Sale of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri sees Arsenal post huge profits


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The Independent Football

Arsenal's decision to sell Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri helped them report a huge pre-tax profit of £49.5million for the six months to the end of November.

The Gunners, who lost £6.1million over the same period in 2010, might have made only a small profit but for the controversial departures of Fabregas and Nasri last summer for a reported £54million.

Arsenal enjoyed an overall profit on player trading of £46.1million, having made a loss of £5.9million the previous year.

They made £63million overall in player sales, while there was an investment of £74.7million in new arrivals and contract extensions, the cost of both being spread evenly over the length of an individual's deal.

Arsenal's cash reserves also swelled to £115.2million, up from £110.4million, with their turnover from football rising to £113.5million from £97.6million.

Chairman Peter Hill-Wood told the club's official website, "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."

Chief executive Ivan Gazidis said: "It's important to acknowledge that the most important thing for this football club, the most important thing for our fans, and the most important thing for the board and the people that work at the club is how we do on the pitch.

"We have a healthy cash balance of £115million for the half year.

"But it's important to understand that not all that money's available to invest in transfers.

"We have running costs of the club, player salaries and so on, so that amount goes down during the year.

"We also have to keep something in reserve in case things don't go our way.

"There is money available, we don't talk about an exact figure - and there's a very good reason why we don't put an exact figure on that - because it would impact on our negotiating position.

"We have to invest efficiently, we have to invest sensibly."

He added: "We do spend all of the money we generate - we do invest it in the squad.

"That doesn't mean we get every decision right - we don't. But we do get the majority of them right and that's been one of the secrets of Arsenal's success over a long period of time.

"I'm convinced we have the funds to be able to compete at the top of the game.

"Football clubs are moving towards more sustainable models. UEFA is mandating that they do that and they're doing it any way.

"The results when some clubs live outside their means can be disastrous."

Arsenal are on the brink of ending a seventh successive season without a trophy and are in danger of failing to qualify for next season's Champions League, a competition they have taken for granted for the last 15 years.

Gazidis said: "We can't gear our entire financial model around that - that expectation - because that would place the club in jeopardy if we didn't qualify.

"So we've always got to keep something in reserve in case things don't go our way."

Finishing outside the top four would make Arsenal a less attractive club to current and potential players.

Gazidis said: "There are very few clubs in the world that you would go to ahead of Arsenal in terms of consistently being there.

"I don't see that adversely impacting on our ability to attract players or retain the top players that we have."