The next few years will be crucial for Arsenal. Towards the end of next season the club will be much clearer on who is going to be in the dugout as manager for the next few years, and also where they stand with regards to new sponsorship deals. Kit suppliers and sponsors are the big ones coming up for renewal, and any movement on those—positive or negative—will be judged in accordance with the move to the Emirates Stadium.
The order of the day is greater streams of revenue; Arsenal are clearly not happy with the current revenue streams, yet they were absolutely necessary for the move away from Highbury. Adding to the new and hopefully impressive sponsorships for the club, it may also be worth looking into the benefits of a partnership with another club abroad.
Make no mistake, this is very much a suggestion for Arsenal to remain in the higher seat of power in any new partnership with another club. Arsenal have paired with the Colorado Rapids in the MLS and have also worked closely with clubs in Spain, albeit very small clubs. The team have travelled to the Far East in both of the last two summers, clearly looking to reap the benefits of the club’s popularity and reputation around the world. What we’re seeing here is an acknowledgement of avenues that can be exploited for the benefit of the club, so why not a partnership similar to Tottenham and Real Madrid’s?
Once again, it’s worth pointing out that I’m not leaning towards a pairing with a club like Barcelona or AC Milan where Arsenal would clearly be the smaller of the two. Instead, Arsenal should perhaps look at smaller clubs around Europe who are competing in the top-flight to further the growth on a number of fronts.
Arsene Wenger has always been very particular about where his young players go on loan. He looks at the management in place, the style of football and how much exposure to the first-team the player will have. Perhaps teams from Holland, Portugal and even Spain would represent promising opportunities for a long-term partnership. Like Spurs and Real Madrid, the clubs could look to benefit from the quality of training in both countries, with the younger players exposed to different levels of competition and methods. Not only would Arsenal benefit, but it would be a benefit for the English national team if younger players were treated to cultures that differed from what they’re used to in this country.
As always, the need to make money as one of the top priorities for a club like Arsenal, and even those on the other end of the partnership. Arsenal would see their reputation grow and hopefully see a surge in merchandise sales. The other important factor is the revenue received from summer friendlies between the two sides. The size of the Emirates Stadium and the interest surrounding Arsenal’s summer activity would be a huge bonus to both clubs.
Perhaps it’s worth looking at Tottenham from a viewpoint that they’ve potentially started a trend of successful partnerships for the future. Of course, it’s very easy to look at their deal with Real Madrid as one that simply sees the Gareth Bales and Kyle Walkers swapping White Hart Lane for the Bernabeu with very little coming Tottenham’s way. It’s a fair assessment and probably not entirely wide of the truth. But would Daniel Levy put his club is such a weak position in European football, especially considering the great strides he’s taking to establish Tottenham as a regular in the Champions League.
Arsenal have noticeably had trouble moving on a number of players on loan over recent summers, with very few clubs looking to take the risk on the Gunners’ outcasts. But sending them away to a club with close ties to Arsene Wenger’s side means both sides would benefit: Arsenal pay the majority of the wages while getting players out of the squad and into regular first-team football.
All speculation for now, but perhaps a promising avenue to explore with the need for greater revenue and necessity to allow young players the chance to mature in a competitive environment.
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