United’s Debt Dwarfs Arsenal’s Debt
Earlier this week the sage of the financial world Alex Ferguson made a pronouncement on the financial situation at Arsenal. His claim was that Arsene had very little money to spend and it will be tough for Arsenal this season.
This comes from the club who are £800million in debt and have annual interest payments of £45million. This year Ferguson sold Ronaldo for £80million and has spent £19million on players. The Glazers need to not only service the interest payments, but will also be required to repay the debt. The Glazers have already increased season ticket prices at Old Trafford, now it is the time for the playing staff to be attacked.
Despite knowing for two years what the asking price for Tevez was, United were reluctant to meet the £25million fee as that would have eaten into the money required by the Glazers. The spin coming out of Old Trafford is that there are not players out there who want to fight for United, so Fergie is not buying anyone. Tevez certainly used to fight or United, but he would have cost money and if it is a case of fighters, I have not seen any fight from Berbatov.
Clearly United are undergoing a financial squeeze and Fergie wants to deflect attention away from United and on to Arsenal.
Arsenal have debt and that is well known. Our debt is broken into two elements, the £135milion used to develop Highbury and the £232million used to build the Emirates. It is the first of these loans that is concerning the club and the directors are trying to renegotiate a loan extension as the housing market has collapsed and the club will find it difficult to pay this loan by April 2010. Our annual interest payment is £17million, whilst our profits before interest is £48million. This is adequate cover and does not in any way necessitate Wenger having to sell players to finance the interest payments.
The press have not yet looked into the United finances and the fact that Fergie has not spent the transfer fee received from Ronaldo, but if they dig a little they will find a club in deep financial quagmire.