Arsenal yesterday announced pre-tax profits of £49.5m after publishing their financial results for the six months ending 30 November 2011. The Gunners posted an increase in turnover to £113.5m compared with £97.6m for the corresponding period in 2010 and reiterated that they have no short-term debt with a cash reserve of £115.2m.
The club's healthy results were boosted to a large extent by the sales of Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and Gaël Clichy last summer. Arsenal made £46.1m profit in player trading as a result after spending some of the £63m raised on new signings late in August, including Mikel Arteta, Per Mertesacker and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Many key commercial sponsorship deals are up for renewal in 2014 and the importance of Champions League revenue – thought to worth in excess of £40m – is reiterated in Arsenal's latest results. With this in mind, the Arsenal Supporters' Trust last week urged the club to reassess its business model and reinvest more heavily in the squad.
The first monitoring cycle of Uefa's Financial Fair Play rules came into effect this season, with clubs expected to make a loss no greater than £19.6m a year for the two years ending in 2013.
With the Gunners in rude health financially, their chairman, Peter Hill-Wood, said: "We are proud of Arsenal's record and consistency over many seasons and have the foundations in place, at every level of the club, to ensure we remain a force in the seasons ahead."
The chief executive, Ivan Gazidis, insists the club is financially robust enough to withstand a season without Champions League football for the first time in 15 years and claims there is money available for Wenger to spend, regardless of the club's final league position.
"We have a healthy cash balance of £115m at the half-year but we still have to invest efficiently. We don't have the kind of money that other clubs have but we have enough, I believe, if we do it right, to be able to compete at the very highest levels of the game. Our manager has a fantastic track record of getting those decisions mostly right.
"There's an expectation at the club that we are in the Champions League every year but we can't gear our entire financial model around that, as that would place the club in jeopardy if we didn't qualify. So we have always got to keep something in reserve."
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- Samir Nasri
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