It’s an interesting and confusing time to be an Arsenal fan during the pandemic transfer window. There have been few expected exits but perhaps, not as many as Mikel Arteta might have liked and although Ozil has departed, the details of his wages are unclear.
Arsenal have also taken out a loan of £120m to offset the effects of the pandemic and help with the losses from their usual revenue streams. Arsenal issued a statement that said:
“The CCFF is designed to provide short-term finance at commercial rates during the pandemic to companies that have strong investment ratings and which make significant contributions to the British economy.”
“The CCFF is in addition to the loan provided by our owners Kroenke, Sports & Entertainment that enabled us to refinance the debt on Emirates Stadium in August last year.”
This loan is repayable in May 2021 and there are no guarantees that even the most basic lockdown measures of the pandemic will be lifted by then, but even in the light of this news, the club is looking to boost the squad in this transfer window.
If that is the case, where’s the money coming from? One suspects Arsenal will continue to fund some of Mesut Ozil’s wages even though he has joined Fenerbahce and Kolasinac’s departure to Schalke is only a loan agreement. It appears that Arsenal are struggling to offload the great unwanted and that takers are few and far between.
Regardless of the numbers and obvious losses, the press is becoming obsessed with players coming in. Arsenal are, if you believe the sports journalists, looking at a bid of £100m for Jack Grealish, in addition to their rekindled interest in Lyon playmaker Houssem Aquar who is valued between £45/£50m.
Then, there’s the supposed interest in Brighton’s Yves Bissouma and Norwich midfielder Emi Buendia which would cost a combined figure of £90m, now do you see my problem? They were also looking to solve their goalkeeping issues and have signed Matt Ryan from Brighton on loan until the end of the season.
That’s £240m in players, I just can’t see it. Perhaps, there’s a slim chance of one addition but unless they have unearthed another Martinelli at a knockdown price, the Gunners may tough it out until summer. Without sales, Arsenal have substantial cash flow issues with their ‘self-sustaining model’ and the sums just don’t add up. The only way it can work is if Stan Kroenke funds the transfers. Yes, exactly.