Arsenal insist $240 million windfall is 'all about football'

Lukas Podolski has been a key part of the Arsenal side this season since arriving in the summer.

Story highlights

  • Arsenal has signed a $240 million sponsorship deal with Emirates
  • Shirt deal will remain until 2018/19 season with naming rights maintained until 2028.
  • Deal is worth an estimated $48 million a season to the EPL club

Arsenal have tied up a $240 million deal with Emirates as the club looks to end its seven year trophy drought.

The EPL club has extended its shirt partnership with Emirates until the end of the 2018/19 season, while the airline will also continue its hold on naming rights of the stadium until 2028.

The sponsorship, which is estimated to be worth around $48 million a year, has been hailed as a deal 'all about football' by Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis, who insisted money would be available for player investment in June 2013 when the club receives the first payment from Emirates.

The latest agreement, according to Gazidis, will give Arsenal, "the resources in what we believe is a responsible and well managed way, to be able to invest in what we put onto the pitch for our fans."

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In July Manchester United signed a seven-year shirt deal with U.S. car giant Chevrolet worth $72 million a season up until 2021, while Liverpool's four-year shirt deal with Standard Chartered which was signed back in 2009 is worth $128 million in total.

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Manchester City signed a 10-year deal with Etihad for naming rights and shirt sponsorship worth a reported mammoth $641 million only last years.

But Arsenal insist that only United's shirt deal is worth more and that their deal with Emirates is the second most valuable in Europe.

However, the club receives around $85 million from sponsorships, which is far less than that of its rivals including Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United.

And while it posted the third-best sales figures for the year ending May 31 of $389 million, it still lags behind its rivals on the field.

The Gunners' inability to win a trophy since 2005 under manager Arsene Wenger has led to supporter frustration with the team's inability to challenge for top honors.

Daniel Geey, an associate for Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP and an expert on finance within football, believes Arsenal's sponsorship deal is a sign of the impact that Financial Fair Play is starting to have on the Premier League.

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"The Arsenal deal will however only begin in time for the 2014-15 season which means the financial uplift is still some time away," Geey told CNN.

"Depending on how the revenues are apportioned between the shirt and stadium deal, only the future Manchester United Chevrolet $72 million a season shirt deal (also starting in 2014-15) is significantly higher in the Premier League.

"It means that in the Premier League alone, there have been some very large recent sponsorship deals with Liverpool's $128 million four-year shirt sponsorship deal with Standard Chartered in September 2009 and Manchester City's reported 10 year $641m shirt, stadium and community deal with Etihad.

"Bearing in mind the latest bumper UK and foreign broadcasting deals that have been announced by the Premier League (forecasted to be around $8bn )and the prospect of some type of salary cap being proposed in the Premier League, it is clear that owners are looking to aggressively maximize revenues whilst to some degree constraining wages.

"It may well be that FFP has had the desired 'belt tightening' effect."

Under the new FFP rules, owners can only contribute a maximum of $55.5 million for the 2013-14 and 2015 seasons together, and $37 million during the period covering 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18.

Current rules state that should clubs incur losses in excess of $60 million over a three-year period, they will be hit with sanctions as well as exclusion from the Champions League and Europa League.

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