Arsenal the model of self-sufficiency
Ever since moving from a stadium holding 38,000 to one with a 60,000 capacity and three times as many executive boxes, Arsenal have been able to run the club on a self-financing basis, with revenue approaching £3.5 million every matchday for up to 30 home games a season.
A lower wage limit than their direct competitors and a recent lack of trophies has meant selling players but that has usually resulted in solid profits; £36.6m in the last accounts.
This leaves them in good shape to meet Uefa's Financial Fair Play rules while Chelsea and Manchester City must drastically reduce losses of £68m and £195m respectively.
Arsenal's chief executive, Ivan Gazidis, told fcbusiness magazine: "The environment we are in has been somewhat irrational in terms of player spending but is becoming more rational as the game wakes up and demands regulation.
"The FFP proposals were endorsed and supported by football clubs. They are not rules coming down from on high, they are rules the clubs themselves developed in conjunction with Uefa. Football clubs are demanding a more sustainable environment."
It looks very much as though 2015 will be a good year for the world economy, after all – and, if it is, that will be thanks to the fall in the oil price. It won't be good for everyone and we have already seen the pressure it puts on the Russian leadership – though, before you conclude that sometimes there is natural justice in the world, remember that the people who are hurt are not leaders such as Vladimir Putin. Other oil- and gas-exporting countries are damaged, too, and I think we will see further fallout in unpredictable ways. But the net impact is strongly positive, more so than most commentators at present acknowledge. The winners far outnumber the losers.
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