Arsenal scores £49.5m in the second half

In the six months to November 2011, the Gunners made profits of £49.5m. That's right, a year after posting multi-million-pound losses, the Reds are out of the red.

by Rebecca Burn-Callander
Last Updated: 19 Aug 2013
With a pronounced lack of silverware on the Gunners’ trophy table and £6.1m in losses this time last year, manager Arsene Wenger has been under increasing pressure from fans and investors alike to up his game. However, the lucrative sale of several key players has brought relief for the embattled Frenchman. Second-half results for 2011 put Arsenal £49.5m in the black and things are looking up.

This is quite the comeback, especially coinciding with Arsenal’s return to form in yesterday’s match against Spurs. The Highbury pack managed to come back from a two nil bludgeoning, finishing with a 5-2 win at the final whistle. Last season, MT recalls that Arsenal lost 3-2 in this same fixture.

There’s been a similar turnaround on Arsenal's balance sheet: cash reserves are up to £115.2m from £110.4m, with turnover from football hitting £113.5m, up from £97.6m last year. Some £41.6m of the club's profits came from player trading – this may come as some comfort to the Arsenal fans still mourning the departure of Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas. ‘We have a healthy cash balance of £115m for the half year,’ says CEO Ivan Gazidis. The results mark almost a year in the tenure of new owner Stan Kroenke - MT is sure he's delighted.

But the club’s not about to flash its newfound cash. ‘Not all that money's available to invest in transfers,’ says Gazidis darkly, ‘We also have to keep something in reserve in case things don't go our way.’ This may irk fans who would rather see gains spent accordingly on the pitch, especially as Nasri and Fabregas were widely regarded at the teams' best players... But he may be right to hedge his bets. While Arsenal has managed to get its finances in order, the team’s performance on the field has been decidedly patchier. More evidence that success is football is measured in more than mere money.

Still, Arsenal is currently hanging into the fourth spot in the Premier League (just), against all odds. And the second leg of the Champions league is coming up too. Could Wenger's boys pull off a five nil win against AC Milan to secure their place at the winner’s table? It would take nothing short of a miracle. But, for Arsenal, both in business and on the field, it’s a game of two halves…

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