I guess you can’t really call it Arsenal news, but given that Alisher Usmanov was a shareholder at Arsenal until recently, it has a bit of Arsenal related to it, and certainly I think it has implications for the Premier League. Because Everton confirmed last night that Usmanov has invested £30million in naming rights for the new stadium which for him, let’s face it, is chump change.
And the worry has to be that it’s him simply showing that his wealth can easily be used on driving revenues at a football club, because Everton aren’t exactly rolling in cash, and posted a loss of over £100million in their latest results. So it only takes another ‘sponsorship deal’ for one of Usmanov’s companies, with an inflated fee attached, for that to change itself and also to put Everton into the ‘Billionaires plaything’ club that City and Chelski currently sit.
If Everton and Usmanov start dropping multiple £60-£70million+ transfers in the next year or so then we know just how much influence Usmanov has and there will be plenty of Arsenal fans casting their gaze angrily at the Kroenke’s direction.
The ill-informed will just shout into microphones outside the stadium that KSE need to “spend some f*cking money” but in reality Arsenal don’t need a £250million grant to go in the right direction. They just need a proper plan and strong football people at the club.
But what the club might need at some stage is a financial adrenaline shot to kick start it in the right direction. Yesterday I mentioned the Deloitte Money League and how we’re slowly dropping down that table. We made revenues of €446million according to the league but Chelski made €513million and the Totts made €521million. The Totts one is because they got to the final of the Champions League but by me just speculating, being in it alone should probably net Arsenal an additional €40-€50million (I’m using Euros because that’s what the money league is reported in) in that period and if that was with the club now in our coffers as we speak, then imagine what benefit it might additionally be giving us this January? Or in the summer?
So speculating by investing in the club, with a view that with the right infrastructure and man at the helm, could see far greater returns. I mean Liverpool netted €600million for Christ’s sake! So imagine if we were to spend an additional €70-€80million on players even though we technically don’t have the revenue, because KSE believe in the ‘project’ and more importantly can see that success will bring a higher return? Imagine if KSE realised that sometimes you have to spend it to make it instead of cost cutting within the business (we’ve all heard of the emails going around the club telling employees to shave costs where possible).
Stan Kroenke famously once said himself that you don’t get into sports for trophies. Well if that’s true for him then what else does he get into it for? Money? Ok, we might not like that and certainly I don’t like him, but surely he can see revenues of the other big clubs around us and realise that cutting costs and not investing in the club is just going to depreciate his asset in the long term?
It doesn’t really make sense to me. You don’t have to spend hundreds of millions on this Arsenal team I don’t think. There are some good players there who have shown that when they are channeled correctly then they can get results, certainly performances, so why on earth would you not understand that in some instances you need to spend money to make money?
That’s just the Kroenke’s though. They don’t really care. They talk about caring, a lot, but they have given us a 12-year history of decline and that’s because they were asleep at the wheel when it comes to the proper running of the football club. They have proven themselves unworthy owners in my eyes and their approach over 12 years has been nothing short of negligent.
What can we do as fans? I don’t know. I’m not really sure if we can. But we have a voice and we should all be using it in some way. That’s why I’ve supported the ‘WeCareDoYou’ movement from the start. Not because I want the Kroenke’s to spend a shedload of cash, because I don’t, but what I do want to feel is that they take the custodianship of the club properly. I want to feel that they will do everything in their power to make us as competitive as we possibly can be. And so far they’ve shown an unwillingness to do so over a long period of time.
A well run Arsenal is a successful Arsenal. Are we that? I don’t think so.
Catch you tomorrow.