By Gino De Blasio – @ginodb
I’ll be honest, not knowing too much about the man, I would have put him down as either some sort of philosopher or perhaps a former PE teacher. But when I come to think about it, an economist kind of makes sense. He certainly has the furrowed eye brow to suggest such a career path.
As someone who has studied economics, I now find myself analysing more carefully some of Arsene’s decisions over the last few years. Whilst I’m no fan of letting your best, most talented players go, I can understand the economic principles.
Clubs will have to really start enforcing the Financial Fair Play regulations before it’s too late. Trust me, any fan that tells you it’s easily resolved with some sort of charity banquet dinner or a one-off multi-million pound money-raising event is misguided to say the least. It could work, perhaps, one time, but when clubs start shoring up their finances and looking at the whole revenue model they will realise buying and selling is not going to reap the rewards it did just some twenty years ago, £10 million pound finger buffet’s will become harder to raise.
No, football has changed and we all know it. It’s no longer about what is happening on the pitch or off it in the player’s private lives splashed all over magazine and newspaper stands. Whether we like it or not, football is a business, a multi-trillion pound business, globally. Economics teaches us how to make that money work when there is plenty and when there is little, it’s all about the production, consumption and transfer of wealth.
No one knows what the future holds, but what economics teaches us is actually simple. There are cyclical patterns to growth and collapse. Football has grown year on year, but at some point there will be a bang, and clubs will have to ask themselves “what was our business model again?”. Trust me when I say this, based on all the financials I’ve read on Arsenal and seeing what Wenger is trying to achieve via his business model, Arsenal fans need not worry.
Wenger may not be the greatest economist but he has a clear vision, so it seems. I’ll leave you with this thought; John Maynard Keynes, master economist, creator of the welfare state once said of economists “put ten in a room, you’ll get eleven different theories”.
Is Arsene Wenger going about things the right way at Arsenal? Could his long-term treatment of the club see them become a major force in years to come? Tweet us @talkingbaws or comment below. Watch out for Paul Boyle’s blog tomorrow.