so on a day that history has been made by Portsmouth being put into administration Arsenal announce they have slashed the clubs debt in the past few months and as let you earlier, overtaken United in the income stakes.
Its sad for Pompey fans, they had the day of their lives just under two years ago when they won the FA Cup at Wembley and were seemingly on the rise and heading into European football (had a good game against AC Milan if I remember right). Just over eighteen months later, they are in administration and danger of liquidation. There are several other clubs slightly further down the league ladder in just as much danger too, I expect at least another club to be in administration by the end of the season and hopefully, by the start of next they will be some way to recovering even though its likely we will lose at least one English football league club completely.
It makes you realise just how lucky we are, there are some blogs out there that moan and moan and moan about us not spending money – but if it meant staying in business or not, I know I’d rather us save money and consolidate whilst building a sustainable business model to function on for the rest of the clubs existence. Maybe we could be less frugal, in fact I’m sure we could, but you can’t argue with the running of the club, there are clubs out there that are in a far worse state than we are, we are in the best position of any club in this country by quite some way.
The results in brief – taken from the official website:
- Profit before tax of £35.2m (2008 – £24.5m) with increased contributions from both the Group’s football and property businesses.
Not bad for half a year you have to say!
- Further significant investment in determined policy of re-signing first team players to new long-term contracts.
The club have been really busy in negotiating new deals for most of our players – and securing the next generation of players down to long term contracts to make sure the club benefit from them. The wage bill has probably risen substantially from last year, even with the sales of Adebayor and Toure who were on pretty big wages, especially Adebayor.
- By 30 November 2009, the Group’s total net debt had been reduced to £203.6m (31 May 2009 – £332.8m).
That is a massive, massive chunk of the debt gone. Remember we need be in no hurry to get rid of this considering the 17 year mortgage in place.
- Sale of part of the Queensland Road development site means that the Group’s other property activities are now debt free.
A big tick off the to do list that was set out during the financing of the new stadium – everything is falling into place.
This doesn’t mean that we will suddenly start spending silly money on players, the current policy will no doubt continue and it needs too really, the wage bill has risen by something like 11% and we only made that 25 million profit with the football part of the finances through the sales of Toure and Adebayor, we don’t have two players of that reputation to spend every summer to get us that money – that is the part that is of concern to me but then again, what do I know about this stuff? I’m a football blogger not a financial analyst.
Back to normal stuff:
Eduardo returned to training today so expect him to be on the bench tomorrow if there has been no reaction, he is the only player that will return but the injury list is still ridiculously long. Hopefully Arshavin and Diaby will be back for Burnley, you have to have concerns for Gallas though – Sol Campbell can’t play every game as soon as the fixtures get congested and then it really would get worrying. Hopefully he is back soon and with a fresh new inked contract extension.
Come back in the morning for a more in depth Stoke preview ahead of possibly the biggest game of the season, win and we are looking ahead at some tasty fixtures licking our lips, lose or draw and the league campaign could fizzle out. Its on a knife-edge.