You have to take in the role of Inspector Morse to fully appreciate the financial issues facing Arsenal football club.
It’s s tale of mistakes and gross financial mismanagement that has made the gunners the laughing stock of the Premier league.
A series of decisions that have been made were so poor that had it been any other business, you would expect an inquiry but let’s peel back the layers and trudge through the mire to look at why things could have become so bad.
Arsenal can now only undertake loan deals but they aren’t exactly the easy option as Barcelona appears to be holding the North London club to ransom over the transfer of their top target, Denis Suarez.
An upfront payment demand of £1.7 m fee and obligation to buy has complicated matters for the cash strapped club and it’s a deal that is in danger of complete collapse with the unconfirmed report that Spurs are interested in Barca winger Malcom.
Let’s go back to when this calamity started and include some of the baffling decisions that resulted in the well running dry.
Petr Cech’s transfer in 2015 was particularly baffling for the enormous sum of £10 m for a 33 year old.
The player had lost his number one position with Chelsea because Jose Mourinho saw something in him that made him decide he was in decline.
Say what you like about Mourinho but he is a very good judge of when a player is past their best and soon palmed off Wayne Rooney when his time at United was up.
Subsequently, Rooney’s career has plummeted and although a success in America, it’s clear that anyone who can still kick a ball could do the same.
Arsenal gave chase and got their man but he rarely reached the heights of his Chelsea career and this year decided to retire.
Arsenal bought a reputation at the time and placed Cech behind a splintered and dysfunctional defence, making him appear more in decline than he actually was.
The fact remains that Arsenal paid far too much money out of desperation, with the assumption that Cech could eradicate Arsenal’s defensive issues by his presence and for the not insignificant sum of £100,000 per week
He was overpriced by the sum of at least £5m and had Arsenal had their eye on the ball, they would have paid a similar price for a developing keeper.
Alexis Sanchez departure was a long winded affair.
The petulant player deciding when to play and how much to contribute, which was unsettling on the team.
His first suitors were Manchester City but they refused to meet the escalating demands of the player and left the field open to neighbours United.
His contract had been allowed to run down and subsequently, Sanchez was in a position to leave for nothing, when £50 million would have been a reasonable price for the want away star if he had been still on a lengthy contract.
An example of money lost and an opportunity that passed by, the resulting swap for Mkhitaryan was the only bonus but he has since failed to establish himself in the team for the princely sum of £180,000 per week.
Then, because they were at risk of losing Ozil, they entered into an agreement that extended the contract and made him their biggest earner at £350,000 per week to appease fans and show intent.
Since joining the club in September 2013, Mesut Ozil has earned a staggering
£39,317,902 and if you visit http://www.whatfootballersearn.com/player/mesut-ozil/ you’ll see what he earns whilst you are on that page.
His yearly wage is now £15.6 million, which is not exactly the players fault but Arsenal’s gamble to keep everyone on side is impacting on their ability to compete in today’s transfer market.
That deal led to an impasse with Aaron Ramsey, who felt that he was worth a substantial increase, so Arsenal went through the same calamitous process again, only this time, they took stock and realised they couldn’t plug the holes in the dam unless they made a statement.
The new contract offer was then withdrawn and it was announced by Arsenal that Ramsey would leave in the summer.
Had the contract been extended in adequate time the Welshman could have generated at least £30 million.
Arsenal then signed Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with weekly wages of £100,000 and £200,000 per week and while I’m not suggesting that they aren’t worth the money, you can see by the wage structure that the current problems were almost unavoidable.
The last straw was the contract extension of former manager Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, which was worth £8 million per year but the club’s decision to pull the plug on that ill conceived fiasco cost them £11 million in financial remuneration.
No doubt Gazidis got on board the gravy train before he went to Italy and got a substantial reward for bringing the club to its knees.
The Dark Lord was earning £1.7 m per year and had managed £20.4 million during his chaotic and dysfunctional reign.
Why are we in this mess ? Ask Stan Kroenke.