Financial results for 2021/22

Arsenal crest at Emirates Stadium

Arsenal Holdings Limited has now signed off the consolidated accounts for the Arsenal Group for the year ended 31 May 2022. A copy will be filed at Companies House in due course.

The loss for the year after taxation was £45.5 million (2021 – loss of £107.3 million).

The 2021/22 season was the first for 25 years in which the men's first-team had failed to qualify for UEFA European competition. The loss of the revenue associated with UEFA football was the principal contributory factor in terms of the overall result for the year. 

The very welcome return of supporters to our home matches, as the restrictions associated with the Covid pandemic were eased, meant that the result for the year was considerably improved against the prior period, which had been adversely impacted by £85 million of Covid attributable losses. 

The result for the year can be broken down into the following key components:


  2022 (£m) 2021 (£m)
Adjusted operating profit from football 80.8 39.5
Exceptional costs - (39.0)
Amortisation and impairment of player registrations (127.0) (117.4)
Profit on sale of player registrations / Loan of players 24.2 14.8
Property trading profits 2.0 -
Net interest costs (excluding exceptional items) (5.2) (7.6)
Other (20.3) (17.5)
Loss before tax (45.5) (127.2)

Football revenue for the year was £369.1 million (2021 - £327.6 million). The return of supporters across 23 home fixtures (19 Premier League and 4 EFL Cup) meant matchday revenue was £79.4 million compared to just £3.8 million in the pandemic impacted prior year. Across all fixtures, the average attendance was 59,568 (2021 – N/A due to Covid restrictions).

However, broadcasting revenues fell to £146.0 million (2021 - £184.4 million). The reason for this was twofold: the lack of UEFA broadcasting revenue and the fact the prior year had included TV revenue for more than just a single season, due to the Covid delayed completion of the 2019/20 campaign. Commercial revenues were slightly improved to £141.7 million (2021 - £136.4 million).

There were several factors behind overall reduced wage costs of £212.3 million (2021 - £244.4 million). Away from the pitch, the Club had incurred £6.7 million of exceptional costs in the prior year in relation to staff reorganisation and headcount reduction. On the player side, there has been a process of restructuring the men’s first-team squad to improve the efficiency of spend; this includes changes made in earlier years but where the full benefit has only been realised in the 2021/22 figures. 

The total profit on sale of player registrations was £22.2 million (2021 - £11.8 million) and player loans amounted to £2.0 million (2020 - £3.1 million). Player trading profits continue to have a significant impact on overall profitability and the Club’s ability to realise profits during 2021/22 was adversely impacted by market conditions, with reduced overall liquidity as clubs’ acquisition budgets were impacted by the financial pressures of the pandemic. 

During the year there was limited activity in the Group’s property development business, however, a one-off sale of a former Emirates move relocation site saw revenues rise to £2.8 million (2021 - £0.6 million).

Net finance charges were reduced to £5.2 million (2021 – £39.8 million). The prior year was impacted by one-off exceptional costs of £32.2 million relating to the redemption of the Group’s stadium finance bonds and their refinancing via a loan provided by the Group’s ultimate parent company, KSE UK Inc.

Following additions to player registrations at a cost of £187.9 million and amortisation charges, the book value of intangible fixed assets (player registrations) was increased to £333.5 million (2021 - £294.2 million).

The year-end cash position was £30.0 million (2021 - £18.8 million). The renewal of season tickets for the 2022/23 season was very strong but the timing of renewal meant that the cash impact of this was mainly deferred until June. 

Funding is provided mainly by the ultimate parent company, KSE UK Inc., which is wholly owned by the ultimate controlling party, Mr. E. S. Kroenke. During the year KSE UK Inc. provided funds both to underpin the Club’s transfer activities and, alongside Barclays Bank, for working capital purposes as required.

During 2021/22, and subsequently during the 2022 summer transfer window, the Club has invested strongly in the development of its men’s first-team playing resources. This investment recognises that the Club has not been where it wanted to be in terms of on-field competitiveness and that, as a minimum, qualification for UEFA competition needed to be regained, as a pre-requisite to re-establishing a self-sufficient financial base. This investment would not have been possible without the support and commitment of the Club’s ownership, Kroenke Sports & Entertainment.

Qualification for the UEFA Europa League for 2022/23 represents a positive first step and can be viewed alongside the start to the 2022/23 season which has so far been encouraging. 

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