Arsenal have confirmed making a financial loss of £45.5m for the 2021/22 season (12 months ending 31 May 2022), although it is less than half the £107.3m loss recorded in 2020/21.
Financial results were worse in 2020/21, with Covid-19 restrictions ensuring almost the entire campaign was played behind closed doors and resulted in around £85m of lost revenue that season.
The accounts in 2021/22 were offset by the return of fans. However, the Gunners not playing in any European competition for the first time in 25 years had a significant impact on revenue as it meant no additional prize money or broadcasting income beyond domestic competitions.
Revenue from football operations overall was £369m, up from £327m the year before. A huge reason for that growth was the return of matchday revenue streams, up to nearly £80m from under £4m during 2020/21. Commercial revenue grew by around £5m, although broadcasting revenue, partly due to no UEFA competition and partly due to fewer games played overall, fell by £38m.
Arsenal actually posted an operating profit from those revenue streams of almost £81m. Another £24.2m was also raised from players sales or loans – primarily the permanent departure of Joe Willock to Newcastle – and £2m from property trading.
Between 2021 and 2022, Arsenal also reduced the wage bill by around £32m to £212m.
But interest payments (£5.2m), investment in the playing squad (£127m) and other general expenses £20.3m) resulted in an overall pre-tax loss of £45.5m.
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A statement within the financial results explained: “Funding is provided mainly by the ultimate parent company, KSE UK Inc., which is wholly owned by the ultimate controlling party, Mr. E. S. Kroenke. During the year KSE UK Inc. provided funds both to underpin the Club’s transfer activities and, alongside Barclays Bank, for working capital purposes as required.
“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.”