Arsenal missed out on Champions League qualification after finishing 5th in the Premier League and also losing to Chelsea in the Europa League final.
A late collapse in the Premier League towards the end of the season saw the Gunners finish behind bitter London rivals, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspurs in the final two qualification places.
Arsenal seemed destined to return to Europe’s elite club competition when they defeated Watford at the Vicarage road on the 15th of April — a victory that saw them move into the top four, level on points with Chelsea and with an outstanding game in hand. But three successive defeats against Crystal Palace, Wolves, and Leicester, changed the whole picture resulting in Arsenal depending on their rivals to slip up heading into the final two games of the season — a scenario that never happened.
Then attention was shifted to the Europa League — a competition that guarantees the winner automatic qualification to the Champions League. Heading into the final in Baku, there was tremendous pressure on the Gunners, but once again, they collapsed, suffering a humiliating 4-1 loss to Chelsea, thus confirming that they will be competing in the Europa League for the third consecutive season!
Here are the consequences of Arsenal’s inability to qualify for the Champions League.
Over the years, Arsenal has built a reputation of competing in Europe’s elite club competition – qualifying for the champions league for 17 consecutive seasons until the recent collapse, the third season without champions league football is terrible for a club of Arsenal’s status. The narrative is changing, meaning other clubs — especially Tottenham, are gradually overtaking them.
One of the major factors that attract players to big clubs is the prospect of featuring in the Champions League. Arsenal have been able to use Champions league football as a lure to compete modestly in the transfer market over the years, their inability to secure Champions League qualification will affect them in attracting players to the Emirates stadium, this will give their rivals the leverage when competing for signings.
Arsenal are reportedly interested in Ryan Fraser, Hakim Ziyech, Nicolas Pepe, Samuel Chukwueze, Wilfred Zaha amongst others.
3. Low transfer budget
With the Gunners’ budget forecasted to suffer a £70 million loss this year due to increased operating costs, falling revenue and no huge money made from player sales, coupled with the owner, Stan Kroenke’s refusal to invest in the club, they will have an extremely tight budget (estimated to be £45 million) to operate with in this summer’s transfer market. This will definitely affect them next season as the squad (especially the defense) needs reinforcement. Arsenal’s Premier league rivals — especially those willing to spend heavily in the transfer market —must surely be licking their lips ahead of next season.
4. Keeping players
Keeping hold of players at the _Emirates stadium_ will become more difficult as players will be enticed with Champions league football by other clubs, Arsenal’s limited budget means it will also be very difficult to ward off interest in their players by richer clubs.
Although Arsenal can boast of having one of the biggest and most loyal fanbases across the world, the club’s declining fortune is increasingly wearing out the patience of their fans who have had to deal with trophy droughts, lack of big-name signings, sale of star players and expensive ticket prices over the years.