Gunner Thoughts

New week, new season, new opportunities

Monday marks a new seasons start and a clean slate. What does the FA Cup win mean?

Good morning Gooners and I hope this week starts, or has started, better than most the rest have this year. The FA Cup warmth is still lingering in the air with a sense of comfort and confidence for what could come.

The new week marks the beginning of Arsenal’s brief offseason break before things pick right back up in just over a month and with it, a sense of new opportunities. Many know the FA Cup win brought with it Europa League qualification plus a meager £3.6m in prize money – but who are Arsenal to laugh at any funds.

With Europa League qualification, Arsenal also graduated into Arteta’s “some” transfer plans that he discussed, vaguely in a press conference a while back, talking about the Gunners having developed three transfer scenarios — one they can do a lot in, one they can do some in, and one they can do nothing in. It was’t rocket science, nor did it take army level, code-breaking intelligence to work out that those likely equated to Arsenal finishing in the Champions League, Europa League, or without any form of qualification.

Arsenal now know exactly where they stand, and to overcome quite a bit of adversity in the second half of the season and still manage to work their way into Europe, is a testament to what Arteta is bringing to this club. However, qualifying for the Europa League does not open a chest of funds to do whatever we want in the market during this window, it simply provides some level of comfort to spending, knowing there is an extra source of income in the future to help offset costs. But how much money?

2019/20 Europa League Prize Money

  • Base fee for group stage: €2,920,000 (£2,625,926)
  • Group match victory: €570,000 (£512,595)
  • Group match draw: €190,000 (£170,865)
  • Group winners: €1,000,000 (£899,290)
  • Group runners-up: €500,000 (£449,645)
  • Round of 32: €500,000 (£449,645)
  • Round of 16: €1,100,000 (£989,219)
  • Quarter-finals: €1,500,000 (£1,348,935)
  • Semi-finals: €2,400,000 (£2,158,296)
  • Losing finalist: €4,500,000 (£4,046,805)
  • Winners: €8,500,000 (£7,643,965)

While that looks like a significant amount available, and again, who are Arsenal to turn down what funds they can get their hands on, we should put it into some perspective. There is suggestion that Arsenal made somewhere between £30-40m when they made it to the finals and lost. This year, it is believed they made £25-30 when they lost to Olympiacos. It’s an ammount of funds that Arsenal can use, but there are questions over how much of those winnings are dedicated to paying past transfers like Nicolas Pepe’s. The ever-true saying, “today’s winnings pay for yesterday’s spending” rings true.

Compare these winnings to the end-goal Champions League:

  • Base fee for group stage: €15,250,000
  • Group match victory: €2,700,000
  • Group match draw: €900,000
  • Round of 16: €9,500,000
  • Quarter-finals: €10,500,000
  • Semi-finals: €12,000,000
  • Losing finalist: €15,000,000
  • Winning the Final: €19,000,000

It’s easy to see why it is so highly sought after. The gap in funds is astounding. Even the initial amount a team makes for reaching the group stage is astounding with a £13m difference. Thats almost half of what the Gunners made from this year’s Europa League without playing a match.

This means, Arsenal supporters need to temper some of their expectations still. Winning the cup hasn’t unlocked the world of transfer dreams, it simply offers a slight bump in capabilities and the ability to move forward, which is exciting, but not wildly.

It’s believed that Arsenal had reached stopping points in multiple negotiations until they knew their FA Cup and Europa League fate. A major example of that was the fate of Arsenal Captain, Aubameyang.

“So be excited,” Arsenal fans. Or be worried if you are nervous of seeing Willian and Coutinho being brought on board Arteta’s proverbial boat. This week could see a lot of movement as Arsenal look to give Arteta his team early so he has the tools he needs to start the next season right. New season, clean slate… new team? After the FA Cup, I am excited to find out.

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