NET Spending since 2005, Is this the reason why have not won anything?

Since winning the FA Cup in 2005 Arsenal have not won anything?

Why?… Some might say we have been unlucky? Poor refs etc…  But most put it down to the sales of key players and a  lack of investment in quality replacements.

Arsenal NET Spending since 2005

  • 2005 – Money spent on new signings  £32.3m…. Money from players Sales £13m
    2006 – Money spent on new signings £11.9m…. Money from players Sales £27.6m
    2007 – Money spent on new signings  £13.2m …. Money from players Sales £9.5m
    2008 – Money spent on new signings £30.8m …. Money from players Sales £15.8m
    2009 – Money spent on new signings £10.1m …. Money from players Sales £41.5m
    2010 –  Money spent on new signings £8.5m…Money from players Sales £7.2m

So since 2005 Arsenal spent £106.8m on new signings.

However Arsenal made £114.6m back from players sales, a profit of £7.8m

Add to that money from the deals from Bentley, Muamba & Diarra, Arsenal are about £15m up from player sales ONLY…lets not inc Match day revenue, which is about £3m each home game or the other bits from champions league football or anything. Just on player sales since 2005 we have spent NOTHING!.. How do you expect us to win anything but selling our best players replacing them on the cheap?

There is no doubt that Wenger and the board are doing a wonderful job of balancing the books at Arsenal, But at what price?

Is this the reason why Arsenal have not won anything since 2005?…Yes, I think so. Wenger went from being a great manager to becoming a great financial accountant.

That fans are not asking Wenger or the board to put the clubs future at risk as we have all seen what happened to Leeds and Pompey. But come on!  We need SOME investment back into the team if we are to win the league again.

This summer we were told that Arsenal could now compete with Chelsea in the transfer market?…Yeah its showed

Every year Arsenal publish mega profits, the fans are being asked to spend money on 4 kits every 2 seasons, Kits that are hardly worn by the first team i might add.. How many times did Arsenal wear that white kit last season?

Look at this summer, with less then 10 days till the start of the season, NO KEEPER, NO DEFENDERS. 6 players out Eduardo, Campbell, Gallas, Senderos, Silvestre, Merida… 2 players in... And who thinks we are stronger?…But wait, Djourou and Co are like new signings right?

So don’t you think its time that Arsenal started to spend?…..I do and I wont be spending money on new kits until that time.



  1. pete smith

    August 4, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    Statistically, it is average wage and not money spent on transfers that effects league position.

  2. Mike

    August 4, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    Any chance you could tell us how you did your research and came up with those figures?

  3. BigL

    August 4, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    @pete. I dug out the recent wage bills. I’m sure Man City will top that list this year.


    Chelsea – £167m (£172m)
    Man Utd – £123m (£121m)
    Liverpool – £107m (£90m)
    Arsenal – £104m (£101m)
    Man City – £83m (£54m)
    (2007/08 wages in brackets)

  4. John

    August 4, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    Pete is right, the correlation between salary and league position was very convincingly analysed somewhere. Sadly can’t remember where otherwise I would have linked this.

  5. Arsenal

    August 4, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    Maybe it has something to do with paying off the costs of building and moving to a new stadium
    How do you come up with net values when some transfers were for undisclosed fees?
    We’ve bought a defender in Koscielny, I’m not sure why you capitalise “no defenders”, perhaps you should do a little research on our transfer activity before posting your articles.
    With the new home grown players rules and 25 man squad limit we’re pretty much the only team in the premier league that’s ready for the restrictions. Maybe that has something to do with not buying

    I fail to see the logic in not buying a kit and expecting your club to spend money on new players. Maybe if all the fans stop buying kits Arsenal will sign a top class keeper.

  6. jc

    August 4, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    pete i have to disagree, it is not all about wages, you could pay the blackburn rovers squad the same as we pay our players, it doesnt meant they’ll be as good as us, if you pay poor players a high wage all you are doing is paying them a high wage, it will not make them any better as players

  7. Zeki

    August 4, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    I agree with everything you said.
    Arsene could get a job as an accountant anywhere in the world.

    We’ve gone from the Invincables to the invicables.

    i Wish Arsene was more like Alex Ferguson.

    The differnace between Arsene and Alex ferguson is one thing, Alex Ferguson is not scared to make changes, and sell players if needed, whereas Wenger likes to keep faith in players that are noway (and never will be) good enough to be in Arsenals starting XI.

    Almunia, Fabianski, Denilson & Bedntner? Come on Arsene, wake up and smell the roses.

    We’ve gone from Lehman to Almunia, from Edu to Denilson, and from Thierry Henry to Bendtner, what is really going on at Arsenal we will never know until Wenger leaves, and makes a book about ‘Life at Arsenal’

  8. Andy Mack

    August 4, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    The cost of buying a player is not necessarily equal the quality of the player or his ability to add to the quality of the team. Cesc cost us peanuts. Ask Manure about Veron, Chavski about Shevchenko, or most of the ex-spuds managers about Rebrov or 75% of the other big signings they’ve made.
    The PL has seen many expensive failures.

  9. Daniyal

    August 4, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    Hoenstly I am so sick and tired of articles like this. Are you guys blind to see the fact that we just built a new stadium and are trying to get debt free? We are 206 million pounds and debt and are reducing it drastically every year while we stay competitive. Do you see the clubs around you? In millions of debt or slaves to a rich owners whims. We have an incredible youth academy, we play attractive football, we finished 3rd last year(not 7th or 8th) and we are NOW able to afford wages like 120 K and 95 K for our best players.

    Why do yo uthink we built the stadium? just for the heck of it? no we built it so eventually we could financially compete with the lieks of united, barca and real. We are getting there but are not there yet, we need to pay off our debts so we need to be prudent. Wenger has spent money. But does that mean since he is getting great deals for his sales he should not sell them for high prices so that his net spending stays up.

    Come on guys looks at the bigger picture. look at where we were 15 years ago and where we are now. We are a massive club now able to tell Barcaelona to F*** off, we couldn’t do that 15 years ago. We were selling petit and overmars for 30 million pounds to make money. We are moving forward every year. i jsut hope all this negativity doesn’t make wenger not sign a new contract because in many ways, this is all down to him.

  10. MikE

    August 4, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    I have heard a theory from a club-level season ticket holder that AW is on a % linked to transfers.

    If these figures are even fairly accurate, it would be power to his theory.

    Food fior thought!

  11. Alan

    August 4, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    Andy, You can’t name one or two bad signings to make a point. Especially as all the ones listed were over 3 years ago.

    Facts are that Chelsea, UTD and Spurs have all shown greater ambition in the transfer market than Arsenal. Also the excuse of the expenditure of the stadium is complete rubbish. The original business plan for that stadium was that matchday revenues would cover the loan repayments. That has proven to be the case. The problem is that Arsenal using transfer sales to either line their own pockets or pay the loan back faster. That sounds great of course but Arsenal are far from the being the side they were 5 years ago. The thought of this side going unbeaten is unthinkable. If Cesc goes, it’s gone from being just two or three players to win the league to four. That’s over a third of the team. Clubs need to invest. Cesc would not be leaving if he was captaining a CL and title challenging side.

  12. Leon

    August 4, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    It’s not about spending the most money it’s about getting the right player to do what’s required – he may be 50k or 50 million – as long as he fits in to the team and is outstanding who cares ?

  13. oxongooner

    August 4, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    Agree with all you say. Daniyal if AW doesnt sign new contract i for one will be happy as. Sick of hearing I BELEIVE this and I BELIEVE that. He not sure what he believes any more.

  14. Brain Dead Plastic

    August 4, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    maybe the fact we tried to finance and build a new stadium, redevelop the land are reasons the net spend has gone down.

    Then again, what do i know, i aibnt a genius like the authors on this high brow blog.

  15. BigL

    August 4, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    The great mysteries of life:

    Why do AKBs always say we don’t have money to spend despite the freely available, audited and published accounts showing there is money to spend?

    Why do AKBs say we have no money to spend despite Wenger and the board saying there is money to spend?

    Why do AKBs say we have no money to spend despite Wenger saying we have the funds available to compete with Chelsea with transfers?

    Why do AKBs assume that spending money means spending £100 million on players?

    If we are massive club, why don’t we act like it?

  16. jim

    August 4, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    Can’t anybody see that we have a great set of players. We’ll get a couple more this year. Then pay off the stadium and be debt free. We will then be in the most powerful financial situation of any club in Europe and set to rule for the next 20 years.

    Well done to A.W. and the board. He has kept us in the running for the last 5 years and with a little luck would have won trophies. In the future we’ll have to be building a huge new trophy case.

    Get behind the Gunners. Can’t wait for the next few seasons.

  17. Johnny

    August 4, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    Re. Daniyal, your wasting your time trying to convince this mob. These people only see the here and now, they couldn`t give a monkey`s about the future. They`ll never see the bigger picture. Arsene Wenger sacrificed his own managerial record to help ensure a better future for our club. Personally I never wanted to leave Highbury, i was happy meeting my mates and sitting in the east stand, but i realised it was in the longterm interest of the club to move, so I went along with it. Also to the muppets who continue to harp on about how this side will never be as good as the 04 side, get a fuckin grip of yourselves. We will never see a side that good again, just move on, support the current side and be thankful you had the opportunity to witness the invincibles.

  18. Andy Mack

    August 4, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    Alan, I can and did use a few names to make a point. But I could give 50 names (probably 10 for Manure alone). The point is the same, there are many underachiving players that have cost notable money.
    Your comment ‘The thought of this side going unbeaten is unthinkable’ shows how much AW has raise your expectations. As a supporter of nearly 40 years, I can’t think of any of our teams that I couldn’t say the same thing about other than the invincables ! Seriously, many have been very good teams but non would be invincable.
    When we pay off the debt, we will be the biggest club in the world (Citeh and the Chavs are not big clubs, they have big owners that can dissapear with one mood swing). But you’re more interested in a bit of silverware now…. That is a sad reflection on you to have such a short term view.
    BigL – The board and manager have said they have the money to spend on the right players. We don’t have the money to play championship manager by buying by buying over-priced players and leaving them on the bench because they aren’t better than what we already have.
    The club has a serious scouting network. Does anyone on here actually know which players are really available to buy? Or should we just tust the bullshit of the press.
    Here’s an alternative, Support your club, Trust them to do the job that they’re paid for and we’re not qualified to do!
    Everone is entitled to an opinion, but so much of the opinion on these blogs is based on blind guess-work and rubbish from the press.


    August 4, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    I we like if arsenal coach wenger can buy goal keeper and defender (5 3 6) in other to secure our position in this season. all the fans are not happy for not won trouph for more down 5 year we out of won anything. please do something for us that we make us happy.god bless gunners

  20. Daniyal

    August 4, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    Johnny and Andy Mack,

    I agree with you guys 100 %. And I tell myself to not argue with people like these. But I can’t help it. Even with our biggest competitors either being in crazy amount of debt(without building a stadium) and the rest being run by owners who might one day decide not to “invest’, as they call it they are really just handouts, and make it so the club can’t function on its own, we have people complaining about Arsenal not spending money.

    Facts, Arsenal renewed 17 contract last year with included signing on bonuses to protect their prize assets(this all costs money). Arsenal also paid of about 40 % of its debt payments. Why? So we can be debt free and have more money in the future to invest on players. Nobody is lining up their chest with gold, Arsenal is a publicly run company with their financial records published and reviewed every year.

    We spend money when we need to on players scouted by our world class scouts. So stop finding names like akinkeev or subortic who do well in championship manager and let our scouting find players like sagna, vermaelen, henry, vieria, clichy, fabregas, robin van persie etc.

    Finally just get behind the team. Or just go support man city who are spending a bucket load.

  21. BigL

    August 4, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    @Daniyal just a correction. Arsenal is NOT a publicly run company. It has shareholders.
    Arsenal does not pay a share dividend so shareholders do not receive a penny, all the money is reinvested in the club.

    While the shareholders do not receive a penny, the board who work for the club I’m sure receive a healthy salary and bonus.

  22. BigL

    August 4, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    @Daniyal actually I stand corrected, Arsenal Holdings is a PLC. But the comments about dividends still remains true

  23. Maciek

    August 4, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    I will probably get banned or trashed here, you will abuse me, but the problem is we have the most expensive tickets in the world. If you pay about 1500 pounds per year you demand quality. Not multi-milion transfersw, but quality.

    Is Almunia, Denilson, Diaby, Silvestre, Djourou quality?

    They are average.

    Why don’t spend 6m for Handanovic or Frey and give Szczesny nr2 spot for 2-3 years and then sell Almunia and fabianski.

    Wenger say that Frimpong can be good. Yes, he can, but is he ready to replace Song if he is injured.

    Why are we maiking always everything on the cheap.

    Can’t Wenger see that we have regressed.

    We are average. Simple.

  24. JoeB

    August 4, 2010 at 10:06 pm

    Top 4 every year for the last 5 years is average?
    Glory hunter.

  25. Daniyal

    August 4, 2010 at 11:03 pm


    clearly you are not very well versed on the makeup of the Arsenal board. many of the people on the board are majority shareholders at Arsenal football club. hence them forgoing their dividends is actually showing that they are not taking money from the club. Please do your research.

    If the arsenal board were greedy, they could have sanctioned to let Stan kroenke or that russian dude to buy their share at a significant premium. However they made a decision to freeze share sales among majority shareholders so as to prevent those two leveraging our club for a huge loan and puting it on Arsenal’s books to pay off. Just like the liverpool and Man United owners.

  26. Dave

    August 5, 2010 at 2:38 am

    Whilst I kind of agree with you, a good way of looking at it is if you’ve got a mortgage the most important thing to do is pay it off and as quickly as possible, to have no worries, if you start building extensions and loft conversions, u will end up paying more interest and for longer, it might be nice to look at for a while, bit if you lose your job u could lose your house!!

  27. kyawthu

    August 8, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    Without Wenger’s policy, we might have already lost Cesc and RVP. Although I would like us to spend a bit more, I trust Wenger’s overall vision. We are on the right path. Except the silverware counts for the last 5 yrs, we are better than everyone else in the whole of Europe regarding finance, potential, infrastructure, youth set ups, and most importantly stable sustainable methods of running the club in its assault on all fronts.

  28. Karthik Narayan

    August 12, 2010 at 9:59 am

    Wow, i got great insight from the comments here. I fully support Wenger. Amazing the way he has built the stadium and keep us in the champions league. Awesome. I think we have been unlucky with injuries in all of the seasons from 05 to 2010. And also the referees are always anti arsenal. They kind of like that Arsenal players get kicked around. Also, we are peaking too early. Even last season we had a huge win away to Everton but it went downhill from there.

    Well I know this season we will be great and win the title for sure 🙂

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