Arsenal profits fall but Wenger has £80m to spend
Was Ozil just the start? Board indicates there are more big Gunners signings to come
ARSENAL boss Arsene Wenger remains under pressure to follow up the signing of Mesut Ozil by bringing in more big names, despite a £30m fall in the Gunners' pre-tax profits in the last financial year.
In the year to 31 May 2013 the club recorded a £6.7m profit before tax, down from £36.6 in 2012, it reveals today.
The drop is partly down to decreased income from player sales last year. Even though the Gunners sold Robin van Persie to Manchester United in 2012 they made only £47m in player sales, compared to £65.5m the year before when Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri left the club.
The club also wrote down £10m on the value of its players last season.
But despite the drop in profits, turnover rose by £7.5m and Arsenal have cash reserves of around £120m.
The Guardian reports that the Arsenal Supporters Trust (AST) believes Wenger should still have around £80m at his disposal to spend on new players in the next two transfer windows, despite forking out £42.5m for Ozil.
The AST told the paper it expected the 2012-13 results to be "the last year of Arsenal selling its best players to achieve profitability as the substantial increases in revenue from both renewed TV contracts and commercial deals come on stream". They include deals with sponsors Emirates and a new kit supplier, expected to be Puma.
Club chairman Chips Keswick appears to agree with the fans and hinted that there was indeed a pot of money available. "With the Ozil transfer I believe we have made a significant statement," he says. "And when Arsene decides the time is right to invest again Stan Kroenke, myself and the rest of the board will be delighted to support him."
That appears to indicate "the club's thrifty days are over", says Metro, which adds that Ozil's impressive start has convinced many that his extravagant fee was "money well spent".
The Times is struck by the shift of emphasis at the Emirates, where the fall in profits has coincided with an increase in optimism.
"Arsenal's invariably impressive financial results in recent years have come to be used as a counterweight to disappointing performances on the pitch.That trend reversed yesterday," it notes. ·