Good morning all. It’s been a while since I wrote here hasn’t it? At least it seems like a while. Look, I wish I could tell you that I’ve been working on something important but the truth is that I just didn’t feel like it. I’ll write more about that later. I don’t want to get started on that now because I don’t want to get into talking about the season that was when the season that was still is.
Speaking of which, we are closing in on the final game of the season and I have to admit that the excitement and nerves haven’t yet caught up with me. I say that and my friend Adrian (the guy who took me to the FA Cup match against Everton) even mailed me a yellow ribbon that I’ve been wearing every day! Perhaps I’m just too focused on this By the Numbers piece detailing Arsenal’s Premier League season in review? That has to be it, because now that I have a second to think about this weekend I’m thinking about Tom Hundredestone and Steve Bruce and getting that cold elbow to the stomach. UGH.
There are days still to worry about that, right? For now we can all dream. And when I mean dream I mean the technicolor transfer dreams of fields filled with Costas in bloom. The trees sprouting Suarez green. A phalanx of Serge Aurier zipping across the sky. A pile of fresh Drmic. Hmmm… smell the Drmic.
It’s true though, that I don’t know a single Arsenal fan who doesn’t feel like the club needs to buy this summer. I know Wenger is saying we don’t need an overhaul and I agree with him on that front. Arsenal don’t need an overhaul but Arsenal do need a striker, a defensive midfielder, a right back, a center back, and a keeper. Because Arsene Wenger even tried to sign a striker last summer, because Arsene Wenger even tried to sign a replacement for Arteta last summer, because Sagna is leaving and not only is he the starting right back but also a backup center back, and because Fabianski deserves a starting spot at keeper somewhere. That’s five players and I know I’ve said it before and I’m going to keep saying five players because I still have people irrationally arguing that we only need one or two.
Where on earth are Arsenal going to get the money to pay for all of that?
Easy. How about the new Puma deal, the huge increase in TV money, and the increase in ticket prices? That’s an additional £60m per year. Per year. The Puma deal is adding £22m per season, Arsenal’s increase in TV shares is an additional £36.1m per season, and the ticket price increase is £3m per season. That’s net, folks. Not gross, net.
I always feel like I’m betraying the club to talk about how much money we have available to spend, such have I been conditioned by years of austerity, but Arsenal are the ones who bragged about newfound financial power and dry powder now for several years. And they are sitting on a veritable powder keg of dry powder.
All revenue streams (except player sales!) are up; matchday income was up last year and will be up again next with the 3% increase in ticket prices, commercial deals (Emirates, PUMA, Gatorade, Huawei, Cooper Tires Europe, Lanvin and JEANRICHARD) are going through the roof, and the Premier League’s new broadcasting rights mean an increase from £58m last season to £93m this season. In case you didn’t know this already Arsenal, with £120m in cash reserves*, and with increases in every conceivable area have the money to burn. Heck, we don’t even have to stick our wick in the cash reserves and we’d still have money to burn. Money to burn every year!
I know that everyone’s gotten a new contract and Wenger’s done well to lock up Ramsey, Koscielny, and Cazorla for the foreseeable future. That takes a chunk out of the pie. Though Arsenal will also see some salary savings when Sagna (£3m), Bendtner (£2.5m), and Fabianski (£2m) all come off the books. So, I’m calling it a draw there. That still leaves £60m per season to spend on players.
So, let’s see… Serge Aurier, Loic Remy, and that guy Marshall from Cardiff? That’s a start.
*Those are reserves “excluding the balances designated as debt service reserves”. In other words, cash available to spend.