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Arsenal Financial Results Continue Troubling Trend

Emirates_NightArsenal today announced a pre-tax £2.2m loss in the six months to November 30 last year despite an increase in operating profits of £22.2m.

Overall Arsenal announced that turnover increased to £136.0 million (2012 – £106.1 million). The Gunners saw an increase in matchday income (from £37.8m in 2012 to £45.0m) due to the return of the Emirates Cup returning to the pre-season schedule and the UEFA Champions League qualifying round providing an additional home game.

Broadcasting revenue (from £40.1m in 2012 to £52.0m) principally as a result of the Premier League’s new contracts with Sky and BT.

Arsenal’s commercial and retail revenues rose to £38.4m from £27.7m and that is not counting the Gunners recent new five-year sponsorship agreement they signed with PUMA.

But in spite of all those good numbers, Arsenal had a pre-tax loss £2.2m because profit on the sale of players fell from £42.5m to £6.1m.

The last three or three Arsenal financial reports have all said the same thing. Arsenal need to make a profit on transfers in order for them to make a profit. Despite all the revenue that Arsenal generate, they need to sell to balance the books.

So Arsenal can talk about the reported £100m plus that Arsene Wenger has to spend on transfers and I don’t see it. I can see that for a season, but the next year Arsenal will have to be a big net seller in order to meet Uefa’s Financial Fair Play regulations.

But Arsenal Sir Chips Keswick probably disagrees with my assessment of the Gunners finances saying:

“When I was appointed chairman last summer, there was good reason to believe that the hard work which has been put in, by many people across the club, over recent years had created the momentum for a successful season in every aspect of our activities.

“Thus far that optimism has been well-founded. We believe we are in a strong position to take the club forward both in the short-term and beyond and to deliver future on-field success.”

He added: “We have also continued to invest in the squad by retaining some of our key players.

“We expect to be able to confirm, in the near future, that a number of our senior players have signed extended contracts. This is important for the stability of the squad.”