Theo – Buying into the future?

By D.N.Key

The Walcott situation

Given the ongoing inability to reach a resolution on Theo Walcott’s situation at Arsenal, it was interesting that Arsène Wenger chose this week to announce the new deals signed by the ‘famous five’, thereby embarrassing Theo (who said on TV it takes ages for these things to be sorted out) and upping the pressure on him to stay - as leaving his young British buddies won't look good. Remember how much Theo cherishes his nice boy image (as do Nike). One wonders if we might see a further addition to his kids’ football novel series, perhaps ‘TJ and the contract negotiations’ or ‘TJ and the fat signing on fee’. Maybe ‘TJ and the stingy manager’?

The next volume from Theo’s pen?

But joking aside, what should the club pay the player? The answer is of course the market rate for whatever his performance / potential warrants. However Theo’s people know that Arsenal’s football income is set to increase by c£75m per annum in the next season or so to go from £225m to £300m a year. So they do not want to undersell their player.

Arsenal pay out about 60% of income in wages - which is a pretty low % in Premier League terms even if a £140m wage bill is not chicken feed. Assume AFC still pay out 60% when the new TV and commercial deals money comes in. That means a wage bill of £180m and it is hard to see that the number of playing staff will rise drastically. On that basis wages will go up by 30%. Unless of course Arsenal push through the spending / wage increase cap across the Premier League and then of course all those new revenues that cannot be paid out in wages might be used to reduce ticket prices (really?), pay off debt (unlikely) or be paid away to the shareholders as dividends or drawn as “management fees”.

Theo is 24 in March and this next five year deal is a big one for him. £100k per week makes it a £25m deal. His people can see how the macro issues are changing at the Club and do not want to commit to a five year deal just as Arsenal’s finances take a quantum leap north. Unless of course the revenues are reduced by taking a few years’ break from the Champions League!

21st December 2012 09:00:00


Comments and Reaction

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Fred  12:27pm 21st Dec 2012

60 % is too high. No business should run a wage bill of over 40%. The EPL is a crazy and stupid league in terms of business approach by most of the clubs. - Post No. 32625

Nick  12:48pm 21st Dec 2012

100 grand a week at age 24 , not bad if you can get it then neither is half of that, or a tenth to most people, the modern footballer cares far more about their pockets than their football , happy in some cases to sit warming their pampered arses on the bench, becoming wealthy young men in the process. when Jimmy Hill fought for the lifting of the maximum wage id bet he never envisaged a financial landscape like todays , back then it was a short career and if you wernt canny you stood a more than even chance of ending up on the scrapheap looking back on the glory days, Now the remuneration for players is obscene, there is no loyalty to club or supporters , but it is the world we live in so we must get on with it , if paying theo is the right thing for the club never mind the player we should do it but why a long term 5 year contract ? they mean nothing these days if a player becomes disenchanted where he is and wants a move, i say pay him his 100 grand a week but only on a yearly contract , with performance clauses written into it and an option to renew at the end of 9 months, the player gets his money , knows he can move on easily if the need arises , the club get a satisfied player giving his all to earn as much as he can, still maybe thats too much like common sense and there precious little of that around in any walk of life these days . - Post No. 32627

Debbie  12:51pm 21st Dec 2012

Is it me.Or does Theo look like a young Harry Belafonte. - Post No. 32628

Big Andy  12:57pm 21st Dec 2012

The club should let him go. On his day Walcott can be a marvellous player, but he is far too inconsistent. And he is not good enough to play as a centre-forward, which is what he is demanding. We can get better value for money for 100k a week. - Post No. 32629

CanadaGooner  13:11pm 21st Dec 2012

do the 'people' of the other 5 players that signed do not have the same information? personally, I think Theo is an opportunist: few moons back, a skinny kid playing for southampton in whom wenger put his trust and even nominated for a place in the english first team squad and world cup berth. Theo is not, and will never be anything more than he is now; so, the question is: how much is he currently worth to the arsenal first team? signing a contract extension means nothing these days anyway; wont stop him trotting off to citeh next year if he pleases (only difference is that our board get more money to line their pockets with). the stories are always sensationalized by the press. this is in no way comparable to fabregas leaving or rvp or nasri; theo's departure wont make that much of a difference and wenger should go out there and buy a 20+ goals a season striker (something theo will never be). - Post No. 32630

Jumpers for Goalposts  14:19pm 21st Dec 2012

I've got really mixed feelings about the Walcott situation. On the one hand - the Club have let far too many good players go recently, whilst we've rewarded failure over and over again. Who knows where we'd be if Vieira, Pires, Henry, Flamini, Fabregas, Hleb, Cole and many others had stayed. On the other hand however, Walcott has achieved next to nothing in his 7 years at Arsenal and we've seen far more bad days than good. I don't want to see more departures but I can't help thinking that £4 or £5 million a year is ludicrous for a player that promises much but delivers little. - Post No. 32631

Charles & Eddie  14:24pm 21st Dec 2012

If he wanted to stay he would have signed already,even if it was just a 1 year extension as a sign of goodwill. The club bollocksed up negotiations in summer 2011 & 2012 so he is leaving on a bosman free transfer. - Post No. 32632

Inspector Clueless  15:08pm 21st Dec 2012

the manager is a 2-faced frenchmen - a master in the art of deception+marketing. it is all maird****. can we please have a real human being as a manager. i vote for Martinez - Post No. 32633

maguiresbridge gooner  15:35pm 21st Dec 2012

Maybe Theo just isn't buying into OGL new project, project British youth and if it is anything like the last one which he was part of himself who can blame him.Like you say D.N.he'll soon be 24 older and indeed wiser (but not much better).As much as tying the famous five down to new deals is welcome with the exception of ramsey their still only potential (and we know whats likely to happen when they achieve that)he might want to realise his potential elsewhere, he's seen what has went on with the others that have left and like i said he's wiser now and maybe doesn't want to wait around in the hope this project comes to fruition. - Post No. 32634

Tony Evans  15:43pm 21st Dec 2012

I will be amazed if Walcott stays, no matter what Arsenal offer him. On the sort of money we are talking about it is irrelavent whether it is £50K,£60K,£70K or £100K per week and the decision to stay will be purely based on football. Top players will go because they are ambitious and have lost faith (quite rightly) in Wenger and we will be left with the dross that we can't shift because nobody wants them. Whether Walcott is actually a top player is debatable but such is the level we have slipped to under Wenger he probably is, as far as Arsenal are concerned, and he will be looking for a manager with much more ambition then Wenger. My prediction for January transfer window signings to help convince Walcott that Arsenal are ambitious - bugger all! - Post No. 32635

max  15:43pm 21st Dec 2012

Playing up front, red herring, not happening at ManU, Chelski or Citeh. Arsenal's position, comical. Why reward Ramsey with a new contract for mediocrity, while dragging out Theo's deal until he holds all the cards. He can now go to another club pocket a signing on fee, and get at least 120 grand a week. I would be surprised if Theo stays, and forget Wenger's pontifications, the more he talks about it the comical he sounds. - Post No. 32636

Bard  17:02pm 21st Dec 2012

I dont think the clubs position or Wenger view has got anything to do with it; its all to do with what other offers he got or what other offers his agent is working on. They will be hoping to get 2 or 3 interested parties involved in a bidding war and then go for the best deal like Nasri and RVP. If none of the offers match Arsenal's then he will sign otherwise he will off. Forget all the rubbish about playing up front, its all PR. It will go to the wire because he's not a top player and I doubt he's got too many offers as yet. - Post No. 32637

Gooner69  17:10pm 21st Dec 2012

So here is the problem, do we pay £100,000 a week and then moan if Theo does not fulfill his potential?? Or let him find his riches elsewhere, just hope he doesn't walk on a free in the summer!! - Post No. 32638

Paul  17:23pm 21st Dec 2012

No Arsenal player is woth £100k a week.They are a bunch of losers.Thats the problem with Arsenal reward failure.Walcott has been at the club 7 years,7 trophyless years in which he has under-achieved.Yet he wants a 5 year £100k a week contract worth £26M.I am no Wenger fan but this one he has got right even £75k a week is too much - Post No. 32639

GaryFootscrayAustralia  18:53pm 21st Dec 2012

Seems to me that the poison in the well is player agents, but I suppose that's the case at most clubs in the top division of most major leagues across Europe. We're in an age where players have enough of a hand on the whip that some feel they can legally challenge breaches of club disciplinary rules that they themselves had already signed for, let alone holding clubs to ransom for more cash. Killing off the agents wouldn't necessarily kill the greed, but at least it would staunch the flow of cash from the punter's pocket out of the club and the game as a whole to the agent's offshore account. - Post No. 32641

Maureen  19:27pm 21st Dec 2012

I love Theo he's a lovely boy met him once at an Xmas party and gave him a big kiss.I love all the Arsenal English boys.My sister Janet loves Alex Ox and says she hopes he stays for life at Arsenal.My dad was a big friend of the Hill-Woods and always said Arsenal should be built on true Brit blood with only a sprinkling of Johnny foreigner. - Post No. 32642

Stingy  23:12pm 21st Dec 2012

The club surely can pay Theo just get rid of Chamack..who never plays anyway or Scillaci!!!! I don't really understand why Wenger is getting involved in how much Theo should be paid....which explain why we're so crap with his decision on the pitch!!!! - Post No. 32644

e S.  5:12am 22nd Dec 2012

Maureen sounds a lot saner than Jack,Debbie, ppp and even Mandy Dodd that's for sure.Walcott should defitely move on. Firstly he's not worth the money and secondly Arsenal have nothing to offer him in terms of ambition,providing him with opportunities to learn from the best or having a manager who will know how to utise his pace and limited skills. - Post No. 32648

maguiresbridge gooner  11:40am 22nd Dec 2012

Agree Stingy,maybe if OGL would concentrate on the job of being manager (which he's being paid to much to do)instead of having a say over everything else maybe we wouldn't be humiliated and embarrassed by the likes of Bradford. - Post No. 32649

Reg  13:12pm 22nd Dec 2012

The incompetent management have given Walcott the power by letting him run his contract down. You can't blame him for looking what's on offer. We never learn tho. This has been going on for years and it's about time the club toughened up. If they don't sign with 2 years of their contracts left then sell them. The contracts are just one of many cock ups they keep repeating! - Post No. 32651

exiled & dangerous  15:21pm 22nd Dec 2012

The maximum wage back in the 60s, and the "retain and transfer" system was archaic in its day and rightly ended. But now, it has gone far, far too much the other way. I'd settle for just one week of Theo's current wage and that would set me up for life (I live in a garden shed with no bills, see......). I'd like to see a total change in the way professional footballers are paid. They'd sign for a club at 16, and they would be paid a decent wage, enough to rent or get a mortgage. The rest of their "package" would go into a trust fund, and would be based on appearances, league positions, trophies, loyalty, international caps etc, and they wouldn't get the dosh until they reached 30. The "fund" could be managed by the PFA - no need for agents. Then, maybe, you would see players remaining motivated and determined to succeed, instead of being millionaires at 21 and with no desire to improve, and a leeching agent whispering in their ears every transfer window. I'm sick of reading of players earning more in a week than a nurse does in a year, it makes it very hard to support a team of spoilt mercenaries when they are so far removed from reality. - Post No. 32652

Ronster  16:48pm 22nd Dec 2012

exiled & dangerous.....(In Feo's case)...shouldn't that read:''I'm sick of reading of players earning more in a week than a nurse does in FOUR years''.....Anyone who continues to hand over their dosh to Arse-ne FC needs their head examining..... - Post No. 32653

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