Arsenal have funds to back Wenger
Published 14/02/2014 | 17:32
Arsenal chairman Sir Chips Keswick insists the board will continue to give their full support to manager Arsene Wenger in the summer transfer market on the back of a robust set of financial results, with healthy cash reserves of some £120.6million.
The Gunners' parent company figures cover the six months ended November 30 2013.
Although those results showed there was a group loss before tax of £2.2m mainly down to investment in the squad, they also revealed an extension of the Emirates Stadium's sound financial footing.
Wenger shattered the club-record transfer with the £42.5million purchase of Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid in September, but drew some criticism for not adding another big-money signing to the squad during the January transfer window - as injured Sweden midfielder Kim Kallstrom, on loan from Spartak Moscow, was the only arrival.
Keswick, however, stressed in his chairman's statement everyone remains fully committed to taking the club forwards with investment in the key areas.
"Whilst youth development continues to be an important focus, we fully recognise the importance of getting the balance right between youth and experience," Keswick said.
"As you well know, we signed Mesut Ozil for a club record transfer fee in the summer and, in addition, the signing of Mathieu Flamini has proved to be an astute acquisition.
"We will continue to work hard to keep the players Arsene believes can take us forwards.
"We will also continue to support the manager in the transfer market when he identifies players he believes can further strengthen the squad."
In Friday's results, Arsenal reported football turnover had increased to £136m from £106.1m with match-day income at the 60,000-seater Emirates Stadium bringing in £45m, up from £37.8m which was largely due to the pre-season Emirates Cup and Champions League qualifier against Fenerbahce in August.
The Barclays Premier League lucrative new broadcasting deals were increased to £52m from £40.1m, with commercial partnership revenues also boosted to £38.4m with a new kit sponsorship from Puma also to follow in the next set of accounts.
Arsenal, though, took on considerable increase in player wages with new deals for several key players such as Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, while also investing in the marquee signing of Ozil.
Profit on player sales was down to £6.1m from £42.5m as Arsenal look to retain their key men.
Property revenues from the nearby Queensland Road development was down to just £2m from £32.3m in the same period last year.
Although Arsenal's group loss before tax was £2.2m, compared to a profit of £17.8m in 2012, there is no short-term debt, other than related to regular payments on the loan for the stadium move, and the cash reserves are reported at £120.6m, up from £99.7m.
The club state the "overall result for the year is expected to be fully compliant with all of the requirements of both the Premier League and UEFA financial regulatory regimes".