As you all know the club announced plans to make 55 staff redundant, yesterday. In its statement the club makes clear why it needs to do this:
These are of course extraordinary times, and if the club are to lose out on about £100m in gate and matchday income alone then it makes sense that it will look for ways to cut costs.
Here are some financial facts so we can put things in perspective. Our turnover for the year ending on 31 May 2018 was just over £400m (£403m), and our wage bill for that year was an eye-watering £240m.
Income streams for the club were as follows:
Gate and matchday income £99m
TV and Broadcasting £180m
Property development £15m
Player trading £2m
Net profits were £70m for the 2018 season.
I used this Guardian document as my source:
In recent times, other clubs have tried to reduce the non-football related staff costs – Pool and Spuds come to mind – but had to retract their plans after a public and supporters’ outcry.
I fully understand the cold business rationale but Arsenal football club is not just a company, it is an institution based on values and a famous motto: Victoria Concordia Crescit. Victory Through Harmony as a motto can be interpreted in different ways but surely the essence is that we want to win by sticking together through both the good and bad times? Strength in unity.
C19 is an awful crises and now more than ever we need to stick together and survive together. 55 redundancies would save about 1-2% of our total wage bill at most. Without knowing the exact total of salaries of the affected staff, I would imagine that they on average do not cost more than say £55k per annum per person; so we are talking about a total of just over £3m per annum, which clearly does not impact our total wage bill that much at all.
Surely, rather than putting 55 staff in a difficult financial, and possibly existential, position there are other, less painful ways to make a £3m saving. By all means, offer voluntary redundancy to those who want to go, but keep hold of the rest as they are all part of the family.
If FFP rules allow it, the Kroenkes can fill the gap easily; and if not, surely some maneuvering of player wages during the summer transfer window would do the trick… We all want Auba to stay and Willian and whoever else to join, but doing so whilst letting 55 dedicated Arsenal club staff go is morally wrong.