Arsenal Financial Report 2009
I just spend an hour reading Arsenal’s 2009 financial report and with all the financial wizardry they are doing it looks like Goldman-Sachs is in charge of our accounting — and I don’t mean that in a good way. The report raises more questions for me than it answers.
- Football turnover went up £18m but profits from football increased only £200,000
- Property sales went up £73m from last year, yet profit from that only went from -£3m to + £5.6m
- Exactly how much money player trading generated or lost is obfuscated beyond belief. At one point, they actually claim that Arsenal spent £41m buying players in 2009. At another point they claim that Arsenal generated a profit of £23m from player sales. And at a third point the accountants say that Arsenal spent £20m on players in 2009, which they then subtract from the £23m number above to get a grand total of £2.9m in total profit on player sales.
- And the thing that sticks in many people’s craw is an undisclosed expense called “other operating costs” which shot up from £46m to £55m. They explain the increase as retail costs, utilities, staging the Emirates Cup, and currency exchange losses but the thing a lot of supporters want to see is an actual breakdown of those costs and not just some glossed over explanation of the increase.
It’s a really huge report, with some conflicting data and while I’m willing to concede that I might just be a bit thick I also get the distinct feeling that the board is not being entirely forthright about some things. What exactly they might be hiding, I don’t know but there is something strange about this report. I can’t quite put my finger on it, maybe one of you smarty pants who earn 2 to 3 times my salary and can kick my ass if I lived in New York could read the report and tell us what you think?
Arshavin’s Web Site
If you haven’t already, you really need to go over to Andrei Arshavin’s web site and read his responses to the fan mail he gets. My favorite example from Monday’s batch is this:
Hi, Andrey, I love arsenal and helicopters. My friend, Steve, said that he met you once and he said you were very nice but you smelt of coffee. Do you like coffee? He also said that he held your hand. If I met you please could I hold your hand, I promise it will be no longer than for 3 minutes. LOVE FROM ANTHONY, 28 ENGLAND.
Аrshavin: I don’t drink coffee at all.
Andrei deftly side-steps the whole hand holding and helicopters bit and dives straight into the heart of the matter: he doesn’t drink coffee!
You can’t make this stuff up.
The Final Word on Shawcross’ Assault on Ramsey
Fox Soccer Channel’s commentators can be a bit hard to swallow for us Yanks some times, but here’s once where they get it dead on. I’m warning you now, this video shows Shawcross’ assault multiple times and from multiple angles in order to emphasize Bobby MacMahon’s point that the Ryan Shawcross “tackle” wasn’t a tackle at all but as he puts it “a scythe.”
That video shows definitively that the tackle is not a 50-50 as many people are claiming and that Shawcross actually sweeps through the leg of Aaron Ramsey, playing the man and not the ball.
Anyone who claims that Shawcross’ assault “wasn’t even a yellow card” or is somehow equivalent to Gallas’ 50-50 is either a mentalist, a low-life scumbag, or as Grimbo put it a cuntbucket.
Speaking of TV
My American readers know that Setanta in the USA has lost their rights to EPL games and that Fox Soccer Channel (FSC) has opened a second channel called Fox Soccer Plus (FS+). Unfortunately, FS+ isn’t being carried anywhere at the moment which means that any EPL games played on FS+ are basically going unwatched.
Previously, I was hopeful for us Gooners because when I looked at the FSC schedule Arsenal were scheduled to be broadcast every weekend for the entire month of March. Now that’s changed and this Saturday’s game is actually going to be shown on FS+ much to the chagrin of Yankee Gooners.
Don’t despair, there is an option! Fox has a pay internet stream available of the match over at Fox Soccer TV. I don’t know what kind of schedule they are going to have over on that web site yet, but it’s just $5 to watch this Saturday’s match.
Which seems pretty reasonable since I paid $1500 to fly over and see the same game.
They Call Him Melo Yellow
This year’s winner of the Serie A’s infamous Bidone d’Oro (the “Golden Garbage Can” award) was none other than this Summer’s Arsenal target, Felipe Melo. The £25m Juventus flop played in yesterday’s Brazil v. Ireland friendly at Emirates Stadium and evidently re-kindled Arsene Wenger’s love affair with the player prompting the Arsenal boss to say that Arsenal are still interested in signing him.
It’s pretty odd to say the least, but with the dip in form of Denilson, Wenger could see Melo as a bargain and the perfect player to replace our Brazilian in the Summer.
The Damned United
I don’t know if you’ve had a chance to see The Damned United but if you haven’t you should definitely check it out. It’s a movie about iconoclastic football manager Brian Clough and his time managing Leeds. I’m not going to recount to plot (click the link if you want that) but rather just say that I was struck by the similarities between Clough and our very own Arsene Wenger. Both managers are well known for their outspoken views, their desire to change the English game, and their absolutist view of how football is properly played.
Clough famously took on the footballing establishment and decried the lump and crunch football that was prevalent at the time and though he doesn’t revolutionize football while at Leeds (or the film would be called “The Glorious United” I suppose) he is the only manager to ever win back to back European League trophies. Which he did several years after this story takes place while managing Nottingham Forest.
Anyway, it’s a fascinating story and damn good fun all around I highly recommend the film.
Right, that’s it for today, Theo Walcott is going to get a run out with the English Nationalism team today and several other Arsenal players will be playing friendlies as well. Wish them all luck and here’s hoping that Theo scores a barbershop.
Final prep for the England flight today, I’m starting to get nervous/excited. More on that tomorrow.
See you then!