Arsenal announce £45.5m loss despite slashing wage bill - but what do the numbers actually mean for the Gunners?

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GOAL takes a look at the numbers behind Arsenal's latest accounts, which have just been released.

Arsenal have announced a loss for the year ending May 31, 2022 of £45.5 million ($55.8m) after tax, with the club pointing to the lack of European football as the significant factor behind the figure.

The loss, although relatively large, is way down on the club's results that were released in 2021, which saw the Gunners report losses of £107.7m ($131.6m) following a season that was impacted heavily by the coronavirus pandemic.

Here are the headline figures behind Arsenal's latest financial results.

  1. Football revenue increases

    Football revenue increases

    Arsenal's football revenue for the year was £369.1m ($453m), up from £327.6m ($402m) the previous year. The return of supporters to games at Emirates Stadium following the pandemic was the major factor in the rise, with matchday revenue increasing to £79.4m ($97.5m) from just £3.8m ($4.6m). Across Arsenal's 23 home fixtures (19 Premier Leaguer and four Carabao Cup), the club had an average attendance of 59,568.

    Broadcasting revenues dropped sharply, however, falling to £146m ($179m) from £184.4m ($226m), with the lack of UEFA broadcasting revenue singled out as a major factor, as well as the TV revenue for more than just one season had been included in the previous year's accounts due to the Covid-delayed completion of the 2019/20 campaign.

    Commercial revenues did increase, but only slightly to £141.7m ($174m) from £136.4m ($167.5m).

  2. Wage bill slashed

    Wage bill slashed

    One of the biggest takeaways from Arsenal's new accounts is the drop in the wage bill.

    In the previous year's accounts, wage costs were listed at £244.4m ($300m). That has now dropped significantly to £212.3m ($260.6) following the departure of several big-name players.

    Explaining the drop, Arsenal said: "On the player side, there has been a process of restructuring the men's first-team squad to improve the efficiency of spend; this includes changes made in earlier years but were the full benefit has only been realised in the 2021/22 figures."

  3. Player sales profits go up - but club admit they must do more

    Player sales profits go up - but club admit they must do more

    The total profit on player sales was £20.2m ($24.8), up from £11.8m ($14.5m) the previous year, with player loans bringing in a further £2m. Arsenal accept that this in an area where they must improve as they look to return to a self-financing model.

    A statement in the financial results said: "Player trading profits continue to have a significant impact on overall profitability and the club’s ability to realise profits during 2021/22 was adversely impacted by market conditions, with reduced overall liquidity as clubs’ acquisition budgets were impacted by the financial pressures of the pandemic."

  4. Year end cash position rises
    Getty Images

    Year end cash position rises

    The year-end cash position of the club was £30m ($36.9m), up from £18.8m ($23.1m).

    Arsenal added that the "renewal of season tickets for the 2022/23 was very strong, but the timing of renewal meant that the cash impact of this was mainly deferred until June.

  5. Arsenal's view

    Arsenal's view

    Summing up the latest accounts, Arsenal praised the support of owner, Stan Kroenke, and admitted that securing qualification for European football was key to the club's ambitions of at least breaking even.

    A closing statement read: "During 2021/22, and subsequently during the 2022 summer transfer window, the club has invested strongly in the development of its men’s first-team playing resources. This investment recognises that the club has not been where it wanted to be in terms of on-field competitiveness and that, as a minimum, qualification for UEFA competition needed to be regained, as a pre-requisite to re-establishing a self-sufficient financial base. This investment would not have been possible without the support and commitment of the Club’s ownership, Kroenke Sports & Entertainment. Qualification for the UEFA Europa League for 2022/23 represents a positive first step and can be viewed alongside the start to the 2022/23 season which has so far been encouraging."