Magazine article Management Today

Brain Food: Decisions - Keith Edelman, Arsenal Football Club, Managing Director of the Premiership League Winners

Magazine article Management Today

Brain Food: Decisions - Keith Edelman, Arsenal Football Club, Managing Director of the Premiership League Winners

Article excerpt

MY BEST ...

I decided to persevere with finding funding for the new Arsenal stadium in Islington. By the end of April 2003 a number of banks had turned us down and we were about pounds 100 million short of what we needed to finance the stadium. I had to choose whether to keep trying, and I decided we could do it. We restructured our kit sponsorship deal with Nike so that we got more than pounds 50 million upfront, which we injected as equity into the stadium. We raised another pounds 10 million through a debenture scheme for season tickets. Finally, we visited 10 banks individually and got six of them to loan more money. It took 10 months, but it was worth it.

The new stadium has capacity for 60,000 people. The money from the 9,000 premium seats alone will be close to the total revenue that we currently take out of 38,500 seats at Highbury. The remaining seats will all be additional revenue. It's a historic decision to move, as we've been at Highbury for 90 years. Yet the new stadium, which should be completed in August 2006, will position Arsenal as a substantial European power in football. …

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