Saturday 27 December 2014

Sponsorship deal boost for Wenger's war chest

Jeremy Wilson

Published 24/11/2012 | 05:00

Arsene Wenger will have around £70m to invest in his squad next year ahead of the final season of his Arsenal contract in 2013-14.

The extra cash follows a new and extended £150m shirt sponsorship deal with Emirates, announced yesterday, to run from 2014 until 2019, that has been partially front-loaded to ensure that there is additional money to invest next summer. Arsenal have received around £6m a year from their shirt sponsorship deal with Emirates since 2004 but that figure will rise to £30m. The annual difference of around £24m will be solely available for investment in the club and primarily the squad.

This will allow Arsenal to raise their wage structure so that it is more in line with their main rivals but also to compete on transfers for leading players. Arsenal are entering crucial contract negotiations with several leading players – Theo Walcott's situation is the most pressing, with Arsenal still unwilling to up a five-year offer worth £75,000 a week. Bacary Sagna is also due to hold negotiations shortly on a contract expiring in 2014.

In their most recent accounts, Arsenal also had a cash balance of £154m. Although much of that money is committed to spending throughout the year, it is understood that the transfer budget, even before the new Emirates deal, stands at around £40m going into the January transfer window.

"I think we will be able to be more financially competitive and that will enable us to push forward on the field," said Ivan Gazidis, Arsenal's chief executive.

"We can pay bigger salaries and I think we can invest more in transfer fees. How we make those decisions will be based on a manager whose judgment, over the years, has been shown to be outstanding." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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