The Premier League club, Arsenal have announced that the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic were the main reason for the loss of 107.3 million pounds ($144 million) for the year-end May 2021 after releasing their latest consolidated accounts.
The loss was more than double the 47.8 million pounds reported for the same period in 2020.
Arsenal said in a statement, “The results for the financial year have been materially impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, which caused the majority of matches for the 2020/21 season to be played behind closed doors. For matches played behind closed doors there was a complete loss of ticket (and another matchday) revenue. Pre-tax losses (unaudited) of £85 million are considered to be attributable to the impacts of COVID-19.”
Matchday revenue was reduced from 75 million pounds to 3.8 million pounds due to only two out of 31 home games being attended by the fans during the period, according to the club.
The matchday losses were offset, however, by an increase in broadcasting revenues (184.4 million pounds), which reflected distributions related to the completion of the 2019/20 season and the club’s progress to the Europa League semi-finals.
The club made a profit of 11.8 million pounds on player sales, down from 60.1 million pounds the previous year, and spent 244 million pounds on wages.
“The financial challenge remains significant, but the club continues to have the unwavering support and commitment of its ownership, Kroenke Sports & Entertainment,” the statement said.
Arsenal is well-positioned to finish in the top four of the ongoing Premier League points table which can allow them to compete in the Champions League for the first time since the 2016-2017 season. They currently trail the fourth-placed Manchester United by two points but have three games in hand. They next go against Watford FC on March 6.