ARSENAL have been warned to expect losses of over £120million if football remains behind closed doors.
Few clubs make as much money as the Gunners do on a matchday – with that income completely lost since the coronavirus pandemic began.
Plans to let fans back into football grounds are being hit by the second coronavirus waveCredit: EPA
In 2018-19, Arsenal made £96million in matchday revenue alone, a huge proportion of their total £394m turnover.
Such a reliance on fans coming to Emirates Stadium left the club particularly vulnerable to the circumstances they now find themselves in.
Arsenal Supporters’ Trust have delved into the figures to estimate potential losses of £120m if the situation does not improve.
Matchday revenue for the protracted 2019-20 campaign is down to around £77m after the final weeks of the season went behind closed doors.
And the Trust reckon Arsenal will only be able to make £20m in matchday revenue in 2020-21, on the basis stadium capacity is restricted to 25 per cent.
This would set the North London club on course for a £44m loss in 2019-20 and £83m in the current campaign – totalling losses around £120m.
Premier League clubs are pushing for fans to return to stadiums but a second coronavirus wave threatens to slam the door on test events.
Furthermore, the reality could be even worse with these estimates predicated on TV money remaining steady throughout the new season, as well as commercial and retail income.
Arsenal have one of the biggest wage bills in Europe
The predictions are just the latest stark warning of football’s financial outlook from the very top of the game, right down to grassroots level.
Arsenal have already made 55 staff members redundant amid the pandemic, with the bulk of the squad agreeing a wage cut.
However, Mikel Arteta has been able to revamp his squad with Gabriel Magalhaes and Pablo Mari arriving for a combined £35m.
Willian signed a three-year deal worth £220,000-a-week last month before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang extended his contract to reach £350,000-a-week.
The club have recouped over £20m from the sales of Emiliano Martinez and Sam Greenwood, with owner Stan Kroenke refinancing the debt accrued when building Emirates Stadium.
The Trust summarised: “Estimated losses of £44m this year and £80m next year.
“And if fans don’t return soon and more broadcast contracts see reductions it could be much worse.
“Arsenal still run a bloated wage bill (well over £200m a year) and carry significant debts – both player installments still owed to other clubs and to KSE (stadium loan legacy). We do not know yet what interest, if any, is being charged to the club.
“Potential losses of at least £120m (possibly £150m) over 2020 & 2021 demonstrate why Arsenal have to be so careful in transfer market.”
Source: Soccer - thesun.co.uk