Arsenal's cash reserves continue to grow despite transfer investment

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He may have taken his time about it, but Arsene Wenger invested significant funds into Arsenal's playing squad this summer.

The arrival of Shkodran Mustafi (£35m) and Lucas Perez (£17m) on the penultimate day of the transfer window capped the most expensive day in the Frenchman's 20-year reign in north London.

They joined Granit Xhaka, who had completed his £35m deal from Borussia Monchengladbach earlier in the summer, and Rob Holding, whose £2m transfer from Bolton flew somewhat under the radar.

Along with several youth additions, Arsenal spent a total £93m on player transfers this summer; the second biggest summer investment in its history. Only 2014 saw Wenger spend more with a total expenditure of £96m. However, the net spend was greater than ever this summer with only £7m coming in from player sales compared to £30m in 2014.

So Arsenal fans worried about whether their club are investing in the team should worry no more. Over the last four seasons, they have a larger net transfer spend (£197m) than all but two Premier League clubs. Man City (£342m) and Man United (£389m) are in a different league.

Cash balance

And yet, there is an interpretation that the Gunners could do even more in the transfer market with fans wondering why they continue to go for cheap options like Perez whilst ignoring world-class stars like Antoine Griezmann.

According to Swiss Ramble, who is famous for the intricate analysis of Arsenal's finances, Arsenal still have the financial prowess to go for players just like the French striker. Despite the unprecedented investment, their cash balance has remained relatively the same.

Accounts at the end of May 2016 revealed a cash balance of £226m which is just £2m less than their balance at the end of the last financial year. They have also been surmounted by Manchester United's cash balance (£229m) but they still have more money than Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich combined.

Credit: @SwissRamble

But why don't they spend it?

It is easy to suggest that this money is being hoarded for non-footballing logic but there are several important reasons why Arsenal don't actually spend the cash.

For starters, the cash balance is reported when it is at its highest when season tickets have just been renewed. From then on, it only goes down. Arsenal must pay a fair amount of their day-to-day expenses from that balance, meaning a cash balance of £0 would mean big problems.

Secondly, Arsenal must keep a large amount of cash available as part of their agreement with the bank. They have £232m of debt after financing the construction of the Emirates but have agreed an historically low interest rate that will go up if the cash balance goes down.

Finally, some of that money is indeed set aside for transfers but Wenger is famously picky with who to spend it on.

As chief executive Ivan Gazidis recently explained: “We are in a position that we were not in four or five years ago where we don’t have to sell our best players. We can go and sign world-class players if and when the manager identifies them.”

You can read the full report from Swiss Ramble by clicking here.

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Thierry Henry
Premier League
Aaron Ramsey
Arsene Wenger
Theo Walcott
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

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