Burnley v. Arsenal — Debt in the Premier League

I find myself in an unusual situation: there’s no television coverage of today’s match in the U.S. So, as excited as I was to see Arsene’s 18 youngsters take on the team that knocked Chelsea out of the Carling Cup, I don’t get to. BOOOO! Maybe I’ll see if I can get a stream on Justin.tv.

It’s going to be a tough challenge for the young squad, up till now they have played home matches and against “lesser” competition but in Burnley they will find a squad that moves the ball well and has some teeth up front. And they will have to do it all away from home, which means that they will need to defend well and patiently wait for goal scoring opportunities.

Tough match for a bunch of kids.

Ahead of the match, Aaron Ramsey is brimming with confidence and has claimed that he could be Arsenal’s Steven Gerrard: wait, he wants to be a xenophobic diving prick? Personally I hope he’s not a Steven Gerrard, I’d rather he be Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey. No time like the present to start, Aaron. Burnley’s got 5 red cards this season so they are going to get “stuck in,” how will you respond? I wish I could watch.

Speaking of responding…

Robin van Persie claims that the Gallas outburst wasn’t targeted at him. Hmmmm…. Eboue? Honestly, I don’t know and don’t really care, Gallas isn’t the captain, Cesc is 2-0, and the team seems to be playing well. That’s all that really matters.

The boss talked about responding to the win over Chelsea, hell, the whole team is talking about it: they need to keep the heat on, their foot on the gas, not let up, give 110%, pick your metaphor. Anything less than a win against Wigan on Saturday will be an embarrassment: not only is it a home game but it’s against the team that the youngsters dismantled 3-0 just a few weeks ago. Wigan will be looking for revenge but Arsenal will have a full squad, well rested, and can have no excuses.

And finally…

I’m not typically a fan of articles that talk about debt in the Premier League, usually because they are poorly written, have the tone of a screed, and often like to highlight Arsenal’s debt and downplay Chelsea’s. Basically, they are almost always a propaganda piece in favor of getting some Sugar Daddy in at Arsenal. But I found one this morning that has a picture of the Emirates but doesn’t mention Arsenal’s debt at all. It’s a pretty good look at what’s coming for Chelsea, Liverpool, and Man U (among others) given the global credit market and their levels of debt compared to their income. A club like Man U is probably too big to fail (some rich guy will always buy a club that big) but Chelsea supporters should be very, very worried. Chelsea have started the downward spiral and rather than being “self sufficient” as Peter Kenyon suggests, they will be insolvent in two years time. They can’t possibly sustain $150m a year in losses without Roman’s money and since he’s turning off the tap and they aren’t making cuts in salary the losses will continue. It was a bad business plan from the onset; use $1bn to buy up the world’s talent and try to transform a mid-table team into the world’s biggest club in just a few years. What they are left with is an insane wage bill, a huge debt to their owner, a tiny outdated stadium, and a couple of Premiership titles all because they overlooked one thing: history. To be the biggest club in the world takes time and sustained effort, many, many championships, and a long history of overcoming adversity. You can’t buy that, Roman.

Right, late for work, if I get to see the match I’ll do a Good, Bad and Ugly tomorrow. If not? Oh well! Here’s to the Young Ones doing a number on Burnley: Up The Arse!


  1. ok heres what i think arsenal 2-0 burnley: wilshire 52 and vela 80. also about the chelsea debt thing i will give it 3 years at the most before roman pulls the plug and chelsea go into administration because they are spending too much on transfers and wages. arsenal for the carling cup, FA cup and the Champs league is something really lucky happens then we will win the league. COME ON U GOONERS. FAB IS KING.

  2. chelsea are in a bad cycle. their team is built on buying expensive players and have little coming through the youth. This means if they intend to still contend for titles in 4 or 5 years they’ll need to buy more and get more in debt…. cant wait

  3. There is going to be a BIG problem for clubs that have huge debts, Chelsea will suffer the most and as for ManUtd, you got it right, they are a big club with history and huge fan bases around the globe, some unknown businessman will buy them at any time but that doesn’t guarantee long term success. Liverpool will continue having their problems and also suffer their debt, don’t think they can afford a bigger stadium.

    As for our Arsenal, among the Top 4 they are at the best and most secured position, that’s why we are different both in game and managing the club. Arsenal = unique. Simple as that. The club is moving at the right position and every season growing stronger in football terms and financially.


  4. how can Gerrad urge a limit to foreign players and then walk comfortably back into liverpool’s dressing room… where MOST of his teammates are foreign … so who will he replace torres with??? and alonso?? even keane isnt english …the whole foreign thing is soo stupid…

  5. I have no idea tee, maybe he’s just a retard?

    His coaches are all foreign, most of his teammates are foreign, THE OWNERS ARE FOREIGNERS.

    I take it back, he’s a retard.

  6. Is Arsenal really bullet proof?

    I mean, we all like to think that they are in better shape than the Chelseas and the Man Uniteds, but are they really? I read a lot of articles that say that Arsenal is in just as much financial hot water as everyone else – those articles can’t all be just anti-Arsenal SPAM.

    At the end of the day, nothing is recession-proof.

  7. I wouldn’t say bulletproof but the debt for the Highbury renovation was sectioned off as a separate corporate entity and thus cannot effect the club. Moreover, the debt for the new stadium was locked in at a very favorable permanent interest rate (I want to say 6%) and restructured so that the annual payment is something like £30m.

    Arsenal’s wage structure is very high but their wage to gate receipts ratio is very favorable, in fact it’s the best in the league, I believe.

    No team is recession proof, but as long as Arsenal keep playing the type of football that is the envy of every football team in the world and occasionally bring home a trophy or get even get close to trophies I can see the team surviving this current recession.

    It also helps that the manager doesn’t demand £30m every 6 months to sign superstars and instead is developing young players — especially young English players who command a premium in the transfer markets.

    Arsenal is being run like a proper business with great football and great footballers as the product of that business. I see nothing wrong with that model and if anything’s going to survive the recession it’s clubs with a good business model.

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