Arsenal have made the greatest investment in their stadium in Europe, according to newly released UEFA figures.
The UEFA European Club Footballing Landscape report covers up to 2015, and as reported by talkSPORT, names Arsenal as the biggest stadium investors. This therefore doesn’t cover any developments made in the last couple of years.
However, it’s still no surprise to see the Gunners at the top of the list. It’s widely known that the club took on a lot of debt to move from Highbury to the brand new stadium in 2006. It was the reason given for why the club had to limit themselves financially in the transfer market, and sell players that were valuable to the team.
The investment has also passed itself onto the fans. Despite the large number of seats at the stadium, and therefore the higher-than-average amount of ticket sales made by the club, the season ticket prices are still higher than anywhere else in Europe.
The Emirates was built to be one of the most impressive stadiums around. A great deal of money was therefore invested, which requires the fans to help pay that back. It remains to be seen whether clubs like Spurs will end up having to raise ticket prices in the same way to pay for their reported £800m investment in their new stadium.
However, with the new TV deals, these investments should be partially offset. The problem, therefore, is that if the club wants to use the TV money to pay off their debts in this way, other clubs who instead simply invest their cash in the transfer market will be at an advantage.