Despite big money TV deals, the commercial side of football remains the main money maker for the top clubs in England.
According to fcbusiness.co.uk, even the new £5bn TV deal only takes second place to the commercial deals, with match-day income providing the smallest revenue stream.
They give the example of Manchester United in the 2014/15 season, when United made £197m from commercial activities, £108m from television and broadcasting and £91m from match-day income.
What this means is that it’s become far more important for clubs to get their sponsorship deals right. We’ve seen it with the introduction of shirt sleeve sponsors this season.
When one club does it, the rest quickly follow, no one can risk falling behind in the main area for bringing in money.
Which all leaves me pretty concerned when it comes to Arsenal.
The Gunners haven’t jumped at the chance to add a sleeve sponsor, and it’s starting to seem like they aren’t taking full advantage of the market at the moment.
For example, in the last couple of seasons Arsenal had agreements with Europcar, Cooper Tire Europe and Citroen. The deals with Europcar and Citroen expired, to be replaced by, well, nothing.
On the page of Arsenal’s partners, Cooper Tire Europe are still there, but that’s it. The other two haven’t been replaced, Arsenal just don’t have a hire car sponsor, or a general car sponsor while Manchester United have 65 sponsors, including a confectionery partner in Myanmar and Thailand. Arsenal have 24 in total.
If the Gunners want to compete with the top clubs in Europe financially, they don’t need to win the Champions League, or increase ticket prices, or continue to lobby for a greater share of the TV money.
All those things would help, but what’s far more important is that they get their act together behind the scenes and get some agreements in place with companies who want to advertise with them.
Despite all this, Ivan Gazidis was still paid a bonus of just under £1m.