January 9, 2013
Apparently Arsenal may well have tied up Theo Walcott’s future.
But apparently it’s going to cost them £90,000 a week to do so.
Not so great.
Walcott and his agent have played this beautifully. The saga has been drawn out to the point where Arsenal have clearly panicked, and thrown money at the player to prevent him leaving for free in the Summer. It’s been an absolute masterclass in how to use leverage. A little bit of form against some average Premier League opponents, and everyone seems to have bought into the ‘new Thierry Henry’ tag which Walcott is wholly undeserving of – including Arsene Wenger and Ivan Gazidis.
Without even referencing the ‘multi-million pound signing-on fee’ which will accompany Walcott’s signature, this rather contradicts the oft-reference claim about how well Arsenal are financially managed. How is it credible to make such claims when the club consistently overpay run-of-the-mill players? £60,000/week for Marouane Chamakh, £50,000/week for Lukas Fabianski, £60,000/week for Andre Santos? Yes, on that scale Walcott probably is worth £90,000, but that’s not a terribly consoling context.
That kind of wage should be the reward for being an actual difference-maker at the very top of the league, and Walcott isn’t that – he’s a useful player who will sporadically experience purple patches in form. Arsenal have a very real challenge on their hands to retain their Champions League status, yet they’re fixing their wagon to players who can’t be relied upon to deliver the consistent performances that will keep them inside that top-four.
This is exactly why a seat at The Emirates costs as much as it does: because that’s the revenue which pays for this mediocrity.