Arsenal's operating profit from its soccer business dropped from $88.7 million to $71.8 million for the year ending on May 31 as player salaries increased $21.4 million to $194 million.
The Gunners have been accused of lagging behind rivals such as Manchester City and Manchester United, but they spent 55.2 percent of total soccer revenues on player salaries, up from 49.7 percent the year before. (Manchester United spent only 46 percent of its revenues on player salaries.)
“Our primary objective, as we take the club forward, will always be success on the field,” Arsenal CEO Ivan Gazidis, the former MLS deputy commissioner, said in a statement on Friday. “To give the club the best opportunity to achieve this, we must drive a virtuous circle of increased revenue, increased investment in the team and a larger engaged fan base and we must do this in a way which is self-sustaining and protects the long-term future of the club.”
Arsenal's overall revenues decreased sharply, reflecting lower level of sales of apartments at Highbury Square, the site of the Gunners' old stadium.