You may have expected Tottenham to leap frog Arsenal should the Gunners fail to achieve Champions League football next season but global research into the club's brand and appeal surprised even club insiders with the extent to which their traditions of conducting their business in the right way on and off the pitch and playing attractive football were core elements of their appeal – even above short-term success.
Arsenal's long-term sponsorship, naming rights and kit deals with Emirates and Nike expire in two years' time.
The global fan base that Arsenal are trying to reach under their new American owner Stan Kroenke, with last year's Asian tour to be followed this summer by a trip to Africa, and the commercial partners they hope to attract at a significant premium to their current long-term deals.
Arsenal signed 10 year contracts with Nike and Emirates before leaving Highbury to fund the move but in commercial terms both Manchester United and Liverpool have extended their lead over the Gunners.
Chief executive, Ivan Gazidis has long trumpeted the "Arsenal way" as an integral element of the club's appeal and that is why he is unlikely to turn to a short‑term fix such as Barcelona's Pep Guardiola should Arsene Wenger move on. Brendan Rodgers at Swansea could be seen as a better bet to safeguard the club's values and keep momentum under new financial fair play rules that the club hopes will dramatically favour Arsenal over their rivals.
The lack of trophies in the cabinet at the end of the season will again not please the fans and should the old foe win at the Emirates on Sunday these "safe-hands" will not appease the fans.