Arsenal have reported an after-tax profit of £56.5 million for the financial year ended 31 May, up £21.2 million on the year before.
On the surface that sounds like a positive development on the finance front, but chairman Sir Chips Keswick has been quick to point out that player sales made the difference.
In a statement on Arsenal.com, he says: “Player trading has meant that overall Arsenal has had another profitable year, but we are very aware of the financial pressure which Europa League football places on the club.
He added: “A return to the Champions League is a clear priority which everyone at the club is committed to delivering.”
The exits of Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud, Francis Coquelin, Alexis Sanchez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, plus a couple of loan deals, saw us recoup £122.3 million from player deals, up from £13.7 million in 2017.
Gains on that front were offset by £17.2 million in payouts to Arsene Wenger and other backroom staff that were let go in the summer.
In simple terms, our football revenue was punched in the goolies by playing in the Europa League (down £34.6 million from 2017) and our operating costs went through the roof thanks to a £23.9 million increase in player wages and staff costs.
No pressure Unai, but you better get us back in the Champions League quickly otherwise you might be forced to sell off a few more players…