Arsenal swung to a net loss of £3.4 million for the first half of the fiscal year, while the club’s cash reserves dropped dramatically compared to six months earlier to £135.9m.
Arsenal presented their financial results for the six-month period ending Nov. 30, 2015, and said the net loss — compared to a net profit of £6.2m for the same period the previous year — was largely due to lower income from selling players.
The club’s turnover from football-related activities rose 6.4 percent to £158m but the profit from player sales dropped by £26.4m to just £300,000, which was partially offset by higher TV and commercial revenues.
“The reduction in transfer profits reflects the overall stability we have within the squad which, in my view, is a positive factor for the club and under-rated in the modern game,” Arsenal chairman Chips Keswick said in a statement.
“We continue to see robust growth around our commercial revenues and build our support globally through our marketing and media channels.”
Arsenal’s large cash reserves have been a source of discontent among some fans frustrated that the club aren’t spending more money in the transfer market. The club spent £10m on Petr Cech last summer and about £7m bringing in Egypt midfielder Mohamed Elneny in January.
However, the cash reserves are down by nearly £60m from May 2015, when they were at £193.1m. That is largely because of £39.4m spent on player transfers — including paying off deals made previously — and capital expenditure of £10.5m.
That includes work done on the club training grounds at London Colney and Hale End along with new LED floodlights that were installed at the Emirates Stadium.
Compared to the same six-month period in 2014, the cash reserves are only down by £2.9m.
While Arsenal are on the verge of being knocked out of the Champions League after losing 2-0 to Barcelona in the first leg of the round-of-16 tie, the Gunners are chasing their first Premier League title in 12 years and a third straight FA Cup.
“As always, the actual outcome for the second half [of the fiscal year] will be strongly influenced by the extent of progress in the knockout competitions and final Premier League position. We fully expect the overall result for the year to be compliant with all of the requirements of both the Premier League and UEFA financial regulatory regimes,” Keswick said.
“We know we will have to find greater consistency to maintain our challenge. The recent acquisition of Mohamed Elneny from Basel added to our strength in depth and we are seeing a number of potentially important players returning from injury. This bodes well for the final months of the season.”