Arsenal financial results: Gunners announce £25m profit despite record outlay on signings and soaring wage bill

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Arsenal have announced a pre-tax profit of £24.7million for the year ending 31 May 2015.

The Gunners’ latest financial results reveal that they have £228.2m in the bank despite a year of record investment in the squad totalling £114m, including big-money signings Alexis Sanchez, Danny Welbeck and Gabriel Paulista in addition to the retention of key players on new contracts.

Supporters will no doubt question why manager Arsene Wenger failed to land an outfield player this summer given the robust financial position but the club insists that the £228.2m figure is not indicative of the wider picture.

There is £35m contained within that amount set aside as a debt service reserve while the figures also confirm Arsenal owe £65.6m in outstanding payments on existing transfers, in the form of structured payments, add-ons or bonuses.

Running costs and cash-flow account for another chunk but conservative estimates would still suggest Arsenal had at least £80m available for player acquisitions this summer.

However, the financial picture is complicated by the fact the club only reported a profit due to the £28.9m received from player sales and loan fees – chiefly comprised of the £15m received from Barcelona for Thomas Vermaelen – and a one-off payment from their property business in excess of £10m described as a “profit share/overage bonus”.

Furthermore, the wage bill soared to £192.2m – up from £166.4m a year earlier – which is almost exactly the same as Chelsea’s most recent figure and close to the £203m Manchester United announced earlier this week. Manchester City currently have the highest recorded wage bill in the Premier League at £205m.

Arsenal’s commercial revenue topped £100m for the first time, largely owing to the commencement of their new kit deal with Puma, worth £30m per year over the next five years. However, as a reminder of how far they still have to go to complete with other clubs recognised as global brand’s, United equivalent figure was £196.9m, which represented an increase even though they did not compete in the Champions League.

Chief executive Ivan Gazidis hailed the club’s back-to-back FA Cup victories and said in a statement: “A trophy in consecutive seasons only serves to increase our desire for more success and sets us up well for what should be an exciting period for the Club both on and off the pitch.

“We have put a lot of work into building and investing in this group of players over the past three years. Over that period they have developed a strong bond and belief. Arsène is, I know, very happy with the balance we have in the squad in terms of age profile, depth in all positions and, importantly, length of contracts.

“Our improved financial position allows us to support the manager as and when he identifies players capable of adding genuine quality to our squad. With this in mind, we were delighted to sign defender Gabriel in January and Petr Cech from Chelsea during the summer. 

“Gabriel has settled in well and is an important part of the squad. Petr’s experience is already proving invaluable on and off the pitch and he will make a strong contribution.

“Equally importantly we have again done a lot of work this year agreeing contract extensions with key players. Chuba Akpom, Mikel Arteta, Hector Bellerin, Santi Cazorla, Francis Coquelin, Olivier Giroud, Alex Iwobi, Carl Jenkinson, Jon Toral and Theo Walcott have all signed extensions to their existing contracts. This ensures we will maintain continuity in the squad and puts us in a strong position for the future.”

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September 18, 2015 |
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