Arsenal turn profit into big loss - but is there worse to come?

9 December 2019

Arsenal
Photo: Getty Images Arsenal post first loss since 2002. It is important to note, however, that the full financial picture for Arsenal will only come into focus when Arsenal Holdings Limited publishes its accounts. 
Here Héctor Bellerín after the defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion at Emirates Stadium on December 05, 2019.

As the financial results released for the 2018/19 season are for the football club only, the loss is expected to be even greater when the club's holding company releases its full financial statement.

Turnover fell £21 million to £367.4 million as a result of a change in the way matchday revenue from season ticket renewals is recorded. 

Emil Gjerding Nielson nielson@offthepitch.com

Due largely to lower matchday revenue and a huge drop in profit from player sales, Arsenal recorded a loss of £23.5 million in the 2018/19 season, down from a £97 million profit the year before.  

The information was disclosed in the recently published financial statement for Arsenal Football Club PLC. It is important to note, however, that the full financial picture for Arsenal will only come into focus when Arsenal Holdings Limited publishes its accounts. 

The loss is therefore likely to be even bigger once consolidated accounts are released, as they include interest payments, property and more. In the 2017/18 season, Arsenal FC's profit was £27.2 million higher than the holding company's profit. 

Arsenal FC's revenue fell to £367.5 million from £388.6 million the year before, which is for the most part due to a drop in matchday revenue of £30 million. But in the financial report, the club explain the decline as "being mainly attributable to lower receipts of appearance fees from a fellow subsidiary."  

And the club add that this is merely a consequence of the way certain inter-company revenues were impacted by the delay in renewal of season tickets until after the Europa League final in May.

Therefore, in line with the previous year's figures, it is expected that matchday revenue will be between £98 million and £100 million.

Unchanged income

The club's income from broadcasting and commercial remained unchanged from the season before. 

Up from a semi-final finish and £34.4 million the year before, Arsenal earned £36.6 million from participation in the Europa League all the way to the final in 2019.

However, the club noted that their new kit deal with Adidas, in addition to their renewed partnership with Emirates, will result in increased commercial revenue being reported. 

Profit from player sales fell from £120 million to £12.4 million.

"After a high level of activity in the prior year, player trading activity was fairly limited," the club write.

Arsenal spent around £99 million on transfers in 2018/19 on the likes of Torreira, Leno, Sokratis and Guendozi, and only sold Perez, Campbell and Akpom for a small amount.