Arsenal announce huge losses following COVID-19 pandemic

Arsenal’s accounts for the 2019/20 season have been announced, revealing a massive £47.8 million loss.

The figures cover the expenses from May 31, 2019, to the same day the following year. Therefore, Premier League matches played during June and July, as well as August’s FA Cup win, are not included in the report.

According to football.london, the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent halting of all football cost the club £34m in broadcast money, as well as £14m in matchday revenue. However, the broadcast cash will count towards next year’s accounts.

The pandemic reduced the costs of running a football club, with £19m cost savings being made by the Gunners. This is largely made up of pay cuts taken by first-team players and staff.

Meanwhile, Arsenal reported a £31.4m increase in commercial revenue up to £142.3m, while the wage bill came in at £234.5m.

The wage bill is expected to be lower this year, following the departures of rumoured high earners such as Mesut Ozil, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

In the transfer market, Arsenal reported a net spend of £122.1m. Recruiting Nicolas Pepe, Kieran Tierney, William Saliba, David Luiz and others cost the club £182.2m.

By contrast, they only received £60.1m in transfer fees – the bulk of which was made up of the estimated £30m received from Everton for Nigerian winger Alex Iwobi.

Furthermore, the decision to sack former manager Unai Emery was also costly. Overall, the process of replacing the Spaniard and his backroom staff with former midfielder Mikel Arteta cost the club £10.4m.

The announcement of club accounts came alongside a statement explaining some of the financial hardships.

As quoted by football.london, the statement read: “Throughout the pandemic, the group has moved rapidly in making the decisions required to proactively manage and mitigate risk across all areas of its operations and, where possible, to provide appropriate support to its community and stakeholders.

“Since the year-end the Group has refinanced its stadium finance bonds and undertaken a range of cost-cutting measures. These steps will ensure the Club is well placed to respond once the situation starts to improve.

“The financial challenge remains significant, but the Club continues to have options available to it alongside the unwavering support and commitment of its ownership, Kroenke Sports & Entertainment.”

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