World Cup Russia 2018


Arsenal face bleak future if Champions League goes

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Football News

The reaction from the home crowd at the Emirates stadium on Saturday could be considered as a tad excessive, but no one can deny that Arsene Wenger has put himself in a precarious position.

In what is only their second competitive game of the season, the Gunners are facing a tough task to qualify for the Champions League proper.

Tonight they will travel to a hostile Sukru Saracoglu stadium in Istanbul where 50,000 fans await, confident of intimidating this vulnerable Arsenal side.

If Arsenal were to be eliminated from the Champions League at this stage, not only would they miss out on millions of euros - they earned an estimated €31,423,000 last season - but their appeal in the transfer market will plummet.

It's known that Luis Suarez's eagerness to join Arsenal was only due to their potential appearance in the Champions League. Fail to qualify and any chance of signing the Uruguayan fades away.

That wouldn't go only for Suarez either. Could anyone imagine a world-class talent like that of Wayne Rooney playing for a Europa League club?

It goes without saying that Arsenal's only chance of signing quality players between now and the end of the transfer window is dependent on their Champions League status.

And the repercussions of missing out on the group stages this year could have a knock-on effect that would see Arsenal fall out of the top four for seasons to come.

Without the money that comes in from the Champions League, Arsenal would have to fill a massive hole in their revenue stream. For a club so eager to keep their books in the black, the board would likely dip in to the cash reserves to fill this gap - money that has been put aside for transfers.

As the money for players depletes, the quality of the targets goes down. Suarez would go from being a realistic possibility to a pipe dream in one fell swoop.

With Liverpool and Tottenham both investing heavily during the summer, the fight for a top four place is likely to be more competitive then ever. 

Tottenham are set to take their spending to over £100m for the summer and, with the potential sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid, could unbelievably still make a net profit from the window.

Liverpool have taken a firm stance over the sale of Suarez and, along with the signings of several promising players as well as the development of young prospects, are likely to mount a challenge to reach that 70-point mark that will see them there or thereabouts for the final Champions League place.

Not only would Arsenal get less prize money, competing in the Europa League would likely lead to more games played and more air miles travelled. This small squad would be stretched to breaking point as fatigue sets in from an excess of games.

Because of the lack of quality teams in the Europa League, Arsenal could expect to reach a minimum of the semi-finals. That means they would face as many as 14 games with the 15th being the final.

Alternatively, Arsenal could expect to go as far as the quarter-finals in the Champions League, which would be 10 games. There would also be the likelihood that their Champions League opponents will be closer to home with western countries providing the majority of competitors.

If this fatigue effects their Premier League performance, you can expect a Tottenham squad stronger in depth to take advantage and finish in that coveted fourth place.

Once Tottenham gain Champions League qualification ahead of Arsenal, they will have more money whilst Arsenal would have less and the gap between them will continue to grow.

As Tottenham manage to attract more top players due to their increased status, Arsenal will continue to miss out and two or three successive season in the Europa League would take its toll as current stars leave for bigger and brighter things.

It's hard to see how one two-legged tie against Fenerbahce can define a club's success for the next ten seasons.

But thanks to the huge difference in revenue between Europe's top and second-tier competitions, the failure to qualify could start a chain of events that could lead to a long-standing power shift in north London. 

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