Gunners hit the jackpot

ARSENAL have played their Premier League rivals off the park when it comes to finances, with the club slashing borrowing and scoring a sharp rise in profits.

The sale of Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Toure helped the football club increase pre-tax earnings to €28.8m for the six months to the end of November.

Overall, player trading produced a surplus of €25.5m, while higher broadcasting payments from the Uefa Champions League also helped lift revenue to €120m.

The club yesterday announced pre-tax profits of €39.4m and a significant reduction in debt for the six months ending November 30, 2009. The financial half-year results reveal Arsenal Holdings plc’s total net debt has been reduced from €373m to €228.1m – a reduction of €144.7m.

The club also announced significant progress at Highbury Square where the sale of 261 apartments raised €108.2m – an increase of €42.8m on 2008 – with all the proceeds used to pay off the project’s debt. The group’s property business recorded a pre-tax profit of €10.4m. Of the 655 private apartments in the Highbury Square development, sales have now completed on 524 units with a cumulative sales revenue value of €243m.

In the results, the north London club also reveal they have completed the first stage of investment in the Emirates Stadium and have reiterated their policy of re-signing first-team players on long-term contracts.

Non-executive chairman Peter Hill-Wood said: “How we will use this surplus remains undecided but, in addition to investing in the team, we will examine investment in club projects and infrastructure, both in and around Emirates Stadium, which will provide a long-lasting benefit to the club and our tremendous, loyal supporters.

“Looking ahead, our strong financial base allows us time to take a measured and diligent approach to determining the club’s direction into the next phase of growth.”

Meanwhile, today’s opposing boss Tony Pulis has hailed Stoke owner Peter Coates for his staggering financial backing of the Potteries side.

Stoke have published remarkable accounts which show they are externally debt-free, and with the Coates family about to increase their personal backing of the club to £41m.

Pulis said: “They should erect a statue to Peter in this city for all he has done for the club.”

Stoke’s finances show a massive rise in turnover to £54m and an operating profit of £15million for the year 2008-09, their first season back in the top flight since 1985.

The family have already loaned, interest free, £17m to the club, and aim to inject a further £24million soon.

More in this section

Sport Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox