Relax this isn’t an article asking why we didn’t buy Ronaldo. It’s not worth the debate as the player wouldn’t consider joining a side not in the Champion’s League, while his move has clearly been motivated by a desire to add an Italian title to the one he’s won in England and Spain.
I couldn’t help but think though when watching his presentation in Turin, that this was a club we were once loaning Nicolas Bendter to. Indeed the financial boom of the Premiership and La Liga seemed to be leaving Serie A behind, with the Bundesliga rightfully praised for how their game was being run.
It meant Italy’s leading powers were left buying individuals not wanted elsewhere in Europe (Senderos got a move to AC Milan). So at a time when our spending was restricted due to the stadium debt, we were still able to compete with Juventus in terms of transfer fees and wages.
When Ivan Gazidis predicted that the move to the Emirates would lead to us being a European superpower, he wouldn’t have been considering the ‘Old Lady’ as competition.
Even today, measured by various factors, we are a richer club then the Italian Champions, with that gap only closing due to success on the pitch. So if the gunners are more wealthy, why do we have such a limited budget while they have just managed to sign one of the best players in the universe?
Let’s make it clear, Juve haven’t been bought by a Roman Ambramovich. They were just ambitious years ago, realising winning trophies was the quickest way to making themselves marketable again. Winning cups and reaching European finals guaranteed increased TV money and sponsors. Realising they couldn’t compete with a Real Madrid, Chelsea, Etc, Juventus paid over the odds for talent approaching 30 or over. Realising most club owners refused to pay millions for anyone with no resale value, Juventus smartly created their own market.
Could you imagine Stan Kroenke authorising thousands of pounds being paid to a Pirlo, Tevez, Khadira, Higuain, Alves, etc when they were in their thirties. Some would argue that policy is too short sighted. But it’s a gamble that has worked. By investing for today, it pressured the manager to win silverware, knowing that’s what his bosses were forking out millions for, how else do you get value on a player past his peak?
Then you use revenue gained by winning to worry about the future, eg the Dybala’s, etc. It’s a business model which means you can cash in on your prize assets if you need to, eg, Pogba. 2014 saw the club have its first profitable year since 2006.
That didn’t happen because of high ticket prices, but commercial revenue increased by television and sponsors wanting to advertise a successful franchise. Ironically in that same period we were told that by not spending then it would be worthwhile in the future.
It’s been a couple of years now since we’ve been debt free and yet ….where’s our owners ambition? As crazy as the sums appear to be for a 33 year old, scratch the surface and it’s a deal where all parties win. Ronaldo continues to be rich, Real Madrid have got money back on a man who won them 4 CL.
Juventus meanwhile have a striker so driven and self obsessed that if he can score 40 goals in Spain, he will find it just as easy in Italy, ensuring their domestic domination continues. Most importantly though Ronaldo is one of the few brands who sells himself. From sales of shirts to sponsors that follow him everywhere, the transfer pays for itself. The Juventus money men would have already calculated the profit they will make.
I don’t want the Arsenal board to spend 100 million on one player, and I certainly don’t want anyone to be given such wages, but I would love to see the vision of making money by building a great squad.
Instead we play it safe by using us fans as the main source of income. When we are told every year how rich we are, when you research just how much money Kroenke has, then why can Juventus do a deal like this and we can’t?