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Arsenal Announce Half-Year Profits Of £17.8m – Sort Of

Arsenal FCArsenal have announced half-yearly profits of £17.8million for the six months up to the end of November last year. Arsenal’s cash reserves also increased by £7m to £123.3m.

At first glance, that looks great, but that profit figure is funded by the sale of Robin van Persie to Manchester United for £24m. Without selling players Arsenal are losing money.

The club’s financial report states:

“The club has no short-term debt and continues to have a robust financial platform.

“The figures show a profit before tax of £17.8 million. This was driven primarily by player sales of £42.5 million.

“Football turnover dropped from £113.5 million to £106 million as a result of four fewer home fixtures compared to the same period last year.

“However, overall operating profits from the club’s property operation increased to £1.9 million versus £0.5 million in 2011.”

Arsenal also pointed out that

“the accounts also show an investment of £40.9million in signing new players – Lukas Podolski, Santi Cazorla and Olivier Giroud – and the extension of contracts for existing players.

“The club has extended contracts for Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott, Kieran Gibbs, Aaron Ramsey, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Carl Jenkinson. More recently, the club has signed Nacho Monreal from Malaga.”

So lets break down this numbers a little. From the profit of £17.8m, £1.9m came from the property side of the business, so that leaves a profit from the football side of £15.9m.

In the Arsenal statement they point out that this profit was due to the club selling players and not from ongoing operations.

“The figures show a profit before tax of £17.8 million. This was driven primarily by player sales of £42.5 million.

So without selling the likes of RVP and Song, Arsenal would actually have made a loss of £26.6m .

One reason while Arsenal’s financial situation is not as rosy as the club tries to spin, is Arsenal’s out of control wage bill which is now £155m. Compare to Man United’s wage bill at £162m or Chelsea’s at £171m and it is clear that Arsenal are not getting value for their money and that Wenger’s “we have a socialist wage structure” is simply not working anymore.