Arsenal today announced a pre-tax £2.2m loss in the six months to November 30 last year despite an increase in operating profits from football of £22.2m.
The club saw an increase in matchday income (from £37.8m in 2012 to £45.0m) and broadcasting revenue (from £40.1m in 2012 to £52.0m) to help turnover from football rise to £136.0m.
Arsenal’s commercial and retail revenues rose to £38.4m from £27.7m and that is not counting the Gunners recent new five-year partnership with PUMA.
But in spite of all those good numbers, Arsenal had a pre-tax loss £2.2m because profit on sale of players fell from £42.5million to £6.1m.
So basically Arsenal need to make a profit on transfers in order for them to make a profit. That should not shock Arsenal fans as the financial reports have been saying that for years. 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 it 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.”