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Arsenal post pre-tax profits of £56 mln

SoccerNews in English Premier League 24 Sep 2010

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English Premier League giants Arsenal have announced record pre-tax profits of 56 million pounds (65.6 million euros) for the year ending May 31, 2010; up more than 10 million on the previous year.

The north London club also said that they have paid off all the debt on their Highbury Square development.

“The group has made good progress in the last year and I am excited by the opportunities we have in front of us,” said Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis.

The results also showed Arsenal’s group turnover increased to 379.9 million pounds, from 313.3 million in 2009, boosted by the income generated from property sales.

The debt related to the Highbury Square development, which once totalled 130 million pounds, has now been repaid in full with Arsenal now enjoying the benefits of income from apartment sales.

Profits are slightly down on the football side of the business due to Arsenal having five fewer home games last season and increased wage costs.

Gazidis said the wage increases had allowed Arsenal to remain competitive on the field.

“We continue to see upward pressure on player wages. A part of that is because we’ve invested fairly aggressively in our young player pool, and we have secured their long-term future with the club,” he said.

“This has been a very successful period of investment but it costs money. A part of it is also driven by the external environment in which we operate where player costs continue to go up.”

Arsenal will continue to pursue their policy of developing players rather than buying big stars, Gazidis said.

He added: “Most of (the profit) goes back into the playing side, whether into player contracts or transfer fees.

“Now that doesn’t mean we can compete at the level of the Manchester Citys of this world in the transfer market, because those types of fees and those types of salaries are not sustainable for any football business.

“But it still means, I believe, that we can compete with them on the pitch.

“We do have a policy of building and not buying, and that’s a difficult path to tread sometimes, but as a result of that policy we’re seeing a tremendous number of good young players progressing and developing into the finished article and I think our performance against Spurs on Tuesday night illustrated this.”

Arsenal beat local rivals Tottenham 4-1 on Tuesday to reach the fourth round of the League Cup.

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