Because of their own financial commitment and desire to stay out of trouble, Arsenal’s January transfer move for Napoli star Victor Osimhen may be in peril. It happens at the same time that the Premier League is starting to enforce stricter profit and sustainability (PSR) regulations.
For an alleged PSR violation, Everton was referred to an independent panel in March. The hearing is scheduled for October. The Toffees have been deducted ten points, which can be appealed, after it was found that their losses for any given three-year period exceeded the £105 million maximum by £20 million.
One example is Manchester City, which has been the subject of a Premier League investigation. The results of that inquiry led to the filing of 115 accusations against the team in February. A panel has not yet addressed such allegations, therefore the judicial process will probably be drawn out and take a while.
The Premier League has shown in recent months that they are aiming to enforce its rules strictly, and teams now need to make sure that they are doing so more diligently than before. Arsenal’s strategy has been obvious in that they know where they can spend their money and how much they can spend.
Over the summer, the team received investments totaling over £200 million. A few outgoings helped to keep the finances balanced, but one particular deal serves as an example of how the deals are being handled. that of David Raya, who signed a season-long loan with the Gunners with the option to buy.
With Arsenal likely to trigger the permanent signing next summer, the loan means they have the goalkeeper for the season without having to count the transfer value towards PSR until next season when the permanent deal starts. That would be different if it was an obligation to buy, as UEFA rules state that the value counts from when the loan deal starts instead.
It indicates a clear plan that the side can work within, only explained further by the Athletic’s David Ornstein, who said in a recent question and answer session: “Judging by their most recent signing David Raya being a loan for PSR purposes, I imagine Arsenal, who have always been very diligent around this subject, are among a number of clubs sailing close to the wind.
“As previously mentioned on here, my understanding is that once Arsenal have proper financial manoeuvrability again the first thing they are committed to doing is turn the Raya deal permanent. After that, let’s see what shape they’re in and whether creativity is needed (i.e. sales to raise funds). KSE (Kroenke Sports & Entertainment) has shown its willingness to invest, pretty much since taking full ownership in 2018 but, as we know, it is not as straight forward as that.”
If it is the case that Arsenal are having to work within their means, it could put any deal for Osimhen in danger come the January transfer window. The Gunners have been heavily linked with the Nigerian international to help bolster their ranks for the second half of the season.
However, the reality is that he could cost somewhere upwards of £100million, despite having just over one year remaining on his contract. Should Arsenal decide to trigger that and become in breach of PSR over their three-year period, it could well bring about a repeat of the points deduction that Everton were given.
If that is truly the case or not remains to be seen, but it’s clear now that teams have to be careful when confronting their finances in the future.