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Arsenal finish outside the top four in something

Fortunately, it’s nothing important.

ESPN Leadership Dinner
The guy on the right works at KPMG, that’s why
Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images

Everybody likes a list. The human mind looks for order, patterns, and structure. As a result, everything we can conceive of that we enjoy has been listed, parsed, ordered, sorted, and ranked to within an inch of its life. This, of course, extends to sports as well. Coaches polls, season standings, statistical analyses - they all exist to sort and rank. There’s nothing inherently bad about that, because particularly in sports, things need to be ranked - that’s kind of the point of competitive sports, to sort out who is the best at it, right?

Off the pitch, every year at least two organizations try to sort out which club is worth the most money as businesses, because apparently that’s also a thing that is important. Forbes’ is probably the most prominent, because it’s got the Forbes name and media presence behind it, but it’s also the very definition of a SWAG* because their numbers aren’t really rooted in anything concrete. They’re all estimates, based on media presence and extrapolations of expenses and revenues that are available to the public.

The accounting firm KPMG also does a rating every year, and honestly, I’m not sure it’s miles better than Forbes’. According to KPMG, their study takes into account, among other things,

"the popularity of clubs with their number of followers on social media, their sporting potential given the value of their players, TV rights and their ownership situation, notably of the stadiums.

So, yeah, a lot of looseness there too. But, it’s a ranking, so it’s probably fun to talk about? Maybe? Anyway, KPMG’s rankings came out today, and Arsenal....brace yourselves. Arsenal finished fifth. That’s right, they’re in the Europa League of financial results. If you look at it from a Premier League perspective, they’re in a better position, finishing second behind Manchester United, who are themselves second (to Real Madrid) in the overall table. Arsenal, overall, are nearly a £2 billion enterprise now, which is kind of mindblowing when you stop to think about it.

I’m also a bit surprised that Chelsea are below Arsenal on this list - again, there’s no science to it, but Chelsea have bottomless money. I think their stadium situation is suppressing their value a bit, but when plans to expand Stamford Bridge are complete, I would expect Chelsea to be up there with Real and MUFC.

What does all this mean? Not a whole lot, honestly. But it’s Friday afternoon and it’s a bit of fun, so that’s the angle I’m taking.

*scientific wild-ass guess