Arsenal’s high-flying dreams have been dashed – but not due to any failure in the Premiership.
The club has lost a High Court case to double the number of music concerts held at its Emirates Stadium in north London.
Islington Council rejected the application and a planning inspector dismissed the club’s appeal in January 2014. Arsenal argued at High Court that the inspector had made a ‘clear error’ in judgement.
The point of contention is over noise and fans – although how concert attendees could be any worse than a few thousand football punters is hard to imagine. Past concerts with the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Coldplay, and Muse have generated hundreds of thousands of pounds in extra revenue for Arsenal.
The club’s chief executive director Ken Friar made the case that the large amount of extra money brought in would help Arsenal significantly in the extremely competitive world of football. Friar pointed to Manchester United’s £100m profits compared to Arsenal’s £20m as proof.
But the inspector rejected this claim, saying that if Arsenal could afford such expensive players as Mesut Ozil for £43m, then it could not reasonably plead poverty.
As it stands, Arsenal will be allowed to continue putting on three concerts a year at Emirates Stadium.