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Arsenal financially satisfied despite disappointing figures

Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis has reported a "very solid" set of results, despite a fall in turnover and profit. The Gunners reported group turnover for the year ended May 31, 2011 as £255.7million, down from £379.9million in 2010, while profit before tax was also reduced from £56million to £14.8million.

Reduced income from property sales at the Highbury redevelopment and increase of player wages have played their part, whilst the high-profile summer sales of skipper Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri not taken into account in this period.

The 60,000-seater Emirates Stadium matchday income has helped to reduce the group's overall debt down from £135.6million to £97.8million, much of which is secured on low, fixed-interest rate bonds paid back over a long period against the cost of relocation in 2006.

Speaking to the club's official website, Gazidis said: "In terms of our financial base and in terms of our platform, we are very secure - it's a good set of results again.

"We haven't seen the same kind of profits from the property side that we have seen in the past but that was entirely to be expected. Our property business is debt-free so any new sales of property do accumulate cash, which is very positive for the future.

"We didn't have the same kind of profit from player sales that we had in the previous season and that explains the slight reduction in profit, but this is a very solid, very healthy set of results and it gives us a good platform to move forward from."

As UEFA prepare to implement Financial Fair Play, Gazidis believes Arsenal's self-sustaining model has given them an advantage.

He added: "The way the club is run is something that we know our fans are very proud of, but they look at the world and they see that player costs are accelerating upwards and they wonder if we can compete.

"I believe we can, I believe we have a really good financial basis to do that, and I also think the football world is moving in our direction.

"We represent the future of the world and all the other clubs are trying to get towards a sustaining model like Arsenal already has.

"We feel we are well set for developments that are going to happen in the game over the next few years.

Arsenal's accounts also revealed a significant reserve of 'cash and short-term deposits' at some £160m.

Gazidis maintained funds were always available to the manager should he wish to use them.

"Certainly we do have money that would be available to spend in the transfer market as Arsene decides is necessary to supplement the squad," Gazidis said.

"Again it's a healthy cash position to be in and with the ability to make moves in the player market if we want to."

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Dave Williams

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