ARSENAL’S transfer window made the majority of Gooners unexpectedly happy.
But the club’s money men were left in an equally good place.
Unai Emery may have been told he had a summer transfer kitty of just £45m.
Yet that did not prevent the Spaniard splashing out an effective £143m to revamp his squad.
And while part of the unlikely financial balancing was down to football’s special accountancy tricks, Arsenal supporters will see the bottom line as the most important of all.
Number cruncher Kieron O’Connor, better known by his Twitter handle Swiss Ramble, has outlined just how creative the Gunners were.
In his latest delve into the finances of the game, he has demonstrated just what Arsenal did to upgrade Emery’s squad while staying within their budgetary restraints.
According to the figures, Arsenal have committed themselves to a serious outlay by their summer moves.
The biggest signing was Lille winger Nicolas Pepe, with a £72m fee for the Ivorian.
There was also the £27m fee to St Etienne for William Saliba, with left-back Kieran Tierney arriving from Celtic for £25m.
In addition, Arsenal added Brazilian youngster Gabriel Martinelli for £6m, Dani Ceballos on loan from Real Madrid and the last-gasp signing of Chelsea defender David Luiz.
But Arsenal only paid £20m up-front for Pepe, with the rest due over the remaining seasons of his five-year contract.
Similar payment schedules for the other new arrivals meant that Arsenal only committed to a £46m spend this summer, almost exactly matching the kitty that was handed to Emery.
But things get better.
Alex Iwobi’s £34m move to Everton represented barely half of their total transfer receipts, with another £30m coming in for departures including Laurent Koscielny, Carl Jenkinson and David Ospina.
While those payments were again staggered, there was still some £23.5m up front, making the Gunners’ net spend just £22.5m.
Football’s accounting rules mean that the cost of transfers into a club are “amortised” – spread over the length of contract – while outgoing deals are given full book value.
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As far as the bean-counters are concerned, that means Arsenal’s “extra” transfer costs this summer were calculated at around £30, with £46m coming in.
The reality is different, of course, although Swiss Ramble assesses that while the wages of the new players will be around £500,000 per week, that is more than offset by the £700,000 weekly salaries that went off the wage-bill.
Despite all that, Arsenal need a top four finish.
Uefa’s new financial distribution model means that the difference between a successful Europa League run and a half-decent Champions League campaign, merely reaching the knock-out stages, is potentially £50m.
Money that Spurs have been able to bank while Arsenal have missed out.
But the simple figures tell a story that cannot be argued with.
On paper, at least, nobody has had a better window than Arsenal.
It’s about proving it on the pitch now.
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