Arsenal have been left counting the cost of life outside the Champions League as the club’s latest accounts showed a £27.1m loss.

Arsenal went out of the Europa League to Olympiakos on Thursday, leaving them to face a further loss of potential prize money and broadcasting revenue as well as a rebate payment to season-ticket holders for fewer cup fixtures.

On Friday Arsenal’s parent holding company published accounts covering the year ending 31 May 2019, which report the group’s loss for the period after tax as £27.1m, down from a profit of £56.5m from 2018.

Although football revenue overall was up at £394.7m from £388.2m, benefiting from increased commercial revenues, the club said overall operating profits were impacted by “continued investment in player wages”, which increased to £231.7m.

Changes in first-team coaching staff, support personnel and “transaction advisory costs incurred by the company in relation to KSE UK Inc becoming the group’s sole shareholder” incurred an additional £3.9m.

The results showed player trading activity was “fairly limited”, compared with a profit on sales of some £120m in 2018 after the departures of players such as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott.

Arsenal said this, coupled with other operating profits “adversely impacted by participation in the Uefa Europa League as opposed to the more lucrative Uefa Champions League”, had “a significant impact on overall profitability”.

Player registrations over the period – which does not include last summer’s club-record signing of Nicolas Pépé – was at a cost of £99m.

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Arsenal reported a “robust” overall year-end cash balance of £167m, down from £231.3m in 2018, but a new kit deal is expected to bring in around £60m a year.

Arsenal’s chairman Sir Chips Keswick said in a statement via the club website: “Our player trading profit for this financial year was limited and this combined with a second consecutive season of Europa League football has meant the club recorded its first overall loss since 2002.

“For 2019-20 we will see increased commercial revenues from Adidas and our renewed deal with Emirates, but another season outside the Champions League will continue to apply pressure to our financial results.”



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