Sales of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri lift Arsenal profit to £36m


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The Independent Football

Ivan Gazidis, the Arsenal chief executive, maintains that the club's latest set of financial results show they "can and will forge our own path to success" after posting another healthy pre-tax profit.

Group profit before tax was £36.6m in the figures for the year ending 31 May which were published yesterday, up from the equivalent 2011 figures of £14.8m. Arsenal, though, could not escape an inevitable increase in wages from £124m in 2011 to £143m, which represented 60.9 per cent of the club's football revenues.

The latest results incorporate the sales of Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona and Samir Nasri to Manchester City last summer, which helped make a profit from player trading of £26m.

The parent holding company's overall turnover was £243m, down from £255m, mainly because of reduced property sales, with a rise in revenues to £235.3m from £225.4m.

"Cash and bank balances" stood at £153.6m, slightly down from a year ago, with net debt stable at £98.9m, most of which is tied in with the long-term mortgage following the club's move to the Emirates Stadium from Highbury.

Gazidis feels this all puts Arsenal in good stead to fulfil Uefa's Financial Fair Play guidelines for clubs to live within their means when they start to apply next year.

He said: "Clubs, fans and other stakeholders in the game are demanding a more rational financial approach and this reinforces our conviction that our club is strongly placed to succeed over the long term.

"We have qualified for the Champions League for the 15th season in a row while off the pitch we have a business strategy and infrastructure that is helping us to grow our revenues. This revenue growth will provide sustainable funds for future investment in the team while keeping within the Uefa Financial Fair Play requirements.

"We can and will forge our own path to success," added Gazidis. "Under the actual circumstances this is quite positive because the whole environment is not positive [globally].

"We are very lucky because we have a good support and the income of our gates is very high. We have to maintain that by keeping our fans happy and to continue to manage well in the way."

The healthy financial results will no doubt push many fans to further question the clubs' frugal transfer policy over the past few seasons but manager Arsène Wenger said: "We are not scared to spend the money, but we feel that even if we spend our money, with some clubs we can't compete on certain players.

"And for the rest, we only want to bring in players who add something to our squad and give a chance as well to the young players we have."

Santos handed driving ban

The Arsenal defender Andre Santos has been banned from driving for a year after admitting at Hendon Magistrates' Court yesterday to speeding at up to 145 mph. The Brazilian was pursued by police in his black Maserati on a busy motorway near to Arsenal's training ground last month before being pulled over and arrested.