Arsenal’s financial report has shown significant improvement off the pitch in the last 12 months, mostly due to its return to European football and strong domestic performance, though the club still recorded a loss.

Filing its accounts for the year ended 31 May 2023, the club disclosed an overall loss of £52.1m. A notable factor contributing to this outcome was the £18.1m impairment write-downs on player registrations. 

These losses were classified as exceptional due to their significant impact. Therefore, excluding these exceptional items, the loss before tax amounted to £34m, compared to a loss of £45.5m in 2022.

This improvement can be attributed to a steep rise in football revenue for the year, which was £464.6m, an increase from £369.1m in 2022. Collating each Premier League club’s latest accounts, Arsenal’s revenue is currently the fourth highest in the division, behind Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool.

Examining the financial details more closely, the club performed strongly in terms of commercial revenue, recording £169.3m, boasting a significant improvement from the previous year’s £141.7m.

This coincides with the London club launching a new commercial strategy, delivering particularly strong results from its retail operations during the year.

Broadcasting revenues also surged to £191.2m, a notable increase from £146.0m in the previous year, with Arsenal attributing the rise to two main factors.

Firstly, the addition of UEFA broadcasting revenue, in which the club reached the round of 16 in the UEFA Europa League. Arsenal’s broadcasting income is set to swell once more as Mikel Arteta’s first team squad enters the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League 

Additionally, broadcasting revenue was assisted by the club’s impressive performance in the Premier League, resulting in higher merit awards and live coverage facility fees. 

As part of the Premier League’s existing broadcast deal, each place in the table is worth an additional £3.1m. However, fans may not find much comfort in the financial gain, as the club finished in second place, despite leading the table for the majority of the season.

The return to European football also boosted matchday earnings, playing 24 home fixtures throughout the season, which boosted matchday revenue to £102.6m, an increase from £79.4m the previous year. 

This figure marks the first time matchday revenue has surpassed £100m since the 2014/15 season, boosted by an increased average attendance of 60,082 (2022 – 59,568).  

The club has been at the centre of viewership records this year, one in the FA Cup and another for the highest English speaking viewership of any EPL game in the US. 

The women’s team has also raised questions about building a new stadium, following the team breaking the Women’s Super League (WSL) attendance record during a 3-1 win over Manchester United earlier this month. 

Among the most interesting filings in the report is the wage bill, which totalled at £234.7m. A surprisingly low number compared to the likes of Manchester City (£422.9m) and Manchester United (£331.4m).

Looking forward, Arsenal are currently sat in third position in the league, just two points off Liverpool, the league leaders. The London side has also reached the knockout stage of the Champions League, as previously mentioned, in which the team are losing by one goal against Porto, following the first leg of the fixture. 

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