Arsenal finances: Shrinking cash balance and four other things you may have missed from the club's latest accounts

Joe Hall
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Western Sydney Wanderers Gold Star Luncheon
Gazidis: "Our ambition is clear - to win major trophies and make Arsenal fans around the world proud of this great club" (Source: Getty)

Arsenal are making more money than ever before — that's the headline figure from the Premier League club's latest set of accounts published this week.

With turnover surpassing £400m for the first time to £423m, the North Londoners enjoyed a 20 per cent rise in revenue last season to hit club record levels.

As expected, the Premier League's massive £8bn TV deal was the main driver of increased revenue growth as Arsenal's broadcasting income rise by 41 per cent to £199m.

Here's five other interesting takeaways from the club's latest set of accounts that you may have missed:

1. Revenue is growing, but the cash balance is shrinking

As recently as the 2013/2014 season, Arsenal had £140m more in the bank than Manchester United. Fast-forward three years and recently-released results from both American-owned clubs reveal that the roles have reversed.

Read more: Could Arsenal survive outside the Champions League in a post-Arsene Wenger future?

Arsenal's cash balance fell by £46m to £180m as United's grew to £290m. Yet the Gunners still have more in the bank than nearly anyone else in the league. From other clubs' most-recently announced accounts, only Tottenham, sitting on a cash pile of £173m, had more to play with.

Arsenal were keen to stress in their accounts that the £180m also includes £42.7m to pay on transfer instalments and debt service deposits of £35.9m. Still, £101.6m. No need to go looking down the back of the sofa just yet.

2. Missing out on the Champions League? It's not all bad...

The actual impact of missing out on Europe's elite competition won't be known until this time next year when Arsenal release their accounts for the current season.

So far, it's at least helped the paymasters keep the wage bill down. Wage costs grew by £4m to £199.4m last season, yet the club admitted in the accounts that it would have been higher if the club had been forced to pay out on a Champions League qualification bonus. No wonder Sanchez reportedly cited not playing in the competition as why he wanted to leave...

3. Wages will rise this season...

Despite not paying a Champions League bonus, Arsenal's wage costs this season are likely to be higher this season due to a number of players receiving contract increases during last season which have not yet been represented on an annualised basis in the accounts.

Read more: Have Manchester United reached peak noodle partner?

Furthermore, the broadcasting revenue that boosted the club's total turnover to record levels is yet to work its way into players' pockets.

Chief financial officer Stuart Wisely writes: "It is usual at the start of a new broadcasting cycle that the wage bill takes a little time to be fully recalibrated against prevailing market rates which are informed by the increased broadcasting revenues available to Premier League clubs."

4. Payday loans

AFC Bournemouth v West Ham United - Premier League
Wilshere and other loannees helped generate case for the Gunners (Source: Getty)

Arsenal made more money from loaning players out last season than they did from selling them. Not only were Jack Wilshere, Callum Chambers, Joel Campbell and Wojciech Szczesny taken off the wage bill, their loan fees added up to £6.9m.

5. Commercial catch up?

Read more: Adidas stand to profit as United's Paul Pogba tops shirt bestseller list - but could Arsenal look for more from Puma?

The Gunners' commercial revenue has struggled to keep pace with their rivals' in recent years. According to Deloitte's Football Money League, Arsenal were the seventh-richest club in the world last year but had only the 10th best commercial revenue.

Despite not signing any new major sponsorships last season, Arsenal boosted their commercial income by £8m to £91m — 10 per cent growth. Combined with retail and licensing — included under the commercial umbrella by most rival clubs — that comes to £117.2m.

That's still a long way off the mammoth £276m enjoyed by United, yet the Red Devils' growth was more modest this year at just three per cent.

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