‘Ello there! Nice to see you again.
It’s Tuesday and it’s Guest Post time. I’ll get onto that in a moment but before then it’s a quick, bullet-pointed Arsenal news round-up:
- Manuel Almunia has called for Arsenal to make a better start to the new season than they made last campaign. Makes sense: if we want to win than we’ve got to start well.
Oh. That’s it. Right-o, moving on.
As I mentioned earlier today is Guest Post Tuesdays and that means another guest post, this time from Australian reader Shane Nash. He’s written about that death trap of inflated money and ridiculous transfer fees that is the transfer market, with a direct focus on how it effects Arsenal and their very respectable youth policy. It’s a good read and as usual, both he and would love to hear your opinion.
Have a lovely Tuesday folks.
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Big Spending…. Big Trouble? by Shane Nash
In the current economic climate of a world recession, there has been a strong focus on the debts of clubs in the major three leagues who have shown their willingness to spend big money on players.
Michel Platini labelled Manchester City unethical for their reported 100 million pound bid on Kaka. The Citizens immediately showed their willingness to spend big when they broke the British Transfer record with their signing of Robinho. Real Madrid similarly showed their willingness to use the chequebook upon spending 160 million Euros in current window on both the current and former FIFA World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka.
But what impact does this have on Arsenal?
There is very little doubt that for Arsenal to remain competitive as a top four club need to strengthen the squad. The youth policy which was implemented by Wenger four years ago has not bore the fruit that it was expected to. This is of course not to say that it has been a complete failure. But there has been a recent need for Arsenal to move in the transfer market to obtain targets who have the required credentials to help the team win i.e. Arshavin.
Buying established players already comes at such a high cost, but recently with Real Madrid’s splashing the cash in the current transfer notable managers and officials such as Barcelona’s Joan Laporta, UEFA president Michel Platini and our very own Arsene Wenger have been quick to recognise the negative impact that the spending of both Real Madrid and Manchester City could have on the transfer market.
The policies of both these clubs is going to have a profound effect for any club entering the transfer market. The transfer prices and wages for the best players is going to surge and incorrectly represent the economic times. Angel Barajas, a professor of Finance alluded to the current market as being inflated by the big spending clubs.
The impact on Arsenal currently is not as significant. As highlighted earlier, its youth policy has given it other options by which it can promote players from the reserve squads rather than purchasing established stars within the market and training them to Arsenal’s style of football. It is however having an impact on the club’s transfer practices in two ways.
First of which is the price of players increasing. I am sure that many have heard of the Gunners proposed interest in Lyon star Karim Benzema (who has since joined Real Madrid on a 35 million pound move). Lyon president were said to be willing to sell, but the interest of Real Madrid has proving to be a driving point for the price. While it would be optimistic to assume that Arsenal were intent on gaining him, and willing to battle Real Madrid for his signature, it is fairly unlikely that with Arsenal’s amounting debt that they would be willing to take on the big spenders. Arsenal is faced with a strong competition in the market, and are unable to compete with the large spenders.
Even in cases where the players are purchased for reasonable prices it is still unlikely that Arsenal can compete, not only on the transfer fee but also the personal agreements for the players. Manchester City were able to capture Aston Villa captain Gareth Barry for a 12 million pound move. And while it may look like a steal now the question has to be asked: how often do players perform at their peak after age 31? Rarely.
Additionally, when you add in his wages of 14 million pounds for, say, three years plus the transfer fee you’re looking a total of 26 million pounds for three years service for a player likely to dip below his peak. Hardly good business. There is no denying Barry’s quality, but this shows the impact that personal terms and the willingness to meet huge demands have on the transfer market. Subsequently Arsenal, a team with a rigid wage structure, is not able to compete with the money monsters like Manchester City.
Another way that Arsenal are effected in the transfer market is via other clubs willingness to be open with the transfer fee figures. Ronaldo, Benzema and Kaka for example, all had large figures confirmed by Madrid, which becomes an issue when the selling club chooses to purchase a replacement.
Using Fabregas as an example; if Arsenal was to sell him for 50 million pounds and Real Madrid were to make the fee known, it is going to have a negative effect when Arsenal seek an able replacement. Attempts to secure a player from another club may mean that they will demand a higher price for a player. Once the fee is made public, smaller clubs are more likely to charge a higher fee for players upon knowing how much certain players were sold for.
Michel Platini has come out and said that the mega transfer fee and huge wages are destroying the game. I think there is some truth to this, but at the same time I think that Arsenal with their youth policy are less reliant on this than other clubs. Arsenal stand alone in the top four because they are less likely to spend because of the huge debt which they had massed from moving to the Emirates. Liverpool splashed the cash on Torres, United on Ferdinand and Chelsea are one of the biggest culprits of transfer inflation in the football market.
I believe that Arsenal’s youth policy has helped us massively. However, I do feel that if Wenger wants to bring success back to the club then he and the club’s management need to find a way to bring experienced heads in this inflated market.
Have your say on Shane’s guest post by leaving a comment.