Arsenal have announced their half-yearly financial results, which has revealed a pre-tax profit of £17.8 million and an increase in their cash reserves.
The London club’s football turnover dropped from £113.5 million (from the last results) to £106 million, which primarily came down to the Gunners playing more home matches during this period last year.
Arsenal has faced enormous protests from the fans about the club selling their best players every season. Figures show that the club made a profit of £42.5 million from player sales; a massive chunk of the money was earned from the transfer of Robin van Persie to Manchester United. But the report also reveals the fact that the club has spent £40.9 million on transfer market themselves; which also includes renewal of player contracts.
Arsenal have bought in the likes of Cazorla, Podolski and Giroud at the start of the season, while Nacho Monreal was the latest addition during the January transfer window. The Gunners renewed the contract of seven players during the course of this season which included new contract for the likes of Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey.
But questions will be raised about the club’s financial dependent of player sales. Arsenal wouldn’t have made that pre-tax profit had they kept hold of Robin van Persie. The club though is on a stable financial condition as of now with no short-term debt.
Arsenal cash reserve has risen from £115.2 million (last year) to £123 million this year. This will provide a huge boost to the club in the next transfer window amongst reports that Arsene Wenger will be handed over a £70 million transfer kitty next summer.
Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood was delighted with the club’s financial results and pointed out that this gives the club ‘strength’ and ‘independence’. He also stressed on the fact that the club is intended on retaining its best players and pointed out the steps taken by Arsenal to secure the future of players like Wilshere and Walcott.
“Let me be quite clear that our intention is to keep our best players and recruit new talent to make us stronger. Although we were disappointed to see Robin van Persie leave the club, we have taken steps to secure our best players and have recently signed Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott, Kieran Gibbs, Aaron Ramsey, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Carl Jenkinson to long-term contracts.
“Our ability to compete at the top of the game here and in Europe is underpinned by our financial performance which gives the Club strength and independence.
“Our desire is to make everyone connected with Arsenal proud of the Club. We know that comes through winning trophies but also through the way we do things and that will remain our constant guide.” – Hill-Wood was quoted in the press.
Arsenal Supporters’ Trust has urged to club to show better commitment in the transfer market as the club owes a lot to the fans who pay through their noses to watch match at the Emirates. In a statement released by the, the Spokesman said that the club needs to break its rigid wage structure in order to attract big names – instead of paying high wages to every player in the squad.
“These figures contain few surprises. They show that Arsenal yet again made a profit from the sale of their best players and that the club has large cash reserves. Arsenal fans have contributed to this financial health through paying some of the highest ticket prices in world football. A further improvement in the club’s financial strength is expected when new TV monies and commercial deals come on stream in 2013 and 2014. AST members want to see this money used for more, and better, investment in the team.
“The results also show the club does spend considerable money on wages, approximately £150m per annum. But the football decisions made on player investment, player selection and player wage levels are not delivering a more competitive team.
“The AST believes the club are financially well set to improve on the decline of the last few seasons. The remaining question is whether it has the boardroom leadership and football decision-making expertise to make the money count.” – A spokesman for AST told the press.
More promisingly, the club will soon announce an extended deal with the Emirates which is reportedly valued at £150 million. The London club has also entered new sponsorship deals with Airtel and Malta Guinness.
“The Emirates partnership is one of the biggest sponsorship deals in the game and is an endorsement of the commercial approach we are taking.” – The Arsenal chairman revealed.
Next summer will perhaps be the most important transfer window in Arsene Wenger’s career at Arsenal. The team is expected to undergo a major overhaul with numerous departures (of fringe players) and arrivals of big names. But whether the Gunners are able to qualify for the Champions League this season might decide whether they can attract big names to the Emirates next season.