The Guardian newspaper has looked at the finances of every club and whether they can sustain the credit crunch. At the moment most clubs are still attracting fans to matches but as the crisis inevitably deepens fans may not be able to afford tickets. Clubs may have to rethink such prices in the future otherwise they may lose priceless revenue. Here’s what they had to say about Arsenal:
- Profit before tax £36.7m
- Debts £416m
- Interest payable £26m
Ownership Arsenal Holdings PLC
- Danny Fiszman, Swiss resident 24.1%
- Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith 15.9%
- Richard Carr 4.3%
- Kroenke Sports Enterprises, UK 12.4%, owned by US resident Stan Kroenke
- Red and White Holdings 24.0%, owned by Russian resident Alisher Usmanov and Farhad Moshiri
The state it’s in: Huge loans, but mostly at low rate, 5.3%, and seen as responsible because the loans financed building the Emirates Stadium (£260m borrowed), and property development (£133.5m to convert Highbury into flats). Club has agreed contracts to sell 598 of the 680 flats; 90 have completed, for £39m. Arsenal acknowledge “difficult conditions”, but insist sales are progressing “very well” and deny purchasers are pulling out. Interest is covered by increased earnings at Emirates.
Verdict The property development may be affected but the downturn highlights how well the club did to get the stadium built while conditions were favourable.
In other news, the Guilleme Balague website (one of the side links on this site) has a report from Marca regarding the transfer of Ignasi Miquel. Head of youth development at Cornellà, Andrés Manzano has claimed the transfer has benefited the club greatly. The fee paid by the Arsenal (a six figure sum around £900,000) to such a modest side “will fund 700 kids in our youth set-up.” If the reports are correct, then the small Spanish club have been spending their money wisely.
To those of you who may not have heard, Arsenal signed the defender in the summer from Cornella after being released by Barcelona. He is a tall defender around 193cm and is comfortable on the ball as he can play in central midfield and left back. As he is young he can adapt earlier to the English game and if he reaches his potential can become a world class defender.