عالمية عالمية

Arsenal’s financial contingency plan which failed and sent ‘shockwaves’ through club

Arsenal’s finances are said to have been modelled on a contingency plan which has failed miserably since Arsene Wenger left the club.

The boardroom at the Emirates Stadium has been all change in recent years, mostly kickstarted by Wenger’s departure in 2018.

That hasn’t necessarily stopped the Gunners from frequently splashing the cash, the alarming £72m plumped on Nicolas Pepe immediately springs to mind.

But it isn’t uncommon to hear that the north London side are strapped for cash, normally leaving their hands tied in the Janaury transfer window, when they need to spend more than ever.

Since the turn of the millennium, Wenger only failed to help Arsenal qualify for the Champions League once – his final season – when they finished fifth.

Arsenal’s financial situation has worsened in recent years, along with their results

The Gunners have failed to get back into Europe’s premier competition ever since, and even finished as low as eighth last term.

And according to the book The Deal, which claims to go inside the world of a super-agent, this has been detrimental to the club’s finances.

According to the book in question, for years Arsenal have had a contingency plan that requires them to finish in the Champions League three times in every four seasons.

Arsene Wenger regularly ensured Arsenal made it to the knockout stages of the Champions League

Not doing so would supposedly send “shockwaves” through the club – cue regular financial problems, including a £120m loan from the Bank of England to help them deal with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Stability was always the key for owner Stan Kroenke and ex-chief executive Ivan Gazidis, and that suggests why they were always content with Wenger’s third and fourth placed finishes.

It is a completely different story now, of course, at the Emirates Stadium, though Mikel Arteta did play up the importance of qualifying for the Champions League last season.

“This club has to play in Europe and this club has to play in the Champions League,” said the Spaniard ahead of the final few games of the previous campaign.

“If we don’t have the choice to do that, it’s better to play in Europe than not to, that’s my opinion.”

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