Chief executive Ivan Gazidis has vowed that Arsenal will continue their long-term plan to progressively reinvest “all available revenue” into Arsene Wenger’s playing resources moving forward.
Financial results for the year ending May 31, 2017 published before Thursday night’s (28 September) entertaining 4-2 Europa League victory over BATE Borisov in Belarusshowed that the Gunners’ annual footballing revenues had exceeded £400m ($535.4m) for the first time, with turnover increasing from £350.6m to a record £422.8m.
Group profit before tax jumped to £44.6m and wages rose by £4m to £199.4m, although cash reserves dropped to £144.3m after a net transfer spend of £102.5m on Granit Xhaka, Shkodran Mustafi, Lucas Perez, Rob Holding and Takuma Asano.
In his accompanying chief executive’s report, Gazidis expressed disappointment at Arsenal dropping out of the Premier League’s top four for the first time in 20 years last season but expressed pride at an unprecedented 13th FA Cup triumph.
He pointed to the investment made in key areas such as “analytics, scouting, psychology, medical and ﬁtness support”, the transformation of the club’s London Colney training ground and the rebuilding of academy facilities as evidence of their commitment to competing for regular silverware and particularly the Premier League title.
Addressing Arsenal’s progress at the “top of the pyramid”, Gazidis revealed that £203m had been spent on transfers over the past three years to accompany a sharp wage increase of £33m. He additionally reiterated that left-back Sead Kolasinac and striker Alexandre Lacazette were their priority summer transfer targets, the former arriving on a free from Schalke and the latter costing a club-record £46.5m from Lyon.
Arsenal also offloaded Wojciech Szczesny, Gabriel Paulista, Kieran Gibbs and Yaya Sanogo in order to fulfill their desire to reduce a first-team squad viewed as bloated by Wenger. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain joined Liverpool for £35m and Perez, Joel Campbell, Asano, Carl Jenkinson, Emiliano Martinez, Stephy Mavididi, Cohen Bramall, Marc Bola and Kelechi Nwakali were all permitted to leave on loan.
“At the same time, we retained Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil and promoted new young talent from our academy pipeline into the ﬁrst team,” Gazidis continued, per the Evening Standard. “These decisions, taken as a whole, have again strengthened our squad for this season’s competitions. We will continue this long term approach of progressively reinvesting all our available revenue in our playing resources as we look forward.”