Arsenal have reported a staggering record loss of £107.3MILLION for the last financial year, with £85million attributed to the Covid pandemic.
That is more than double last year’s financial deficit of £47.8million as matchday revenue was effectively wiped out by playing behind closed doors.
Mikel Arteta’s team played 31 home games during the accounting period and were only allowed to admit a grand total of 16,000 spectators during that time.
Every game at an empty Emirates Stadium cost the club around £3million, resulting in matchday revenue plummeting from £79million to a mere £3.9million.
The shocking figures represent a massive blow to Arsenal’s finances after 18 consecutive years of profit until 2020.
The move has been criticised by the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust, who were first informed of the planned rise at a fans’ forum meeting with chief executive Vinai Venkatesham.
They said: “We believe the price increase is unjustified at a time when fans are experiencing pressure on their disposable income.
“Arsenal first said they were planning to increase prices during the fans’ forum, when the information was put forward as a decision already made.
“An increase in ticket pricing is exactly the sort of issue these forums should consider and we put forward some alternative options.
“But it was clear they were determined to press ahead with the headline price increase.”
The bad news for Arsenal is that next year’s accounts will almost certainly remain in the red as a consequence of the team’s absence from European football for the first time in 26 years.
Yet the nine-figure losses will not affect Arsenal’s plans to launch a major spending spree in the summer.
Arteta has been promised significant funds to overhaul his understrength squad by billionaire owner Stan Kroenke.
A club statement confirmed: “The financial challenge remains significant but the club continues to have the unwavering support of its ownership KSE.”