Arsenal in rude financial health

Arsenal Holdinga have announced pre-tax profits of £45.5m, with matchday revenue exceeding £100m for the first time and 445 of the 655 private apartments already sold to the tune of £172.4m.

When all is said and done, there is no indication that Arsenal lack in transfer funds or the ability to match wages offered by Chelsea or Manchester City. On the contrary, it’s Arsene Wenger’s prudence (and his remarkable dedication to the club to help them repay their debts as quickly as possible while still maintaining realistic title ambitions) that dictates Arsenal’s transfer policy.

Arsenal Holdings said pre-tax profit rose to £45.5m in the year to 31 May, up from £36.7m from the previous year. Revenue was £313.3m, with matchday revenue contributing £100.1m and the sale of 208 private apartments at Highbury Square bringing in £88m.

Arsenal also said manager Arsene Wenger had money to spend on new players.

Transfer activity

Arsenal have only brought in two players, Andrey Arshavin and Thomas Vermaelen, in the current year.

The club said the “limited” transfer activity was due to Mr Wenger’s assessment “rather than any necessity or financial constraint”.

“The 2008/09 season was not without footballing success, although the first team finished it without a trophy,” said chairman Peter Hill-Wood.

Football revenue rose to £225.1m, from £207.7m last year, which the club said was down to more matches as Arsenal reached the semi-finals of both the FA Cup and the Champions League tournament.

Matchday revenue exceeded £100m for the first time.

Wage costs

Players’ wages rose to £104m, from £101.3m in 2008.

The club sold striker Emmanuel Adebayor and defender Kolo Toure to big-spending Manchester City in the summer, and has been reluctant to match the amounts rivals in England and Europe are paying for players.

“There continues to be significant upward pressure on players’ wage expectations and the activities of other clubs in the market and the introduction of the 50% income tax rate from April 2010 mean this looks set to continue,” Arsenal said.

After tax, the company reported a record profit of £35.2m, up 37% from last year.

Arsenal said that it had now sold 445 of the 655 private apartments in its Highbury Square redevelopment of its former grounds in North London.

That has brought in £172.4m to the club so far.

Source: BBC

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