Arsenal have announced an increase in their turnover and they claim that their new commercial muscle was apparent in their club-record £42.5m signing of Mesut Ozil.
Despite a reduction in their profits due to a decrease in their income from player sales, and an increased wage bill, the club saw an overall turnover rise from £235.3m last year to £242.8m for the year ending May 21 2013.
The increase was put down to commercial and retail revenue, which rose by 20% to £62m as a result if the new sponsorship deal with Emirates airline. Although that figure looks minimal in comparison with Manchester United’s £153m, Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis has claimed that the club is now a major player on the world stage when it comes to signing world-class players.
"The signing of Ozil for a club record fee is a significant step for us.
"This signing was a direct result of all the hard work we have put in over recent years to build the commercial capability of the club to deliver the consistent revenues and financial strength required to compete for the world's best players.
"That said, we will continue to stand by our principles in terms of nurturing young talent. That has been very evident with our extensions to the contracts of key young players over the last year and the emergence of teenagers Serge Gnabry and Gedion Zelalem into the first team squad.
"This is a key component of what we stand for at Arsenal Football Club and that will continue to be the case."
Arsenal’s group profits dropped from £36.6m to £6.7m due to a decrease in player sales, with the money received from Robin van Persie’s move to Manchester United and Alex Song’s switch to Barcelona funding last year’s accounts. It is also worth noting that Ozil’s transfer, and the palyer sales before his signing, are not included in this year’s report.
The club also continues to have the highest cash reserves in the form of £119.7m with a further £35m held back for debt services, and chairman Sir Chips Keswick added: "We must continue to grow commercially to provide the club with the best opportunity to achieve success and we must do this in a way which remains true to our values and which ensures and protects the long-term sustainability of the club.
"We face a competitive landscape across the top of the Premier League and across Europe's elite clubs which is tougher than ever. Despite fair play initiatives the financial competition for top players remains intense and transfer prices and player wages continue to move ever higher.
"It is therefore positive that the strong financial platform we have created in recent years allows us to continue to be competitive at the highest level.
"With the Ozil transfer I believe we have made a significant statement and when Arsene (Wenger) decides the time is right to invest again, Stan Kroenke (owner), myself and the rest of the board will be delighted to support him.
"We have a controlling owner in Stan Kroenke and a board which is united in our resolve to keep Arsenal Football Club at the pinnacle of the game both here and in Europe."