- Premier League
Arsenal fans call for further signings
The Arsenal Supporters' Trust (AST) has called on the club to spend further on squad strengthening over the next two years after their financial results showed cash reserves of £153.5 million - but they only remained in profit for the year after the sale of star players.
Arsenal smashed their transfer record earlier this month to sign Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid in a £42.5m deal, but the fans' association believes much more must be spent if the club is to remain competitive at the top of the Premier League.
The figures, which run up to May 2013 and so do not include the outlay on Ozil, will be boosted from this financial year by a new, more lucrative £150m sponsorship deal with Emirates. Although the wage bill rose 8% to £153.5m, turnover increased to £242.8m from £235.3m. Pre-tax profit dropped £6.7 million to £36.6m - but the club remained in the black due to the £47m raised from the sale of Robin van Persie to Manchester United and Alex Song to Arsenal.
"We are encouraged that since the season ended much progress has been made by Arsenal to remove the non-performing players from the wage bill. This pruning has allowed scope for more concentrated wage spend," an AST spokesman said in a statement published in the Guardian.
"Looking forward, Arsenal are in a healthy financial position, with substantial cash reserves. The AST continues to urge the club to invest the money it has to further strengthen the current first-team squad and improve the chances of winning silverware. Substantial funds are available for additional transfer and wage spend without affecting self-sustainability."
Arsenal chairman Sir Chips Keswick said: "It is my job to ensure we steer further along the course we have set. We must continue to grow commercially to provide the club with the best opportunity to achieve success and we must do this in a way which remains true to our values and which ensures and protects the long-term sustainability of the club.
"With the Ozil transfer I believe we have made a significant statement and when Arsene decides the time is right to invest again Stan Kroenke, myself and the rest of the board will be delighted to support him.
"We have a manager in Arsene who is as focused and determined to win trophies as he was when he first arrived."
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