Arsenal’s £35m Bonus: Will Wenger be Given Transfer Fund Boost?

Financial boost for north London club.

Arsenal have increased their turnover and made a record profit after tax of £35.2m for the year ending 31 May, according to figures released this morning.

The turnover of the London club’s parent holding company, which also has substantial property interests at the Highbury Square development, went up to £313.3m from £223m for the same period last year.

Arsenal’s move to the Emirates Stadium in 2006 – funded by a long-term loan at a fixed interest rate – continues to pay dividends, with match-day revenue increased to £100.1m from £94.6m, which was mainly due to the team’s progress to the semi-finals of both the Champions League and FA Cup last season.

Operating profits, before depreciation and player trading, in the football business were up from £59.6m to £62.7m.

The Highbury Square development, meanwhile, remains robust despite the difficult financial climate and falling house prices, with the completion of 208 private apartments bringing in £88m, while, since the end of the financial year, more units have been sold at the club’s former ground.

“The group’s profits have now risen in each of the three years in which the Emirates Stadium has been our home. This is excellent news although I should perhaps stress that making and reporting profits is not in itself the primary objective for the directors,” said the Arsenal chairman, Peter Hill-Wood, in his report. “First and foremost we are supporters of this great football club and, as such, our main goal will always be the achievement of success for Arsenal on the field.

“The group’s profitability is important because it is a by-product of running the club as a solvent and successful business, which in turn allows us to maximise the level of investment in the playing staff and in the future development of the club.”

Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis added: “Football is a hugely competitive and fast moving business and we must ensure that Arsenal is not just keeping pace but setting the pace, both on and off the field.

“The club is superbly positioned for the future and I am tremendously excited about the opportunities we have ahead of us.” (Sky Sports)

This is great news for the club and is even more impressive given the financial down turn. Obviously a great deal of the cash raised came from the flats built at Highbury but also the expected revenue made by moving to the larger Emirates are bringing in the expected rewards.

Arsene Wenger will probably hope that he can use some of this cash in January if needed.

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