Arsenal post £45.5 million financial loss in 2021/22 due to lack of European football

So it is that time of the year that Premier League clubs publish their financial profits and losses, and I have been surprised that we have only lost 45 million (Down from £107.3 million the previous seaon).

Considering all the disruption from Covid, empty stadiums and Mikel Arteta’s massive rebuilding project, I would have expected a larger deficit to be offset against future gains.

But according to the official statement from Arsenal, they think that the loss of European football has caused the biggest impact. The report said: “The 2021/22 season was the first for 23 years in which the men’s first-team had failed to qualify for UEFA European competition. The loss of the revenue associated with UEFA football was the principal contributory factor in terms of the overall result for the year.

One benefit we gained was 75m extra from matchday revenue thanks to returning fans, but we were 40m down on our TV revenue (again due to no Europe and Covid).

There was also a big statement on Kroenke’s support for our rebuilding of the playing squad. This is what it said:

During 2021/22, and subsequently during the 2022 summer transfer window, the Club has invested strongly in the development of its men’s first-team playing resources. This investment recognises that the Club has not been where it wanted to be in terms of on-field competitiveness and that, as a minimum, qualification for UEFA competition needed to be regained, as a pre-requisite to re-establishing a self-sufficient financial base. This investment would not have been possible without the support and commitment of the Club’s ownership, Kroenke Sports & Entertainment.

Qualification for the UEFA Europa League for 2022/23 represents a positive first step and can be viewed alongside the start to the 2022/23 season which has so far been encouraging. 

So, things are definitely encouraging this season. Hopefully we will see our club post a profit from next season onwards, although I wonder how much more investment we will need in the January transfer window….


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  1. I believe owning a big EPL club like Arsenal, Man United, Man City, Chelsea and Liverpool is a losing-money business, because the ticket/ merchandising/ subscription/ transfer profits and prize money cannot fully cover the costs of the daily operations and transfers

    I think Man City have spent more than one billion to rebuild their squad since Sheikh Mansour took over. There is no way their transfers, ticket/ merchandising/ subscription profits and prize money could ever pay for all their expenditures

    I bet the owners of most big EPL clubs would only make a lot of profit after they sell the clubs, which is similar to stock market and this is why the Glazers/ FSG are trying to sell Man United/ Liverpool. Neymar’s transfer from Barcelona to PSG has inflated the player transfer costs

    1. I believe the biggest factor in the sale of Liverpool and Man Utd has been the new FSR rules which allow unlimited gofts but police any loans to a club.

      They’re probably right in that gifts don’t make a club go bankrupt, but they tilt the playing field even further in favour of the clubs that are owned by, effectively, countries (usually for “sportswashing” purposes where they pay to improve their image with little interest in nmaking a profit).

      This is forcing the business type owners to cash in their chips.

      I have a sneaking suspicion that the “investment” we’re seeing now is sexing up the club for sale – on-field success will improve the sale price / return on investment. Time will tell.

      There’s also the question over what two years of losses will do to the club’s ability to buy via loans in coming seasons. Looking at these figures, I have to wonder if we’re not already in breach of FSR. We’ll have to see how the transfer funds were provided, but I’d be shocked if they were anything but loans.

        1. I don’t think UAE use Man City to improve their image. Because the country has a good track record, as compared to the US and Saudi Arabia

          1. I didn’t mean to suggest that all countries that own clubs have exactly the same underlying objective (although it may also be that they do!)…

            However, there’s a case to be made for the UAE doing exactly that, due to their (perceived) human rights record. I’ll post links in a separate thread since Pat will have to approve them and that will take time.

              1. Thanks for the links, but I think the sportswashing accusation is ridiculous

                If UAE wanted to shut human-rights activists out, the government could’ve just let the activists from several Western countries stay in UAE for years to inspect the situations there, instead of wasting 1.5 billion in Manchester alone

                I know salary delays are rampant in UAE and some local business owners used to forcefully keep the workers’ passports. But the number of construction worker deaths isn’t as high as the one in Qatar since UAE didn’t have to expedite the building process for the World Cup and it’s not the main aggressor in the Yemeni war, unlike the US in Middle East

                1. It’s not about shutting activists out, it’s about the human rights issues in themselves.

                  Your 2nd para … the obvious answer is that the UAE govt didn’t do that. Nobody was retained to inspect anything.

                  It really doesn’t make much of a case to say that “the [UAE] number of construction worker deaths isn’t as high as the one in Qatar” – it’s like saying that it’s ok to murder people as long as the number of people you kill is not the highest (of all the murderers in action at the time). That’s not really not much of an argument.

                  As I said, the Grauniad is not something I read or agree with, it’s just a site that’s been prominent in reporting this particular issue.

      1. IDKWIC, I believe you are correct and that Kroenke and “smiler Josh” are BOTH fattening up our club, ready for a sale , while pretending that will never happen.

        To my logical brain it is abundantly clear that , unless you are a state owner and buy a club to sportswash your human crimes, then no private consortium can , over time, possibly keep up with those who are lowlife state owners.

        FSG and Glazers are looking to get out and wish to sell their increased priced club assets to new owners. I much believe that Kroenke and “oh so affable but fooling us all Josh”, will also try fattening up their golden goose(our club) prior to a sale for countless billions to yet another lowlife owner of either venture capitalists or, worse still, another evil state owned Neanderthal country.
        Either way, huge corporate business does not care about ordinary so called little people( we fans) and cares only about more and more obscene money and greed. And in the case of state owned clubs, all they care about is fooling billions of naive folk that their own evil treatment of humans in their own country is justified by the money they spend.

        IT IS NEVER JUSTIFIED, which is why I shun this evil world cup, just as I DID THE PREVIOUS ONE IN CORRUPT RUSSIA TOO.
        THOUGH I AM CLUED UP ABOUT LIFE AND NOT ABLE TO BE FOOLED SO EASILY. Obscene wealth, which means obscenely overpaid players, always ruins the former honour of anything it ever touches , in the end.

        But it tries to fool us all otherwise. SOME ARE NOT FOOLED THOUGH AND CLEARLY SEE WHAT IS HAPPENING. SIGH!

    2. Football stopped being profitable when clubs started paying obscene wages. Football clubs are slowly turning into money pits. FSG selling Pool should be the clearest pointer to the rising cost of owning a premiere league club. We need US-type wage caps or stand by and watch players bankrupt these clubs

      1. Agreed. We should prevent the state-sponsored sovereign-wealth consortiums from controlling EPL

        Sadly, England economy is currently in a bad shape, so the government was forced to take the money

  2. £45.5M loss, not bad at all and when think about the CL revenue coming in next season(touch wood) or if we were even to achieve the unthinkable in some people’s eyes and win the League this season, prize money, bigger sponsorships deals and increase in an already high amount of shirt sales, all of a sudden our finances would look very healthy indeed.

    1. It’s oty as much as people think, the last estimate I saw was (iirc) roughly £30m for teams that reach the final.

      Something like £13m for the group stages if they get through.

      A lot of the spin-offs add up such as increased prestige which results in larger worldwide merchandising revenue (all those people bizarrely running around Asia in Real Madrid and Man Utd shirts). But those effects are longer-term and need to be sustained.

  3. Non-Westerners made money from Western creations and innovations. And they spend that money to buy Western properties while insulting them. Seems like a stupid model for stupid people. We are screwed.

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