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European clubs should follow Arsenal’s lead, say Uefa

PUBLISHED: 16:22 12 January 2011 | UPDATED: 17:41 12 January 2011

On the money: Cesc Fabregas and Arsenal may trail Manchester United in the title race, but off the pitch the Gunners net debt of £135.6m contrasts with the whopping £716m owed by the Red Devils.

On the money: Cesc Fabregas and Arsenal may trail Manchester United in the title race, but off the pitch the Gunners net debt of £135.6m contrasts with the whopping £716m owed by the Red Devils.

2010 AFP

Arsenal have been held up as a financial role model to other European clubs thanks to the excellent way the club is run.

Uefa chiefs this week urged Europe’s elite to look at the way Arsenal do things – as they revealed players’ wages in general have jumped by 10 per cent, far exceeding any increase in revenues.

European football’s governing body have already drawn up new plans which will see clubs face possible bans from European competition from 2014 if they spend more than they earn.

Uefa’s general secretary Gianni Infantino said this week: “Ten years ago Arsenal reported less income than Chelsea, Liverpool and Newcastle.

“Now it is more than those clubs and in 2009 more than double Newcastle’s.

“This shows what is possible with good management and careful investment. What kind of healthy business model is it to wait for a knight rider on a horse with a lot of money to throw around and then one day jump back on his horse and ride away?”

Arsenal are arguably the most solvent club in European football, showing market-defying financial results since moving to Emirates Stadium in the summer of 2006.

The club’s football revenues broke the £100m barrier in 2010 while they revealed their overall net debt has been reduced from £297.7m to £135.6m – contrasting sharply with the £716m owed by the current Premier League leaders, Manchester United.

The club’s wage bill remains approximately 50 per cent of turnover – well under the recommended 70 per cent limit.

And in September the Gunners returned outstanding record pre-tax profits of £56m as well as revealing they had paid off all their debts from the Highbury Square development of 512 properties, which is now turning a profit despite previous fears from outside the club it would lose millions due to the slowdown in the property market.The club have also made a raft of new commercial and marketing appointments as they look to target overseas deals to further boost revenues.


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