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Wigan 0 Arsenal 1 – However…

By Paul Skinner

Thoughts after Saturday’s win

I have been up to Wigan a couple of times on my Arsenal travels. I have seen us win once and lose once, but it is a good day out. There aren’t many home fans to talk about, so it is more of an Arsenal away day, and, given that it is made up of your Arsenal away fans rather than your average ‘prawn-sandwich’ home fan, it can be a day of full-bodied enjoyment (or disappointment). However, this season, and for the next few seasons to come, I am skint, so - like so many others - I watched it on the TV down the pub. It was a workmanlike performance; the defence was, on the whole, pretty well organized, which perhaps wasn’t difficult against a pretty poor offensive performance from the third-worst side in the Premiership. However, with this and the performance against Reading, I really do feel the side is starting to gel somewhat and that it may go on to improve in the second half of the season.

The author will not be renewing…

However, that improvement should see us finish fourth, or at best third, and without a trophy unless we get good draws in the FA Cup and have a bit of luck on our side, which isn’t impossible. That is because the way Arsenal is run at the moment is down to marginal profit, i.e. the ‘buck’ that you get back from every pound invested. Say, for instance, that for a club like Arsenal to win the Premiership or the Champions League costs £100 million in transfers and salaries and, because we have relatively low economies of scale compared with a side such as Man Utd, we will only make £110 million i.e. £10 million profit. Compare that with investing only £50 million pounds. That gives you the best shot at fourth place with a return of £70 million against your investment, which means that you are actually making more money per pound invested. These figures are of course purely hypothetical, but this is what I genuinely believe, since the club is run on ‘sound’ commercial grounds unlike City or Chelsea.

But given that the club is run on grounds that are more commercial than sporting, if the club’s management were to say, “Okay, what the hell; we will cut our profit margins and go for the Premiership win”, then we might be able to gain ground on Utd, who, although they have higher economies of scale and will get back more per pound invested, are still run on commercial lines. Chelsea and City would then just increase their expenditure due to their bottomless pit of petro-dollars and make it harder to get into what would then be the top two. This is, of course, to accept the current (and my) view of financial fair play rules, that they are just piffle. The ideal is then that we as fans should do all that we can to oust Kroenke and get Usmanov in and so make Arsenal another chav club like City or Chelsea, which would in turn escalate the top players’ wages and transfer fees and make top-flight football even more detached from the average fan than it is now. Personally, and this is only personally, I don’t need my football team to win the Premiership every season to give me a vicarious sense of achievement. I am satisfied with my own life, unlike your low self-esteemer City or United fan; class is what lasts in my view, and making a good fist of what you have is enough.

However, the problem with the Kroenke regime is that they have no interest in football, viewing Arsenal as a financial and commercial investment rather than a organization aimed at sporting excellence. We are not fans to them but consumers. Arsenal is not a football club but a brand, with strong brand-loyalty. I firmly believe that Kroenke is taking money out of the club, before financial results are posted, so as to finance his initial purchase of the club and then to make a profit on his investment, much the same way as the Glaziers are at United. But then, you may argue, he is a businessman, so why shouldn’t he do that. After all, I have strong brand loyalty to Sainsbury’s as well as to Arsenal, and I know that they make a profit out of me. The difference is that, because of our culture, it is harder to swap football teams than supermarkets and, at the moment, Gazidis and Kroenke know it is like shooting fish in a barrel; just like tobacco companies used to say “get 'em young, keep them for life”. Branded companies need to keep the faith of their loyal consumers; because Arsenal is a football club, they don’t have to try so hard. Whatever happens this season, I won’t be renewing my Arsenal season-ticket. It is a hard wrench for me, but whereas Kroenke can afford to buy an £80 million ranch in the middle of a worldwide recession, I just can’t afford my season-ticket. In words that Gazidis and Wenger will understand, ‘my marginal utility’ is not high enough compared with the ‘utility’ (and price) of all other goods. So what is the answer?

Hit the brand where it hurts - in the profit margins - to ensure that it comes on line with perspective on its consumers.

Peace and Love and a Merry Christmas. Up the Arse.

26th December 2012

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User Comment and Reaction

User comments on this article are now closed. If you want to continue the debate, why not do so on the Gooner Forum.

maguiresbridge gooner  15:57pm 26th Dec 2012

The clubs management deciding to cut it's profit margins and become more ambitious and actually try to win something ? I think there's more chance of this cult that keep thinking the world's going to end being right.I'm fond of Tesco's brand myself Paul (especially the booze section) and they certainly give a hell of a lot more value for £1'000 a year than the arsenal brand and have done for quite a while.We're up to our trophy position again thanks to a result against one of the basement boys so no need to spend any of those lovely profits in the transfer window, instead the DDT can buy some horses for his ranch,but i'd bet they'd be thorough breds and not donkeys. - Post No. 32744


n4  16:25pm 26th Dec 2012

Well said but why do we need you on online gooner to tell exactly what's the club idea and where it is going if expect to go!!! Maybe in that way we can be more patient rather than tell us load of bull sh*t!!! Wenger is as bad as Kronke and the board!!! Yes we are still like fish in a barrel until we stop spending money on Arsenal!!! I have done so and my live for Arsenal club is still the same!!! - Post No. 32745


Unchives  17:51pm 26th Dec 2012

I gave up my season tickets 3 years ago and still get to the games when i can, not when the club oblige me to with a season ticket. There is no waiting list, indeed they have shifted more and more tickets to red membership or onto the general market. - Post No. 32746


GG89  19:13pm 26th Dec 2012

Give your local team some of the money you were giving the arse... Non league football is fun, more unprdeicatable, money doesn't speak so loud, the bar prices are less etc etc etc... give it a go. I still get my football fix on staurdays and keep my eye on the premiership from my laptop... - Post No. 32747


Peter Wain  19:37pm 26th Dec 2012

The problem with the wins over Reading and Wigan are that it gives rise to comments from the manager that he will only buy in the transfer window if he finds super quality. When you consider that he has bought Gervinho Squllaci Fatty Santos Denilson and Arshavin you just start laughing. When you consider that both Readng and Wigan are in the bottom three the laughing gets louder. When you also consider that Walcott is likley to be gone in the summer and that we only have one top striker apart from him (the speedy Giroud) the laughter gets histerical. Factor in no realiable back up keeper, left back, centre half or defensive mid field player the strong squad looks decidedly thread bare. Lots of places taken up by players who have failed and have consistently shown that they are not good enough for the premiership but paid so much that none else in world football will take them. When you also consider we are bottom of the under 18s the club as a whole from a footballing stand point looks third rate. So do not buy anyone in the transfer window get Henri on loan and play Swansea lose and for another year no trophy and this year we have the added bonus of missing out on the 4 place trophy. The only benefit is more money in the summer we have not to spend because no CL and we cannot get the super super players our manager says we are interested in but have never bought. Will some one please get rid of the Yank, Gazidis, the board and the manager. The performances for the last four years have been pathetic and the investment in new talent totally wasted. - Post No. 32748


Bill there'd  19:37pm 26th Dec 2012

Unlike you I was at Wigan and the pub next to the ground the red something was the best part of the day.it,s a grim place is Wigan.but your main point about not renewing your season ticket is.the crux of the matter.you see we are not a union and if I thought everyone would do the same I would do the same.come on somebody tell us how we can do this together. - Post No. 32749


Where's Wally is a Gooner  20:49pm 26th Dec 2012

What ever happened to the guts and the glory. What a shame. - Post No. 32750


Adelaide Gooner  22:51pm 26th Dec 2012

We will never be able to compete with the top teams while this ownership structure is in place. Stan's people were obviously very busy at the time when they were acquiring the shares they needed for the takeover but there has been no direction and interest in improving the club since. People will say that Usmanov will do exactly the same but at least he seems to understand the game & has hung around through all the crap the Kronkeites have put us through. Time to return the club to people that actually give a **** about it. - Post No. 32751


Mandy Dodd  22:56pm 26th Dec 2012

If kronke really is taking money out, I will stand aside with the most militant on here..and I will not be impressed with anyone in the club covering it up..the reason being he promised not to do that, but what reason do you have to believe he is syphoning off cash? Surely that would be in the clubs accounts? I am wary of stan, but still not sure if he wants a self running business or if he is an asset stripper? Innocent until proven and all that? He has never done such things before...or so I have read? - Post No. 32752


Stroud Green Road Boy  0:34am 27th Dec 2012

Can I recommend Aldi over Tesco or Sainsburys, having recently moved and discovered one near me where it's the same stuff for even less. Apart from that, Peter Wain has said it all, every transfer window the comments about 'super quality' then the contrast with the players he does actually buy, if indeed any at all. It's frankly absurd and gets more so with each repetition. For a man whose first priority is his reputation, can he not see it? - Post No. 32754


goonercolesyboy  1:38am 27th Dec 2012

A pathetic article full of contradictions. - Post No. 32755


Alsace Lorraine de Totteridge  9:32am 27th Dec 2012

Money out? In a company, if you pay a dividend, you have to offer it to all the shareholders, which means that there would have to be a large distribution to Mr Usmanov. Not really likely is it? Unless Mr Kronke is an employee of the club and is being paid PAYE (equally unlikely)or is raising charges on the assets (check with companies house)it isn't obvious that he is taking out money. He must be interested in long term growth, which makes his support of Mr Wenger surprising, because as several people have said here, we are going down the slippery slope. We have to shout Mr Wenger out or convince Stan. The shouting will do the job because a change of Manager will work marvels. - Post No. 32757


Theo out, No-one in.  10:37am 27th Dec 2012

How many times have we heard those immortal words from Wenger just before a transfer window opens "We need to bring in two quality players". Three decent league results later "We will only spend if someone exceptional becomes available?" Well Arsene, only one club consistently sells it's best players and you run it. Don't bother monitoring Sky Sports News fellow Gooners, as always, he ain't looking. - Post No. 32758


maguiresbridge gooner  13:12pm 27th Dec 2012

Good post Peter Wain,it didn't take him long to start the usual bullsh*t/spin. - Post No. 32761


HALF TIME REPORT  17:31pm 27th Dec 2012

SO WE ARE CURRENTLY SITTING 4TH IN PREMIER LEAGUE B BEHIND SPURS, EVERTON AND WBA BUT WITH ONE GAME IN HAND. BAD RESULTS V VILLA, NORWICH, SWANSEA - YES THE TOUGH ONES - HAVE REALLY COST US. PREMIER LEAGUE A IS HOTTING UP AS CHELSEA NOW LOOK LIKE THEY MAY GIVE THE MANX A RUN FOR THE TITLE. PREMIER LEAGUE C IS ALSO EXCITING AS NOW THAT ARRY IS AT QPR AND THEY REALLY NEED TO WIN 8-10 OF THEIR NEXT 19 MATCHES LETS HOPE JANUARY TRANSFER WINDOW PASSES WITHOUT US SELLING THEO. - Post No. 32764


Smith  18:46pm 27th Dec 2012

You can't criticise the board until Wenger spends all the money available and asks for more, which he's never done. They don't interfere with the football side of things (imagine the uproar if they did) and they constantly publicly back their manager. Kroenke may not be a big fan of English football but I fail to see what negative impact he's had since he took over. From where I'm standing Wenger does exactly what he wants, just not half as well as he used to. - Post No. 32765


Joe S.  20:35pm 27th Dec 2012

Wegners speil about only signing top quality players is meant for the diehards who have still kept the faith and probably always will regardless of the long term damage he is inflicting on the club. Me I don't want him to sign anyone because we have enough cut price merchandise on the books so that even Giroud , Plodosky and Rosickey are set to become next years deadwood. On top of that I feel Wegner has lost his eye and instincts to spot talent and close the deal before others come prowling. He's just not hungry enough.We don't need any more second hand rubbish because the training ground and dressing room is already cluttered with it. - Post No. 32767


Stroud Green Road Boy  1:40am 28th Dec 2012

@ Half time report, your caps induce the fear at this time of year. Wenger loves the 'restrictions', he's made that clear enough just recently yet again with his reaction to the notion of Usmanov taking over and his 'within our resources' response. Speaks the man with a 10 player wastage on average £50k a week in his 25 man squad. He'll keep on with this 'I got 4th despite the restrictions' line as long as those that can't / won't make even a cursory look at the state of affairs support his nonsense. And @ Smith, brutal and to the point, well said that man. - Post No. 32769


GoonerGoal!  12:52pm 28th Dec 2012

Unfortunately, there are none so blind as those who will not see and the most deluded are those who choose to ignore what they already know to be… VIVE LA REVOLUTION! - Post No. 32772


Very Concerned how mediocre we look this season  18:19pm 28th Dec 2012

id rather have Laudrup or Martinez. with Arsenal's potential power these 2 young managers could really go up a notch. theyre tactically very smart; they are their own men and they really know football. the current squad we have reflects the tired, fed up, non hungry manager of the club and this is the crux of the matter. Wenger of Alsace middle class niceness versus Fergy of the Goebals working class Shankly like passion = NO CONTEST - Post No. 32774


allybear  19:37pm 28th Dec 2012

Some excellent comments here&i must say that i have no faith in Wenger to bring in any "top top players". Lets face facts its just not his style&its quite possible he will bring in some low quality from the French League or elsewhere. There are the usual rumours but i will be amazed if he pays big money or any player. - Post No. 32775


Green Hut  0:46am 29th Dec 2012

@Stroud Green Road Boy- You make a good point about Wenger embracing the 'restrictions'. There is absolutely no pressure on him at all, other than to finish above Everton and tottenham. And when we fail to win the Champions League for the 15th year in a row he'll get a sympathetic pat on the back for managing to get past Olympiakos and Montpellier in the group stage. Arsenal have the fifth highest turnover in world football, but it couldn't feel less like a big club. - Post No. 32776


Lee  1:37am 29th Dec 2012

Yes it was good to know the club gave everyone a £10 voucher for fantastic away support that day! Well Ive been to most this season, 9hr drives down to montpellier AND BACK next day, schalke driving through france, belgium and holland, and taking a half day off work to witness that shambles at bradford! i gave wigan a miss as a thank you to my wonderful mrs and daughter for putting up with all my time away following the arse so didnt get my RARE gesture from the club! wouldnt it have made sense todo this at reading the week before? where i was part of a 2,500 allocation rather than wigan where 4,400 goes to general sale so anybody can get a ticket and a £10 voucher??? typical! - Post No. 32777


Get me a straight jacket  7:51am 29th Dec 2012

"Theo Walcott could be the next Thierry Henry, says Arsène Wenger" - Post No. 32778


maguiresbridge gooner  13:04pm 29th Dec 2012

Congratulations to Pat Rice on his MBE. - Post No. 32779


David the Price is Ian Wright Wright Wright!  16:34pm 29th Dec 2012

Yes, congrats are in order to Pat Rice MBE. - Post No. 32780


CanadaGooner  20:04pm 29th Dec 2012

@"get me a stright jacket" be careful what you say mate; walcott might well be the next thierry henry. his current $$$$-inspired form will probably disappear soon as his new contract is signed though. either way, henry was hardly prolific when he joined arsenal... - Post No. 32781


Jack  20:13pm 29th Dec 2012

@Get me a straight jacket.HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA.To all you Theo knockers. - Post No. 32782


Get me a straight jacket  23:46pm 29th Dec 2012

Take me away, I'm hallucinating! - Post No. 32784


Issue #245 - Out Now!

Gooner Editorial

23rd October 2014

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