Arsenal Has $294 Million in Cash and Fans Are TickedBy
Gunners fans want club to spend more on player acqusitions
Manager Arsene Wenger chasing first league title since 2004
Arsenal, one of soccer’s most-recognizable brands, now has 226.5 million pounds ($294 million) in cash, leaving the club open to further criticism by fans who want the team to put that money to use in the transfer market.
One of the Premier League’s perennial powers, Arsenal long explained its frugality by citing construction costs related to Emirates Stadium and manager Arsene Wenger’s preference for promoting junior players.
“Our cash reserves at the end of the year stood at 226.5 million and this figure will doubtless attract the usual speculation from fans and other commentators,” Chairman Chips Keswick said in a statement after the club released its financial information Friday. Aresenal’s cash reserves now equal those of Manchester United, which had 229 million pounds in cash as of the year that ended June 30.
Keswick said the club really had closer to 149 million pounds after accounting for debt related to past player trades and interest payments. Still, it’s far more than most clubs have at their disposal, and fans have yelled at Wenger for not spending on talent. Arsenal has not won the Premier League since 2004.
This season, the Gunners spent almost 100 million pounds primarily to bring on midfielder Granit Xhaka, defender Shkodran Mustafi and striker Lucas Perez. In contrast, Manchester United spent almost as much to acquire one superstar, Paul Pogba.
“Whilst we have spent strongly we have not over stretched,” Keswick said. “It would have been bad business practice not to have retained some small degree of flexibility.”
Arsenal posted net income of 1.2 million pounds on revenue of 350.6 million pounds for the year through to May 31 2016. After losing its opening Premier League game at home to Liverpool, the team is now in third place, five points behind leader Manchester City. The Gunners play Burnley on Sunday.