Gooner Daily: Is Stan Kroenke About To Take Over £4 million Out Of Arsenal’s Coffers?

Is the withdrawal of Aaron Ramsey’s contract a co-incidence?

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Financial News

When Stan bought out Usmanov and the small shareholders in August to take 100% ownership of Arsenal he borrowed £557m from Deutsche Bank over a two year period. The loan is guaranteed by Mrs Kroneke and secured by shares in KSE UK Inc, whose only asset, surprise surprise, is Arsenal Football Club

The first quarterly interest payment on that loan is due next week and will be about £4.25m. This is for a three month period only. £4.25m equates to a player salary of £80k per week for one year.

Now I am not saying the cost of paying the interest on this loan will be made by Arsenal Football Club as we don’t know and won;t know until Feb 2020 when the accounts for the 12 months ending May 2019 will be filed at Companies House. But just go figure if it is being paid by Arsenal. That is about £17m of interest each season for two years.

We hope Stan is doing the right thing by paying this from his own funds but who knows? With the loss of Champions League revenue again this season it is money the club can ill afford to see leached out of the Club.

Implications

Is it a co-incidence that, only a short time after Stan Kroenke took a loan out to buy out Alisher Usmanov and buy complete control of Arsenal, the contract offer on the table to Aaron Ramsey (reputedly £170k a week for four years) has been withdrawn?

Ramsey has since claimed that agreement had been reached, although that does then beg the question as to why he didn’t sign it. Perhaps his agent was haggling for more without realising that the club would remove the offer completely. What it does though demonstrate is that Arsenal, after many years of overpaying a significant number of players based on Arsène Wenger’s belief in their potential or existing ability, are now playing hardball.

Why? Probably because the people who are now running the club have no choice. Due to the likelihood that Stan Kroenke will be taking significant sums from the club, there is now a different model in play. Ivan Gazidis used to say that the club did not buy stars, they made them. That ceased to be true, initially with the purchase of Andrey Arshavin, and later with the arrivals of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez. Last January saw the last big name arrival we are likely to see for at least two or three seasons, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang.

It is unlikely Ivan Gazidis was aware of how the ownership of the club would change when he recruited Sven Mislintat to take over the scouting department at the tail end of 2017. However, given the amount of funds the club will have to recruit players, they will certainly have to return to the ethos of making stars rather than buying them for the foreseeable future. Arsenal will now be following the approach of Mislintat’s former employer Borussia Dortmund, and hoping he is as good as spotting value potential as he was there. New arrivals will be given five year deals, and the most successful ones will be sold at vast profit after their third season, with the profits split between re-investment on cheaper, younger replacements and Stan Kroenke’s financial obligations elsewhere.

Historically, Arsenal have tried to do things on the cheap ever since the second world war, with the consequence that far too often they failed to build on success. Now, they will have no choice. Winning trophies is still possible, but against the odds, in an era where money is more influential than ever.

So no more big contracts along the lines of what Ramsey was being offered. Ozil, Lacazette and Aubameyang are the last of the big earners. Whatever the club felt they could have afforded to pay Ramsey is no longer the case. The wage bill has to go down so that the owner can take funds out of Arsenal. If that is not the case, Kroenke could start to win back good feeling from the supporters by releasing a public statement informing them that he will not be taking money out of the club. However, his main concern is simply that his asset remains in the cash cow that is the Premier League. The club will aspire to return to the Champions League, but financially, they won’t be getting much help to achieve that. Merely remaining in the domestic top flight with a wage bill that no longer tries to remain in touch with more free-spending clubs should cover Kroenke’s needs, if not the ambitions of supporters.

Danny Fiszman may well be spinning in his grave, but in the end, he was the man who trusted Kroenke to take the club forward. It may have been a lucrative decision for his family, but not a good one for the long-term success of Arsenal.

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  1. 112502 CORNISH GOONER

    Nov 2, 2018, 19:11

    Let's not kid ourselves, just because the bewigged one has a team back home that is at long last winning stuff, that leopards can change their spots. He will in all probability continue to be the owner from hell. With his background, his personality having all the attraction of a piece of chlorinated chicken & having The Donald as one of his mates, he has zero connection with AFC fanbase & will take money from his investment as & when he can. It's depressing but Kevin is on the money with this. Hope I am wrong of course because I do think Dick & his team would offer us an exciting future if they don't get disillusioned.

  2. 112501 John F

    Nov 2, 2018, 18:11

    I would be more worried if Stan started selling our younger players then Ramseys contract situation.I believe the Ramsey decision was based on the promise shown by the younger players coming through and Mikki and Ozil also playing in the same position.Maitland Niles,Dozza,Torreira,Smith Rowe and Nelson are all looking like potential first team regulars making Ramsey less of a vital member of the sqaud.If you add in Holding and Mavropanos there really is a good core of youngsters in the sqaud.The future is so bright I may have to wear shades unless we get raided by City and Real Madrid and Stan cashes in to buy a golden toupee.

  3. 112500 mbg

    Nov 2, 2018, 16:11

    I don't have a problem paying big wages to those who are worth them, it's what you have to do to compete and win, but £170,000 a week for Ramsey is £100,000 to much, about time Arsenal caught themselves on in that department (if that's what their at) one things for dammed sure if he who liked paying second and third raters overinflated contracts (as well as himself) were still here Ramsey would got his 170k maybe even more, along with another two or three years extension, along with other second raters and nodding dogs.

  4. 112499 The Man From UNCLE

    Nov 2, 2018, 11:11

    RobG - interesting thoughts. Many years ago I worked for a firm that brought in an outside consultant on wages, benefits etc. He told us that you can pay anyone whatever they want, but eventually they reach a plateau where you won't get any more or better output from them. Funny to think that under GG we were considered misers in the basic pay; the players had to get results to boost it (the word was Lee Dixon was on £400 a week at Stoke and was going to sign for us for the same!). Different times now of course but I think you might get the picture.

  5. 112498 RobG

    Nov 2, 2018, 10:11

    "What it does though demonstrate is that Arsenal, after many years of overpaying a significant number of players based on Arsène Wenger’s belief in their potential or existing ability, are now playing hardball." On the bright side, I don't think that is not a bad thing. Many of us were hugely frustrated by Wenger's willingness to overpay players who didn't match the pay packet with the effort. What's needed is a balance between the potential and the actual and a wage policy acute enough to fit that. The stand out piece of nonsense here is Ozil's reputed salary, which beggars belief. I see Ali has extended his contract at Spurs with a deal of £100K plus, per week. Hardly eye watering. And Spurs wage bill in noticeably below ours. It shouldn't be impossible to have on field success without City/Chelsea profligacy if the recruitment is right. None of which - of course - excuses Kronke treating the club as a cash dispenser. But all we can do is 'hope' on that one.

  6. 112497 Staplehurst Gooner

    Nov 2, 2018, 10:11

    Regarding Kronke issuing a statement (of any kind), I wonder if the recent events at Leicester have had any effect on his mindset. Whatever one's opinions on football's latest Princess Diana moment and the possibility of 'grieving' for someone you don't know, we can be sure that the man was clearly popular and respected. If the stories around local hospital donations and so on are genuine - I really hope they are - then Kronke and his ilk can learn a lot from the situation over there. Not giving a monkey's about what people think only lowers his and the club's reputation. In any case, his name may be above the door, but he's a mere custodian, the players our on-filed representatives. Arsenal, like all other clubs, does and always will belong to its supporters, the one set of 'stakeholders' that have its best interests truly at heart.