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Can Arsenal spend £55m on Suarez?

ANALYST
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2.26K   //    25 Jul 2013, 17:39 IST
FBL-ENG-PR-MAN CITY-LIVERPOOL

Luis Suarez

Did you ever think Arsenal would bid £40,000,001 for a player? After years of austerity this seems crazy, right? Not crazy because it’s over-valuing the player, we are all well aware that top talent these days come with a pretty hefty premium. No, it’s crazy because it’s well over double what our reported highest ever transfer fee is (£17.5m for Reyes).

What is even crazier is how we have gone from

FFS Wenger, spend some effing money! We need world-class players at Arsenal

To

Stop effing dithering and just give them £50m for Suarez if that’s what it takes. We’ve got the money!

And

Why is it taking so long? Other clubs are buying players so why can’t Arsenal? They are going to stiff us again and not buy anyone.

Putting aside the self-perpetuating unhappiness which Arsenal some supporters have created, it is crazy to think that even with £70m/£100m/£120m (take your pick) in the bank that we can just drop £55m on one player as easy as breathing.

Arsenal transfer kitty

I was genuinely astonished at the sheer volume of people I spoke to who didn’t appreciate that Arsenal have a budget. “But we have £70m to spend”, “We have £100m in the bank” were the responses to me saying “Big deals are easily concluded if you are willing to pay over the odds. Or don’t have a budget” (I paraphrase).

Arsenal do have a budget. It may be a very big budget but it is still a budget nonetheless. I am not pally enough with the Arsenal board or their bank manager to know exactly how much we have to spend or how long it needs to last for but I suspect that our £70-120m isn’t just for this summer. Let’s have a look at Arsenal’s budget using confirmed figures.

We will certainly have more money available to us in 2014/15 but does that mean we can spend all of our money this summer? Or do we need to keep a little powder dry?

Ignoring that even and assuming that we have £100m to spend this summer can it all be spent on transfer fees? What about wages? Let’s say wages don’t factor as we have managed to get quite a lot of non-contributing players off our books. Agents fees and signing on fees cannot be ignored though as that money has to be paid from somewhere and there is no logical reason why it would not come from the transfer kitty as it is a transfer associated cost.

Signing on fees are hard to calculate as it is impossible to know what they are without seeing documentary evidence however agents fees are a little easier to calculate as those figures are released to the Premier League.

Between October 2008 and September 2012 Arsenal spent the following on agents fees

10/2008 – 09/2009 – £4.76m
10/2009 – 09/2010 – £3.66m
10/2010 – 09/2011 – £4.65m
10/2011 – 09/2012 – £5.58m
Total – £18.65m

I am going to be more than generous and work on the basis that £8.65m of that was spent on existing players for contract renegotiation etc which leaves us with £10m paid to agents of new signings.

Between October 2008 and September 2012 Arsenal spent a total of £131.5m on transfers. Now this is a very rough estimate based on reported fees for Arsenal signings as many of them are undisclosed. Accepting these figures as correct that makes Arsenal’s transfer outlay, excluding wages and signing on fees as £141.5m.

Agents are paid to get their clients the best deals possible and one would assume that a player would have something serious to say if their agents fee for their transfer was higher than their own signing on fee. Again, I am going to take the liberty of assuming how much someone gets paid by saying that each signing on fee was equal to the agents fee, no more, no less. So now we are looking at a total outlay of £151.5m on transfer related fees between October 2008 and September 2012.

So agent and signing on fees equates to approximately 15% of the transfer outlay. So assuming our budget is £100m we actually have £87m to spend on actual transfer fees. £87m + 15% = £100.05m.

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