How Does saving £3m/ 55 Redundancies Rhyme with Arsenal’s Famous Motto Victory Through Harmony?

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

Retail £26m

Commercial £107m

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.

By TotalArsenal.





53 thoughts on “How Does saving £3m/ 55 Redundancies Rhyme with Arsenal’s Famous Motto Victory Through Harmony?

  • Thanks, TA
    I didn’t want to be the first to write about this
    Ever since yesterday, I’ve been feeling a bitterness I thought I’d never feel about this club I love so much
    There’s a very good article here, many of you have probably read it already:
    As for me, I think of all this in the form of a small parable
    (Cast of characters:
    David Haller/Legion/the son as The Arsenal Football Club
    The Mother as David Dein
    The Father as Arsène Wenger
    The Monster as Kia/Raul/Edu/Kroenkes (pick as many as you like):

    !!! It starts all over again at 04’12”
    I thought it’d cheer me up, but it’s not really working …
    But I do hope you’ve noticed my capital letters

  • The Arsenal have always been run as a business, its not their fault that pathetic and feeble minded governments around the world have closed down huge sections of the economy and forced their populations into lockdown. Blame the over the top reaction to a flu like bug for these redundancies. I feel sorry for those let go but people better get used to it because millions of people in this country are going to end up in the same boat and many of them wont even receive a single penny. I dont think the frightened sheeple realise the type of misery about to come our way.

  • Johnno, Sorry to disagree with you but Covid-19 is the most dangerous virus for over 100 years and as yet there is no vaccine available and it is running rampart around the World. It is transmitted from one person to another and if left unchecked the damage to economies and the amount of deaths we see today will seem very trivial.

  • Re. GunnerN5. The Hong Kong flu killed over 80,000 people in the UK in the late 1960`s but nobody talked about shutting down the economy. 28,000 people died of influenza in 2014. If you are under the age of 65 and in reasonably good health then you have more chance of drowning than being killed by the Chinese virus. I read an interesting stat from the American medical centre the other day, the average age of death from Covid-19 is 80. The average life expectancy in America is just over 77. Most people arent dying from Covid they are dying with it. Also its amazing how sharply deaths from influenza have fallen isnt it?. Ruining the economy wont save lives, it will do the opposite but you`re entitled to your opinion and you should`nt apologise for having one. We still (just about) live in a free country although the “liberal” left are doing their best to change that. Anyway, GunnerN5, my advice to worriers like you is to turn off the TV and stop listening to media sensationalists. It will do you the world of good.

  • The only reason not many, many more people died because of C19 is because governments acted decisively eventually. They will have to keep doing it.

  • Nice debate but on the transfer front, ………

    I don’t know which rumours are true or even close to true. If there’s any truth to the Willian stories, it really bothers me. He is an experienced prem player. But basically a wide forward, keep in mind. Currently there, we have Aubamayang firstly, especially IF Lacazette stays. Secondly we have uber talented Pepe in his prime, cost of 70-80 mil? And Pepe has been looking much better under Arteta than previously. After that, we all love Saka and want to see him play a lot, then we have Reiss Nelson who hasn’t been able to get enough minutes to show his talent, which I think he posesses. Then we have Maitland Niles. We even have other options for possible injury situations that might come up.

    … can I say that one of the bonuses to rebuilding with youth is the discount in players salary, as well as saving transfer fees. Why do we need an older player for a position where we are stocked, who will cost a higher salary then all the others, and that’s money that can be used to satisfy Aubas contract desires. He is the star of the team, the biggest we’ve had since van Persie, and in better physical health than he was when we wanted to keep RvP. I dont see any sense in using limited resources on a Willian, when we need depth and quality in central midfield.

    It seems so obvious to me. Am I wrong? And please dont just tell me that if that’s who Mikel wants he should be allowed to have him. Teams and even the greatest managers make mistakes in signings all the time. In this case, a player who is “free” is not free in difficult financial times… if he costs salary and we don’t even need his specialty.

    And all of this does relate to staff being made redundant as well.
    So I guess, all this makes me a “no” on Willian. Was never a huge fan anyway.

  • Fine thoughts, TA.
    The saddest part – at least for me – is that was so painfully obvious. What did they expect? That the public would celebrate? That the players won’t mind, who were kind of blackmailed into cutting their wages to save the jobs/salaries of people working for Arsenal? That people without a preferred club in England would say, ‘Yeah, let’s support this team, they follow a sustainable financial model’?

  • Good point, JNYC.

    My hopelessly naive approach is that the whole Willian chase is a scam. We do it as a favor to Joorabchian (in order to achieve better terms with Chelsea, Miami or wherever Willian will end up), and in return we would get a cut-price deal for Coutinho.
    Even if we sell Lacazette and Auba would move to his favored CF role, we have to loan Nelson, as Pepe & Willian (RW) and Martinelli & Saka (LW) would provide plenty of competition for the wings. Out of theses 4 who would the club limit to 1000 minutes next season? And in principle it could get as high as 6, if Lacazette says thus Auba and Nelson will boost our ranks in the wings.

  • It looks like Nelson and AMN are not making it at Arsenal under Arteta. We need regular goals from others not just Auba. Willian brings that and much more. In my view he is one of the best all round attackers in the Premier League who would fit in straight away at say Pool or Citeh, and definitely at Arsenal. But if it means the sacking of 55 staff then I don’t want to see it happening.

  • If you think that sabotaging the worlds economy was right then you have no reason to complain about the inevitable job losses that will automatically follow.

  • I have mixed opinions on the situation. The romantic in me wants no one to lose their job and for good arsenal people to be taken care of. The realist sees why it has happened and it’s a reality that has impacted us all. How many people thought they worked for a company/business that would shield them from this situation? I bet most people. I bet most were shocked when they were treated like just another number.

    I think it’s simplistic to look at players wages and compare those to those that have been made redundant. Money flows down from on field performance. The Arsenal squad needs to get back to former glory.

    So many variables to consider…what were these workers doing? Pay scale? The scouts…what were their strike rates.

    Could stan chip in? Of course he could. But hey he’s a billionaire and they typically don’t get to where they are by making decisions that are kind. If he does that to one club does he need to do it to his other teams…how long…where do you draw the line…

    Tough. The reality of the world huh.

    Hopefully things return to normal in 2021 (sooner rather than later). On field success leads to improved financial situation. Those that lost their job are brought back and we continue to rebuild.

  • I’m honestly shocked nelson isn’t part of Arteta’s plans. I know he’s had his injury issues but this year he’s been a real shining light when he’s played. He makes things happen. I’d prefer him over willock.

    AMN is another I’d keep around. A coquelin type that can jump into multiple positions when called upon. And if Arteta is continuing down the wing back route he is suitable for the role on both sides. I wouldn’t be getting rid of him for anything under 15 million.

  • A well balanced response, Oz G. I think the Kroenkes are making a big mistake but you make valid points too, especially regarding setting a precedent.

    Are you by any chance the Oz Gunner based in Perth/ our former master match previewer?

  • Wow TA, a rare strong disagreement on this Willian thing. But now even more. Firstly I think you’re being far to harsh on Reiss Nelsons prospects under Arteta. I don’t think Arteta would make up his mind that quickly on a young talent the club values, unless there’s a major personality problem, a la Guendouzi. Maitland Niles had looked very good and determined when given opportunity in the last few games. Impressed most of us, and the work he put in is the kind that managers love from young players, and always gets noticed. I think you wrote those 2 off too lightly.

    So there’s that, and on Willian, no one knows better than Chelsea his value at this age. Even with a talented Mount, Pulisic, and Werner who I rate, their forwards don’t come close to ours in quality OR depth. They don’t think he adds that much to a young rebuilding squad, what miracle will make him magical for Arsenal? Don’t forget where we really need to add. Cm.

    One last question, which is about my main point. Would you rather have an (aging) seventh winger on high salary because hes on a free, or would you put that cash to work to retain our best, most important, most talented player, our star? Maybe I posed the question in a slightly leading manner, but that could actually be the choice for a team obviously on a budget.

  • Some interesting and varied comments on here today, hey JNYC hows things in the Big Apple, I sense a lot of politicising going in your neck of the woods with the ordinary Joe picking up the tab.

    AMN has a new agent, so the landscape has changed with him and with possibly a sharp increase in certain demands surrounding salary and playing time, I’m just guessing here?

    Could be that the club have decided to cash in on Ainsley in order to complete deals for Ceballos and/or Partey and as much as I like Ainsley if you gave me a choice I’d take losing AMN if it meant we’d get one or both of the others – and the Brazilian centre back from Lille.

    Yes, Arteta is reported to have wanted to keep Ainsley and I don’t doubt that but maybe when faced with the financial situation and what needs to be done to secure the players he wants it could be that he’s reluctantly accepted the departure of Niles. It’s a stark balancing act, but £20m, no mate and certainly not when you see the prices that Norwich, Watford and Bournemouth will be asking for players who were relegated. For me Niles is in the £35m bracket, he’s played a 100 games for Arsenal, played in top level games, cup finals and semi finals and been an integral part of the FACup winning squad, so yeah, £35m for me!
    But not to Tottenham…

  • @ TA

    Tis i – not sure about a master of anything tho haha. No longer there and PhD done.
    I agree the kroenke’s are making a terrible mistake. When push comes to shove in these sorts of situations i think you have to be an arsenal man to make the right decisions. We know he isn’t and I’m sure he won’t lose a wink of sleep over it.

    @ kev

    I think 35 million for AMN is fanciful. In saying that we did get a pretty decent wad of cash for both ox and iwobi (I’m still scratching my head over the iwobi sale…whomever signed off 35 million for him at everton should be locked up for stupidity).

    I like project youth. It’s the smart play. We’ve scratched around topping up sub par players here and there and it’s left us in the middling position – not good enough to compete, but enough to get our hopes up every season. The additional positive is you have players that want to win for Arsenal and saved us $$$.

    The Willian one is interesting. I like it. It’s a free transfer and we can’t really rely on nelson, saka and martinelli. I’d love to but too many games and the young one’s tend to break down. With Willian you have a winner that knows what it takes to prepare and get through games. He will excel with arteta and provide much needed experience and leadership for our younger brigade. Then when he is phased out saka and co can step up and tale the mantle. No need to go the sink or swim route. That can ruin young players especially if forced to play repeatedly whilst down on confidence.

  • The priority this summer had to be retaining our best and most promising players and so far we’ve secured the futures of Saka and Martinelli and it also seems that Martinez is next in the crosshairs for a new deal, playing time guarantees might influence that?

    But Aubameyang is the bloke most of us wanted to see signed and sealed for the immediate future and if the ‘chat’ is correct (always a risky one that) he wasn’t only interested in a wage increase, he also wanted to see more ambition in squad rebuilding and that is problematic with the club stuck with so many players they can’t shift, Mkhitaryan, Elneny, Ozil, Sokratis for example with no fee seemingly in the offing for that bunch.

    Therefore in an effort to satisfy and retain Auba the club might be forced to release the like of Niles and possibly Nelson – who I really like- in order to complete on Ceballos and/or Partey and/or a centre back and Willian? It’s all rubbish I know but a lot of us have also opined that Arteta will have to make some difficult and unpopular decisions this summer and so it goes…

  • Hi Oz, I do think that we Arsenal fans have a bit of a tendency to undervalue our players, but yeah fanciful is good mate, ask high and see what occurs?

    If Palace can ask £80 for Zaha a year ago then why can’t we be optimistic?

    Yeah, the Iwobi deal was excellent and AOC, we even did well to move on Walcott so it’s not been all bad.

  • If you close down huge sections of the economy, place your citizens under house arrest then yes, that amounts to sabotage. If you support such draconian measures then you have no right whatsoever to complain about the inevitable job losses that will follow. Just use your common sense mate.

  • @ kev

    I agree. The Zaha and grielish numbers being floated around are laughable. Typical english variable inflating their worth.

    I don’t think we’ll have an issue getting rid of sokratis. He’s still good enough for a mid tier team and could easy net 10 million imo. Myki and elneny…whatever we get is a bonus.

    Auba is an absolute must. Replacing him would cost 50 million plus and then there is settling in time + forwards tend to struggle in the EPL. Lord knows chelsea and co. have burned through countless flops.

    Ceballos is priority number 2 imo.

    Martinez is a tricky one. He was on some kind of tear but i really rate leno. Prior to injury he was probably our best player behind auda over the last 2 seasons. Kept us in games and kept us from being blown off the park at times. Tricky situation. I doubt either want to be second fiddle. At the very least martinez has earned us some transfer money which would have been non-existent a couple of months ago.

  • There we go mkhi loan extension for 20/21 season.

    So basically turning his wage into Willian’s.

    That’ll do me just fine.

  • Morning all, It’s great to turn on the computer and be able to read so many interesting and sage comments. Other sites are full of biased and argumentative bloggers who take no time to consider the viewpoint of others – but here on BK it’s the opposite and our fearless leader (TA) very smoothly irons out any wrinkles

    Just to finish my thoughts on Covid-19 – I’m glad that I live in Canada and that I can rest assured that my children and grandchildren are being protected by the sound decision making by our government. We have been through complete lock down and are now in the gradual re-opening stage with little to no dissent from Canadians – wearing masks is accepted on a national basis and testing is readily available,

  • Oz, if we get £10m for Sokratis, given his wages then I’d consider that a fantastic piece of business, I hope you’re right on that one.

    Mkhitaryan and Elneny it’s just about getting shot of there wages for another year, I’m amazed that we can’t sell Elneny as he’s a decent player, it can only be his salary.
    Good point regarding Mkhitaryan/Willian and wages.

    Guendouzi is an odd one, I know he’s not exactly put himself in the shop window in a good light but I’d have thought that we’d have no trouble moving him on, but obviously that’s not the case.
    Wages again perhaps?

    As for good old Mesut, well that’s got another 9/10 months to run then he can got and play in Turkey. I personally won’t miss him in the slightest…

  • Hi Kev,
    We’ve watched a lot of series on either Netflix or Amazon Prime but we have not seen Cardinal – did you see it on either of those?

  • Mini luiz would have red flags written all over him. You don’t act like that early on…has the nasri’s about him. It’s not 20 years ago where you’d sweep it under the rug. Players sit down with psychs and assessed. Which is fair because there have been instances of teams sweeping players mental illnesses under the rug, a drug or gambling addiction etc.

    Hopefully we can get 35 million for him from emery. Has that “i unearthed this gem and so I’ll sort him out” type feel which is good for us! Good luck to both of you!

  • Arteta has shown in his first 8 months that he can and will make the tough personnel decisions required without letting emotion get in the way – this in my mind is a great management asset and will allow him to make the critical decisions with a clear and open mind – unencumbered by personal feelings.

    Ozil and Guendouzi must have either crossed him or let him down and he has shown them who is boss. I can see no way back for Ozil but Guendouzi is still young and it’s possible that he can return to the flock – but only on Arteta’s teram.

  • I agree G5

    The modern manager needs to be a people person but also able make the tough decisions. Footballers are prima donnas. Don’t lay down the law and they’ll walk all over you. I don’t blame them. They are spoilt. Millions of dollars. Millions of likes on social media. Millions of sponsors. Half the time you get it for very little output.

    But if you don’t respect the manager and the culture of the club you should be kicked to the curb immediately.

  • Good to know it is thee then, Oz. Well done on completing your PhD. So are you working at a university now or working for a commercial company?

    And how is winter in Perth?

  • J, I rate Reiss and Ainsley highly, let there be no mistake about it. Willian won the PL twice, had half a year break and is very fit individual. He will be good for 15 goals and assists I reckon, and I love his close ball control, passing and vision.

    In our squad who has PL winning or major league winning experience? Willian and Luiz will bring this as does Auba, and I think Arteta is keen on having this in his squad.

  • Total, I am yet to sit down quietly and watch the whole game – in fact I knew the score before watching any of the game – in spite of my best efforts – my 11 year old grandson saw the score and was so excited he could not contain himself – nor would I have been able too at his age. I’ve watched bits and pieces but I have the game recorded and will watch when time and emotion allows. From what I’ve watched Auba is irreplaceable and we must do everything possible to keep him. I’ll answer more fully when I’ve watched the whole game.

    Yet another day of great comments from knowledgeable bloggers, makes superb reading.

  • Very interesting sky/espn article, GN
    I am as nonplussed by the moves as the espn guys … but you all know that already
    Willian on Mkhi’s wages is a good point, though … having said that saving Mkhi’s wages, plain and simple, might have been useful in these post (??) lockdown days
    The same question comes back haunting me: when do the children play? Most of them have done the hardest part for attacking players – they’ve given themselves the confidence-booster all young attacking players need when they scored their first PL goal (reiss/joe/bukayo); one also had a successful loan (reiss) – but somehow it’s not enough, so what will be?
    I’ve written it before, but such a distrustful way of dealing with our youngsters worries me: should they play for the same club (and not be injured …), the best front line in Europe at the moment would probably be: reine-adélaïde/malen/gnabry (what would be the price-tag of such a trident??)
    In 3/4 years time I fear it might well be nelson/balogun/smithrowe … but not in an arsenal shirt.
    We’d definitely be the punchline of every joke in professional football then … and deservedly so

  • Been busy GN5, sorry I didn’t reply sooner, no mate it’s on Channel 4 in the UK it’s a Canadian cop show, I’ve not long seen series 3, I just assumed that it was on CBC or one of the other terrestrial channels over there. If you like a cop show it’s pretty good.

  • As for your Grandson GN5, we forgive our grandchildren everything and anything, they keep you young and stop you becoming grumpy. 😉

  • Reine Adelaide, Gnabry and Malen were released under a previous regime LG and before we had a proper loans manager and contracts guy so I’d hope that those errors would not be repeated, although you can never be too sure…

    I think that Arteta, so the blurb goes, has already intimated that Smith Rowe is a big part of his plans going forward into next season and with Europa and League Cup ties and a compacted EPL campaign following on from a virtually non existent close season The Boss is going to need every single player he can muster to avoid those soft tissue injuries we are so fond of at Arsenal…

    5 subs, plenty of rotation I’d imagine, although I wonder if the water break will still be in operation next season, that seemed very productive for Arteta.

    Total the Charity Shield (old school me!) might see both clubs field a League Cup line up?

  • Oz I’ve been thinking the same about the keeper situation. I’m torn. I was constantly pointing out what Leno was doing for us. Emi has turned me into a believer in this audition time. To a point where I might consider keeping him if Leno would bring in more cash.

  • Hi Kev,
    Thanks for asking, but it’s not good. My friends and I are discussing the New York situation daily now. Almost everyone i know is looking to relocate out of the city. The city has regressed back to the 1980s almost overnight. Partly to due to the wuhan virus, but mostly because the politicians and media have villified all police in this country. Average citizens want to get out the bad cops as much as anyone, but support 90% of the officers that protect us all.The new regime passed laws forcing people arrested for robbery and assault to be released the next morning. Places in posh Manhattan neighborhoods where I felt safe in the middle of the night a couple years ago, are not safe in the afternoon. The national media is downplaying whats happening, because its not the narrative they prefer. Do not visit New York without consulting a local friend who will be honest with you.

    I myself, am doing well. My longtime company went bankrupt, as are many other retailers along with so many restaurants. Hotel, airline redundancies and a long recession are coming .but I’m working online now, so the quarantine has been perfect timing for me. The good news is working online will make relocation much more feasible.

  • Cheers TA.

    Teaching and research at uni. We’ll see what the new year brings though.

    Can’t complain. It’s felt colder but our 18 degrees Celsius on the coldest days aren’t a patch on what you have to contend with. Family and yourself doing well?

  • A tough time for student and lecturers, Oz, but that sounds like a good career path. What have you specialised in?

    Family is fine, except for my dad but he is improving now. Thanks for asking.

  • Sorry to hear about your business JNYC, I watch PBS news whenever I can and it doesn’t look great from a distance.
    As for the Police, I think it’s awful how they are being treated over there, it’s all so politicised now, it used to be a public service.

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