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 Post subject: Citroen official automative partner
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 3:12 pm 
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Arsenal strengthen their engine room as French giant extends contract
Matt Morris - 22nd August 2011, 10:10
http://www.footballtradedirectory.com/n ... om-as.html

Premiership side Arsenal have strengthened their engine room for the next three years with the news that motoring giant Citroen have extended their agreement to be the club's official automative partner. The French motor manufacturer has significantly strengthened upon their previous agreement with the London club and will use the association to promote the brand in Europe and the Far East. As part of the deal, Citroen will also provide a full fleet of vehicles for use by Arsenal staff on club business.

Vinai Venkatesham, head of global partnerships at Arsenal Football Club, said: "We are delighted to announce that we are renewing our successful relationship with Citroën. Given the strength of our relationship, it was only natural that both parties wanted to extend and expand the partnership further. It's an exciting time to be working with Citroen as they continue to roll out their award winning DS range, and we look forward to developing a number of joint initiatives to run throughout Europe and China."

Citroen's branding at Arsenal is already given plenty of prominence as they also sponsor the seats in the dugout at the Emirates Stadium.


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 Post subject: o2: "Looking whether to continue"
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 3:18 pm 
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O2 focuses on rugby as it mulls Arsenal ties
Wed, 24 Aug 2011 | By Lara O'Reilly
http://www.marketingweek.co.uk/sectors/ ... 11.article

O2 is to focus the bulk of its sponsorship marketing activity on rugby this year as it reviews its football ties with Arsenal. O2 is readying a major marketing campaign to support the England team during the 2011 Rugby World Cup, dubbed “Get Up For England”, which will see 90,000 specially created breakfast packs sent out to customers. The packs are designed as an accompaniment to watching the New Zealand tournament, which will be televised in the UK in the mornings, and will contain two Pieminster breakfast pies, two Greene King IPA beers, an England flag and a message from the team. The campaign will also include a TV ad featuring eight England players, print activity, a mobile app and a partnership with the official radio broadcaster of the tournament TalkSport.

Nic Fletcher, O2’s head of sports sponsorship, says the company is taking advantage of the increased appetite for rugby in recent years with attendance at matches increasing, more content on television and growing participation for the sport, boosted by O2’s Touch Rugby scheme. O2 has been a sponsor of the England rugby team since 1995. Fletcher adds: “Our rugby sponsorship is about mobilising the England fanbase and doing it in a unique and fun way. It is at the heart of our strategy to reward our customers. There have been lots of unsavoury football news articles recently, but that is not in the same degree in rugby and the traditional values it stands for.”

O2 is currently “looking whether to continue” its sponsorship of Arsenal Football Club, as it enters the final year of its original ten-year contract agreement. Arsenal has suffered a torrid start to the football season this year and the club has not won a major trophy since 2005. Fletcher says: “Arsenal is no lesser a club than it was five years ago. The team’s style and quality are still appealing to our brands and other brands and they have continued to acquire lots of new sponsors and partners in the last few months.” O2 will continue to run its Priority ticketing activity and monetising its sponsorship through acquiring Arsenal fans as customers this season. He says other new Arsenal “technologies” and competitions will be rolled out in the coming months.


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 Post subject: Re: Citroen official automative partner
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 10:20 pm 
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Location: As Summers here, i'll get my brolly!
Who at Arsenal really drives a Citroen? Does the worst player on Saturday have to drive 1 to training all week?


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 Post subject: Re: Arsenal set to announce record profits
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:03 pm 
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Financial results for year ended 31 May 2011
http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archiv ... 1-may-2011

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Group turnover was £255.7 million (2010 - £379.9 million). Reduction was due to the expected lower level of property sales activity. The sale of apartments at Highbury Square is in its final stages, with 69 sale completions in the year (2010 - 362) generating £30.3 million of revenue from property (2010 - £156.9 million). Operating profit in the property business was £12.6 million (2010 - £15.2 million) including the write back of part of a previous impairment provision in respect of the Queensland Road development site. Operating profit (before exceptional costs, depreciation and player trading) in the football business was £45.8 million (2010 - £56.8 million) with commercial gains offset by increased wage costs. Loss from player trading of £14.7 million (2010 - profit of £13.6 million) with no significant disposals of registrations in the year. Group profit before tax was £14.8 million (2010 - £56.0 million). The Group's property business continues to be debt free and generating surplus cash for the Group. The overall level of Group net debt had been reduced to £97.8 million (2010 - £135.6 million) at the balance sheet date.

Commenting on the results for the year, Peter Hill-Wood, non-executive Chairman, said:
"The sad passing of our dear colleague Danny Fiszman has heralded a time of change in terms of ownership. We continue to run the Club effectively and in a self-sustaining way which is important for our long-term future. We have had a robust financial performance, reporting another profitable set of full year results."

Ivan Gazidis, Chief Executive, said:
"Our primary objective, as we take the Club forward, will always be success on the field. To give the Club the best opportunity to achieve this, we must drive a virtuous circle of increased revenue, increased investment in the team and a larger engaged fan base and we must do this in a way which is self-sustaining and protects the long-term future of the Club. Our goals for the organisation are clear and unchanged: to support and fund on field success; and to enhance the fan experience. We are making progress on all fronts and the Club starts its 125th year in a strong position."

Arsenal Holdings Plc Announcement of Final Results 31 May 2011 .pdf

The directors are responsible for the maintenance and integrity of the corporate and financial information included on the company's website. Legislation in the United Kingdom governing the preparation and dissemination of financial information differs from legislation in other jurisdictions.


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 Post subject: Re: Arsenal set to announce record profits
PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 11:01 am 
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Swiss Ramble's take on the financial results:

Arsenal's Finances - 21 Questions
October 6th, 2011
http://swissramble.blogspot.com/2011/10 ... tions.html

Just a few months ago Arsenal were riding high, as they still had credible chances to win trophies in four competitions. However, a late defeat to unfancied Birmingham City in the Carling Cup final initiated an awful sequence of events. Elimination by Barcelona in the Champions League was maybe predictable, though hopes had been high after a scintillating victory in the first leg, but the collapse of form in the Premier League was less understandable. The fans were not best pleased by the club’s decision to raise ticket prices by 6.5% after another disappointing end to a season, especially against the backdrop of a takeover by one of the world’s wealthiest individuals, Stan Kroenke. Their mood was not exactly improved when the club sold its best two players, Cesc Fàbregas and Samir Nasri, in the summer.

Although there were sound reasons for these departures (Fàbregas wanted to return to his home town team; Nasri was entering the final year of his contract), it still seemed to underline Arsenal’s diminishing status and reinforce the label of a selling club. As manager Arsène Wenger said a few weeks earlier, “Imagine the worst situation, that we lose Fàbregas and Nasri. You cannot convince people that you are ambitious after that.”

That was a bitter pill to swallow, but could have been sweetened by the arrival of world-class replacements. The rumour mill spoke of hefty bids for the likes of Eden Hazard, Yann M’Vila, Mario Götze, Juan Mata and Santi Cazorla, but the fans had to make do with the last minute arrival of lesser lights like Mikel Arteta, Yossi Benayoun, Per Mertesacker, André Santos and Park Chu-Young. All fine professionals, no doubt, but not really the players to take Arsenal to the next level. These purchases in the latter stages of the transfer window smacked of desperation, rather than any coherent strategy.

The early signs for the new Arsenal have not been promising, as the club has endured its worst start to a campaign for over 50 years. Although the club has done pretty well in the Champions League, drawing away to Borussia Dortmund and winning at home against Olympiacos, the performances have not displayed Arsenal’s customary assured passing style. In the Premier League, it has been even worse with four defeats in the first seven games, including a humiliating 8-2 thrashing by Manchester United, a scarcely believable 4-3 loss to Blackburn Rovers and, most painfully of all, a 2-1 reverse against Spurs in the North London derby. Arsenal’s support has always found some comfort in their self-sustaining business model, as the performance off the pitch has been the envy of most other clubs. However, even here, matters appear to have taken a turn for the worse in the recently announced financial results for 2011 with revenue falling from £380 million to £256 million and profit before tax declining from £56 million to £15 million. Clearly, that’s still far from shabby, but if you consider the magnitude of Arsenal’s profits in the last three years (2008 - £37 million, 2009 - £46 million), it’s a fair old fall.

Of course, headline figures can be highly misleading, so, with apologies to 50 Cent, let’s take a closer look at the underlying factors behind the numbers with 21 questions.

1. Why did the profit fall by so much?

There are two segments in Arsenal’s business: property development’s profit before tax actually rose by £2 million from £11 million to £13 million, while football dramatically fell £43 million from £45 million to just £2 million. Interestingly, chief executive Ivan Gazidis’s report partly attributed lower profits to a “reduced level of exceptional gains… from our property business”, but, even though the revenue was much lower, the profit is definitely higher after the write-back of an £8 million impairment provision and a £4 million reduction in interest payable, as all property debt has been cleared. The principal reason for the huge decrease in football profit is much lower profit on player sales, which fell from £38 million in 2010 (mainly the sales of Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Touré to Manchester City) to £6 million in 2011 (largely Eduardo to Shakhtar Donetsk). The big money sales of Fàbregas, Nasri, Gäel Clichy and Emmanuel Eboué were not included in the 2011 results, as they took place after the accounting close of 31 May.

However, operating profit has also fallen by £11 million from £20 million to £9 million, as revenue was essentially flat at £225 million, while the wage bill surged 12% from £111 million to £124 million. Although player amortisation was £3 million lower, due to the limited investment in new players, this was offset by £3 million of exceptional costs associated with the takeover of the club.

2. Is the football business still profitable?

Yes, but the latest profit of £2 million emphasises how reliant the business model has become on player sales. Excluding the £6 million profit from this activity in 2011 would result in a loss of £4 million, partly due to the annual interest payments of £14 million that the club has had to cover since the club moved to the Emirates stadium. The graph above highlights how much lower the football profit would have been if Arsenal had not been so financially astute in the transfer market. For example, the thumping great £56 million profit last year included £11 million from property development and £38 million from player sales. Without these exceptional factors, the pure football profit was only £7 million.

It is true that Arsenal still generated a healthy cash operating profit of £46 million in 2011, albeit £11 million less than the previous year, but that excludes non cash flow expenses like player amortisation and depreciation, which have to be absorbed via asset payments.

3. So Arsenal’s profitability is no good?

Far from it. Chairman Peter Hill-Wood observed, “We have had a robust financial performance, reporting another profitable set of full year results” and that’s fair comment. In the highly demanding world of football, very few clubs actually make money, as can be seen by looking at last year’s results when only four teams in the Premier League were profitable: Arsenal way ahead of the rest at £56 million, Wolverhampton Wanderers £9 million, West Bromwich Albion £0.5 million and Birmingham City £0.1 million. This is emphasised by the huge losses reported by Arsenal’s perennial challengers: Chelsea £70 million, Manchester United £80 million and new kids on the block Manchester City £121 million. In fairness to United, their loss include many exceptional expenses related to the restructuring of their loans and they have recently announced a £30 million profit before tax for 2011. To underline the Gunners’ focus on financials, Arsenal’s 2011/12 profit should be sensational with the inclusion of this summer’s player sales.

4. Why did revenue fall so much?

Revenue dropped by £124 million from £380 million to £256 million, but football revenue actually slightly increased by £2 million from £223 million to £225 million, so the fall was entirely due to the expected slow-down in property development, which declined £126 million from £157 million to £30 million. The Highbury Square business peaked last year with the sale of 362 apartments worth £134 million plus the disposal of the Queensland Road social housing element for £23 million. This year only 69 flats were sold, as the club “sought to achieve value rather than sell off the remaining flats at the fastest possible rate.”

5. So is the property business over?

Not quite, but it’s nearing the end. Only 16 of the original Highbury Square apartments remain to be sold, though 21 additional property units adjacent to that development will also be available from spring 2012. Three months ago, the Queensland Road market residential element was sold to Barratt, though the revenue and costs associated with this development will only be recognised in the accounts when legal completion occurs. This is estimated to be in summer 2012, so would only be included in the 2012/13 results. No financial details of this sale have been released, but The News of the World estimated that it was worth £25 million to Arsenal. Discussions are ongoing with Islington Council’s planning department relating to the two remaining property sites on Hornsey Road and Holloway Road.

Importantly, whatever the accounting treatment, these developments will generate a useful chunk of cash, which has been estimated at £40 million in total by the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust. When commenting on the most recent results, Ivan Gazidis specifically noted this factor, “Our property business is debt-free, so any new sales of property do accumulate cash, which is very positive for the future.”

6. What’s happened to the revenue growth?

There has been zero growth since 2009 in the football operation, where revenue has been at the same level for three years: 2009 £225 million, 2010 £223 million and 2011 £225 million. The only revenue stream that has grown in this period is broadcasting as a result of centrally negotiated deals by the Premier League and UEFA (for the Champions League). Both of the other revenue categories have declined, most notably match day income from £100 million to £93 million. Although the much maligned commercial area rose £2 million last year to £46 million, this is incredibly still £2 million lower than the £48 million reported in 2009.

7. Are other clubs suffering from no revenue growth?

Back in 2005 Arsenal’s revenue of £115 million was the lowest of the traditional Big Four English clubs, £51 million behind Manchester United’s £166 million. The move to the Emirates stadium in 2006 helped drive Arsenal to second place in the English money league, a position they have held since then. So far so good, but as we have seen, the wheels have come off in the last two years. Chelsea and Liverpool also experienced virtually no growth in 2010, though I would expect Chelsea’s revenue to increase following new sponsorship deals with Samsung and Adidas. Liverpool have also signed lucrative new deals with Standard Chartered and Warrior, though their figures will be hit by the failure to qualify for the Champions League. The problem for Arsenal (and the other clubs) is that Manchester United’s revenue is still growing apace – from £286 million in 2010 to £331 million in 2011 on the back of significant commercial advances. Not only that, but the Spanish giants have also reported substantial gains in 2001: Real Madrid from £359 million to £425 million and Barcelona from £326 million to £381 million.

8. So is Arsenal’s revenue on the low side?

By no means. Last season Arsenal’s revenue was the fifth highest in Deloitte’s Money League, only behind Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United and Bayern Munich, so they’re hardly on the poverty line. The issue is that Arsenal are struggling to increase their revenue, while the others are powering ahead. This was explicitly acknowledged by Arsène Wenger, “Barca and Real Madrid have much more financial power than they had 14 years ago, because they have individualised their TV rights.” That’s certainly true, but Arsenal have also fallen behind on commercial income, where they only stand 13th highest in Europe. Last season their revenue of £44 million in this category was dwarfed by Bayern Munich £142 million, Real Madrid £124 million, Barcelona £100 million and Manchester United £81 million.

Not only that, but the gap is getting wider. While Arsenal’s commercial revenue slightly increased to £46 million in 2011, other leading clubs have all reported substantial improvement. In particular, Manchester United became the first English club to top £100 million from this revenue stream. Their £103 million is now £57 million more than Arsenal. Put another way, that’s the equivalent of ten players on £100,000 a week. A similar level of sponsorship money would revolutionise Arsenal’s wage structure.

9. Why is commercial revenue so low?

Arsenal’s weakness in this area arises from the fact they had to tie themselves into long-term deals to provide security for the stadium financing, which arguably made sense at the time, but recent deals by other clubs have highlighted the lost opportunities. The Emirates deal was worth £90 million, covering 15 years of stadium naming rights (£42 million) running until 2020/21 and 8 years of shirt sponsorship (£48 million) until 2014. Similarly, the club signed a 7-year kit supplier deal with Nike for £55 million until 2012, but that has since been extended by 3 years until 2014.

So, following step-ups, the shirt sponsorship deal is reportedly worth £5.5 million a season, which compares highly unfavourably to the £20 million earned by Liverpool from Standard Chartered, Manchester United from Aon and (reportedly) Manchester City from Etihad. Even more galling is that Tottenham now earn £12.5 million a season from shirt sponsorship (Auresma £10 million plus Investec £2.5 million). It’s the same story on the continent with Barcelona’s first-ever shirt sponsorship deal with the Qatar Foundation worth £26 million.

The news is no better with Arsenal’s kit deal, which now delivers £8 million a season, compared to the £25 million deal recently announced by Liverpool with Warrior Sports and the £25.4 million paid to Manchester United by Nike. It’s not overly dramatic to say that Arsenal leave at least £30 million a season on the table, because of these historical commercial deals, which would fund the purchase of one great player every season. One of the club’s biggest challenges is how to bridge this gap until 2014, when these deals are up for renewal.

10. What is the club doing about commercial revenue?

New owner Stan Kroenke has said that he “intends to use his experience to help Arsenal continue to grow its global brand”, pledging that they “will be able to do as well as Manchester United.” Quite frankly, that seems a long way off, as United continue to raise the bar, most spectacularly the amazing DHL deal to sponsor training kit for £10 million a season, which exceeds the value of all but four of the main shirt sponsorship deals in the Premier League. Arsenal have restructured their executive team at great expense, recruiting Tom Fox from the NBA in August 2009 as Commercial Director to “drive long-term commercial success.” However, the proof of the pudding is in the eating and so far there has been a lot of talk about “jam tomorrow”, as opposed to tangible revenue growth.

To be fair, it’s relatively early days in the club’s five-year plan and there are some signs of progress. In particular, a few secondary sponsors have been signed up recently, including Carlsberg at around £3 million a year and Indesit in a “multi-million” deal. In addition, Citroen extended their deal for a higher sum, while there were new agreements with Thomas Cook, replacing Thompson Sport, and on-line gambling firm Betsson. However, Arsenal still have less than half the number of sponsors that partner with Manchester United. Arsenal’s tour to Malaysia and China was their first long-distance pre-season tour in 12 years and should help grow the club’s global fan base in this valuable market, potentially boosted by the signing of South Korea captain Park Chu-Young. The Guardian reported that the tour would generate £15 million, which seems on the high side, but there’s little doubt that this was a positive financial move, although may not have been ideal in terms of fitness conditioning.

Other improvements are less visible, but may deliver in the future, such as refurbishing the club premium areas and, most intriguingly, signing a multimedia distribution agreement with MP and Silva.

11. What happens if the club fails to qualify for the Champions League?

Arsenal have managed to qualify for the Champions League a remarkable 14 years in succession, though this season the side had to demonstrated impressive resilience to get through a tricky qualifying tie against Udinese. In other words, they have become accustomed to a regular infusion of substantial funds from playing in Europe. Last season Arsenal received €30 million (£26 million) for reaching the last 16 in the Champions League, which was €3 million less than the previous year, when they progressed a round further. Even if they did not make it out of the group, they would still receive around £25 million, but the prize for doing better is considerable, e.g. last year’s finalists Barcelona and Manchester United received £44 million and £46 million respectively. Those are just the television distributions, but there are also be additional gate receipts and bonus clauses in various sponsorship deals, increasing the amount of money at stake. In total, we’re probably looking at a £35-45 million potential revenue reduction.

The Europa League's TV distribution is very low in comparison. Last season, the two English representatives, Manchester City and Liverpool, each earned just €6 million for reaching the last 16, while the highest pay-out was only €9 million. However, at least this tournament would still deliver significant gate receipts. As the season ticket includes seven cup games, the price of the ticket would surely have to come down without Europe, so qualification for the Europa League is still worthwhile from that perspective.

In the past, Gazidis has claimed that Arsenal budget so that the club could survive missing a year of Champions League football without selling players, but there’s no doubting the importance of qualification, not least in terms of attracting the right calibre of player to the club, though Liverpool have managed to secure the services of the likes of Luis Suarez, despite being absent from Europe’s flagship competition.

12. What are the implications of slipping down the Premier League?

Even though Arsenal dropped a place to fourth in 2010/11, the Premier League distribution increased £5 million to £56 million, almost entirely due to the substantial increase in overseas rights for the new three-year deal that commenced last season. Excluding overall contract changes, there’s actually not an enormous difference between finishing third and fourth, due to the equitable nature of the distribution methodology. Each club gets an equal share of 50% of the domestic rights (£13.8 million) and 100% of the overseas rights (£17.9 million). However, facility fees (25% of domestic rights) depend on how many times each club is broadcast live, and this was worth £11.6 million. Finally, merit payments (25% of domestic rights) are worth £757,000 per place in the league table. For example, if Arsenal were to drop, say, four places to eighth that would equate to a £3 million decrease in revenue.

13. Could they have avoided raising ticket prices?

The short answer is, of course they could, as nobody put a gun against their head, especially given that Arsenal enjoy the third highest match day income in the world, only behind Manchester United and Real Madrid. This fell slightly in 2011 from £93.9 million to £93.1 million, even though there was one more home match, as the mix was not so favourable, due to two fewer games in the Champions League. Arsenal’s season ticket prices are already among the highest in the world, though comparisons are difficult, as they include seven cup games.

Arsène Wenger made the reasonable point that the 6.5% price rise was necessary in order “to increase our income to fight with the other clubs”, but there would have been other ways of making a similar sum. For example, a bit more success on the pitch would have generated additional funds, either via a higher Premier League place (second was there for the taking) or more victories in the Champions League (remember Shakhtar Donetsk and Braga away?). Or how about one of the board directors that coined it after the sale of their shares to Kroenke paying the £3 million takeover costs borne by the club?

As the old saying goes, where there’s a will, there’s a way. Unfortunately, the club’s stance was explained by Tom Fox in an interview with an American magazine. After seeing the 40,000 waiting list for season tickets, he said “As a US sports executive… you think, you’re not charging enough for tickets.” In the business world, price increases are often considered the path of least resistance, and football club owners are proving increasingly happy to adopt the same approach, as their “customers” have the fiercest brand loyalty around. After all, an Arsenal fan is hardly likely to switch his allegiance to Spurs.

14. Will the crowd levels hold up?

Arsenal’s average attendance of 60,000 is the second highest in England, only surpassed by Manchester United’s 75,000. In fact, it is the seventh best in Europe. All good, but this level of support should not be taken for granted. Not only is the team less successful, but the quality of football at the Emirates has faded, leading to a less attractive “product” (to use a marketing term). In addition, the effects of the economic crisis mean that some fans will simply be unable to afford to follow Arsenal, a fact acknowledged by Wenger, “The stadiums will be less quickly full and we have noticed that already.”

15. Is it true that Arsenal have spent much less than other clubs on transfers?

Absolutely true. In fact, Arsenal are the only leading club to make money from buying and selling players in the era of foreign ownership (starting from the arrival of Roman Abramovich at Chelsea). Since 2003/04, Arsenal have net proceeds of £21 million, while Chelsea and Manchester City have spent well over £400 million. In the same period, Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester United have all spent around £100 million. Billy Beane, one of the pioneers of the Moneyball approach to buying under-valued players, is a big fan of Wenger’s approach, “When I think of Wenger, I think of Warren Buffett. He runs his football club like he is going to own it for 100 years.” Stan Kroenke clearly shares his view, praising Wenger for “his ability to spend money and extract value.”

This is all well and good, but in a time when other leading clubs are generously funded by benefactor owners, some compromise might be in order. Indeed, Gazidis promised a busy summer and Arsenal splashed out £53 million on new players. Of course, they still ended up with net sales proceeds of £18 million, as players leaving brought in £71 million. If decent offers had come in for the likes of Nicklas Bendtner, Manuel Almunia, Sébastien Squillaci and Denilson, this sum may well have been even higher.

16. How much is available to spend on transfers?

Before the summer transfer window, Ivan Gazidis said that Arsenal had a substantial transfer budget, “Financially, we're in a strong position. We have resources to spend. We're certainly not sitting there saying 'Let's hold back on our resources for some reason.' Why would we? The resources are there.” My own estimate was that the club had £35 million available excluding any surplus cash from property development. Everything else being equal, as we have seen, the summer’s activity should have produced another £18 million, which would theoretically mean a transfer budget of £53 million. Some fans look at the club’s cash balances of £160 million, up from £128 million a year ago, and think that more money must be available, but the club has to maintain a debt service reserve for the stadium financing and also has to consider the seasonal nature of cash flows, e.g. money taken from season ticket renewals at the beginning of summer will be used to pay expenses over the next few months.

Nevertheless, it is clear that a sizeable war chest is still there, as Gazidis recently confirmed, “We deliberately kept some powder dry… There are funds available to invest in a significant way in January and next summer.” Whether the club does so is another matter, though any expenditure in January might pay for itself if it makes the difference between qualifying for the Champions League or not.

17. But what about the wages?

While Arsenal could almost certainly afford to pay transfer fees for new players, there remains the question of whether they could also afford to pay the wages. On the face of it, this should not be a problem, as Arsenal’s wage bill of £124 million is one of the highest in England. Although it is £29 million lower than Manchester United’s £153 million, that was inflated by performance-related bonus payments, so the real difference is much lower. That said, Arsenal’s wage bill in 2010 of £111 million was overtaken by both Manchester City £133 million and Liverpool £114 million, plus it was considerably lower than Chelsea’s £173 million, though that should reduce following the departure of a number of senior players. The pressure to compete is obvious by the deterioration in Arsenal’s wage to turnover ratio from 46% in 2009 to 55% in 2011. Although this is still one of the best in the Premier League, it is the logical result of flat revenue and 20% growth in wages (12% last season alone).

Given the magnitude of Arsenal’s wage bill, it seems strange that they do not pay top dollar to their star players, but this is due to a couple of factors. First of all, Arsenal have a very large squad with a vast number of “young professionals”, but more importantly they operate an equitable wage structure, which means that the best players are not particularly well remunerated (by modern standards), while fringe players like Abou Diaby, Thomas Rosicky and Marouane Chamakh are handsomely rewarded for their efforts. Not only does this reduce the money available to attract world class players, but it also makes it difficult to move on under-performers, hence loans for Bendtner and Denilson.

This approach needs a root and branch review, as it cannot be adjusted for an individual player or others will soon demand equivalent pay rises. This is a concern with some key players entering the final year of their contracts like Robin Van Persie, Thomas Vermaelen and Theo Walcott. Van Persie has already complained that Arsenal will not pay “enormous amounts of money”, hinting that this encourages a player’s decision to “go elsewhere.” This issue was tacitly confirmed by Wenger, “I cannot today say that if we go to the maximum we are sure to sign a player.”

18. Can the club pay off its debt?

Following the elimination of the property debt, the club has managed to reduce its gross debt to £258 million, leaving just the long-term bonds that represent the “mortgage” on the Emirates Stadium (£231 million) and the debentures held by supporters (£27 million). Once cash balances of £160 million are deducted, net debt is down to only £98 million, which is a significant reduction from the £136 million last year and the £318 million peak in 2008.

It’s not clear whether it would be possible for Arsenal to pay off the outstanding debt early in order to reduce the interest charges, but my guess is that they are in no hurry to do so, as Gazidis has previously argued that not all debt is bad, “The debt that we’re left with is what I would call ‘healthy debt’ – it’s long term, low rates and very affordable for the club.” In any case, the 2010 accounts clearly stated, “Further significant falls in debt are unlikely in the foreseeable future. The stadium finance bonds have a fixed repayment profile over the next 21 years and we currently expect to make repayments of debt in accordance with that profile.”

19. Will UEFA’s Financial Fair Play help Arsenal?

Many fans believe that the FFP regulations will benefit Arsenal, as they force clubs to live within their means if they wish to compete in Europe. The theory was that this would lead to the demise of the big spending, benefactor model, while encouraging those teams who adopted a self-sustaining approach. Clearly, Arsenal will have no problem complying with the new rules, but other leading clubs are maybe not so badly placed as once feared. Real Madrid and Bayern Munich have been consistently profitable, thanks to their huge revenue, while Barcelona have also reported regular profits except when there is a change in club president. Even Manchester United now make profits despite their ample interest payments.

Clearly, FFP will be more of a challenge for clubs like Manchester City and Chelsea, who make huge losses, but UEFA have made it easier for such clubs to conform. First, UEFA’s break-even calculation is not exactly the same as a club’s statutory accounts, as it excludes certain expenses, including depreciation on tangible fixed assets and expenditure on youth development and community development activities. Second, wealthy owners will be allowed to absorb aggregate losses (so-called “acceptable deviations”) of €45 million (£39 million), initially over two years and then over a three-year monitoring period, as long as they are willing to cover the deficit by making equity contributions. If that wasn’t enough, clubs will be allowed to exclude wages from players signed before June 2010, so long as they are reporting an improving trend in their accounts. Granted, that “loophole” only exists for the first two monitoring periods (2013/14 and 2014/15), but it will buy the clubs time to improve their finances. Finally, there has to be a concern that accountants and lawyers will look to bend the rules. Wenger accused Manchester City of doing just this with their £400 million Etihad deal, “They give us the message that they can get around it by doing what they want. It means financial fair play will not come in.”

In short, FFP may not prove to be the cavalry coming over the hill that some imagined for Arsenal. If it is, then it will be a good few years before it bites.

20. What are Stan Kroenke’s plans?

All indications point to Kroenke being an owner that prefers not to interfere with those running the club, which he confirmed in a recent interview with the Daily Telegraph, “The idea is to put good people in place and trust them to do their jobs.” In fact, he has said that Arsène Wenger can remain at Arsenal for as long as he likes. However, you would have to think that he would take steps to protect his investment if it looked like Arsenal were struggling financially. Although he is unlikely to push for a massive spending spree (“There’s a risk of going backwards if you over-react and start throwing money around in an attempt to solve your problems”), he is not afraid to spend, e.g. his Denver teams are among the top spenders in the NBA and NHL, while the St Louis Rams have spent the maximum allowed under the NFL salary cap rules.

He is a long-term investor who has never sold a share in one of his sporting clubs, but if he did want an exit route at Arsenal, then Alisher Usmanov, who holds just over 29% of the club’s shares, would happily provide it. He has offered £14,000 a share, which is considerably higher than the £11,750 that Kroenke paid to take his stake to around 67%. That seems unlikely, given Kroenke’s excitement about the potential at Arsenal, not least the global opportunities offered by broadcasting the Premier League.

21. What could Arsenal do to improve their finances?

Bearing in mind Peter Hill-Wood’s assertion that “strong financial performance is not an end in itself, but creates the platform from which the club can build and sustain the on-field success which is always the main objective”, there are a few actions that Arsenal could take:

a. Renegotiate the main sponsorship deals. Although these are only due for renewal in 2014, there must be some mileage in trying to negotiate an increase now in return for guaranteed renewal. Obviously, Arsenal’s ability to maximise value would be stronger if the team is winning trophies.

b. Review the wages structure to make it easier to attract world-class stars.

c. Offload under-achieving players, even if they are sold cheaply or given away, in order to have some room to manoeuvre in the wage bill.

d. Buy quality in January. This could boost the team’s performance in the second half of the season, as happened with Liverpool last season, and ensure that the likes of Van Persie don’t jump ship.

e. Rebuild the famous scouting network. It seems like ages since they beat other clubs to the best talent worldwide.

f. Kroenke could loan the club funds to fill the hole until the commercial machine starts buzzing. He might even pay off the outstanding debt to remove the interest burden.

g. Consider a rights issue. Although an expensive (and unlikely) option, this would also raise money and might even extend the fans’ ownership scheme.

h. Inject some new blood onto the board. Former director Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith suggested that the current directors should be replaced by a more “dynamic, pro-active, younger board”, while Usmanov accused the board of lacking ambition.

i. Review the training and medical practices. Arsenal’s lengthy injury list, including crucial players like jack Wilshere and Thomas Vermaelen, has severely damaged their prospects for a few seasons. There surely must be more to it than simple misfortune.

Obviously, it’s not all doom and gloom at Arsenal. They have a fabulous stadium, a renowned academy, a great manager and a few top quality players. However, it does feel as if the club is at a crossroads and the decisions they take over the next few months could be very important for Arsenal’s future, both on and off the pitch.

It's concerning to see how reliant we are on player sales to be profitable, and this reliance is bound to increase once the property business has come to an end and until we have re-negotiated sponsorship deals. Like it or not, our sustainable business model is based on being a selling club, and it will continue to do so until we create funds with new commercial deals. With van Persie's, Walcott's and Vermaelen's contracts nearing an end, this is a concerning development.


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 Post subject: Re: Arsenal set to announce record profits
PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 8:56 pm 
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Thanks for the post, Jules. Not only do we see that the other big English clubs can absorb a 50-100 Million pound deficit spend (likely afforded, in part, because the spending somewhat increases club assets and therefore club value) but they are also substantially ahead in commercial income growth over the past few years. And, as we observe via player movement, most of this revenue/deficit spending is spent on the pitch, i.e. for players and coaches.

This gap is worrying, particularly if we fail to make the Champions League next season.


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 Post subject: Re: Arsenal set to announce record profits
PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 10:46 am 
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Thanks Jules. I think I particularly note the following questions within the article.

17. The answer sums up our small mistake, and subsequent dilemma. We're paying some players about 10-30k per week too much. It means we don't compete at the top level wor the few top earners.

19 It seems that FFP is not going to be the silver bullet that gives level playing field on finances, at least not for a while.

21. a. not just renegotiating, but getting more sponsors on board. If we have only half the number of partners that United have, there is scope for improvement there too.
b. See 17 above.
c. Hard to do. It's not just the fees, other clubs can't or won't pay the wages. Even cutting the fees may not generate the transfers out. Players may wait till they are free agents
d. I'm expecting a more measured spend, with some deals being done early. If we look at Wenger he is not likely and try to sign a Mesi or Ronaldo type player. I think a more market related valuation on the players he has targeted will happen, and we can expect some signings.
g. This is a great option if a way can be found. What it does is issue additional shares in Arsenal, at a price, normally cheaper than the existing price. They are offered to the existing shareholders, and those that are not purchased, are available for new shareholders. It dilutes the % shareholding of existing owners, unless they take up their allocation. If they buy the shares, they only end up with the same % of Arsenal that they started with, but Arsenal have the additional capital from the rights issue, so the % of Arsenal they own is worth more, because Arsenal is worth more. It would be a great way of extending the supporters ownership too. The sponsoring financial institutions take a rake off in fees and costs, but it could bring in lots of capital, and it would be within the FFP rules.


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 Post subject: Re: Arsenal set to announce record profits
PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 11:44 am 
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A new stadium meant times were always going to be hard and have only been made worse by the state of the economy and property market and the wage and transfer inflation across football.

There is obviously a lot of potential to improve our commercial revenue and I believe that is something we will see happening over the next three years. Unfortunately it's not something that can be switched over night (like an increase in ticket prices can).

I think there is an issue with our wage structure that needs to be addressed, but we've seen this summer that it may prove to be more difficult than we expected (i.e Denilson, Bendtner, Almunia and Squillaci still techincally at the club).

I don't think we are dependent on revenue from transfers but I do believe we don't have the ability to throw money about like others do.

Considering the financial situation and the injury situation over recent years, it really is to Wenger's credit that we are still in the position we are. You only have to look at the likes of Leeds, Coventry, West Ham etc. to see how easily it can all go wrong.

The one thing that does annoy me however is this reluctance to be honest regards to the financial situation and a constant need to 'please' the fans by saying a transfer budget is available.


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 Post subject: Re: Arsenal toasts new Carlsberg deal
PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 8:43 pm 
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Carlsbergs cinema stunt

http://www.theinspiration.com/2011/09/c ... in-cinema/


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 Post subject: Re: Arsenal Travel Partner
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:27 pm 
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Just noticed Thomas Cook are in financial trouble Image their selling off assets to raise money

Small disposal by cash-strapped Thomas Cook
Wed 28 Dec 2011
http://www.sharecast.com/cgi-bin/sharec ... d=17496158

LONDON (SHARECAST) - Thomas Cook, the travel firm which came perilously close to bankruptcy earlier this month, has sold a property in the Netherlands to boost its cash flow. The building is located in the town of Hoofddorp in the north of the country and will give Thomas Cook €18m in much needed cash. The property is being bought by FN2, a subsidiary of the Fotex Group. It will pay €11m before the end of this year, then a further €4.2m by 31 March 2012. The balance of €2.8m will be deposited into escrow.

Thomas Cook said the sale is part of its £200m “disposal programme” of non-core assets which it plans to complete over the next 18 months. The proceeds will be used to pay down the groups debts.


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 Post subject: Re: Arsenal toasts new Carlsberg deal
PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 12:57 pm 
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Carlsberg builds VIP space ar Arsenal with Ignite
Posted: Jan 19, 2012
http://www.fieldmarketing.com/articles/ ... s-details/

Arsenal Football Club's Emirates Stadium has unveiled a brand new look to its corporate hospitality area in partnership with official beer, Carlsberg. The Carlsberg Lounge, which has capacity for up to 35 VIP guests and competition winners, leverages great moments in the club's history and fuses them with the beer’s ‘That Calls for a Carlsberg’ strapline.

The lounge features three bespoke structures resembling football dugouts. Inspired by the Carlsberg logo, the structures have been fitted out with a pictorial timeline of the club’s history, TV screens for match days and seats embroidered with the names and numbers of selected Arsenal legends.

The 1,400 square foot area within the Club Level area of the stadium has been transformed into the ultimate Carlsberg brand experience. To further immerse Carlsberg guests in the Arsenal experience, tables are inscribed with Arsenal facts and events from the club’s top 50 moments. Vinai Venkatesham, head of global partnerships for Arsenal said: "Given Carlsberg’s tradition of creating memorable experiences, and Arsenal’s continual investment programme to maintain Emirates Stadium as a ‘best in class’ venue while continually improving our fan experience, it was only natural that we joined forces to further enhance the hospitality offering at our ground. The Carlsberg Lounge brings alive Carlsberg’s brand essence and Arsenal’s history and heritage in an innovative and engaging way; we’re delighted with the end result. We look forward to welcoming Carlsberg’s guests and competition winners into the Lounge at Emirates Stadium in future."

Louise Bach-Larsen, Carlsberg's marketing activation manager, says: "Opening the Carlsberg Lounge cements our long-term sponsorship and support for Arsenal. Fusing Arsenal's heritage and Carlsberg's association with football really provides the 'wow' factor to guests in the lounge."

Experiential and brand experience agency, Ignite, created the Carlsberg Lounge and have worked on the Carlsberg brand for two years.


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 Post subject: Re: Citroen official automative partner
PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:01 pm 
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Arsenal players pose in weird moving photos for Citroen ad
Published 17:15 19/01/12 By Sophia Heath
http://www.mirrorfootball.co.uk/news/Ar ... 55359.html

Image

It's a photo - no wait, it's a video clip - no wait, it's sort of both! Eh? Here are Arsenal first teamers Mikel Arteta, Laurent Koscielny and captain Robin van Persie starring in a series of cinemagraphs to advertise the new Citroën DS5. Each picture has slight hints of movement - although slightly more movement than the Gunners defending a set piece ho, ho, ho! - and show the players executing their ball skills around the new motor. Look at the one above with Robin van Persie and Arteta's short fluttering i the breeze - oddly mesmeric isn't it?

Image

Vinai Venkatesham, Head of Global Partnerships at Arsenal said: “This has been a great activity to kick off the newly extended partnership between Arsenal and Citroen. The cinemagraphs make fantastic visuals, are very eye-catching and we’re delighted to be the first club to get involved with the technology.”

Image

Marc Raven, communications director at Citroen UK added: “Embracing innovative technology, Citroen pioneered cinemagraphs for the automotive industry and we’re delighted to be using the format to support our association with Arsenal Football Club. The players had a lot of fun in the production of these and I hope they’re as happy with the results as we are.”

Image

Image



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 Post subject: Re: Citroen official automative partner
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:40 am 
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What the fuck is happening in van Persie's pants?


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 Post subject: Re: Arsenal set to announce record profits
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:00 pm 
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Gunners post impressive profit
http://www.football365.com/news/21554/7 ... ost-Profit
27/02/12 at 12:34

Arsenal have reported a huge pre-tax profit of £49.5million for a six-month period up to the end of November.
The Gunners, who lost £6.1million over the same period in 2010, might have made only a small profit but for the controversial departures of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri last summer for a reported £54million. Arsenal enjoyed an overall profit on player trading of £46.1million, having made a loss of £5.9million the previous year. They made £63million overall in player sales, while there was an investment of £74.7million in new arrivals and contract extensions, the cost of both being spread evenly over the length of an individual's deal.

Arsenal's cash reserves also swelled to £115.2million, up from £110.4million, with their turnover from football rising to £113.5million from £97.6million. Chairman Peter Hill-Wood told the club's official website: "We are proud of Arsenal's record and consistency over many seasons and have the foundations in place, at every level of the club, to ensure we remain a force in the seasons ahead."


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 Post subject: Re: Arsenal set to announce record profits
PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:13 pm 
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Swiss Ramble has given his usual excellent break down of the results and what they mean.

It's very long so I won't post it on here but you can read it over on his site at http://swissramble.blogspot.com/2012/02 ... dance.html


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