Arsenal have revealed their financial results for the half-year to the end of November 2012, showing a pre-tax profit of £17.8m and cash reserves of £123.5m.
The report was announced on Arsenal.com on Monday afternoon and showed we generated £42.5m of income through player sales – mainly Robin van Persie to Manchester United and Alex Song to Barcelona – but this was offset by the £40.9m we spent on new signings and renewing existing player contracts.
Boss Arsene Wenger was heavily criticised by many fans for his summer transfer dealings despite bringing in Lukas Podolski, Santi Cazorla and Olivier Giroud, and the club have also extended the contracts of Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott, Kieran Gibbs, Aaron Ramsey, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Carl Jenkinson.
Football turnover dropped from £113.5m to £106m due to us playing four fewer home fixtures than the same period as the previous year, but profits from the clubs property operation increased slightly to £1.9m from £0.5m in 2011.
The big news many were waiting for was confirmation that the club has significant cash reserves which have increased from the £115.2m in 2011 to £123.3m, which the club claims to be a ‘robust financial platform’. I’d say!
The report also confirmed the new extension with the Emirates in a deal worth up to £150m as well as deals with Airtel and Malta Guinness. Chairman Peter Hill-Wood seemed pleased with the results, telling Arsenal.com:
“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.”
“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 results will come as no surprise to the more knowledgeable fans, but do they support talk of a £70m ‘warchest’ being handed to Arsene Wenger in the summer? The cash reserves not only show we will be able to cope should we miss out on Champions League football next season but also that there are ample funds available should we want to spend it.
Whether it’s down to Wenger or the board to decide if we will or should spend is another question altogether but as far as the fans go, we know there is money available and if a large proportion isn’t spent in the summer I think we deserve answers.
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