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Arsenal's £130m wage bill exposed

With some outside assistance I've been able to cobble together an estimate of what Arsenal's current wage bill comprises of. 

Naturally, without access to the books, there is a (large) element of guesswork here. For example - despite the obscene wages in some (most) instances, I found that £15m was still unaccounted for, so had to put that amount down as "OTHER STAFF". Remember there are scouts to pay and probably a few hundred other individuals apart from the playing and coaching staff that draw a salary at the Emirates.

Take a look dear reader, you may find it illuminating.

FIRST TEAM WAGE (pw/k) WAGE (p/yr)
Robin van Persie £90,000 £4,680,000
Andrey Arshavin £80,000 £4,160,000
Mikel Arteta £70,000 £3,640,000
Theo Walcott £70,000 £3,640,000
Thomas Vermaelen £70,000 £3,640,000
Yossi Benayoun £70,000 £3,640,000
Gervinho £70,000 £3,640,000
Manuel Almunia £60,000 £3,120,000
Per Mertesacker £60,000 £3,120,000
Sebastien Squillaci £60,000 £3,120,000
Tomas Rosicky £60,000 £3,120,000
Bacary Sagna £60,000 £3,120,000
Aaron Ramsey £55,000 £2,860,000
Alex Song £55,000 £2,860,000
Jack Wilshere £55,000 £2,860,000
Nicklas Bendtner £52,000 £2,704,000
Marouane Chamakh £50,000 £2,600,000
Abou Diaby £50,000 £2,600,000
Andre Santos £50,000 £2,600,000
Carlos Vela £50,000 £2,600,000
Denilson £50,000 £2,600,000
Johan Djourou £50,000 £2,600,000
Laurent Koscielny £50,000 £2,600,000
Lukasz Fabianski £40,000 £2,080,000
Wojciech Szczesny £40,000 £2,080,000
Armand Traore £40,000 £2,080,000
Ju Young Park £40,000 £2,080,000
Kieran Gibbs £40,000 £2,080,000
Vito Mannone £20,000 £1,040,000
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain £20,000 £1,040,000
Carl Jenkinson £20,000 £1,040,000
Emmanuel Frimpong £20,000 £1,040,000
Ryo £20,000 £1,040,000
Francis Coquelin £15,000 £780,000
Henri Lansbury £5,000 £260,000
Ignasi Miquel £5,000 £260,000
Zak Ansah £1,000 £52,000
Daniel Boateng £1,000 £52,000
George Brislen-Hall £1,000 £52,000
Craig Eastmond £1,000 £52,000
Benik Afobe £1,000 £52,000
Chuks Aneke £1,000 £52,000
Sead Hajrovic £1,000 £52,000
Conor Henderson £1,000 £52,000
Gavin Hoyte £1,000 £52,000
Sean McDermott £1,000 £52,000
Jernade Meade £1,000 £52,000
Rhys Murphy £1,000 £52,000
Nigel Neita £1,000 £52,000
Oguzhan Ozyakup £1,000 £52,000
Sanchez Watt £1,000 £52,000
Icholas Yennaris £1,000 £52,000
Martin Angha £1,000 £52,000
Kyle Ebecilio £1,000 £52,000
Damian Martinez £1,000 £52,000
Elton Monteiro £1,000 £52,000
Jordan Wynter £1,000 £52,000
Jeffrey Monakana £1,000 £52,000
James Campbell £1,000 £52,000
Samir Bihmoutine £1,000 £52,000
Philip Roberts £1,000 £52,000
Ben Glasgow £1,000 £52,000
Reice Charles-Cook £1,000 £52,000
Alban Bunjaku £1,000 £52,000
Isaac Hayden £1,000 £52,000
Zachari Fagan £1,000 £52,000
Jon Toral £1,000 £52,000
Anthony Jeffrey £1,000 £52,000
Serge Gnabry £1,000 £52,000
Hector Bellerin £1,000 £52,000
Kristoffer Olsso £1,000 £52,000
Kyle Bartley £1,000 £52,000
Wellington £1,000 £52,000
James Shea £1,000 £52,000
Pedro Botelho £1,000 £52,000
Samuel Galindo £1,000 £52,000
Arsène Wenger £135,000 £7,020,000
Pat Rice £30,000 £1,560,000
Boro Primorac £30,000 £1,560,000
Gerry Peyton £10,000 £520,000
Neil Banfield £10,000 £520,000
Tony Colbert £10,000 £520,000
Colin Lewin £10,000 £520,000
Gary O'Driscoll £10,000 £520,000
David Wales £10,000 £520,000
Simon Harland £5,000 £260,000
Kieran Hunt £5,000 £260,000
Darren Page £5,000 £260,000
Vic Akers £5,000 £260,000
Paul Akers £5,000 £260,000
Paul Johnson £5,000 £260,000
Tony Roberts £5,000 £260,000
Marcus Svensson £5,000 £260,000
Danny Flitter £5,000 £260,000
James Collins £5,000 £260,000
Ben Knapper £5,000 £260,000
Steve Bould £20,000 £1,040,000
Liam Brady £20,000 £1,040,000
David Court £5,000 £260,000
Roy Massey £5,000 £260,000
Steve Gatting £5,000 £260,000
Lee Smelt £5,000 £260,000
Carl Laraman £5,000 £260,000
Steve Leonard £5,000 £260,000
Craig Gant £5,000 £260,000
Dennis Rockall £5,000 £260,000
Richard Goddard £5,000 £260,000
Alastair Thrush £5,000 £260,000
Stanley Kroenke £25,000 £1,300,000
Ivan Gazidis £18,000 £936,000
Peter Hill-Wood £1,500 £78,000
Ken Friar OBE £1,500 £78,000
Sir Chips Keswick £500 £26,000
Lord Harris of Peckham £500 £26,000
Wages £300,000 £15,600,000
Total £2,499,000 £129,948,000


My opinion is that the chief problem with the club has nothing to do with the amount of money spent, but rather who it's been spent on. The key word is, WASTAGE.

Take the following 15 players, all of which have completely failed to live up to expectations: Arshavin, Walcott, Almunia, Squillaci, Rosicky, Bendtner, Chamakh, Diaby, Denilson, Djourou, Fabianski, Traore, Park, Gibbs, Mannone. 

Add up the wage expenditure of that lot from between the 1-5 years of their employment at Arsenal and you will find £184,000,000 has been thrown down the toilet and another £46,300,000 blown on transfer fees. Have they really been worth £230,300,000 of your money dear Gooner?

Club denying Wenger funds? Or is it ALL down to Wenger losing the plot and paying silly money/ludicrous wages for his ego trip - better know as "project youth" - and average players imbibed with bad tactics that he can no longer motivate or improve? 


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Reader Comments (71)

quite revealing. the amount of money wenger has spent on crap is incredible. usually crap comes cheap.

February 23, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterasif

You may have overspeculated on first team staff, can't imagine some of those coaches are on £10k a week.


Quite possibly. How the wage bill is divvied up is open to scrutiny but the size of it is not under debate. Regardless, player salaries are where the wastage is.

February 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn

Dear AT,

The way out will be quite expensive (like was done for Kanu several years back) unless we wait for their contracts to run out and replace them with better quality.

We may also start considering a performance/results based wage structure where like 50% of the pay is guaranteed and balance is based on productivity with the yardsticks pre-determined and inserted in their contracts. This way, we motivate top performers and punish poor performers. Only prob;em here is top quality professionals will think twice, nay thrice, before venturing to Arsenal.

I don't really see any short term solution to this problem. Perhaps we just have to suffer a few years yet.

And, Wenger has totally lost the plot. But he is not going anywhere unless the Board changes and that's not going to also happen in the short term.

So, I will say 5 additional trophy-less and painful years for us gooners lie ahead. That is 12 years in the jungle / wilderness of mediocrity.

Lord help us!


I agree, no short-term solution seems viable. Although giving Djourou, for example, a new contract demonstrates that Wenger's still screwing up the purse strings.

Yes the wage bill is quite big but when you compare it to the likes of Chelsea, Utd and City, ours is no where near. Not all players you mentioned are bad players plus park has not been given a fair chance yet.

I Trust Arsene to pull us out of this mess.


Who cares what other clubs' wage bills are, the problem is OUR wage bill and how much money has been thrown down the toilet on shite. I don't think Park alone satisfactorily condones Wenger's £230,000,000 black hole. Are you telling me that money could not have been put to better use?

February 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNo Name

Uttter total and complete speculation. More than likely very inaccurate. Miguel appears to be getting paid twice.

Players on loan, who pays their salaries ? ? .

This is so full of holes it is not worth reading.


The important part is the salary wastage on first team players (the bulk of it), which is highly accurate. Miquel's extra £50k is not going to change that.

February 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDan

This would be regarded as a shameful, decadent, embarrasing and diabolical waste of money in a healthy economical climate, let alone now, in days of austerity and deepening financial gloom.

Arsenal Football Club is on a parallel with RBS - another financial blackhole, being propped up by cash-strapped ordinary folk, and about to shower its failed management with an £800M bonus jackpot.
It will all come to an end at some point, when maybe, just maybe, we will be able to rejoice at the new dawn.

February 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDB10

"Who cares what other clubs' wage bills are, the problem is OUR wage bill and how much money has been thrown down the toilet on shite."

Of course it matters you nutter, we play in the same league and therefore there's a knock-on effect.

This is a pretty pathetic attempt at a post even for you.

I mean, was this 130m from last years wage bill ? This years ? Next ? Some of those players are on loan anyway.

What outside help did you get ? A hedghog accountant from your backgarden ?!


I said at the start of the piece it's an "estimate" with a large element of guesswork.

The current wage bill is not an estimate, however, and the £230m blown on those 15 players is very accurate and only pathetic if you're ignorant and refuse to research into what the club is spending YOUR money on.

February 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSalai

The only short term solution is Usmanov coming in and investing his own money into the club. With the reported £55m, £70m rights clause from Usmanov, and some of Usmanov's own money we could use the personal investment to buy out the contracts of those who do not want to take a pay cut and move on, therefore releasing the player (bad for profit but at this point). The rest could be used to bring in some real players. Higuain, Podolski, Hoilett, Navas, Götze, Hazard, Diarra, M'Vila, Samba, Vertonghen, Baines, Given and the likes.

February 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterArsenal

Quite interesting to see the coach saying that club cant afford high wages, when in fact he is racking £135 000 per week. We have been made to be fools, no wonder below average players like Djourou are getting £50000 for playing crap and Benayoun, Gervinho, Diaby always crocked, Its high time this money making business stops, we need good players, Players with fighting spirit, Board with desire to succeed, but with current Board, its a waste of time. Offer by Usmanov to pay the debt was declined, anyone given that option would jump immediately, No wonder I support Usmanov, he is always there supporting the team and Kroenke, comes twice a year to UK. Good piece of work for showing us this well done.

February 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterUsmanov Arsenal Fans

What source do you have that this is how the wage structure looks like?

dont you think you have the advantege of looking at this from present to the past while the club had to give the contracts some time at the past with the expectetion of better performance from the players, less injuries on some of the players and so on?
does arsenal pay players like Treore when he is not an arsenal player, and how is the loan deals for the players that are out on loan?
i hope you understand that this is too simplistic to be the real arsenal wage structure, im assuming in their contracts they have some more detail than you get 90 000 a week. otherwise a very good article to read.


I said at the start of the piece it's an "estimate" with a large element of guesswork. What is not in doubt is the size of the wage bill, while the first team salaries are pretty accurate and therefore the horrendous wastage too.

I'm not privy to all the loan details but I did read that Arsenal are still paying Bendtner and Denilson's wages in full.

Of course I have the advantage of hindsight, but shouldn't a manager be judged on his spend and policies?

February 23, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjohn

Very interesting. Who told you all that?


Most of it's out there if you take the time and trouble. Thank god some people do.

February 23, 2012 | Unregistered Commentergoonermichael

Great work,it cant be completely off because i did the same survey with one of my mates with Arsenals annual financial report and help from soccerbase etc plus allegedly rumours among Gooners on what the players earn and i came to between 250 and 300 mil wasted on crap players and transfer fees.For that amount we could have had seven Rooneys and change left.

February 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDanish Gooner

Armand Traore was transferred to QPR so he does not get paid by Arsenal! anymore thank god!


Thanks, there are a couple of anomalies, but hopefully the bigger picture sets out the point.

February 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBwood gooner

The whole thing cannot be false, although there may be a few discrepancies..... but all in all informative... should take it just for the sake of making a constructive criticism of Arsenal's policies ... I don't know if one can put all or even most of the blame on Wenger simply because if he's given say 'x' amount and was asked to fill in the gaps where needed, then he has to go buy less quality players for cheap to fill those gaps. A manager can only demonstrate as much skill in buying players as his club permits him to ... but in the case of Wenger, he did a bit more i.e. in also keeping the club in top four.

Thanks for the info. At first I was very upset seeing the wage structure on some below par players, but got to think of it and I wrote the above.

February 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNathan

Sure AT, you can be a fundamentalist and argue that other clubs financial behavior does not matter and even a tenner being spent inefficiently is 'WASTAGE' (interestingly, we compete in a league with other clubs) but I am not sure if any rational minded person would consider this kind of speculation worth losing sleep over.

How about this, if maybe there was a league table of "MONEY WASTAGE", Arsenal and Arsene Wenger will be at the bottom of the pile. This for me AT, is what matters and I suspect would matter to anyone taking a fair-minded view.

Nice new website though. Same old content.


Just because other clubs waste pots of money doesn't make it OK that Arsenal does. Besides, the wastage is disproportionate. How can Wenger complain that he cannot compete, whilst at the same time chucking hundreds of millions of pounds down the drain on dud signings? The contradiction requires analysis.

February 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterShashi

A few days ago i looked at our wages to, i found out from our latest financial report that in 2011 we had a wage bill of 124 m£ including taxes and social fees. But that´s for about 450 employees, probably more this year. In the report there´s also numbers on exactly how much each board member gets, Gazidis and Friar the only two with any considerable pay, probably because they have no stocks.

And a lot of the numbers is laughable, a kit manager at 5000£ a week? I´m changing careers right now. None of the staff is nowhere near that numbers except from maybe the top names.

February 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDan

In the 2011 financial report it´s also stated that quote "In addition the Group used on average 834 temporary staff on match days (2010 – 861)."

If you speculate a little bit and calculate with 30 home games it makes a little over 25000 employees and calculate a low 100£ per person in total costs it comes to about 2,5 m£ (probably more in reality)


If you read the post you will notice £15m put aside for "OTHER STAFF" wages. As I said, it's an ESTIMATE and believe it's fairly accurate. You can jig the wages around a little, but the core figures are accurate.

February 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDan

Ozkyakup and Yennaris are in both your first team and reserve squads, but the essential point is well made. It really is obscene for a squad full of mediocrity and 'potential'.

Wenger's salary makes me feel slightly ill. If he really is so concerned with the club finances, as he is constantly telling us, why doesn't he take an immediate 50% pay cut? I'm sure he could struggle by on £3.5m a year.

The club now just looks like an exercise in enriching a certain number of individuals, no more.

February 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJekyll

How did Carlos Vela get 50,000 a week. I bet Hernandez of Man Utd is on half that amount.

February 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

I still think you are way off on a lot of the players, Santos for example, no way is he on 50K. Ryo, Jenkinson an Chamberlain is probably not on 20K. And then you have a whole bunch of players on 40-50K, the only one of them that i think could be payed that high is Chamakh because he came here as a free agent. Squillachi is probably a great deal lower as well.

February 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDan

"If you read the post you will notice £15m put aside for "OTHER STAFF" wages. As I said, it's an ESTIMATE and believe it's fairly accurate. You can jig the wages around a little, but the core figures are accurate."

No you do not even have correct numbers on how big the total wage bill is

It was 124,401 K in 2011 with players like Fabregas, Nasri and Clichy along with 451 others plus 834 temporary staff, this year you put it at almost 130 m£ without having a clue of the total sum and the total number of employees.

Maybe you are correct on a few players but the main debate is if some of the so called mediocre players are over payed. You can´t come to that conclusion on pure speculation and numbers taken out of nowhere.


Even if you had 1,000 staff (temporary/matchday/admin/service personnel) on £400 a week, the total annual wage cost for that would amount to £20m - only £4.4m over my projection.

Most sources believe Squillaci to be on £50k a week. Metro writes: "Newly promoted French minnows Evian were strongly linked, but they baulked at his wages, thought to be around £50,000, and with the Gunners refusing to pay half as part of a loan deal, he was forced to stay in North London as the window closed."

Of course there is no PROOF, but if Bendtner's on £52k a week, then it's not much of a stretch to imagine an experienced pro like Squillaci is paid £50k.

February 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDan

But you have Squillaci on 60000 a week. Around 50000 could mean 45000, which means you could be almost 800K per year wrong on this one player. Like i said before, speculation is useless because if you dont know what a player is paid you really can´t value his performance based on it.

The one thing we really can say is that a few, somewhere beetween 5-10 players in the current squad doesn´t have the qualities right now or the ability to develop to motivate them to stay.

I agree with you that we need to get rid of "dead meat".


You're not getting it. The wage bill is £130m. FACT. We know how much the board and manager are paid by monitoring the accounts. FACT. The 40 reserve players are obviously on comparably low wages, the 100s of part-time staff, scouts, catering staff, admin etc. would be on low-medium salaries that combined could equate to £15-20m tops.

If anything, the coaching staff are overpaid according to my stats, so the remainder HAS to go on first team player wages. The only question is who is getting what? You can talk about semantics and shuffle £10k off Squillaci and dump it on another player, but intrinsically there has to be £90-£100m in wages spread across that first team to account for the huge wage bill, and considering the vast majority of those players are duff, that means there is evidently a huge amount of wastage on criminally overpaid players.

I say again, if a reprehensible plod like Nicholas Bendtner is on £52k a week, why are you surprised that another 20 players are on as much if not more as well? Sustainable model? They're having a fucking laugh aren't they?

Is this acceptable, is this good policy? Is it more down to poor decision making, poor player management and a terrible business model implemented by Wenger rather than his feeble excuses about lack of finance? How are Spurs 10pts clear of Arsenal with a £40m lower wage bill? What is the board doing to rectify the mess other than covering it all up by blaming competitor spend and shoving price hikes on the fans?

All fair and valid questions that need to be asked. My figures might not be 100% accurate, but I'm asking them. Someone's got to.

February 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDan

The wage bill is one factor . I believe tactically Wenger has been found out.The same tactics are invariably used . No plan B.It's always ball to feet. Very few high balls.Unless threre is variation,defenders know what to expect.That is handing the initiative to the other team.
Until this changes,Arsenal will continue to lose games and will be unable to challenge in the big games.

February 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDanielWong

"I said at the start of the piece it's an "estimate" with a large element of guesswork."

- So what have you 'exposed' exactly ?!

"The current wage bill is not an estimate, however, and the £230m blown on those 15 players is very accurate and only pathetic if you're ignorant and refuse to research into what the club is spending YOUR money on."

- Honestly, take some time and think about what you're actually going for. you've got little to no actual facts bar this 130 million pound figure, is that from last year's accounts ? When we had players like Nasri, Fabregas, Clichy and Ebway ? Fabregas for example was given a 3 million pound contract bonus.

If it's solely an estimate for this year, then several of the players are now on loan, others have been sold and moved on.

Even then it's pointless without any comparison between teams and the acknowledgement that if teams above us pay more there's going to be a knock-on effect, isn't 'wastage' as you call it a natural product of all teams make-up and in recent years only been enhanved by a league that's done little to control the superfuous spending of Oil or Oligarch rich teams, that's had an obvious effect on the quality of the league as a whole.


According to Arsenal holdings PLC, in the 12 months to 31 May 2011 Arsenal's total wage bill was £125m. The figure is expected to hit £130m when Arsenal releases it's new set of accounts later this month.

As I said, forget other clubs' spend and use your common sense. If Arsenal have been paying Bendtner £52k a week across x amount of years while Spurs have been paying Modric £40k or United's Hernandez £30k - in terms of performance-related pay is that not wastage?

Now multiply that across another 20 equally underperforming Arsenal players. The conclusion is so obvious that I really shouldn't have to spell it out. But I will. The conclusion is that Wenger should be buying better quality players. He is throwing huge money at players that are nowhere near worth the expense, hence why (when combined with his ludicrous tactics) Arsenal are underachieving - NOT because Arsenal cannot afford a far higher standard of player that could be paid an equivalent, or lower, salary.

February 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSalai

well you know the ole saying you pay peanuts you get monkeys and clearly at arsenal we pay fortunes we get chimpanze's

February 23, 2012 | Unregistered Commentergooner

In the end it doesn't matter on how much exactly a player is on +/- 5million, that's not decisive.
Important is that a lot of our players seem to have a well paid holiday at Arsenal. They turn up to practice to stay fit, most don't have to play on the weekend and can go home to relax. Those who are on the pitch seem to be rather in the position of those who sit at home watching the game on TV.

On the other hand guys like Ox are on a significantly lower wage then Theo but he works much harder and is 10x more effective.

That's Wengers job to see who's effective and who isn't. He keeps saying how his players perform very well in training etc. but it doesn't matter how many tricks/ intelligent passes etc you pull off in practice if you can't do any of those things under pressure on the pitch.

As Dixon pointed out on the BBC, the next game against Tottenham is more then a derby and if lost could cost Arsenal the UCL, which means another 45mil wasted and a finish below Tottenham!!!!!! Of course, our over paid holiday takers couldn't care less. Why should they? Wenger protects them regardless!

To be honest, I think we'll seem to follow Liverpool into mediocrity for the next 3 years and then slowly start to pick up again (hopefully).

February 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLe Phil

What a bunch of Whiners! Market price is market price. None of you brain surgeons have a clue because if you did, you'd be working in football. Watch or don't watch, but please shut up!


Wenger is paying over market price on wages. That's the whole point dumbo.

February 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTrue Fan

Some of these wages are shocking, especially those that sit in the medical room for 11 of 12 months or those that are generally useless ... #1 for example. Would be more sensible to implement a wage structure reflecting upon player performance, no idea why we've just renewed Djourou at such a stupid price.

February 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterthorpeAFC

You cant pass the judgement on 15 players on the list you've given just like that. Eg Walcott scored against Udinese once or twice and had an assisst (25 million in 180 mins, do we have to give him his dividend on that). Arshavin scored many important goals and has a better assisst record (2-0 stoke, 4 in Anfield, again winner in Anfield, Sunderland Assisst 2012 and Arshavinnnnnnnnn 2-1 Arsenal Vs Barca). Chamakh scored 10 goals in 10 games last season (After that he was not played frequently).Rosicky played well so far this season. Djourou had good last season. Then collectively every one of those losers have contributed to the Arsenal Course. Now many of them didnt want to extend RVP this year, because we all presumed that he'll be injured. A swiss defender smashed Jack's Ankle, and he's out. Song was labelled crap 4 years ago and now he's a world class (Although he's not helped us at all in the last week, shall we deduct his wage).I can go on, because I am a football fan and watched every possible single minute of The Arsenal since 2000. This is a professional club and you have to behave like one. Not like a pawn dealer.

My point is, football is not a corporate business. You have labouriously put the wage bill, which will not miss the real one by much. But the LAZY LAZY conclusion about the 15 players and the 230 Million Pound they cost us is harming your intentions. Are you a fan or a CRITIC. You tend to get the eyeballs rather, than any honest viewpoint.I think the Arsenal media have a responsibility to make every Arsenal Fan cheerful and optimistic than spreading weird facts and half baked truths. I appreciate your effort but not your inferences.
Once a gooner always a gooner

February 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSreenath

Last response - Moderated or Censored?



February 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterShashi

Blatantly PENNY WISE POUND FOOLISH!!! By off-loading at least 10 incapable players in the 1st team, just imagine the mammoth amount of cash Wenger can offer to attract new players with high stature.

February 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFariz

Hi, I largely agree with the direction of your analysis. Just one more guess here. Wenger has been speculating (both football-wise and financially) on talents since Day 1, two insanely successful examples are Anelka and Fabregas. Maybe he was overdoing such speculation in the past few years. It explains why he keeps playing those average players more than warranted, as he hopes that one day some of his speculation will turns fruitful (both on and off the pitch). Pity that too many of them prove him wrong than right. In fact, I suppose he just stopped short of admitting that his so-called "youth project" is a failure but his wordings in a few interviews since the departure of Fabregas and Nasri have indeed revealed so. At least that's what I interpret his interview in the L'Équipe (?) earlier this season.

February 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnon

Very enlightening. It shows the problem @ Arsenal is not lack of funds but rewarding mediocrity. We have mediocre players who give nothing to the team earning exorbitant wages and our very good players are not paid anywhere near what other players in other teams earn, thus keeping us in a position of always loosing our best players.

What this shows is clearly Wenger needs some help in team management and so the case for David Dean to come back. Why did we buy Squillachi for heavens sake? Money paid to Chamack, Bendtner, Denilson, Vela, Almunia, Benayoun, Squillachi, Arshavin and Diaby are all wasted funds. This players should be sold and the money generated used to bring in 5 or 6 top quality players who will earn top wages and we see if we wont win the league. It is high time Wenger crack the whip and give a clear message that mediocrity will never be tolarated @ this club.

For how long MR. Wenger will the club and the funs suffer because of this players. It is not fair, we are sick to our stomach. Something has to be done and it has to start this summer. Seven years is a very long time. What is even more anoying is that we are the first club to be linked with some of the finest talent around but we never go out and buy them, our rivals go and buy them and they come better while we stick with mediocrity, some players don't even fight for the team when we are losing the very latest case being @ Milan. This is sickening, they should know they are playing for a very big club, the third most successful in England and we want to be no. 1 no kidding.

Mr Wenger, Smalling, Phil Jones, Cristiano Ronaldo and many more have gone but it is not too late for Hazard, Goetze, Remy or the many other good talents out there. Please let us not keep loosing in the transfer market each year. Seven years is surely long enough, have pity on us Wenger.

February 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commenternasty276

My point the whole time has been there is probably things you are not taking into account.

I think there is a wider spread in the wage structure. For example a guy like Arshavin is probably getting quite large bonuses and the same goes for Robin.

The thing that i have agreed with you is that we have a bunch of players that do not perform and that we need to get rid off but i do not think that they are on that kind of wages that you do.

What you are missing is there are no over the market wages in comparison. Look at Torres for example, Bendtners 52 K (don´t know where you got that from and probably paid for by Sunderland) looks like a steal in comparison.

The one thing that makes the difference between clubs like Arsenal and Sp*rs is the bonuses, we have played in the champions league for a lot of years now and it´s a great source of income but it´s also costly, all players probably have it in their contract apart from their weekly wage. Spurs haven´t come to the point yet where it´s shown in their accounts, but it will, trust me.

February 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDan

Any chance of adding the years left on contract so we can see how much more we will have to pay before we can get rid of them for free.

February 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBen J

Good God - some of the people on here don't really understand the point here. Firstly, it isn't exactly rocket science - football management. People make it out like it is incredibly hard to understand. Sorry, but it isn't. It is still a game that little boys play except now they are grown men who are grossly overpaid with ridiculous contracts.

Secondly, we know that Truth's figures aren't exactly accurate, but to be fair, it is irrelevant, frankly because from reports from various media outlets, players like Squillachi, Djourou and Denilson, etc. are overpaid, thus they cannot be off-loaded.

That is a sad indictment of the mismanagement of Arsene Wenger over the past 4-5 years. That alone should be sackable, however, he is also in the same boat. His salary means that he is more or less unsackable - or the club eats the better part of £14 million. That also indicts Gazidis or whomever came up with the terms of his contract. Considering that Wenger had a large say in the appointment of Gazidis says something else entirely. Almost like a 'you scratch my back and I will scratch yours'.

So, not only tactically is Wenger culpable, but also from the financial side. Granted, we can't point the finger solely at Wenger here, but let's say that he is largely culpable in the mess at Arsenal.

February 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBegeegs

Sorry, when you say it's largely estimate, can you please spell out exactly what facts you have? Reportage – or even analysis – is only of any use if you can say what is fact and what is speculation. By not distinguishing between the two you're not giving us any basis on which to judge your claims (and you might as well be The Sun).

From the comments thread it seems the only facts are the total wage bill, Wenger's & Bendtner's salaries and what's paid to the board. Surely you're not extrapolating dozens of other individual contracts based on just that handful of numbers... are you? I hope not.

If not, it'd be great of you could spell out the other facts you're certain of, so we can think it through ourselves.

But if you are extrapolating, this post is pointless; check out the parable of the blind men and the elephant – just getting hold of the tail doesn't tell you squat about the entire animal.
Hope it's the former!


I'm trying to figure out what the wage bill comprises of so we can see whether there is mismanagement/incompetence or not. I believe there is.

You can believe what you like.

February 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRedGun

so just to clarify, we have the fourth highest wage bill in the league right? where are we atm?? where have we been finishing the last few yrs???... let me guess, the highest wage bills are utd & chelsea right? suprise suprise

seems to me the amounts teams spend on wages reflects pretty accurately where they finish no? i could understand having a massive cry if we were spending the most & finishing fourth but come on, fair enough wenger's made some blunders but what managers don't make mistakes?

February 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterfatTony

I just got a little bit of sick in my mouth when I read that Squillaci was on £60K a week

February 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commentershockandawe

AT. I get what you have done, I really do. Only the other day I was tring to work out how much some of these chumps cost Arsenal over the course of a contract...I have to admit, I gave up after realising that Djurou will take about £10m from Arsenal over the course of his contract. It's probably safe to assume lots of the other 'ones' will do a similar thing over their contracts. Either way, it would be safe to estimate that the 'ones' will fleece Arsenal for something in the region of £100m in the next few years.

The one thing that keeps coming back to me is the classic Chelsea v Winston Borgarde (WB) issue - I think we should all be aware of that little doosie of a contract, so I wont go into it. Obviously Arsenal don't just have one WB, thay have about twelve!...something tells me the 'Professor' has royaly fucked this whole situation up the wall, then set it on fire and chucked it into a nuclear reactor for good measure - basically a financial disaster of biblical proportions.

As I mentioned at the start, AT - I get what you are doing on this site, as do a lot of my fellow Gooners. I'm still flabberghasted at how many 'fans' still don't see Arsene and the board for what they truly are: wastrels, liars and incompetent. Amazingly, most of the AKB's wouldn't bat an eyelid if Arsene came into their house and stamped on their new puppy...Seriously AKB's, what does this man have to do to our club before you see through this charlatan?

I hope you keep posting Author, because it is nice to know that some of us 'loyal' Arsenal fans (the ones pre 1996) have a voice. We have stopped falling for the spin and hype that keeps spewing out of Arsene, Gazides and the board's mouth and your posts are a breath of fresh air...your patience is better than mine. How did you manage to keep a lid on that horrorshow up at Sunderland?

Keep posting! I know you are gaining more and more support.

Oh, and to the AKB's who refuse to acknowledge what is happening to your club, shame on you. Because you will be just as responsible as Arsene when we go down in flames.

February 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGunnersaurus stole my eggs

Great post and helps to show Wenger and the club up for what they really are, though clearly some fans wont be told.

I wouldn't mind spending £130m on wages if the players had earned the right to those wages. Instead wenger heavily rewards failure. You cant rid of those players either, no one will match those daft wages.

February 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commentergazzap

Compare the Arsenal wages with the fact that Van de Vaart reportedly makes in vicinity of 55-60k per week. Now relook the list in range of 50-70k and think what a waste of money.

One of the primary reasons that we cannot offload the donkeys in our team is that we have donkeys who are being paid very high salaries. More than the transfer fees, it is the recurring wages which will hit smaller clubs and hence they dont buy them.

How on earth can you have Tarore, Gibbs, Denilson, Squilaci, Diaby, Rosicky, Almunia, Walcott, Song, Fabianski, Chamakh, Santos, Benayoun, Gervinho, Vela and so many others getting such high pay packets.

AW if you can pay Denilson such money, please consider me too - promise you better determination and commitment (may be you dont like these qualities now)

Thanks to such nonsensical salary structures, Arsenal cannot get excellent players and cannot offload the asses we have.

So much so for the frugal manager.

He wanted to build a team of Yes Men & Sissies and AW has done it.

In Arsene we rust !!!

February 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVineet Bhardwaj

If a financial manager, accountant e.t.c. was to stuff up on this scale, to the point where to rectify the imbalance and waste would cost his business millions more in compensation and redundancy payouts, that person would be dismissed for incompetence. Especially if that business is purported to be short on funds.

Here it's praised as a "self sustaining model".
" In Arsene we rust."

February 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSpectrum

Very interesting. Accurate or not your analysis is highly indicative of substantial waste on players who have not made it and probably never will. From your figures my estimate is that by losing some top squad and reserve men plus ,say, twenty from the juniors we would/could save some £40mn. per year. Now that would give us a real boost to our transfer kitty! It might also convince those remaining that we really mean business and expect "a fair days work for a fair days pay."

The foregoing estimated savings do not include any transfer fees we might get for our cast-offs.

Best wishes.

February 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commentergunman

Eh why is Billionaire Stan Kroenke drawing a wage?

Why are the reserve coaches getting more than government ministers.

I have no problem per se with the players contracts because they are special talents - but i'd sit beside wenger on match day and not say anything for 1/4 of what Pat Rice is on...

February 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDouble98

You did not suggest a solution to your wastage theory. Secondly, no coach goes and spend money on rubbish players. When you buy a player, you believe that he will perfom. Take, Chamakh,Andrey Arshavin and Tomas Rosicky for example, they were bought on a cheap based on their performance at the time. I don't think you call them below average players when they 1st joined the club.
Now, if you want to get rid of them after one or two seasons of underperforming, then, you have to be ready to rebuild your squad every season. You are still not guranteed of getting good players the next time. Also, bear in mind that some of these players take couple of seasons to show their true potentials. Take of Dennis Berkamp, Song, Kochienly for example. Having said that, i don't think AW will renew contract for players he has no believe in. Look at all the underperfroming players you mentioned above and tell who you think will get a new contract or will be in the club in two years time.

To put things in perspective, yes, we spend £135m a year on 1st team salary, Torres will cost Chelsea about £76m and City will be coughing out £82m for Tavez if they both honour their respective contract. So When you compare Arsenal's outlay against the team we are competing with in EPL, we are doing remarkably well financially.

February 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCharles

( Quote ) ; " Most sources believe Squillaci to be on £50k a week. Metro writes: "Newly promoted French minnows Evian were strongly linked, but they baulked at his wages, thought to be around £50,000, and with the Gunners refusing to pay half as part of a loan deal, he was forced to stay in North London as the window closed."

I'm amazed that no-one has commented on this. We have a chance to offload Squillaci, even temporarily, and would only have to pay half his wages ?!!! AND WE TURN IT DOWN ? Here's a chance to remove some of the deadwood, and save money at the same time, yet we don't jump at the chance ? $ 25,000 a week which could be better spent in other areas, like on a defensive coach for instance ? Yet it appears Wenger keeps him here so he can save face, and not have to admit that one of his signings is a flop. How else can you explain it ? And this behaviour from a club that is always telling us they're on a tight budget. Waste, pure and simple.
" In Arsene we rust."

February 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSpectrum

well, this strange wage bill did get us 4 or 3 spot over mega-spending Liverpool, Tottenham, and others for the last 5 years... So somthing in this process was right. It turned bad (and sad) last year and ever since, but could still turn up if we have a good summer. don't panic just yet!

February 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSam the sam, Sam.

Wages are being analysed in a simplictic manner and there is wholesale duplication above - how can a years wages be included for Arteta and Bentner when one left as the other arrived. Great to see Brady workd pro bono.

More to the point wages are based on the negotiating power of a player and his agent at the time the contract comes up for negotiation. Agree a wage or the player does not sign and can run out his contract - dammed if you do and dammed if you dont is the phrase that comes to mind.

Market rate, specific needs/circumstances, other clubs counter offering - all these factors and many more enter into the equation when rates are paid. Relatively some turn our cheap and others pricey when you look back. Wilshire (if playing) would be a steal on 55k.

More importantly there should be an iron clad rule that club wages cannot exceed a clubs finances from operational income (excluding sugar Daddys deep pockets) - performance bonuses should be linked to the prize money achieved from a competition. TV money should be part of the prize structure - thus success brings financial reward and not just walking onto the pitch.

February 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Brandon

My view - 

With the amount of deadwood the club is clogged up with we could raise and offload off of the wage bill a fair bit of money. For example - 

 Sell - 12 players - raise £45m

Add on the money from Nasri and fabregas sale - 

£45m + £55m = £100m

If Kroenke and Wenger want the fans back use this money plus an additional few million to buy - 

Buy = £102.5m
Mark Schwarzer - £1.5m
Chris Samba - £10m
Yann M'Villa - £25m
Dembele - £15m
Eden Hazard - £30m
Nathan Dyer - £10m
Junior Hoilett - Free
Lukas Podolski - £12m

Players - Wages (Should be on)
                    £70m (Yearly)

Szczeny - £50,000
Schwarzer - £30,000

Gibbs - £35,000
Santos - £45,000

Vermaelen - £70,000
Samba - £70,000
Mertesaker - £60,000
Koscielney - £50,000

Sagna - £60,000
Jenkinson - £20,000

Hazard - £100,000
Miyachi - £20,000

M'Villa - £70,000
Wilshere - £80,000
Dembele - £50,000
Arteta - £60,000
Song - £50,000
Ramsey - £35,000

Chamberlain - £20,000
Dyer - £40,000
Gervinho - £40,000

RVP - £120,000
Podolski - £75,000
Hoilett - £50,000
Walcott - £55,000

This wage bill is £60m cheaper than the one arsenal currently pay for everyone at the club, but with only reserves, youth and backroom staff to add along with wenger himself, it's going to be a lot cheaper than arsenals current wage bill with players 10x better.

This gives the squad a whole new look, youth, experience, pace, power, technique and a whole new reason to be motivated, we would be the strongest in the world after a season or two together. 

February 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLuke

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