Arsenal will thrive post recession says Gazidis

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The Independent Football

Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis believes clubs that have been run responsibly will thrive once the recession is over as the Gunners announced pre-tax profits of £35.2million and a significant reduction in debt for the six months ending November 30, 2009.

The north London club announced their financial half-year results on the same day Portsmouth became the first Premier League club to go into administration with estimated debts of around £70million.

With the club docked nine points and relegation to the Coca-Cola Championship all but guaranteed, Pompey's fate is in stark contrast to the Gunners, with today's results also revealing Arsenal Holdings plc's total net debt has been reduced from £332.8million to £203.6million - a reduction of £129.2million.

Gazidis said: "I think it's important that clubs act responsibly with respect to debt. The important things that everybody needs to ask are: Is the debt affordable? Can the repayments be met? And provided clubs act responsibly then it's not true to say all debt is bad.

"I think those clubs that act responsibly, who consider their duties as custodians, who take care of the fundamentals and think of not just the short term but also the long term, will be well-placed.

"We're in a very difficult economic climate at the moment, but as we emerge from that I think the clubs that have been run responsibly will find themselves well-placed. Certainly I count Arsenal in that category."

The club also announced significant progress at Highbury Square, where the sale of 261 apartments raised £96.6million - an increase of £38.2million on 2008 - with all the proceeds used to pay off the project's debt. The group's property business recorded a pre-tax profit of £9.3million.

In the results, the north London club also reveal they have completed the first stage of investment in the Emirates Stadium and have underlined their policy of re-signing first-team players on long-term contracts.

Gazidis was also adamant all the money that was generated would be available for investment in the club, be that on players or on the stadium or infrastructure.

He went on: "On top of that, we have money available to invest in the transfer market when we can identify the right players to add into the mix that add something to the squad. So we're in a healthy position."

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