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REVEALED: Arsenal’s internal fine structure

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New £10 Note Is Released Into Circulation Photo by Jim Dyson/Getty Images

As you may or may not know, Premier League teams, like most sports teams, have a system of internal fines that they levy on their players for violating various team rules and norms. Fines are for things like being late to practice, wearing the wrong kit in practice, having your phone go off during team meals, etc. In US sports, the team captain usually levies and collects these fines, so I would assume there’s a similar structure in place in the Premier League, which is one answer to the question ‘what does a captain do?’.

There was a leak today of Chelsea’s first team fine list for the current season, and it contained some interesting nuggets. In addition to the ones I listed above, there are fines for being late for team meetings (£500 per minute!), being late to the gym for “pre-activation”, which I don’t even know what that is much less when I’d be late for it, and refusal of (or failure to appear for) community duties.

Knowing that Chelsea’s list exists, we here at TSF started to do some of that investigative journalism for which we’ve rightly become internationally renowned (and feared by The Man!), and see if we could turn up what Arsenal’s internal fine structure looks like. Through a lot of digging, a few well-placed bribes, and basic dumb luck, we found a list of fines that Unai Emery imposes on his team for violations of internal discipline. This is not complete, but it’s a good sampling:

- Passing into the opposition’s penalty area during training: £500
- Passing into the opposition’s penalty area during a game: £1,500
- Making more than one horizontal pass in a row: £1,500
- Going more than two minutes in attack without a single cutback: £1,000
- Holding a lead: £3,000
- Holding a lead late in a game: £5,000
- Close marking your man on a corner: £2,000
- Asking to play your natural position: £7,500
- Engaging with Mesut Özil in any way on football matters: £10,000
- Averaging more than +1 xG per match: £500
- Outscoring any match’s xG: £1,000
- Being elected team captain: £5,000 (and a re-evaluation of your first team place)

This isn’t a comprehensive list, but it’s a useful peek behind the curtain of how a Premier League club operates, for sure, and explains a lot.