!! History Commons Alert, Exciting News

Profile: Arsenal F.C.

Arsenal F.C. was a participant or observer in the following events:

Arsenal pays £7.5m to sign Dutch striker Dennis Bergkamp from Internazionale. The fee is three times the club’s previous record and the move ends Bergkamp’s unhappy time in Italy, where he scored just 11 goals in 54 Serie A games. Bergkamp is reportedly to be paid £25,000 a week, making him the highest paid player in Britain. [Independent, 6/21/1995] Bergkamp’s contract is apparently the first for a British footballer to include a provision that part of the money Arsenal pays him is for image rights. This money is paid into an account in an offshore tax haven and taxed at a lower rate than the salary for playing football. David Platt, also signed by Arsenal around this time (see July 10, 1995), has a similar provision in his contract. [SportsPro, 2/25/2011] The Inland Revenue will challenge the image rights payments, but will be unsuccesful (see April 2000). However, it will later win a significant settlement from British football clubs (see (March 2011)).

Entity Tags: Internazionale, Arsenal F.C., Dennis Bergkamp

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

Arsenal pays £4.75m to sign veteran England international David Platt from the Italian club Sampdoria. [Independent, 7/11/1995] Platt’s contract is reportedly the second for a British footballer to include a provision that part of the money Arsenal pays him is for image rights. This money is paid into an account in an offshore tax haven and taxed at a lower rate than the salary for playing football. Dennis Bergkamp, also signed by Arsenal around this time (see June 20, 1995), has a similar provision in his contract. [SportsPro, 2/25/2011] The Inland Revenue will challenge the image rights payments, but will be unsuccesful (see April 2000). However, it will later win a significant settlement from British football clubs (see (March 2011)).

Entity Tags: Unione Calcio Sampdoria, SpA, Arsenal F.C., David Platt

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

The Inland Revenue loses a test case against Arsenal and two of its players, Dennis Bergkamp and David Platt, over the use of image rights provisions in playing contracts to avoid tax. Bergkamp (see June 20, 1995) and Platt (see July 10, 1995) receive a portion of the money Arsenal pays them not as salary, but as compensation for the use of their image rights. The Inland Revenue claims to the Tax Special Commissioners hearing the case that this is a “smokescreen” for paying them money offshore to avoid tax, and that Arsenal, Platt, and Bergkamp should be subjected to income tax and national insurance contributions via Arsenal’s payroll. However, the commissioners decide that the payments are legitimately made in return for allowing Arsenal to exploit the players’ images, a purpose different to playing football. [SportsPro, 2/25/2011] The making of payments to footballers for image rights will grow in future years, although the British tax authorities will win a settlement for the scheme’s over-use in 2011 (see (March 2011)).

Entity Tags: Arsenal F.C., David Platt, Dennis Bergkamp

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

Cesc Fabregas, who will go on to captain Arsenal for a number of years, joins the club from Barcelona’s youth team. He is 16 years old. [Arsenal, 2010] Fabregas is one of several Spanish players who leave their native country to join English football clubs at a young age; the moves are because English employment law allows 16-year-olds to sign contracts, whereas in Spain players can only sign when they are older (see October 10, 2007 and February 23, 2011).

Entity Tags: Arsenal F.C., FC Barcelona, Francesc Fabregas i Soler

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

Real Madrid logo.Real Madrid logo. [Source: SoccerFiesta (.net)]Deloitte publishes its Football Money League rankings for the 2004-2005 season. The rankings of the top 20 European clubs and their football earnings are:
(1) Real Madrid (€275.7m)
(2) Manchester United (€246.4m)
(3) Milan (€234.0m)
(4) Juventus (€229.4m)
(5) Chelsea (€220.8m)
(6) Barcelona (€207.9m)
(7) Bayern Munich (€189.5m)
(8) Liverpool (€181.2m)
(9) Internazionale (€177.2m)
(10) Arsenal (€171.3m)
(11) Roma (€131.8m)
(12) Newcastle United (€128.9m)
(13) Tottenham Hotspur (€104.5m)
(14) Schalke (€97.4m)
(15) Lyon (€92.9m)
(16) Celtic (€92.7m)
(17) Manchester City (€90.1m)
(18) Everton (€88.8m)
(19) Valencia (€84.6m)
(20) Lazio (€83.1m) [Deloitte, 2/2006 pdf file]

Entity Tags: Celtic F.C., Fussball-Club Gelsenkirchen-Schalke 04, Real Madrid Club de Fútbol, Tottenham Hotspur F.C., Valencia, FC Barcelona, Newcastle United F.C., Bayern Munich, Arsenal F.C., Milan, Roma, Manchester City F.C., Everton F.C., Manchester United F.C., Chelsea F.C., Internazionale, Deloitte, Lazio, Juventus, Olympique Lyonnais, Liverpool F.C.

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

Deloitte publishes its Football Money League rankings for the 2005-6 season. The rankings of the top 20 European clubs and their football earnings are:
(1) Real Madrid (€292.1m)
(2) Barcelona (€259.1m)
(3) Juventus (€251.2m)
(4) Manchester United (€242.6m)
(5) AC Milan (€238.7m)
(6) Chelsea (€221.0m)
(7) Internazionale (€206.6m)
(8) Bayern Munich (€204.7m)
(9) Arsenal (€192.4m)
(10) Liverpool (€176.0m)
(11) Lyon (€127.7m)
(12) Roma (€127.0m)
(13) Newcastle United (€124.3m)
(14) Schalke (€122.9m)
(15) Tottenham Hotspur (€107.2m)
(16) Hamburg (€101.8m)
(17) Manchester City (€89.4m)
(18) Rangers (€88.5m)
(19) West Ham United (€86.9m)
(20) Benfica (€85.1m) [Deloitte, 2/2007 pdf file]

Entity Tags: Benfica, Fussball-Club Gelsenkirchen-Schalke 04, Real Madrid Club de Fútbol, Tottenham Hotspur F.C., West Ham United, FC Barcelona, Rangers, Bayern Munich, Arsenal F.C., Newcastle United F.C., Roma, Manchester United F.C., Hamburg SV, Milan, Chelsea F.C., Internazionale, Deloitte, Liverpool F.C., Juventus, Manchester City F.C., Olympique Lyonnais

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

David Dein leaves Arsenal’s board of directors over a dispute on the football club’s future direction. Dein, who owns 14.5 percent of shares, wants US investor Stanley Kroenke to take control of the club, but this proposal does not find sufficient support among the other board members, and Dein departs. [BBC, 8/31/2007]

Entity Tags: Arsenal F.C., Stanley Kroenke, David Dein

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

Alisher Usmanov, an Uzbek-Russian businessman who has just purchased an interest in the London football club Arsenal (see Shortly Before August 31, 2007), uses the law firm Schillings to shut down discussion of his controversial past on the Internet. Shortly after Usmanov became an Arsenal shareholder, former British ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray published a blog post saying that Usmanov had committed numerous crimes (see September 2, 2007). Schillings now contacts several independent Arsenal supporters’ websites and blogs to make them remove postings referencing Murray’s allegations. The law firm tells them that repeating the allegations is “false, indefensible, and grossly defamatory.” Most sites comply. Although Schillings forces Murray’s webhost to remove the post, it does not contact Murray himself. [Guardian, 9/13/2007]

Entity Tags: Alisher Usmanov, Arsenal F.C., Craig Murray, Schillings

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov temporarily shuts down the website of Boris Johnson, the Conservative candidate for major of London, in a dispute between Usmanov and former British ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray. Usmanov has numerous other websites shut down as well. Following the purchase of an interest in Arsenal by Usmanov, an Uzbek-Russian businessman (see Shortly Before August 31, 2007), Murray made numerous allegations against him (see September 2, 2007), and Usmanov used the law firm Schillings in an attempt to shut down discussion of them on the Internet (see Shortly After September 2, 2007). Schillings now pressures Murray’s webhost, Fasthosts Internet, to act against Murray, and it responds by cutting off services to Murray and numerous other bloggers who simply share some technical services with him, even though they had not written about Usmanov or been the subject of a complaint by him. Johnson calls the action “a serious erosion of free speech,” adding: “This is London, not Uzbekistan.… It is unbelievable that a website can be wiped out on the say-so of some tycoon. We live in a world where Internet communication is increasingly vital, and this is a serious erosion of free speech.” Bob Piper, another affected blogger and local Labour Party politician in Birmingham, calls the situation “outrageous.” [Guardian, 9/20/2007]

Entity Tags: Craig Murray, Alisher Usmanov, Boris Johnson, Fasthosts Internet Ltd, Arsenal F.C., Robert Piper, Schillings

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

FC Barcelona wins a £2.1 million lawsuit against Fran Merida, a player who left the football club when he was 16, later joining Arsenal FC. Merida is found not to have honored a pre-contractual agreement he had with the Catalan giants. Spanish clubs cannot sign youth players until they are 18, whereas clubs in England can sign 16-year-olds under British law, meaning that some Spanish players sign for English clubs on turning 16. [Daily Telegraph, 10/11/2007] Arsenal will decide not to appeal the ruling and pay the fine for Merida. Reportedly, this decision is taken to improve relations between the two clubs, which have been poor since a similar problem with Cesc Fabregas’s move to London in 2003. [Daily Mail, 10/31/2009]

Entity Tags: FC Barcelona, Arsenal F.C., Fran Merida

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

Deloitte publishes its Football Money League rankings for the 2006-2007 season. The rankings of the top 20 European clubs and their football earnings are:
(1) Real Madrid (€351.0m)
(2) Manchester United (€315.2m)
(3) FC Barcelona (€290.1m)
(4) Chelsea (€283.0m)
(5) Arsenal (€263.9m)
(6) AC Milan (€227.2m)
(7) Bayern Munich (€223.3m)
(8) Liverpool (€198.9m)
(9) Internazionale (€195.0m)
(10) AS Roma (€157.6m)
(11) Tottenham Hotspur (€153.1m)
(12) Juventus (€145.2m)
(13) Olympique Lyonnais (€140.6m)
(14) Newcastle United (€129.4m)
(15) Hamburg SV (€120.4m)
(16) Schalke 04 (€114.3m)
(17) Celtic (€111.8m)
(18) Valencia (€107.6m)
(19) Olympique de Marseille (€99.0m)
(20) Werder Bremen (€97.3m) [Deloitte, 2/14/2008 pdf file]

Entity Tags: Roma, Tottenham Hotspur F.C., Valencia, Celtic F.C., FC Barcelona, Real Madrid Club de Fútbol, Bayern Munich, Arsenal F.C., Olympique de Marseille, Fussball-Club Gelsenkirchen-Schalke 04, Milan, Hamburg SV, Newcastle United F.C., Chelsea F.C., Internazionale, Deloitte, Liverpool F.C., Manchester United F.C., Olympique Lyonnais, Juventus

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

Alisher Usmanov, a Uzbek-Russian businessman of dubious repute (see September 2, 2007) who now owns a 24 percent stake in Arsenal (see Shortly Before August 31, 2007), says he only plans to increase his interest by a small amount. According to Usmanov, the investment vehicle Red & White Holdings, of which he is a co-owner, wants a blocking stake in the football club, which would be 25 percent plus one share. This would give it a veto on major club issues. [Reuters, 2/27/2008]

Entity Tags: Alisher Usmanov, Red & White Holdings, Arsenal F.C.

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

Deloitte publishes its Football Money League rankings for the 2007-2008 season. The rankings of the top 20 European clubs and their football earnings are:
(1) Real Madrid (€365.8m)
(2) Manchester United (€324.8m)
(3) FC Barcelona (€308.8m)
(4) Bayern Munich (€295.3m)
(5) Chelsea (€268.9m)
(6) Arsenal (€264.4m)
(7) Liverpool (€210.9m)
(8) AC Milan (€209.5m)
(9) AS Roma (€175.4m)
(10) Internazionale (€172.9m)
(11) Juventus (€167.5m)
(12) Olympique Lyonnais (€155.7m)
(13) Schalke 04 (€148.4m)
(14) Tottenham Hotspur (€145.0m)
(15) Hamburger SV (€127.9m)
(16) Olympique de Marseille (€126.8m)
(17) Newcastle United (€125.6m)
(18) VfB Stuttgart (€111.5m)
(19) Fenerbahce (€111.3m)
(20) Manchester City (€104.0m) [Deloitte, 2/13/2009]

Entity Tags: Real Madrid Club de Fútbol, Bayern Munich, Olympique de Marseille, Fussball-Club Gelsenkirchen-Schalke 04, Tottenham Hotspur F.C., VfB Stuttgart, Newcastle United F.C., FC Barcelona, Arsenal F.C., Milan, Roma, Manchester City F.C., Fenerbahce S.K., Deloitte, Manchester United F.C., Hamburg SV, Chelsea F.C., Juventus, Liverpool F.C., Olympique Lyonnais, Internazionale

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

Alisher Usmanov, an Uzbek businessman of dubious repute (see September 2, 2007), increases his interest in Arsenal, an English Premier League football club in North London. Red & White Holdings, of which Usmanov is a co-owner, raises its shareholding to 25 percent, which gives it a veto over major decisions. The company, run by former Arsenal vice chairman David Dein, first bought an interest in Arsenal in 2007 (see Shortly Before August 31, 2007). Red & White Holdings is now the largest shareholder in Arsenal, followed by Danny Fiszman (24.11 percent), Nina Bracewell-Smith (15.9 percent), and Stan Kroenke (12.4 percent). Shares in Arsenal are currently changing hands for around £7,500, down from their peak of around £10,500 a year and a half ago. If Usmanov’s interest reaches 30 percent, he will be mandated to launch a takeover bid under Stock Exchange rules. [Times (London), 2/17/2009]

Entity Tags: Danny Fiszman, Arsenal F.C., Stanley Kroenke, Alisher Usmanov, David Dein, Nina Bracewell-Smith, Red & White Holdings

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

Arsenal’s board of directors turns down a proposal that the football club raise capital by means of a rights issue. The suggestion was put forward by Red & White Holdings, an investment vehicle co-owned by the controversial Uzbek businessman Alisher Usmanov (see September 2, 2007). Under the plan, all shareholders would be invited to subscribe new shares, but if one or more did not exercise this right, the additional shares would be offered to the other shareholders. Red & White Holdings says that the extra money would be used to repay some of the club’s debt and to finance additional signings of established players. However, club officials suspect this is a ploy to allow Usmanov to increase his stake. In addition, they say the debt is manageable and that they prefer to sign young players, who are cheaper. [Guardian, 7/8/2009]

Entity Tags: Alisher Usmanov, Red & White Holdings, Arsenal F.C.

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

The controversial Russian-Uzbek businessman Alisher Usmanov (see September 2, 2007) increases his stake in English football club Arsenal. The shareholding is held by the investment vehicle Red & White Holdings, of which Usmanov is co-owner, and is now just over 26 percent. This makes Usmanov’s company the second largest shareholder in Arsenal, behind US businessman Stan Kroenke, who now has 29.9 percent. [BBC, 12/11/2009]

Entity Tags: Alisher Usmanov, Arsenal F.C., Red & White Holdings, Stanley Kroenke

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

Deloitte publishes its Football Money League rankings for the 2008-2009 season, in which Real Madrid was the first European club to earn more than €400m. The rankings of the top 20 European clubs and their football earnings are:
(1) Real Madrid (€401.4m)
(2) FC Barcelona (€365.9m)
(3) Manchester United (€327.0m)
(4) Bayern Munich (€289.5m)
(5) Arsenal (€263.0m)
(6) Chelsea (€242.3m)
(7) Liverpool (€217.0m)
(8) Juventus (€203.2m)
(9) Internazionale (€196.5m)
(10) AC Milan (€196.5m)
(11) Hamburger SV (€146.7m)
(12) AS Roma (€146.4m)
(13) Olympique Lyonnais (€139.6m)
(14) Olympique de Marseille (€133.2m)
(15) Tottenham Hotspur (€132.7m)
(16) Schalke 04 (€124.5m)
(17) Werder Bremen (€114.7m)
(18) Borussia Dortmund (€103.5m)
(19) Manchester City (€102.2m)
(20) Newcastle United (€101.0m) [Deloitte, 3/2010 pdf file]

Entity Tags: Olympique de Marseille, Bayern Munich, Olympique Lyonnais, Roma, SV Werder Bremen, Tottenham Hotspur F.C., Newcastle United F.C., Ballspiel-Verein Borussia 1909 e. V. Dortmund, Arsenal F.C., Milan, Real Madrid Club de Fútbol, Manchester City F.C., FC Barcelona, Deloitte, Manchester United F.C., Fussball-Club Gelsenkirchen-Schalke 04, Chelsea F.C., Internazionale, Juventus, Liverpool F.C., Hamburg SV

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

Arsenal announces record pre-tax profits of £56m for the 2009-2010 season, although a large amount of the club’s revenues was generated by the club’s property development side. Turnover increased to a record £379.9m from £313.3m, although the club’s overall turnover from its football business was marginally down, owing to five fewer home cup matches, as well as reduced income from merchandising and catering. The wage bill increased from £104m to £110.7m and is now around 50 per cent of non-property income. The club says that the business’s property arm, the Highbury Square development, is debt free and making money. The sale of 362 apartments at Highbury Square and the social housing at Queensland Road, developments that were part of the recent move to a new stadium, generated revenues of £156.9m and allowed Arsenal to repay in full the £129.6m in bank loans taken to fund the construction. The group’s overall net debt was reduced from £297.7m to £135.6m. [Guardian, 9/24/2010] Arsenal is one of only four Premier League clubs to make a profit for the 2009-2010 season, when the clubs’ losses totalled £484m. [Guardian, 5/19/2011]

Entity Tags: Arsenal F.C.

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

Deloitte publishes its Football Money League rankings for the 2009-2010 season, in which the top 10 clubs are exactly the same, although in a slightly different order, as they were the previous year (see March 2010). The rankings of the top 20 European clubs and their football earnings are:
(1) Real Madrid (€438.6m)
(2) FC Barcelona (€398.1m)
(3) Manchester United (€349.8m)
(4) Bayern Munich (€323.0m)
(5) Arsenal (€274.1m)
(6) Chelsea (€255.9m)
(7) AC Milan (€235.8m)
(8) Liverpool (€225.3m)
(9) Internazionale (€224.8m)
(10) Juventus (€205.0m)
(11) Manchester City (€152.8m)
(12) Tottenham Hotspur (€146.3m)
(13) Hamburger SV (€146.2m)
(14) Olympique Lyonnais (€146.1m)
(15) Olympique de Marseille (€141.1m)
(16) Schalke 04 (€139.8m)
(17) Atletico Madrid (€124.5m)
(18) AS Roma (€122.7m)
(18) Vfb Stuttgart (€114.8m)
(20) Aston Villa (€109.4m) [Deloitte, 2/2011 pdf file]

Entity Tags: Olympique de Marseille, Bayern Munich, Olympique Lyonnais, Roma, Tottenham Hotspur F.C., VfB Stuttgart, Milan, Aston Villa, Arsenal F.C., Manchester United F.C., Real Madrid Club de Fútbol, Liverpool F.C., Deloitte, Club Atlético de Madrid, S.A.D., Manchester City F.C., FC Barcelona, Chelsea F.C., Hamburg SV, Internazionale, Juventus, Fussball-Club Gelsenkirchen-Schalke 04

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

Arsenal FC signs Jon Miquel Toral Harper from Barcelona, a couple of weeks after his 16th birthday. Due to different employment laws in Spain and Britain, Arsenal can offer Toral a professional contract, although FC Barcelona cannot yet do so and cannot stop him from going to England. Toral is not the first 16-year-old to leave Barcelona for Arsenal; the best-known such transfer was that of current Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas, who left Catalonia for London in 2003, when he was also 16. Barcelona president Sandro Rosell expresses the Catalans’ displeasure over the deal, calling it “legal but a little immoral.” [Guardian, 2/24/2011]

Entity Tags: FC Barcelona, Jon Miquel Toral Harper, Arsenal F.C., Sandro Rosell

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

Deloitte publishes its annual rankings of the richest clubs in European football. There is little change to the top 10, and the top seven clubs are in exactly the same positions as they were last year (see February 2011). The rankings of the top 20 European clubs and their football earnings are:
(1) Real Madrid (€479.5m)
(2) FC Barcelona (€450.7m)
(3) Manchester United (€367m)
(4) Bayern Munich (€321.4m)
(5) Arsenal (€251.1m)
(6) Chelsea (€249.8m)
(7) AC Milan (€235.1m)
(8) Internazionale (€211.4m)
(9) Liverpool (€203.3m)
(10) Schalke 04 (€202.4m)
(11) Tottenham Hotspur (€181m)
(12) Manchester City (€169.6m)
(13) Juventus (€153.9m)
(14) Olympique de Marseille (€150.4m)
(15) AS Roma (€143.5m)
(16) Borussia Dortmund (€138.5m)
(17) Olympique Lyonnais (€132.8m)
(18) Hamburger SV (€128.8m)
(19) Valencia (€116.8)
(20) Napoli (€114.9). [Deloitte, 2/2012; Press Association (London), 2/9/2012]

Entity Tags: Bayern Munich, Olympique de Marseille, Real Madrid Club de Fútbol, Roma, Società Sportiva Calcio Napoli S.p.A., Tottenham Hotspur F.C., Olympique Lyonnais, Ballspiel-Verein Borussia 1909 e. V. Dortmund, Arsenal F.C., Milan, Valencia, Manchester City F.C., Chelsea F.C., Manchester United F.C., Deloitte, Fussball-Club Gelsenkirchen-Schalke 04, FC Barcelona, Juventus, Hamburg SV, Liverpool F.C., Internazionale

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

Ordering 

Time period


Email Updates

Receive weekly email updates summarizing what contributors have added to the History Commons database

 
Donate

Developing and maintaining this site is very labor intensive. If you find it useful, please give us a hand and donate what you can.
Donate Now

Volunteer

If you would like to help us with this effort, please contact us. We need help with programming (Java, JDO, mysql, and xml), design, networking, and publicity. If you want to contribute information to this site, click the register link at the top of the page, and start contributing.
Contact Us

Creative Commons License Except where otherwise noted, the textual content of each timeline is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike