Deloitte has released its 2018 money league, denoting the highest revenues amongst global clubs for the 2016/17 season.
As for us, we got sixth place, which is good going considering only the true super giants surpass us, such as Man United, Real Madrid, Barca, Bayern, and Man City. Accounting for our self-financing model, and smaller scale than Man U, RM, Barca and Bayern, it’s good going. We also are not backed by Qatar, unlike Man City, so it’s another feather in the cap, as it were.
The release of indices as this often are met with ire, as it shows how we’re underachieving, and not utilising our resources well enough. This may be true, but on another hand it shows our potential and how we can best exploit it.
Nonetheless, in this piece, I wish to specify a breakdown of our relative place in this index, and how it can be enhanced in the future.
6th in the world seems pretty fair overall. This is considering the scope of clubs higher in the index, such as Man United, Real Madrid, and Barca. These are arguably the three biggest clubs on Earth, and whilst we are a global big hitter, we’re not to their level.
City’s income is higher than ours due to greater commercial revenues, often funded via their Qatari links.
Bayern is akin to United, RM, and Barca, though they too are looking to boost their commercial scope.
Interesting, we finished above PSG, though this does not account for the Neymar transfer. PSG incurred a fall due to diminished revenues, though we should acknowledge that the Premier League’s higher TV financing boosts our position accordingly.
Our position though is reinforced by our very high match-day income, largely generated through Club Level as much as our large ground. Of most major clubs, we’re probably the most reliant on this, though it is a steadier mode of income, and less subject to flux than TV or commercial revenues.
So, no real surprises here. It’s unrealistic for us to get higher in the index, due to our model and Mr. Kroenke’s MO in owning us.
Other English clubs
In terms of English clubs, we’re third highest.
Chelsea is below us, though in 16/17 despite winning the league (and losing the Cup of course…..) they were not in European competition. So our presence in the Champions League boosted us, vis a vis Chelsea.
Liverpool has remained static, though their increased capacity has boosted their match-day revenues.
Our good “friends” in our vicinity too recorded an increase, largely due to their presence in the Champions League. Moreover, they did play their games at Wembley, lending to a higher capacity and thus more monies. Their position was also boosted by their first runners-up spot in decades, and claiming they had a better season despite us winning a trophy their manager cares little for. It’s not as if the FA Cup doesn’t have a central place in Tottenham’s history, and his scolding of it belies that, but that’s by the by here….
Other English entrants are Leicester City, West Ham United, Southampton, and Everton. Leicester clearly is there due to their Champions League run, whilst the Hammers have expanded match-day income due to their London Stadium home. Soton is interesting, though they do stand as one of the better run clubs in the country. Everton is traditionally a big club, and they will move up the rankings accordingly, should they build their new stadium, and secure regular high league placings. Theo Walcott’s signing is part of their overall plan, which may pay off despite earlier setbacks this season.
Moves for improvement
How can Arsenal improve our relative position?
We do need to enhance our commercial earnings, though doing this can be via more deals, or possibly individual deals with products in various countries. As a club with an international flavour, we could possibly form deals surrounding players in various countries. For instance, why not a shoe sponsor featuring Elneny in Egypt? Or a clothing firm featuring Iwobi in Nigeria? Or a car line with Ospina in Colombia? Maybe Mustafi highlighting something in Germany, or Xhaka in Switzerland, or yet Wenger himself in France (amongst Giroud, Lacazette, Kosicelny of course)?
For England, Wilshere is a key figure. And as it’s World Cup year, a tie-in featuring Wilshere could boost revenues, who knows?
This is clearly scope for enhancement, and a good way to secure higher placements in future indices.
Another facet is TV income, and appearances in the Champions League. This goes without saying, due to more matches, prize money, and match-day income. However, it’s imperative we regain Champions League football accordingly for these reasons.
Increasing the stadium’s capacity is another angle. We are doing this, via the Club Level project. Though regular seating is the next step, and something to ensure we can boost all revenues. Possibly have a section of lower-priced seating, which also can act as a signing or atmosphere section. This is a way to appeal to fans, as well as add spice to the ground’s feel.
Overall, the index is expected reading given various factors in the footballing world. However, for Arsenal, more should be done, as arguably the best of the rest.
Key points in coming years must be:
- Noting the growing potential of PSG, Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham
- Enhancing commercial revenues
- Possibly increasing match-day revenue by increasing the stadium’s capacity (akin to the proposed Club Level expansion)
- Ensuring on the pitch success, coupled with better progress in European competition, would ensure sustainably high TV and prize monies.
In the next decade, Arsenal is generally assured of a top ten position. Though if we’re to get into the top five, we need to step up our game on various fronts. A top five position is possible if we can attain better on the pitch performances, and maximise our commercial income.