Business

Arsenal chief says club earned financial independence

Arsenal old ground
Image caption Arsenal's former Highbury home has made the club millions in property development

Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis says the club has earned financial independence, and that future property sale profits will go towards players.

Last month the Premier League club's parent company announced record pre-tax profits of £56m.

It also said it had paid off all debt on its Highbury Square property development of flats, built on the ground of its old stadium.

The only outstanding debt relates to their long-term Emirates Stadium loans.

Self-sufficient

"This is a challenging path to tread, but we have earned our independence," Mr Gazidis told the club's annual general meeting.

"We do not have to rely on anybody but ourselves for future success. However, we have to keep moving forwards - standing still is never an option."

Members of the Arsenal Supporters Trust "fanshare" initiative were also present at the AGM at the Emirates Stadium.

The initiative, revealed in August, is a means of buying small fractions of full shares at an affordable price.

Ownership of a single "fanshare" - one hundredth of an actual share - means a member has the chance to ask questions of the directors and vote on policy.

The Gunners are currently majority-owned by four shareholders, all of whom collectively support the new scheme.

American majority stakeholder Stan Kroenke, hovering just short of the shareholding level which will force him to make an offer for all other Arsenal shares, was also present at the annual meeting.

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