Wenger: Transfer inflation will cancel out increased revenues


Arsene Wenger believes transfer price inflation will effectively cancel out increased revenue from television deals, hinting that players, not fans will benefit from the cash flowing into the modern game.

It’s been widely reported that Premier League clubs will share upwards of £8 billion from global broadcasters over the course of the next three years, a state of affairs that grates with supporters who’ve been fighting ongoing battles to lower ticket prices at the top end of the game.

Asked about the surcharge – up to £30 – that Arsenal season ticket holders face after the Gunners drew ‘Category A’ grade opposition, Barcelona, in the knockout round of the Champions League, the boss attempted to provide wider context having been prevented from answering the specific question by the Arsenal press officer.

“We are a company who, on one side [the fans], want you to buy more players,” Wenger told his pre-Bournemouth press conference.

“What will happen is the prices of the players will go up and you will need this supplement of money coming in to buy new players.

“I believe that the pressure on spending the money will become bigger and you cannot necessarily distribute the money to other people.

“What we do, we stabilise our prices to give access, and we have stabilised now for many years.”

While Wenger’s assertion will probably prove correct, it doesn’t really take into account the fact that Arsenal are sitting on a huge stockpile of cash and that they’ve chosen to spend it relatively conservatively over the course of the last two transfer windows.

As with many things in life, timing is everything – the transfer window ending with only Mohamed Elneny arriving, the club being on a four-game run without a win, etc – have further exacerbated the damage done by the club’s mealy-mouthed attempts to deal with an incendiary issue.

Football supporters have and always will suckle at the teat of sentimentality, yet it’s hard seeing perceived traditional club values being eroded in the face of big business.

For what it’s worth, Arsenal’s latest statement on the Barcelona surcharge reads: “Depending on the number of matches played in a season and the categories assigned to them, this could result in a refund or additional cost to the price of each season ticket. For example, season ticket holders received a refund on this season’s prices, due to the categorisation of matches last season.

“For this current season, due to the number of matches played and the categories assigned to them, we have communicated to all season ticket holders that there will be an additional cost, which will be added to the season ticket price for next season.”

“We believe this is the fairest way for us to run our 26 game season ticket package which is based on categorisation of matches.  This means in some seasons, such as last year, fans will get a refund on their season ticket price and others, such as this, will need to pay more.”

You can make your own minds up on that.

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69 Comments on "Wenger: Transfer inflation will cancel out increased revenues"

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Bergkamp's elbows

Mouth fart. The board should have just taken this one on the chin. They can afford it.


Yeah, what a PR own goal. Plus saying the extra income will go on buying players is a joke when we don’t buy players!


Not blaming Wenger on this surcharge, but it seems whatever the circumstances we have an excuse for doing very little or nothing. We don’t have any money we’re building a new stadium, but you wait and see? We have money in the bank, but we can’t find the super quality we need to improve the squad? We have money in the bank and a shit load more on the way, but you know that’s only going to inflate prices…Jesus!!?


Did Wenger really just call arsenal a company 🙁

Coq au Vin

Unfortunately, the fact the club issued shares of it’s ownership and those shares are traded in a capital market makes the club a company. And sadly, in the end, their only responsibility is to those share holders… Just saying.

David C

I know how you feel, but all sports teams are companies sadly.

That’s why I love following amateur sports as well. Nothing beats watching athletes compete simply for the joy of playing and not just for the wages.

Arseology - Reloaded

We are a corporation masquerading as a football club.

Arseology - Reloaded

Thank you for your interest of n our affairs.


One gets the feeling that, in the grand scheme of things, the surcharge actually matters very little to Arsenal Football Club, even though it is around £2million.

On the other hand, while the cost to the supporters is upto £30 per season ticket, they are the ones who suffer, no doubt though that the supporters will also buy next seasons shirt, because annual changes are now a thing, as well as the high prices at games for food and drink.

Sadly, I can’t see the business side of things changing very much.


they are trying to recover money lost to refunding tickets from the Leicester Sky fixture debacle

or just plain greedy blood sucking cunts


Am I missing something? Wouldn’t we have to buy players for this to affect us?


Precisely. Someone ought to write a book of Wenger’s most ridiculous musings.


One would argue the increased revenue is driving the inflation in the first place along with sugar daddy money


There’s an awkward argument here that people might not want to address. The fact that TV is becoming more and more the important revenue stream for football.. Not the fans going to the stadium. And when you run your club like a business, this is what you get. The people who are actually present get disrespected while the people sitting at home all over the world get services.. Along with all the ads of course.. I won’t be surprised if eventually no real fans can get tickets anymore. Every seat is owned by some corporation and the closest you get to the pitch is via HD TV

Buzzy Gurkha Gunner

Yup whatever.11 years is a long time for a big club without a league trophy

Jim S

Liverpool haven’t won in 25 years. Arsenal are still less than half of that




But they did reach the Champions League final twice, won it and competed for the title until the last game two seasons ago – Arsenal haven’t even competed for the CL or PL once in that time.


Sorry, I did not agree.
We challenged for title in 2007/2008, 2009/2010, 2013/2014.
Too bad we did not win it.

Arseology - Reloaded

we didn’t challenge – all we did was Shiite the bed when the pressure increased.


Silent Stan needs to start bringing in some more income for that big ol’ 2 Billion dollar stadium he’s building in LA for the Lambs….uh Rams.

Coq au Vin

They do have a point about last year’s refund. My renewal price last summer was £1014.00 which they reduced by £10.08 and called it a cup credit refund.

This was the general explanation:

Your season ticket price is calculated based on 26 home fixtures of which 6 are category A games, 14 category B games and 6 category C games. There is no increase in the price of your seat for next season.)

*The Cup Credit refund is the difference owed between a category B and a category C fixture from your pre-paid cup tie credits during season 2014/2015 as one of the games was played as a C rather than a B category.

What irritates me is they haven’t given me an itemized list of what games are Category A, B or C that we have played and why we have gone above the number of category A matches allowed in a season.

If anybody has such itemized list (and/or last years), please share. Thanks

Timothy Lumsden

Fans always seem to suffer from a load of corporate nonsense.


There was a German club owner or manager who was talking about taking a big gulp of ‘English Wine’ recently, which was about the PL money, and how he’d be able to sell substandard players to the EPL because they were stupid and desperate and make the assumption that German players are better. All this ‘richest league in the world’ stuff make us look like rubes as we try and sign players.

Alexis is Back

Don’t think our category structure is reflective of the prices in the market or our achievements in the league/CL. For years, we have been charged more than the rest of the clubs. Now, we have increased our income by £90m in last 2/3 years and will increase by another £70m when new tv deal kicks in.

How can you justify a surcharge of £1m when that much money is coming in specially when our match day income (£100m) is the highest on this planet and possibly in the galaxy.

Me So Hornsey

Sometimes Wenger’s statements seem so ill-timed and thought out it makes me wonder if he’s trolling all of us.

This almost ranks alongside him issuing the statement that Wellbeck would be out for most of the season just hours after the summer transfer window had closed.

Or saying he would only ever buy ‘super, super quality’ and then bringing in Kim Kallstrom.

I think he likes playing with us.


wenger answers the questions asked by the journos, and when else is he likely to get asked by one of them, about ticket prices, than when there is a big fuss about it on social media. As for the timing of the Welbeck news, it was announced at the first press call after his injury set back, would you rather that the news was kept from the fans for a few weeks

by he way welbeck played 60 minutes for the U21’s today in a 4-1 win over Brighton U21’s

Stephen Reimer

If Wenger is so clever why didn’t he buy the players he needed before the inflation that will come from extra TV income? Is stinging season ticket holders for more cash really going to make a difference in buying a player? I lost sympathy for him when I found out that he was making so much money when crying poverty trying to buy players on the cheap.

Andy Mack

Buy which players? Some old ones with only a year or 2 left in them at top level (assuming they can actually make the step up to PL football) or the youngsters that have the potential but aren’t proven despite their giant price tags?
As for his Salary, if your boss wasn’t well paid compared to you then you wouldn’t respect him…..
He deals with players being paid more than him but they know he’s one of the better paid managers.
Pay him £500k a year and the players would start taking the piss.


Wenger is nothing but a corporate mouthpiece. Has been for years. His snout is in the trough so deep why would he be anything else?

Timothy Lumsden

Sometimes looks like the Emirates is one big fuckin cash cow.


I don’t know why everybody is being so negative about this surcharge for the Barcelona game. I can completely see the club’s point: Arsenal are desperate for the money to pay for crocks like Arteta, Welbeck, Rosicky and Wilshere, who all need to be handsomely remunerated for doing nothing. Why can’t fans understand this?

And Le Prof is dead right about the where all the extra TV money is going to end up: it won’t be long before we see the first half-million pound a week player in England. And Wayne Rooney would be absolutely right to accept nothing less for his extraordinary talent and tireless efforts to help United finish fourth. And why should any Premier League club lower its prices to allow working-class supporters to attend? If they can’t afford prices which can rise to more than 120 quid a game then that’s too bad. There are plenty of Scandinavian tourist who want to “enjoy the match-day experience” who can come along instead.

I’m quite happy with the status quo: fourth place every season and nice healthy profits. I love it.

And so do the players.


My mrs could never understand why I love Arsenal so much and I would tell her that Arsenal loves me as much as u love it but sadly this is no longer true… We’re only there to feel pockets !!


it never was true, its just the well groomed idea that clubs have always used to hold fans.


I’m don’t no how old you are but as a man in his late 30s it was true certainly before the American investor got involved and certainly before we moved to the Emirates and even more so before the premier league money really started rolling in, Arsene wenger loves Arsenal like the fans do! There’s not another manager on this planet that could of kept the Arsenal competitive with the funds he was given that is why in my opinion he doesn’t always get the respect he deserves. I’ll always love the Arsenal but it’s not the game I fell in love with in the 80s


The great Arsene myth, only he could have delivered these miracles of finishing exactly where our wage bill would place us


never in a million years does arsene love arsenal like the fans do thats absolute bollox, he’s paid 8 million year, I’ve given many thousands over the years to watch arsenal, lost jobs just to get to games like the Liverpool replays of years ago at Leicester.`people need to realise a football club belongs to the fans and not the manager not the directors and definitely not the players. the life blood of any club is its fans and if you don’t understand that then I’m sorry you don’t understand the psyche of the english game.,
i do agree its not the game i loved when i first started watching arsenal the late 70’s, sad to say i actually dislike the club and all it stands for now, i love the colours , the history, the memories of past game with mates but hate the sterile emirates, the money and the corporate fans that fuck off at half time and miss the next 20 mins .
As a club it can go fuck itself and will no doubt implode in its own greed, I’m happy that my time was in the 80’s and 90’s no matter how bad we were under Terry Neil Or Don Howe it seemed more honest and connected with the fans. Those days have gone at the `Arsenal and i feel sorry for those that have only seen the greed and corporate side of the club, you missed out on great times .


Brilliant post, Volders! I agree with every word. Like you, I first started going in the late 70s and have become totally disillusioned with what the club has become.

I’ll always love the red and white but lothe everybody from the manager upwards.

Ted E.

When’s the last time season ticket holders got a refund?


last summer

Ted E.

cool thanks

Timothy Lumsden

Hey remember all those scan coaches that used to be parked up in Drayton park.


The club are wrong to apply this surcharge on many levels, and its been a PR disaster. Having said that, it is the opposite end of the rebate season tickets holders got last season. Season Tickets holders are given the T’s + C’s of buying a season ticket, and just as the rebate last season was to their benefit, this surcharge is to the clubs finances.
Fans don’t like to face facts, Football is business, it is in fact it always has been, and now it is big business, fans are paying customers, and as big as Match Day revenue is, it brings in much less than TV revenue.
Liverpool have just announced that tickets will rise from £59 to £77, next season, and that is at a run down stadium in Liverpool, with a team not likely to be in the CL, may not even be in EL. but all the focus in the media is on Arsenal’s surcharge and the overall price of Arsenal tickets. Arsenal fans on a regular basis pay more for their away ticket than the home teams fans do when they are away at the Emirates. Till fans of all clubs recognize that the whole ticket price problem is a league wide – in fact a country wide problem – and come together and fight this as one, then it will not improve. Keep on blaming Arsenal alone for it and the likes of LFC fans will see more £18 hikes and it will be hidden behind some media outlet taking digs at AFC.
We see how distorted the reporting on season ticket prices are, they do not compare like with like, we also have yet to see our fans groups explain why our £10 youth enclosure rarely sells out, and why our £26 Cat C tickets also rarely sell out, just like last weeks Cat C, FA Cup game v Burnley, must have been 10K or more empty seats. this suggests that fans are not interested in taking in any Arsenal game, they crave the big team games, and as long as this is clear then clubs will look to fleece fans for the big games, knowing full well that fans will pay it.

the new TV deal will see 4 things for certain
1. transfer fees will go up
2. players wages will go up
3. agent fees will go up
4. satelite tv subscription fees will go up

and I would say 5. ticket prices will go up too, clubs will be fielding teams with far more costly players, and will say we now have this expensive team on show for you, so its only right you pay more to watch it. Can anyone for example see Stoke keeping their ticket prices as they are, with them now bringing in big name players
the prices clubs in China are now willing to pay for players, both transfer fees and wages, will certainly mean a massive increase in both fees and wages in the BPL.


Another way to generate revenue to buy players is to sell some that are not performing up to what they are paid or are not contributing much. You see what Chelsea has been able to do getting so much when they sold Ramires this window, Luiz before as well as other clubs getting huge sums for players that people are willing to overpay for.

Andy Mack

Although the Chavski players are pretty much all overpaid compared to our squad, so they’re not a great example.

Timothy Lumsden

Would be nice to go and watch a game now and then.


lots of tickets available at Cat C games, £26 tickets at that.


Speaking as someone who can no longer afford to buy a season ticket I am ashamed that the club I love has just become a cash cow for silent Stan and the rest. It’s getting harder and harder to be positive about the future of what I used to be proud to call a family club.

John C

Wow he’s getting his excuses in early this year as for why he won’t be buying we normally have to wait until May!


Been going for over 40 years. Been a season ticket holder for nearly 30. Frankly I’m getting to the point where the club can go fuck themselves. Why should I sit pay another 20 quid to watch Arsenal play a game against a side we can’t possibly beat over two legs ? No I think I’ll take the sensible option and let some football tourist pay to sit there and jot add anything to the atmosphere. See f these people are still paying in 40 years time. I’ve had more than enough of this bullshit.


Apparently all journalists were instructed not to ask about ticket prices today. One man war brave enough to ask

apparently ticket price increases help buy players but then we don’t really do that

We do have huge cash reserves though so yes get in! Take that Leicester with your cheap team playing amazingly! We’ve the real character and team spirit


So if a huge player price rise is imminent, what is the point in keeping all our transfer budget in the bank while its real value decreases year on year?

Andy Mack

If the players you want aren’t available then that’s what happens.
The fact that you may want certain players doesn’t mean the club does.


It has been many many years since the Company, Arsenal Football Club, cared about the fans who made the effort to sit in the stadium. They are no longer fans, but customers, and in sport, the customer is seen as a cash cow, not a fan.

He's got no hair but we don't care...
He's got no hair but we don't care...

Excellent, yet another reason/excuse to not buy the players we need.

chippy's chip

Blah blah blah blah blah


God forbid if the club/company actually keeps the ticket prices same; that would mean we wont be buying any top top quality that season.

maasai gooner

This Inflation thing is not special to Arsenal… Just compete


No point moaning. Start protesting, vocally and consistently if you want to see change. The club has to listen to the supporters, because the supporters are their financial lifeblood.

Only when the fans have had enough will anything change, clearly they have not had enough of Wenger or the board yet. They board knows how to manipulate the fans with discreet price increases and Wenger knows how to manipulate the fans with his fourth place trophy horseshit.

Nothing will change until the fans get off their backside and tell them that the price they’re paying for this stagnation is not good enough. Coming 5th seems to be the tipping point, don’t know why tho – we’re qualifying for a competition that Wenger has only ever shown incompetence in and the financial rewards are every spent.

Sorry to say that Arsenal fans are mugs and deserve everything they get.


* aren’t even spent


I’m probably so wide of the mark here that I’m entering some parallel universe but I have a feeling we may spend some serious money this summer. Once the laughing subsides I’ll continue….
Wenger is well aware of the imminent inflated player price issue. Therefore, before it really kicks in he *may launch a preemptive strike (again, I’ll wait for the laughter). He may also look to tie down our better players to long term contracts, again to preempt wage increases.
That is unless Wenger leaves this summer. In that case any incoming manager will want to make their mark. With all those lovely piles of cash in reserve & a burning feeling in their pockets who could resist spending a little?!

Knowing my dear old Arsenal though we’ll probably only buy the 9 year old kid on my street who is quite good at keep-ups and wallsie/fives…

John C

I feel sorry for you, no this is this years excuse for not buying.

The new TV deal was announced about a year ago before the summer transfer window so any pre-emptive spending would and should have happen last summer and we all know how that went.

Tony Hall

Money has ruined football.
Yes I am well aware of what money can buy but at such a huge cost, the soul of the game is gone.

Tony Hall

The german football model is much better

Andy Mack

It is but…
Generally their football is a lower standard (the bottom half of their league is equivalent to the Championship, like Spain, France or Italy).
The PL is the biggest league in the world but wouldn’t be using the German model.
As the saying goes, you pay your money and make your choice.

Andy Mack

I guess the German Model also has problems ; http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/35464102
In a country with a much lower cost of living than London.

The Arse in the Gamb

We know they will AW, no need to state the ‘bleedin’obvious’
In fact the history of the PL tells us that the players will hoover up more than everything that the clubs have, most clubs make a loss in their frenzy to sign the best they can.
A prime example of how the consumer is not served by ‘markets’. We could watch the same stuff for a third of the price.(or tenth)
Maybe we wouldn’t drive this escalation if we were just customers?

Bank of friendship

Called fat gooner a dickhead a while back.
I retract that comment.
He talks a lot of sense.
Like him I have attended arsenal games since the seventies.
But am becoming disillusioned with the club under present leadership.