Emotion doesn't always lend itself to the coolest of economic decisions.
Then again, specific economic decisions don't always lend themselves to the coolest of emotions.
The 2012 Arsenal annual general meeting was positioned somewhere between the two points. With questions from the floor finally reinstated at the request of the shareholders, the board had to justify the direction of the club in the face of what was probably the most fractious atmosphere ever seen at the event.
- Blog: Same answers, less patience
- Brewin: Same old problems remain
- Gazidis: Arsenal can compete
But, as much as the meeting came down to figures - from the core finances to the number of trophies won - it appears to really be about time.
For a start, the atmosphere aside, the general content of the AGM could well have come at any point in the past few years. Groundhog Day doesn't really begin to do it justice.
Secondly, there was the exact stage of the season the meeting took place. Had it happened a few weeks ago, when Arsenal genuinely looked like they might be capable of a first title challenge in five season, it might have been a much more conciliatory event – concerns about prices notwithstanding. Had it come in a few months' time, when Arsenal generally enjoy a late-season surge, it might have been relatively smooth.
As it was, the AGM took place after two successive defeats and, worse, two of the most typical type of Arsenal defeats: utterly deflating. After a dismal atmosphere and performance at Emirates Stadium against Schalke the immediate night before, emotions were always going to be escalated.
The key to the entire meeting, however, was chief executive Ivan Gazidis's promise as regards a timescale of success.
"We will have the financial resources to compete among the leading clubs in the next two years, which is an extraordinary achievement," he said.
The biggest problem with that promise, though, is that there have been absolutely no minor achievements in the meantime to make the majority of fans believe; no suggestions of steps taken. Instead, the club appears to have stagnated.
It isn't just the content of the AGM that has been repeated but the general situation every season: key players sold, no trophies won, a Champions League place just about secured but ultimately no real impact on that competition either. The only spike in the chart since Arsenal reached the semi-final of the Champions League in 2008-09 was the 2011 Carling Cup final. Even the somewhat comical nature of that defeat, though, seemed to only illustrate the Sisyphean cycle Arsenal are caught up in. With that in mind, you can understand shareholders refusing to take Gazidis's promise at face value.
There is, however, a further complication to all of this. While Arsenal have stagnated, the game itself has been hugely volatile.
Above, you have the mega-money projects of Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City. Below, you have the global economic climate as well as the financial problems being suffered by previously eye-catching projects like Malaga and AC Milan, let alone scores of less stellar clubs. In the middle, then, you have UEFA attempting to condition and constrain all of this through Financial Fair Play.
At present, no-one knows which of these factors will prove the most influential. And, while successful economics is all about correctly predicting trends, the football world is currently so on-edge you can understand the Arsenal board temporarily attempting to stand their ground until they see which way everything falls.
One fault, however, may well be the rigid way in which Arsenal have attempted to do that. Occasionally, a little tilt to either side can prove steadier in the long run. For example, although it's a different scale and circumstances, look at the manner in which Everton benefitted from a slight increase in investment in January, and then again in the summer.
On the pitch, which is what the Arsenal shareholders appear to care about most, the Toffees have enjoyed steady upward progress since. Although Everton had to slightly deviate from the general rules of their financial model, it wasn't sufficient to truly trouble the club's accounts in any way. Instead, it has so far seemed to be the very epitome of speculating to accumulate. It provides everyone at the club with a jolt, a renewed energy.
Manchester United also appeared to go down this road with the very purchase of Robin van Persie, which of course only served to further distil the issue for Arsenal supporters.
In that sense, a little adjustment may suddenly go a long way. But, at the same time, Arsenal would probably be appalled to find themselves so hostage to finances as the heavily leveraged Old Trafford club. That very issue, though, serves to illustrate another contradiction at the heart of Arsenal's current situation.
On the one hand, in contrast to so many of these other clubs supposedly ignoring their fans while on borrowed time and money, Arsenal present themselves as an inherently self-sustaining, and thereby noble, football institution that is here to stay.
On the other, they are seemingly only in that position because they actually represent some of the worst excesses of the modern game: alienating and out-pricing the traditional fans.
When it was put to the board that they have the most expensive season ticket in the world, there was silence. Only adding to this, there was chairman Peter Hill-Wood's perceived "dismissive" attitude, the dissent over Gazidis's £2.1 million salary and questions over whether Stan Kroenke would take dividends out of the club.
On a simpler but just as significant a level, there is the fact fish and chips at Emirates Stadium cost £13.90.
Quite simply, the sums don't add up for many of the shareholders. Such excessive prices may be acceptable if they were watching the football and winning to match; if they were balanced by trophies, success or even straight progress.
Both Arsene Wenger and the board, of course, would counter that they are leaving key figures out of those sums. Most pointedly, there are the type of commercial deals that won't take proper effect until Gazidis' promised two years up. By then, some of the contracts that were initially entered into in order to fund the new stadium will be up and Arsenal will be better able to maximise their position as a high-profile Premier League club with superior commercial deals.
Even then, though, they'll be somewhat hostage to whether Financial Fair Play has worked, to which direction the football world has moved.
Unfortunately, as has been the case for the past few years, only time will tell.