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Arsenal Show Good Financial Management

On the day that Portsmouth became the first Premier League club to go into administration, there was good financial news from Arsenal.

Arsenal announced that they have reduced the clubs debt by almost 40% to £203.6 million by selling more of the apartments it built at Highbury.

The sale of some 261 units meant that Arsenal made a pretax profit of £35.2 million for the six months ending Nov. 30.

Arsenal has sold 524 of the 655 Highbury Square apartments and non-executive chairman Peter Hill-Wood said

“The next couple of years will see our property activities delivering surplus cash.“

It looks like the sale of the units went straight to repaying debt, as Arsenal’s debt was £332.8 million a year ago.

Chief executive Ivan Gazidis said the profit was less important than the reduction in debt.

“It’s important to note that this isn’t our primary objective. The reason we run a responsible, profitable and self-sustaining business is so that we can deliver success to the club and invest in the club and ultimately deliver success on the pitch, something that our fans can be proud of.”

“Arsenal’s debt position is very healthy. I think it’s important that clubs act responsibly with respect to debt. The important things that everybody needs to ask are, ‘is the debt affordable, can the repayments be met? And provided clubs act responsibly, then it’s not true to say all debt is bad.”