Arsenal and Aston Villa’s financial reports posted this week show very contrasting fortunes for the two clubs.
Aston Villa, relegated from the Premier League at the end of the 2015/16 season, posted a fall in turnover of £6.9m on the previous year (2015) to £108.8m, in their latest accounts for the year ending May 31 2016.
The fall, according to the club, was primarily attributed to a reduction in their share of revenue from the FA Premier League’s broadcasting agreements as a result of final league standings which saw them finish bottom with just 17 points and relegated to the Championship.
The accounts also showed the further impact of that poor season with an operating loss before exceptional items of £1.6m.
Exceptional items amounted to £79.6m, consisting of charges for the impairment of tangible fixed assets and intangible assets of £44.8m and £34.8m respectively. The impairment charges increased the operating loss before interest and tax to £81.3m.
By comparison, Arsenal showed turnover from football increased to £191.1 million (2015 – £158.0 million) with growth in broadcasting distributions at the start of a new three year revenue cycle for the Premier League and an increased share of UEFA Champions League market pool.
The financial results for the six months ending 30 November 2016, showed Arsene Wenger’s shrewd management of the club’s playing squad brought profits on the sale of players to £6.3 million (2015 – £0.3 million) whilst the group has no short-term debt and its cash reserves, excluding the balances designated as debt service reserves, amounting to £100.5 million (2015 – £135.9 million).
Commenting on the results for the six months, the Arsenal’s Chairman, Sir Chips Keswick, said: “The financial results for the first half of the year are robust.
“As expected increased Premier League broadcasting revenues have had a direct impact on player costs both in terms of transfer prices and player wage demands.
“Whilst these are the market forces that have contributed directly over time to the success of the Premier League I would sound a note of caution in light of the very material contractual commitments to future wages that clubs are taking on.
“We have invested in our own playing squad at record levels. It has also been exciting to see more young players emerge from our Academy.
“We are very focused on producing a positive and exciting closing run and with the support of our fans I believe together we can achieve a successful and memorable end to the season.”