Keeping the Balance

According to a French philosopher operating from London, no team should get any credit for its championships or football prowess, unless that success is certified by an accountant

(photo: Ronnie Macdonald, cc license)

Arsène Wenger, Arsenal’s manager, may have not won a trophy for the club for five years but he knows which clubs don’t deserve credit for their success.

“I don’t want to go into excuses, but you want a business to be run properly, and I believe that to lose £150 million a year you don’t deserve a lot of credit to win a competition”, he told arsenal.com back in September. “Meanwhile,we have balanced our books”.

OK, so the next time Arsenal would end a season without a trophy, Wenger should suggest that the players and staff should get on an open bus tour through Islington and present the Annual Report.

It would be a hit amongst fans.

According to the “Wenger scale”, almost every successful team doesn’t deserve a lot of credit for its success. Inter Milan might be the European Champion, but the team lost €730 million in the last decade.

Barcelona, one of the best teams to ever play the game, also doesn’t deserve any credit for its playing prowess as the club reports losses of  €77 million last year.

(Barcelona will end this season with a loss as well, although signing a shirt sponsorship contract with a charity fund backed by a hard-line  scholar who calls for religious segregation, domestic violence, female circumcision, and killing Jews and homosexuals, will help them finish the season a bit more balanced).

Manchester United, Arsenal’s arch-rival, doesn’t deserve much credit either. The team had lost a lot of money each season since the Glazers bought them. Chelsea, which loses about €50 million a year, obviously doesn’t deserve any credit.

Hardly any successful team in Europe is entitled to Wenger’s credit – Just five of the last 16 team remaining in this year’s Champions League competition will definitely post profit this season.

It’s going to change, though. Uefa’s financial fair play will force club to operate under balanced books. Uefa even suggested that every club should adopt Arsenal’s model.

Well, something to cheer about.

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