Arsenal Focus - Reasons for optimism on and off the pitch
It has been an encouraging few days for the future of Arsenal, both on the pitch and behind-the-scenes.
On Wednesday, an Arsenal side containing several highly-rated youngsters impressed in a 6-1 brushing aside of League One Coventry City in the Capital One Cup. French striker Olivier Giroud also scored his first goal for his new club while Theo Walcott, whose contract wrangling continues, made his case to play in his desired fole a frontman by finding the net twice. There was even time for the forgotten man Andrei Arshavin to score and put himself back into Arsene Wenger's thoughts for the future.
And if all of that, along with the performances of fresh talent such as Martin Angha and Nico Yennaris was not enough to warm the bodies of Gunners supporters, the North London club announced healthy annual financial results the following afternoon.
Before tax was taken into account, Arsenal made a profit of £37m in the year ending May 31st, 2012. That is an increase of more than 50% from the same period in the previous year, which saw the club post a pre-tax profit of £15m.
Analysts assert that much of this increase will be down to the revenue generated from player sales at the Emirates Stadium during the post-season transfer window in 2011. In that summer, Gael Clichy and Samir Nasri both departed for Manchester City while club captain Cesc Fabregas made his much-awaited return to Barcelona. When offset against incoming recruits, these deals provided Arsenal with an impressive profit of £26m.
The results did not take into account the sales of Robin van Persie and Alex Song to Manchester United and Barcelona respectively. Next year's financial results will include that information, with the combined incomings estimated to be valued at around £40m.
The figures mentioned, and the financial report as a whole, make encouraging reading for Arsenal ahead of the implementation of UEFA's Financial Fair Play regulations which begin to come into action this season.
Arsenal's chief executive Ivan Gazidis summed up the club's ethos and mood after the results were released, telling the official Arsenal website: “We have faced criticism for sticking to our philosophy of living sustainably within our financial means rather than reaching out for a quick fix injection of money to solve all our supposed problems. But how much is enough to outspend others who have seemingly limitless means?”
He continued: “We can and will forge our own path to success and avoid the many examples of clubs across Europe struggling for their very survival after chasing the dream and spending beyond their means.”
Arsenal continue to set the standard, in terms of the books, for clubs around Europe. If their on-field exploits develop alongside that, the Gunners' future could be much brighter.
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