So I want to touch on a familiar subject: Essentially operating a sports team with a net profit.
As sports fans, we all want to be owners. To have control, make decisions, and get to enjoy the on field results. I very much like Mark Cuban of the Dallas Mavericks, he seems to be a fan first and an owner second. Many owners are not like this at all however.
Let's get some things strait, major sports owners are billionaires, and they didn't get that way by owning a sports team. It is difficult to compare European football teams to American sports because of salary caps and luxury taxes, but there are some important things to consider.1. A sports franchise is a business and should be operated like so.
This is a stance that Arsenal takes very seriously, always trying to have a budget and operating with a profit. The businessman in me likes this at first, but then I get to thinking. I have to think about business all day at work, that's not the reason I follow sports. I follow sports to take my mind away from all of that day to day and have something to care about. To put this in perspective, two other teams I follow are the Portland Trailblazers of the NBA (whose owner, Paul Allen is one of the wealthiest owner in professional sports) and the New York Yankees of MLB ( whose owners, the Steinbrenner family also have money). Both of these teams have very loyal and large fan bases. The Yankees are quite successful because they spend money on the players they want. The blazers are not very successful, but it can never be said that Paul Allen doesn't do all he can to improve the team. Both of these teams routinely lose money from an operating standpoint.
Does this make the this make the games any less enjoyable? Not one bit. Why should I care that a Billionaire owner is making a profit on his sports franchise which represents about 1% of his business ventures? I really don't. If I am going to spend whatever obscene amount of $ on a ticket and a beer, i really don't want a sports owner telling me what a great, profitable year it has been. Sports success is measured on the field, not on the income statement.
2. Influx of new money is hurting the league and Euro football in general.
This is absolutely true. Chelski and Man City's spending does nothing good for the league, but its honestly not that different than the "big 4" dominating the league in years past. The Euro financial world is not set up for competitive balance, but that is the world that must be operated in.
This is not a call to go out and spend $100mil in the transfer market. Neither am I saying that the RVP situation or situations of the past should have had money thrown at them. The point of this is: Using the excuse of being a profitable club is a joke of an excuse for not making improvements when capable.
Arsenal are on of the 10 most valuable sports franchises in the world, one of the biggest clubs in the biggest city in Europe, with one of the largest followings around the world. Do you sleep better at night knowing the owner with a net worth of $3.2billion is not losing money?
Chelsea and Man City are criticized for being a rich man's play toy. What is so wrong with that? If I were a billionaire sports owner, I would do everything I could to make my team competitive. With Stan owner 4 other sports teams, perhaps he is a bit too stretched to give this team the attention and resources that it deserves.