Arsenal Football Club on Friday announced a five-year shirt deal with Emirates worth £150m. This means the Emirates logo can be seen on the Arsenal kits till the end of the 2018/19 season. The stadium naming rights did raise eyebrows across Ashburton Grove as the contract was extended up to 2028 – a 15-year extension which hasn’t been received well by the Arsenal faithful. The shirt deal of £30m a year is a significant improvement on the £5m the club earned from 2006-07 up until now. The Gunners board and manager expressed their delight after securing the second best shirt deal in the League, second only to Manchester United’s AON deal.
The flow of cash means Arsene Wenger might have more freedom and a lump sum transfer kitty. Arsenal moved from Highbury to their new stadium in 2006 and thus have been under the gun financially. The Gunners have maintained a stringent wage structure and Wenger has spent only sporadically in the market.
Financially the club are well placed and are one of the top sporting franchises in the world despite going trophy less in the past seven years, something that didn’t escape the attention of Emirates hierarchy who were glad to have extended the deal, calling Arsenal a “truly global club” and are happy to see their name being associated with them. From a footballing point of view this gives Arsene Wenger a chance to compete in the market and sign the best possible players for the club, though the wage structure is unlikely to change. Most importantly, will it mark a new era at the club?