mentioned wenger and that’s the problem, you just can’t move on can you?

          You didn’t/couldn’t give one sensible reply to any of the points made in support of UE and the players…that’s the most “depressing” point of your post…

          1. ken, the big worry for me is that Arsenal do have the “10th th most valuable squad in the world”; yet how many players are saleable at their apparent value?
            Although the Arsenal has been through highs and lows during its history, as stated above it has not been relegated from the type flight for almost a century. Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham cannot claim this. Other great clubs like Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest, Leeds United and Preston North End are struggling to move up the divisions. Wolverhampton Wanderers and Newcastle United have previously been up and down.
            There is something to be said for the self sustaining model, given that should the backing be removed from Chelsea and Manchester City they would go the way of Leeds United.

  13. Big Clubs spend big when needed.
    We need to spend big now because of great amount of average and below average players we have

    We have no top quality CB
    No Quality Wingers
    And need 1 or 2 quality central midfielders

    Our Quality really just lies pretty much with Aubameyang, Lacazette and Torreira

    Big Clubs need Quality and need to spend to get Quality

    Also, Big Clubs are in Champions League

  14. From another thread

    We are as big as people see us. At the moment, in general, our meme (in the real meaning of the word) is a little shrunk. Our status in most eyes has shrunk. In terms of stadium and support we are ‘BIG’, but we are caught in a dangerous paradigm which is lessening us to many football people. I would love you to prove me wrong. I want to be wrong.

    1. Sean, I believe that makes sense, but it’s not only those who don’t support the club that have this view, it’s those who, supposedly, DO support the club that give out such negative vibes.

      The witchhunt that takes place against certain individuals, past and present, is really distastefull and the media take every opportunity to jump on this.

      That’s the real pattern (or paradigm) that our club’s fans has fallen into.

  15. Our club is smart,they don’t want no debt, Arsene had the right mind set now the club continuing that way
    I love it just want the boys gI’ve their heart n let us be more consistent

  16. Hilton Ricardo Mathews

    Can emery be the guy, like klopp? He came to liverpool in the same situation that arsenal find themself. He transform everything, get the guys to do the job for him. And damn look where they are now. Can emery do this? Will the board let him to do this. And from my point of view, no he cant. I am a big arsenal fan, and for the next seasons, i cant see them being a big club. They will only be known as part of the big 6.prove me wrong

    1. Hilton, how many years did it take for Klopp to gain success at Liverpool and he had the support of the board and saleable assets.
      Emery has been here one season and only has a contract for two, with a year option apparently. If not supported by the board this season, can anyone expect Emery to extend his contract? Who would you expect to follow Emery to the Emirates, if the board do not support him in this transfer window? Forget about Klopp, Guardiola, Enrique, Simeone etc, they would just laugh.

  17. @Admin,

    No one is disputing that fact (value, fanbase, history?
    Arsenal is a massive brand but that doesn’t cloud the fact that we have been massively under achieving..

    Real Madrid, Man United, Barcelona and Bayern are the only clubs that beats us on all fronts…Money, fame, popularity, fanbase, history, trophies, commercial deals and all whatnot.. The Scousers are getting pretty damn close to beating us on all fronts too..

    The cacophony of bad and clueless management (Gazidis and co), a non existent owner, an average squad, ridiculous handling of player contracts and and a stagnating commercial department does not exactly scream elite club….

    The fact remains that Arsenal has lost some of it’s appeal.. The best players no longer see Arsenal as an apex club…We downright can’t afford them, neither can we offer enticing wage packets compared to the elite clubs we pride ourselves of being in their company..

    And pls, this self sustaining ideology and FFP talk are frankly being stretched a bit too far… Aside from Man city and PSG that are being fingered on FFP matters, clubs like United, Barca, Bayern and Liverpool still spend humongous sums to bring in players without looking over their shoulders… you might point to player sales by those clubs, (although I can’t remember man u making 30m+ on a single player sale in the last three years) but that further buttresses my point…something is abysmally wrong with our commercial and player recruitment sector… we can’t raise significant funds from player sales and the business side of the Arsenal brand somehow can’t help either…

    We are practically relying on champions league fund and the slush premier league tv right fund to stay afloat.. A self sustaining model doesn’t warrant the alleged paltry budget we have for summer recruitment… it’s embarrassing… Being linked with the cheapest of players, making derisory bids on those said cheap players… Does this say elite club to you? Can you compare this to the activities of the other elite clubs we see as our peers? The difference between us and them is quite STAGGERING…

    I have Arsenal in my heart and it kills me to see the state we are in…

    1. Some very good points and would have loved that as an article, next time consider sending me your opinion when it is so in-depth, shame to waste on the comment sections when you could have had a much wider appeal.

      1. Thanks @Admin… Will do the needful and forward to you

    2. G.O.C

      Really well put.

  18. No doubt we are a masive club almost as big as Celtic .
    😉

    In my opinion it is a silent killer which is slowly decaying our club and that silent killer is something that got lost somewhere along the line in that we dont get the unseen players like we used to first under Wenger.
    Just look at the likes of nearly all the clubs outside the so called top 6 and the players they have unearthed…….Leicester Mahrez. Maguire and Kante……Celtic Virgil !…..sorry I almost thought they were an English club 😆
    I wont bother with the rest but you know the clubs and players.
    What the f%&k happened to out scouting system ?……….or is it not the scouting system as most of the cheap players who are now expensive were under our radar, so it must be the managements fault !
    We all know it, the team that Wenger could have had, the players he was so close to buying……Ronaldo, Messi, Ibrahimovitch and on and on and on.
    With our budget nowadays it`s even more important to be the first at finding these players and to get in quickly instead of hesitating and offering derisory fees !
    At the end of the day the buck stops you know where and unfortunately we cant do a thing about the ba$t&rd at the top………prepare for years of misery my Transfer Window Lickers ! 😆

    1. Again….well stated.

    2. No the scouts are good (the youth Arsenal is doing good actually) but the coaching team has no balls to promote them to the first team. I guess it is expected if your job is on the line. Now it is said that we have to learn from our neighbour, the small club that farm and sold potatoes. That’s how low we have gotten.

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