Morning folks and happy Sunday to thee. If you’re reading this in the UK then it’s a bank holiday tomorrow, which turns today into a sort of pseud-Saturday, which is always lovely. Think we’re due to get a bit of sunshine too, so hopefully I’ll be able to sit out in the garden and slowly cook myself whilst sipping on a beverage with a percentage.
On the news front there isn’t really a lot going on, as has been the case for the last couple of months, although I did get a note from the club telling me about my season ticket renewal and how there would be a rebate for the games we’re missing because they’re behind closed doors. It’s not exactly come as a surprise because they can hardly charge you for a product you can’t even take advantage of and I guess from a timing perspective they’re also in a difficult position because they still don’t really know when football with fans in the stadiums will return. There’s also no mention as to the timing on next season, nor is there the talk about what the price will be, but as with everything it’s all about what happens with the remaining games.
If we scrape ourselves into the Europa League places then there will be a price for the season ticket, but if we miss out on that then we’re looking at further reductions in the overall price I suspect, as that’s what happened when we downgraded from Champions League to the Europa League. It also means you’re less likely to actually use all of the seven cup home credits too, so there would be a further rebate at the end of the 2020/21 season.
All of this preamble is to say that it’s really starting to hit home just how much trouble Arsenal and other clubs are in across all of their revenue streams. We’re hit harder than most because of the reliance on match day revenue that we have to our bottom line, but with sponsorship money due to be reduced, with fans not spending their cash in the armoury, plus with the challenges around not being able to get that season ticket money in now to boost the coffers, we really are in a pickle as a club.
We can probably forget about transfers. Not unless we’re swapping players in and out. And if we’re exiting players who aren’t first choice and the better ones in the team then we’re hardly going to get top dollar for those that aren’t regulars.
Take Ainsley Maitland-Niles for example. It has looked increasingly likely that he’ll not be getting much game time under Arteta and the boss himself has suggested that Ainsley needs to do more. Perhaps he’s the sort of player that could make it at a mid table team but if we don’t have any cash, then teams like Bournemouth, Burnley, Sheffield United or Everton aren’t exactly going to be falling over themselves to spend big on a player like that. And even if they want the player, they’re only going to want to do swap deals. Let’s take Bournemouth for example. Imagine if they came to us and told us they wanted Maitland-Niles, but had no cash, so what player would we like in return. Would we want Nathan Ake perhaps? Yeah, possibly, but Bournemouth would only tell us they value him at double the price of Ainsley and then we’re into the realms of Arsenal having to delve into their pockets.
Or perhaps Everton? Maybe they’d say they need him in the heart of their midfield, but perhaps they can’t give any cash, so we’d have to take a look at their team. Who in their team would improve us? Michael Keane? Calvert-Lewin if Aubameyang goes? Yerry Mina?
None of those guys do it for me I’m afraid and even if they did, the same conversation would probably happen as I’ve mentioned above.
That’s why swap deals are so difficult because it relies on the situation really working out to be perfect. Team A needs to have a surplus of players in one position, then Team B needs to have a surplus of players in another position, that just so happens to be a position that Team A is desperate to strengthen for. It just feels like there are too many variables and that’s why I’m not holding out much hope that we’ll be making any large scale changes this summer.
Which is why the need for Arteta to coach the best out of this team is so important. It’s also why we should still be excited for the next season, whenever it comes, because we’ll have a coach who is now bedded in, has started to get the players on side and has his ideas and structure on how he wants the team to perform already working. It can still be an exciting time as an Arsenal fan and we have to hold on to that hope.
Right, I’m offski for another day. You be good and have a good Sunday.