Written by Red Arse
Money! Money! Money! Like it says in the song “Money makes the world go around”
So, from the point of view of the fan, what has this to do with the Mighty Arsenal, you might ask? Well let’s see. There are three main characteristics in play when referring to money in football;
We use the term in an envious way when talking about Chelski or Manure in particular. How often have you heard the phrases “They bought their way to the Title”, or “Without Abramovich’s money they would have gone bust” or “They bought the Title by hugely increasing their debt”. All of it true, perhaps, but certainly when seen from the perspective of the little green eyed monster. Money!
We are all secretly, and maybe openly, as proud as punch when the Media announce we have the best stadium, or, perhaps, one of the best stadiums in the world. This was made possible by moving the ground to a new site and investing money into a project to develop the old Stadium into modern, expensive, domestic housing for sale at a hoped for great profit.
Suddenly, we were all puffing our chests out like entrepreneurs and talking about the property market and calculating the size of the resultant debt against the returns from the venture in boosting the club’s coffers. Money!
Awe and Incomprehension:
We are all aware of the fact that players cost clubs millions of pounds to buy. We also try to digest the enormity of their monetary salary rewards by breaking down these earnings into weekly amounts. Leaving aside the salaries of the top, top players who reputedly earn as much as £200,000 per week, we also are aware that “average” players can earn around £80,000 per week. That equates to approximately £4,200,000 per year. Over a player’s career of 12 years, that works out at £50,400,000. Yes over £50,000,000! Awesome Money!
Compare that to the average Joe who would be reasonably happy to earn £50,000 per annum. A simple 12 year gross earnings total would be £600,000, which is only a tiny 1.2% of the average player’s income over that period. But wait, the average Joe has to pay tax and N.I. too, which, less allowances, would roughly equal a 30% deduction on his salary amounting to £15,000, leaving a net yearly take home of £35,000, about half the player’s gross weekly wage.
Ah, you say, the player would have to pay huge taxes on his huge salary and that will balance things up. But no, his salary is calculated, in large part, on income received from the sale of his image rights, which are treated as non taxable! Incomprehensible Money!
………..Oh get to the point. We are where we are, it is what it is, and we can do nothing about it.
Well, I have got to agree with that sentiment. So I thought I would try to help Arsenal better fund this expenditure on infrastructure and players. How can we make more MONEY?
One of the greatest changes in English Club football has been to the demographics of their support. We are all familiar with the old black and white films showing supporters “Up for t’Cup”. Almost without exception these supporters were men. Nowadays, most women are financially independent and with the move away from standing terraces to seating and the new stadiums with their much improved facilities, there has been a huge increase in the number of women supporting their clubs. They are every bit as passionate, knowledgeable and vociferous as their male counter parts, and for the clubs they provide a welcome boost to their income. The clubs invested money into their infrastructures and reaped the benefits.
Another huge change to the Clubs’ income, perhaps its biggest, has been its UK and European television revenues.
In addition, television now enables almost every PL game to be shown around the Globe, and this is one area where Arsenal are sadly lagging behind the more enterprising clubs in making themselves available to fans, and potential new fans, elsewhere in the world.
All fans want to see their favourites in the flesh, and even the lower clubs in the PL are making tours to Africa, China, and America. The impact of this is that they are reaping the benefits of increasing numbers of fans and the sale of merchandise to them.
In the future, as television penetrates deeper into these markets, the TV revenue available will increase tenfold for those clubs who have made the effort and gained a toehold now, which will boost their share of the pot in later years.
In addition, revenue from the sale of football kit and memorabilia will produce potentially millions of pounds extra from the associated merchandising of the club and its players through the sale of image rights.
There are at least 2 billion people in the Middle East, Africa, China and America who are potential football fans and if Arsenal managed to get just 1% of these as fans and received only £1 extra revenue from each of them, that would amount to a £20,000,000 increase in their income. Only 1% paying only £1 = £20m! Imagine if this was 10% = £200m? Amazing Money!
So my advice is “Move your arse-nal Mr Gazidis and tell Arsène to pull his finger out and give Austria a miss in the pre-season — tour the world instead”!
Money, Money, Money, makes the world go around!