Thierry Henry has made no secret of the fact he wants to be Arsenal’s manager but the money he is making with Sky Sports shows why he was so reluctant to give up his pundit career for a lesser role at the club.
Henry has made a massive deal of saying that, should Arsenal need him, he would be there. But all of this ignores the fact that when he was offered a coaching position at the club he turned it down rather than give up his job as a pundit with Sky Sports.
But, of course, the manager’s job is a different proposition to a coaching role at the club. For a start, it comes with a much bigger salary.
Am I being cruel insisting that it is all about the money for Henry? Perhaps, but it’s hard to ignore the fact he was offered the chance to learn his trade at the club he says he wants to manage but turned it down because he would have to give up his Sky gig.
So does it pay him a lot more than he would have made at Arsenal as a coach?
He is currently TV’s best paid pundit, paying himself, via his company, Cluemere Ltd, a £2.15m dividend for 2017 and £2.1m the year before.
That works out around £40k per week.
According to figures from 2015, Arsenal currently pay Steve Bould £30kpw and Henry’s role, had he joined Arsenal, would have been below Bould’s and, therefore, paid less.
First team coaches, Boro Primorac and Neil Banfield were each earning £5kpw in 2015 while head of the youth academy, Andries Jonker, was on just £1.5kpw before he left for his short spell at Wolfsburg.
The manager, however, was on £8.5m in 2015 before his latest deal. That’s £165kpw.
Whether you think Wenger is worth that amount or not you have to admit that Thierry Henry certainly isn’t. He has no experience as a manager and hardly any as a coach.
Still, it’s easy to see why he was reluctant to give up his Sky Sports salary if Arsenal were asking him to exist on ‘just’ £5kpw or less.