Posts Tagged ‘Liverpool debt

05
Jun
09

More fun with statistics, plus Arsenal in for another Toure?

He's ready for his close-up

Lies, damn lies, and Arsenal Stats

The blogoshpere is all atwitter (see what I did there?) about the dot com’s article detailing Arsenal’s supposed statistics.  Ahhhhh, I’m calling bullshiat on this.

I don’t trust statistics that are so obviously false. Denilson completed 164 passes all year? What the hell? Here’s a chalkboard showing that he completed 117 passes… in two games. 164 passes all year would equal less than 5 passes per game. Now I don’t know what kind of fools they take us for, but everyone knows that every Arsenal player completes more than 5 passes per game. Almunia probably completes more than 5 passes per game.

Or how about the stat that Song supposedly had only 17 tackles all season? Hmmm…. Here’s two games where he made 21 tackles and won 17 of them.

So, I have no idea what’s up with those stats, where they got them, who compiled them, how they were defined, or anything. I just know that they are utter garbage.

I mean, who would believe that Adebayor was offside only 43 times?

Lies, damn lies, and football economics

The other day I put up that “transfer anatomy” handout, you remember, the one with the little bit in the corner that shows how much teams have spent over summer transfers?

Right, well yesterday the folks who audit football clubs’ accounts released their findings of last year’s accounts and we got two major stories out of that research. First, Chelsea spent £172m just in wages in 2007. And second, the accountants found that Liverpool lost £43m during the 07/08 fiscal year.

These three things are related, I swear!

What this shows, to me, is that a club, that isn’t Chelsea, has to make a choice: they can either pay high wages, or they can spend a lot of money in the transfer window.  Which, in my mind, utterly destroys the simplistic “Arsenal need to spend” argument.

So, look at the first link there where you see that Tottenham spent £47m in transfers from 2004-2007. I’ve always wondered how they could afford to do that and still report profits, considering the much smaller fan base than Arsenal, the fact that they don’t have a billionaire owner, no European football, and they have a mediocre sized stadium and don’t charge much for tickets. They can afford to do that because they basically pay half the salary that Arsenal pay. Arsenal paid £100m in salary in 2007 and Tottenham paid £50m.

Now, ignore Chelsea and Man U — they spend what they want irregardless common sense, I mean Chelsea is coming close to £1bn* spent over the last 6 years.

A BILLION.

POUNDS.

So, ignore them, they are a reality distorting black hole of a cunt.

Instead look at Liverpool and you can see a serious problem. Liverpool have spent nearly £100m in salary every year and nearly £90m in the transfer market. The other lode stone is that they have a £300m debt that Hicks and Gillette piled on the team when they bought Liverpool.

The point here is that Arsenal and Liverpool have a very similar financial situation; both clubs have large debts (albeit for different reasons), both clubs have large wage structures, and yet Arsenal have saved money every year and Liverpool have borrowed and spent.

And now, the crows are coming home to roost and Liverpool’s debt is due, evermore. I’m not suggesting that Liverpool won’t find someone foolish enough to become a partner with Hicks and Gillette and then they’ll fail. Instead, I see this as a test case. See, Man U has a huge line of credit that they can’t even make the interest payments on due, I believe, next year, and I think what happens here, this year, with Liverpool will be indicative of what will happen with Man U next year.

The second thing I’d like to take away from this is that yes Arsenal are being fiscally prudent by not spending large sums in the transfer market but what I wonder about is the huge wage bill. Who, exactly, are we paying all this money to? Sagna? Clichy? Almunia? Bendtner? Song? Denilson? Nasri? Walcott? Those are the majority of our starters there folks, and they must be making damn good money if our wage bill is £100m.  Furthermore, I have to wonder if any of these players would be willing to take a modest pay cut in order to bring in some more players? They all talk about bringing someone in, but I’ve never once heard them say “I’d take a pay cut if it would help, because I want to win a trophy for the fans.”

And the last thing I want to bring up is just how important Wenger is in all of this. Yes, he’s set this wage scale which is stifling our transfer ability but just the fact that for four years he’s kept Arsenal at a very, very high level of play, all the while helping to manage the books and keep Arsenal fiscally sound for the long term is, I think, going to go down in history as one of the all-time great managerial feats. Compare these 4 years to Rafa Benitez, who’s constant clamor for transfers makes me wonder if he won’t get lumped in with Hicks and Gillette as the three reasons why Liverpool’s future is so uncertain.

I think this gives us all a bit of perspective on why Arsenal spend the way they do and what is likely to happen this summer with transfers. Which is to say, very little. Given our history, what I’ve shown you of the finances,  and the fact that Wenger is increasing our wages yet again (I mean, van Persie did have 10 goals this season, that’s worth another £1m or so a year) I would expect there to be just a little left over in the kitty for transfers. In fact, selling before buying is very likely.

That said, what I’d like to see is the point where the board feel like they are comfortable with the amount of cash in the reserve (at last count over £100m) and they start spending some of these annual profits that you and I are generating for them.  Maybe this year is the year? All signs point to an even bigger windfall over last year, when they netted more than £20m in profits. We’ll have to wait and see, I guess.

Daily Transfer Rumors (The Poop Scoop)

Ah, I love the smell of last year’s rumors trotted out as this year’s signings! Supposively**, Arsenal are again interested in Udinese defender Christian Zapata, which is probably a bunch of crap considering that the player is both confirming and denying that Arsenal are after him.

Meanwhile, the perennial “Yaya to Arsenal” story has risen again.  The player himself has insisted, repeatedly, that he does not want to play for Arsenal. But that isn’t stopping the World’s Least Reliable Newspaper from printing quotes from Yaya saying

It’s true that it would be great to play for a big club with my brother,that would be fantastic but you never know.

Well, if the Sun is reporting it, it must be true.

Meanwhile, in the “Players who are not leaving or coming in” department, Stephane M’Bia is heavily linked to Everton now. I will update the Players Who Didn’t Sign For Arsenal page if there’s confirmation of him signing for Everton. Also, I want to be the first to break the shocking news report that Andrei Arshavin IS NOT re-signing with Zenit St. Racistburg, it turns out that he just likes practicing with his old teammates. This is really a remarkable story, it’s one of those X player is not signing for Y team stories but it’s at the level of ludicrisness that the only equivalent would be Science News printing a story like “Scientists refute the notion that the sky is brown.”

Finally, the Vermaelen saga drags on. I’m starting to think there might be some truth to this story and Vermaelen is the “commanding” center back that Wenger seeks.

Ahem…

That’s it for today, see you tomorrow!

*add up their wage bill at an average of £150m from 2004-2007 = £600m, then add in another £150m in transfers and you get £750m, so sue me if I add a bit of hyperbole.

** unlike irregardless, supposively is not a word

Advertisements
09
Dec
08

Chocolate Thunder unleashed on Porto?

The team travel to Portugal to take on league leaders (don’t know where I read that. ed.) Porto for the game that will decide if Arsenal finish first or second in the group. In years past, winning your group meant an “easier” draw in the Champions League, but lets face it, there aren’t many easy teams in this tournament any more ( wait, could Cluj still go through? No? Oh well.) Even if Arsenal finish first they could easily face runners up like Chelsea, Liverpool, Real Madrid (who are so desperate they are thinking of appointing Juande Ramos), Inter, Bayern, and Man U depending on how all those teams play today and tomorrow.

That said, just a draw sees the club top the group and the boss was simultaneously pragmatic and hopeful (he can do that, he’s that special):

We want to finish first because we want to be the best. But it does not seem that first or second will make a huge difference this year

I love to see a win, but with Cesc unlikely to participate (knee injury) and Porto looking for revenge, a draw would be a good result. How about a boring ole 0-0 draw, it would be like stepping into a time machine!

I’d also like to see Roma go through and get paired with Liverpool. First because they’d probably have to hold the match in an empty stadium — since both clubs supporters are such animals. And second because I want to see if The Beast can lay a quad on Liverpool again.

Oh and hey, Wednesday’s game is Arsene’s 700th game for the club. 700! That deserves it’s own column…

The game is on Setanta here in the states and it’s a lunch time kickoff on my side of the country, but I’m busy that day so no match for me. Head down to Doyle’s and catch the match if you get a chance.

Chocolate Thunder, Robin van Persie’s right leg.

There’s a hilarious quote from Robin van Persie where he says that in Holland they call your off leg your “Chocolate Leg.” Which brought me back to my childhood and a player named Chocolate Thunder, from the planet Lovetron, who could dunk so hard, he ripped the rim off the backboard. After watching RvP shoot with his right foot against Chelsea and damn near rip the back of the net off the goal posts, I’m thinking he should rename his chocolate leg, Chocolate Thunder and start ripping shots with it all the time.

I am curious about the etymology of this term, so if any of you know why the Dutch call the off leg the chocolate leg please let us know. Also if you want to make things up, that would be fine too, as long as you use the word “Lovetron” at least once.

Almost done…

Liverpool are shopping their brand name around but I guess no one’s buying. Maybe they could get some supporters to get their jalopy a new set of hubcaps?

In reality, I’m not worried in the least about a club like Liverpool. They have a fan base that rivals clubs like Arsenal and Man U, they are favorites to break their 10 year curse in the Premier League and perennial challengers in the Champions League. Lessseee, uhhh Citeh or Liverpool? Hmmmm. Tough choice.

And Finally

Theo Walcott won the 2008 BBC London Young Footballer of the Year award. I heard that he was also runner up for the 2008 N5 Right Footed Player of the Year but was just beaten off by Terry Brindlebat who plays for St. Mary’s pub.

See you tomorrow for the match preview.




RSS My Google Reader

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

Flickr Photos

Twits

Arsenal Community

Arsenal News

Arsenal News

e-soccer
July 2019
M T W T F S S
« Jun    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  
Advertisements