Gazidis hails Arsenal’s financial model as profits soar
28 Sep 2012
Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis said the club will continue to pursue a fiscally responsible strategy after the sale of star players such as Cesc Fabregas allowed it to more than double profits for the financial year ending May 31, 2012.
The English Premier League giant’s policy is serving it well in the era of Financial Fair Play, but it has also found itself under fire for the continued departure of top players and the lack of a major trophy since 2005. Robin van Persie’s transfer to Manchester United this summer was preceded by the loss of Fabregas, Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy in the previous year. Fabregas joined FC Barcelona for £30 million while Nasri and Clichy joined Manchester City for fees of £24 million and £7 million, respectively. These sales helped Arsenal to register a group profit before tax of £36.6 million for the 2011-12 season, versus the 2011 figure of £14.8 million and 2010’s £56 million profit.
However, group turnover has decreased in recent years from £379.9 million in 2010 to £255.7 million in 2011. The latest figures show this mark has fallen further to £243 million. Gazidis admitted that Arsenal is facing a crucial period on the commercial front with its partnerships with shirt sponsor Emirates and kit partner Nike both due to expire at the end of the 2013-14 season. He added that the club is seeking to deliver a “significant uplift in revenue” from both new contracts. Arsenal’s net debt has remained relatively stable at £98.9 million versus 2011’s figure of £97.8 million and Gazidis believes the North London club is in a strong position to benefit as UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations begin to take hold. “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,” he said. “We have qualified for the Champions League for the 15th season in a row whilst 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 whilst keeping within the UEFA Financial Fair Play requirements. We can and will forge our own path to success.”
Gazidis added: “We have faced criticism for sticking to our philosophy of living sustainably within our financial means rather than reaching out for a quick fix injection of money to solve all our supposed problems. But how much is enough to outspend others who have seemingly limitless means? We can and will forge our own path to success and avoid the many examples of clubs across Europe struggling for their very survival after chasing the dream and spending beyond their means. Football is moving powerfully in our direction.”