Wednesday, 27 February 2013

The Once Invincible

Coach Arsene Wenger (above) should have a happier summer
     This past Monday, Premier League team Arsenal F.C published its financial statements for the first half of the season, posting a profit of about 17.8 million pounds.
     While profits from this period are just half of those from the previous period, Arsenal fans can rejoice in the fact that the reduced income is due to an increase in player investments. Over the past six months, the team brought on the likes of Lukas Podolski, Santi Cazorla, and Olivier Giroud, and the club also announced extending contracts with the talented Jack Wilshire and Theo Walcott.
   Although the increase in spending is and should be considered a good thing for Arsenal as a football team, major problems still exist. The team has failed to win a trophy for seven years, and sit at fifth place in the current Premier League table, one spot away from Champions League qualification. Should Arsenal fail to qualify for the Champions League, the team would suffer a huge hit to television broadcast revenue and home ticket sales, most likely prompting the sale of valuable players. The club's estimated wage bill of 155 million pounds per year would not be sustainable with any less fixtures for the team. Having a losing team with such a high wage bill would also put management under even more scrutiny for signing lackluster players to expensive deals.
    While Arsenal does have its fair share of problems going forward, there still exists hope for the Gunners faithful, The team reported a cash reserve of 123 million pounds with plans of having a strong summer transfer period. A sponsorship deal with Emirates in excess of 100 million pounds will also strengthen the club's finances for several more years.
    Still, fans are growing impatient over a perceived lack of investment in the team. As a Liverpool fan, I had to sit and watch as Xabi Alonso, Mascherano, and Fernando Torres all left Liverpool for greener pastures (maybe not so green for Torres). For Arsenal, the loss of Cesc Febregas, Samir Nasri, and Robin Van Persie has not been balanced out, with management sitting on the cash they made in those deals (each being a historic sum in its own right). After this most recent financial report, the promise has been made to the fans for improvement. Now we will have to wait and see if Arsenal will do what it financially takes to reclaim its place as the Invincibles of England.

-Aureen Sarker (Photo Credit: Arsenal F.C)

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