Just a short post today as I am running a little low on time!
One of the things that really, really, reaaaaaly bugs me about Arsenal’s Transfer policy is the opinion of a large portion of our fan-base around the amount of money that the club has, spends, and recoups.
In particular, the phrase “Don’t look at what we’ve spent, look at Net Spend” is a phrase that seems to come up quite regularly. I have even heard people singing “Champions of Net-Spend, we know what we are!” When you look at the figures however, and compare them to other clubs in the so called ‘Big 6’ there is quite a surprising picture that gets painted.
Below is a table I have compiled from transfer data, freely available, from http://www.transfermarkt.co.uk/. For the sake of argument (and my maths…) I have rounded up the numbers to the nearest £M. I should also add the caveat that I have no idea how reliable this data is, or even where their figures are sourced from so take this with a pinch of salt. (Please note that this post was written before Stones’ Transfer to Man City.)
The reason I have chosen to assess this over the past 3 years rather than any other period is because of two reasons. Firstly, it is 3 years since Wenger came out and suggested we could compete financially as the shackles of the stadium move were becoming looser.
The other reason is to compare to financial fair play regulations, these state that a club should not lose more than £105 per 3 season period. Please also note that this, quite obviously, does not factor in wages and other factors.
As you can see from the table, its not Arsenal at all that are champions of Net Spend. It is (very unfortunately) Tottenham. Followed, quite surprisingly by Chelsea.
That is only one part of it however. When you look at what this money has resulted in i.e trophies, the story is a little different.
During this time period, discounting 2016/17 as it hasn’t happened…
Spurs haven’t won anything, Chelsea have a League Cup and Premier League to show, City have a Premier League Title, and both Man Utd and Arsenal have an F.A Cup to their name.
Let us also not forget that Leicester, won the Premier League last season… on a shoestring budget…
With those things considered, it has to be argued that Chelsea have been the most successful when compared to their Net Spend.
From a solely Arsenal Perspective, this table shows that we have on average since 2014 spent £44M on transfers. (That’s half a Pogba per year…) I would also say that quite a lot of revenue has been lost to keeping players who are nowhere close to the starting XI on the books when they could be sold.
Possibly, the more worrying issue is that of all the issues in the squad over the past 3 years, after spending £169M only the DM issues have been addressed with the addition of Xhaka and the emergence of Coquelin. There are still weaknesses at the back and with both Gabriel and Mertesacker out we desperately need a CB with experience to partner Koscielny.
Giroud is a better CF than given credit for but there is still a need for a less form dependent target man. Finally, although Cech is a major step up, we need another keeper as competition, Ospina was a liability at times last season.
Anyway, let me know what you think in the comments.