Arsenal’s Cash Balance Goes To Another New Record High

It’s deja vu all over again. The Arsenal accounts to the end of May 2015 are out today, and given the seeming reluctance to spend on new signings, most eyes turn to the page that reports the cash balance.

Once again it’s a new record, and as usual it’s by far the biggest cash balance of any Premier League club. Why so big? Well as I’ve said before, there’s always been a generally conservative stance on the part of the Board when it comes to spending, but more importantly there is a manager who is a one-off in terms of both his control over team spending and his desire to only spend when he considers he’s getting good value.

There may be a third factor: perhaps Stan Kroenke is insisting on holding ever bigger amounts in Arsenal in order to satisfy his creditors elsewhere that he always has a large supply of cash on tap if he should need to call on it. Matt Scott, Arsenal fan and journalist, has written about that on, reproduced recently here on Le Grove.

There’s an advantage for Stan Kroenke anyway in having large piles of £50 notes around. Not only is it comfy to sit on, good insulation and useful for lighting cigars at Board meetings, but a business with £200m-plus in the bank would command a higher price than one without, should he wish to sell to, say, a passing Uzbek billionaire. In the meantime, with that much money sloshing around, who will notice if he takes £5m out for miscellaneous unnamed services, following last year’s £3m?

Here’s a handy table showing how Arsenal’s pile of cash has grown since 2006:

Cash balances 2006-2015Or if you prefer a graph:

Cash balances graph to May 2015As soon as cash balances are mentioned, someone will pipe up: “It’s not all available for transfers you know.”

Yes, we know.

“The balance in May is just after all the season ticket money comes in.”

Most of it, yes.

“Top class players aren’t available.”

All right, shut up now.

The point is, Arsenal is a football club. It was brought into existence for the benefit of players at the Woolwich Arsenal and their colleagues. As soon as it turned professional the players were paid by the people who came to watch – literally the supporters. So the club should be run for the benefit of those supporters. That’s what all clubs are supposed to be. That’s what a club is, it’s in the title.

So what’s all the cash for? If the Board and manager don’t want to spend it, give it back to the supporters in cheaper tickets and other initiatives. Give it to charity. Buy everyone in Islington a pie and a beer. Any of these would have more meaningful purpose than hoarding. For whose benefit is Arsenal run now? The majority owner and some highly paid employees, by the look of it.

Twitter: @AngryOfN5


8 thoughts on “Arsenal’s Cash Balance Goes To Another New Record High

  1. “……a business with £200m-plus in the bank would command a higher price than one without….”

    As long as the business has enough cash to cover normal operations, any more cash than that commands no higher value than the nominal amount of the cash itself. In short: no.

    A stack of cash in the Arsenal bank account is not really worth more to Kroenke than a stack of cash from Arsenal dividends in his own bank account…..except for the tax differences in how dividends might be treated, as opposed to capital gains on a sale.

    So the most you can say is the stack of cash suggests that Kroenke considers a sale to be a scenrio that he wants to be ready for. But no its not because someone will pay him more for the stack of cash than the actual numbers on the bank notes.

    PS Arsenal lost this week: you must be ecstatic!

    • Oh dear, I think you’ve lost it here.
      Arsenal need maybe £100m in the bank at the end of May to cover normal operations. So if they’ve got £200m, then £100m is spare and the business is worth £100m more. Kroenke can’t extract £100m very easily in one go, so he can leave it there and it adds to his pile of assets. Are you disputing that?

  2. “…Oh dear, I think you’ve lost it here…”
    – sir, leading with a personal attack kind of telegraphs that you have no substance to offer, as otherwise it would have come first.

    “Arsenal need maybe £100m in the bank at the end of May to cover normal operations. So if they’ve got £200m, then £100m is spare and the business is worth £100m more. Kroenke can’t extract £100m very easily in one go, so he can leave it there and it adds to his pile of assets. Are you disputing that?”
    ““……a business with £200m-plus in the bank would command a higher price than one without….”
    – change your tune much, sir? I’d recommend at least covering up your tracks first. When you decide which one your story is, would love to debate it with you. Assuming you’re have something to say, as opposed to leading with a personal attack.

    • I’m not changing anything, it’s your interpretation of the original post that’s the problem.
      But obviously you’re always right, so I’ll leave it there.

  3. Zion the lion, still banging the tired, out-dated Arsene drum.
    We’re so far behind Europe’s elite it has become insulting.
    I don’t care about money, everyone knows Arsenal are a very wealthy institution.
    On the pitch, the club lurch from one season to another with the manager gambling on players ability to stay injury-free, and shoe-horning square-pegs into round holes hoping for some miraculous outcome.
    If he has formulated any plan it isn’t working and hasn’t worked for a long time.
    He is either incredibly naive and stupid, or he is just far too comfortable and has no respect for the clubs fans.
    I can’t wait til he’s gone.

  4. “..sstill banging the tired, out-dated Arsene drum….”

    You too have nothing to say on the topic – as we are discussing whether cash in the club increases the sale value, as opposed to a dividend.

    Personal attack is your opener – and it too is off topic. Wenger was not the subject of this blog entry. Neither was my comment.

    Reading comprehension is essential, even on something as simple as a football blog. If one cant read and comprehend basic text and a comments field, am not sure what one’s qualification would be to run a football club. Or even a sweet shop.

  5. Zion

    Lighten up, it wasn’t a personal attack, Arsenal used to have a team of lions.
    What do I think of the club stock-piling money? The clue is in my blog-name.
    Kroenke has already taken £3m out without putting any of his own cash in.
    Football clubs are nothing without their supporters, and this is further damaging that relationship.
    The irony is that the BoD would be able to stock-pile even more money if Arsenal started winning the trophies that matter, but we have a weak, tactically clue-less manager who is unable to maximise the club’s potential both on and off the field.

  6. I read back in 2013 how much we had in cash reserve, and it was more than the other 19 premier league clubs cash reserve added together, and the table i see had man united second with if i remember correctly £80m which would leave the rest with virtually nothing in theres, so how come these clubs do not need to save even £100m mentioned above for to cover. “normal operations” for there clubs? Most with far less revenue and teams like liverpool always seem to invest more into the team tban ourselves year in year out….. My next question is it right that the day the annual statement comes out is may 31st?? And closing date for season tickets is may 31st for gold members and june 8th for the rest? Do the club not make money for there trips to asia and the emirates cup? Would commerical deal money not pour into the club all year round? Like premiership tv rights obviously you would get majority at the end of the season because how its dived depends on your league finishing spot and how many games you have been on sky.. But50%of it is split equally between all clubs would that not be paid to all clubs in augast rather than all towards the end of may, same with CL

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