LONDON : Premier League club Arsenal said the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic were the main reason for losses of 107.3 million pounds ($144 million) for the year end May 2021 after releasing their latest consolidated accounts on Monday.
The figure was more than double the 47.8 million pounds loss for the same period in 2020.
“The results for the financial year have been materially impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, which caused the majority of matches for the 2020/21 season to be played behind closed doors,” Arsenal said in a statement.
“For matches played behind closed doors there was a complete loss of ticket (and other matchday) revenue. Pre-tax losses (unaudited) of £85 million are considered to be attributable to the impacts of COVID-19.”
With only two out of 31 home games in the period having any fans present, matchday revenue was down 75 million pounds to 3.8 million pounds, the club said.
However, the match day losses were offset by an increase in broadcasting revenues (184.4 million pounds) reflecting distributions relating to the completion of the 2019/20 season and the club’s progress to the semi-finals of the Europa League.
The club made a profit of 11.8 million pounds on player sales, down from 60.1 million in the previous year, and spent 244 million pounds in wages.
“The financial challenge remains significant, but the club continues to have the unwavering support and commitment of its ownership, Kroenke Sports & Entertainment,” the statement said.
Arsenal are well-placed to finish in the Premier League’s top four which would see them return to the lucrative Champions League for the first time since 2016-2017 season.
They are two points behind fourth-placed Manchester United but have three games in hand.
($1 = 0.7455 pounds)
(Reporting by Martyn Herman)