The Key to Arsenal’s Long Term Success Revealed

Emirates outfit prove they know how to best run a club and balance the books.

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Sports News - November 13, 2008

Arsenal have announced pre-tax profits of £35.2m and a significant reduction in debt for the six months ending 30 November, 2009.

The financial half-year results reveal Arsenal Holdings plc’s total net debt has been reduced from £332.8m to £203.6m – a reduction of £129.2m.

The club also announced significant progress at Highbury Square where the sale of 261 apartments raised £96.6m – an increase of £38.2m on 2008 – with all the proceeds used to pay off the project’s debt. The group’s property business recorded a pre-tax profit of £9.3m.

The figures are also believed to include the sale of Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Touré to Manchester City for a combined fee nearing £29m, although the manager, Arsène Wenger, spent £10m to sign the defender Thomas Vermaelen from Ajax.

In the results, the north London club also reveal they have completed the first stage of investment in the Emirates Stadium and have reiterated their policy of re-signing first-team players on long-term contracts.

Peter Hill-Wood, the non-excecutive chairman, said: “I am pleased to report that the Group has delivered another profitable set of results for the first six months of the financial year. (Guardian)

Now I would expect some supporters of rival clubs to hark on about the recent silverware-less seasons that the Emirates side has suffered but even the most ardent Arsenal hater would have to concede that the north London outfit does appear to be able to more than match any European giant in terms of knowing how to run a football club.

Whilst it may be true that an overdependence on youth has set the club back in the last couple of seasons it is equally true that if all goes according to plan the Gunners could well be the next side to enjoy an era of dominance in the Premier League.

As other clubs, such as Liverpool and Manchester United, post horrifying financial figures and with the economic downturn still very much a factor it could well be that Arsenal could find themselves ahead of the game in the coming years. Chelsea and Manchester City have sugar daddies helping to finance their massive overspends but how sustainable is their growth? Surely any boom is bound to end in a period of bust?

Roman Abramovich lost a great deal of his fortune in the recession and the Eastland owners may get sick of a lack of instant success and decide to pull the plug. Just take a look at Portsmouth. A club who overreached even though they were hardly massive spenders. The south coast club became the first Premier League club to go into administration today and my money would be on them not being the last.

Quite rightly Arsenal fans will be hoping that the posting of big profits will be re-invested in the transfer market but they can also be safe in the knowledge that the club will not make any unrealistic and overinflated moves when the transfer window re-opens and they also know that massive wages will not be thrown around and as such perhaps they are prepared to wait for the success that will surely come sooner rather than later.

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