Highbury Library Logo

Highbury Library Logo

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Arsenal should not be funding this glee club

Arsenal Ladies - couldn't care less

I had given some thought to writing a piece that went in to some detail on Chelsea's performance in Barcelona on Tuesday evening. I've decided against it but I will say that it was a superb defensive display. Barcelona's play was reminiscent of the worst of Arsenal's football, where there was little clue as to how to break down a massed defence. From a Chelsea point of view it merely served to show what is possible with tactical nous and defensive organisation. The fact that they were missing their centre-halves before half-time was virtually without consequence in the context of the match, simply due to their players' willingness to stick to a very good plan. I didn't want Chelsea to win, and I hope they lose in the final, but credit where it is due.

On to (only sightly) more important matters and I want to briefly write about the Arsenal Ladies. I wrote a similar piece last Spring, I recall, whereby I bemoaned the idea of Arsenal Ladies and, more particularly, the fact that they cost Arsenal Football Club more money than they can make. That was at the beginning of the FA Womens Super League last year. Nothing has changed, apart from the fact that, tonight, Arsenal Ladies are taking to the pitch at Ashburton Grove. This has really annoyed me.
As part of the new semi-professional league some players (up to four per club, I believe) are earning at least £20,000 per year to masquerade as footballers. You can be fairly certain that Arsenal, being the pre-eminent force in English female football, will be doing just that. This is a far bigger waste of money than paying large wages to the likes of Bendtner and Denilson. At least those two might have actually produced something that was of benefit to Arsenal Football Club in some way. On top of that outlay is the money paid to the rest of the squad, the coaches and physios etc as well as the sundry costs of running a football team and various youth sides. On top of all that is a hire fee paid to Borehamwood FC to use their pitch in order for games to take place. There is simply no way that this is a good business move for Arsenal.
When you bear in mind that Arsenal has a wage structure and won't pay out big transfer fees, much to the frustration of its paying supporters, how can the Club justify spending money that can't be recouped on Arsenal Ladies? I know the player wages for these women are a drop in the ocean compared to the real Arsenal footballers but, to coin a popular advertising slogan, every little helps. I'm sure every Gooner in the land would rather see the money wasted on Arsenal Ladies being put towards keeping Robin Van Persie. Now they are playing at the stadium, under floodlights. I suspect the gate receipts might not even cover the cost of the electricity used in the ground tonight.
I realise I will probably get accused of being a "dinosaur" and other such nonsense for writing this piece. I have no problem with women playing football. Good luck to them if that's what they want to do. But from the point of view of Arsenal Football Club it must be recognised that this is a waste of important funds. If you consider that the professional league in the USA, where women's "soccer" is huge, has collapsed, what chance does female professional football have in England? Ultimately it's about quality, and the standard of a game of women's football is simply not what people are going to part with big money to watch. It does nothing for Arsenal and I implore the powers that be to end this gravy train and focus on what's important - the winning of real trophies.


  1. Have to agree, unfortunately. If Arsenal Ladies isn't financially viable to be ran as it is then there isn't any reason to keep it going. Arsenal is a business and as with any business there's no logical reasoning behind continuing to fund projects that are making a loss and will continue to make a loss.

    Semi-professionals in the lower leagues aren't given this sort of financial crutch. If the attendances are low you're not doing well as a business in the entertainment industry and shouldn't be rewarded for that failure.

    If women's teams aren't ran as a business then they'll never be successful or efficient. If they were being ran independently, by the very women managing the team and wanting to keep the business/team financially afloat then perhaps they'd work more actively to promote themselves and develop the game in a manner that draws in crowds.

    The ladies team is effectively like a useless government quango, a waste of resources that doesn't function well because of a lack of accountability and a seemingly endless supply of finance.

  2. No, you are not a dinosaur....they ruled the earth at one stage in history. In the great scheme of things, does this really matter? No. Our ladies team has won trophies (you are obsessed with them, the trophies I mean) and the cost is minimal. Do you seriously have nothing better in your life to worry about? I envy you.

  3. What an Idiot you are, do you know the cost of advertising a product.Arsenal ladies are the best in the UK and amongst the best in the world. Do you not think the AW and the board with all their bargain hunting and tight purse strings not know what the ladies team cost? Sell a product a good product and that product is called Arsenal F.C

  4. Come on I am an Arsenal fan!
    Male or female I'm still a fan
    Unlike you I don't care if the women's league doesn't take off it is a good idea.
    I congratulate Arsenal's Women and take my hat off to them.Deep down I wish the men were performing as good as the Women

  5. So I'm an idiot because I want Arsenal FC to plough its resources in to the first-team, at the expense of Ladies football? Sorry, but I just don't get that.
    The comment by "unknown" is just incoherent crap that makes no sense in written English.
    For "Goonerjon" - the only trophies I'm obsessed with are the ones that matter in the real world - Premier League, FA Cup, European Cup and Carling Cup. Frankly the trophies won by Arsenal Ladies have as much relevance as the Emirates Cup or the Amsterdam Tournament.

  6. Before you write articles like this I think you need to do research.

    For a club to enter the women's super league (wsl) they have to be independent of the mens club. This is to stop what has happened in mens footbaLl i.e. being bankrolled by richer men clubs.

    By submitting a bid to the FA for the WSL to enter a club part of this is a business plan to be a SUSTAINABLE club i.e. HAVING AN INCOME. Bristol Academy (WSL club) have a six-figure sponsorship deal.

    I think the mens side of Arsenal may help source sponsorship as the have connections but they certainly do not financially bank roll the ladies side, they are not allowed to due to the rules of the league.

    When you next rant on do so with fact, not what you THINK you know.

    1. So Arsenal Ladies are able to source their own money for their European adventures?

      I think not.

    2. That's the idea moron. Im sure you're well acquainted with all Arsenal's accounts, so everything you write is an ASSUMPTION!

      Being the largest and most successful ladies club in the country does bring rewards (see their latest tour to Japan). You've now lept on the 'Euro' cost after not putting that in your original article, im sending you some straws to grab at.

      It's Arsenal Football CLUB which encompasses the whole community not just the selfish arrogant gains of one. So what your wish is, is to get rid of the community side (cos that's costs money too).

      The fact is football club historically do NOT make money, they break even cos that is the model of the leisure market and they have ALWAYS been subsidised by rich owners. Basically get your head out of your a*se and get into the 21st century. You should be celebrating success they have and hope the men just have as much then you'll have the best club in the world.

      At the moment your attitude is pathetic!

    3. And so we reach the abuse and swearing part of your non-argument.
      Having claimed that Arsenal Ladies are, in effect, a seperate entity to Arsenal FC you now say they are part of Arsenal Football Club as a whole. So which is it?
      Here is a fact for you. I, along with thousands of others, pay a large amount of money for a season ticket to watch Arsenal play. I do not want a penny of that money spent on anything that is not geared towards the current or future success of the first-team. I am far from alone in that, and it has nothing to do with not being in the 21st century, so forget all your liberal PC nonsense. Arsenal Ladies, and the funding that goes to them from the shirt and sponsorship deals, and gate receipts and merchandising of Arsenal, does nothing to add to the potential success of the first-team.