After defeat on the pitch Arsenal hit by a loss off it

ARSENAL’S off-field fortunes have followed their on-field ones in taking a dip after the club confirmed a £2.5m loss for the six months up to November 2010.

The Gunners, who lost Sunday’s Carling Cup final, reported a record annual pre-tax profit of £56m in September, but a number of factors have curtailed that healthy performance.

Money has been invested in tying manager Arsenal Wenger and players to more costly long-term contracts, while there has also been widespread recruitment as chief executive Ivan Gazidis has sought to strengthen commercial operations.

Income from the group’s property operations slowed dramatically, from £96.6m to £22.5m, as the majority of apartments in the club’s Highbury Square development were sold last year.

Earnings from transfer fees (£4m) also represented only a fraction of last year (£33.9m), when Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Toure were sold to Manchester City for a combined sum of around £40m.

The change from profit to loss was widely anticipated and Gazidis said the Premier League club remained “in a very healthy financial position”.