Arsenal Supporters Trust urge investment to bolster squad

The club announced a profit of £17.8 million generated by player sales and cash reserves of £123m, and the AST are keen for the money to be put back into the first-team squad

The Arsenal Supporters Trust (AST) has urged the club to make more money available for transfers following the announcement of the club’s half-yearly figures.

With a pre-tax profit of £17.8 million for the six-month period to November 2012 – effectively made from the sale of Robin van Persie to Manchester United in the summer – AST insist the figures highlight the need to spend more on strengthening the first team.

A spokesperson said: “These figures contain few surprises. They show that Arsenal yet again made a profit from the sale of their best players and that the club has large cash reserves.

“Arsenal fans have contributed to this financial health through paying some of the highest ticket prices in world football. AST members want to see this money used for more, and better, investment in the team.

“The results also show the club does spend considerable money on wages, approximately £150m per annum. But the football decisions made on player investment, player selection and player wage levels are not delivering a more competitive team.

“The AST believes the club are financially well set to improve on the decline of the last few seasons. The remaining question is whether it has the boardroom leadership and football decision making expertise to make the money count.”

Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood, however, has dismissed the AST’s calls and instead insisted that the club are already looking to recruit high-profile players – citing the recent arrivals of Santi Carzola, Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud.

Hill-Wood said in a statement: “Let me be quite clear that our intention is to keep our best players and recruit new talent to make us stronger.

“Although we were disappointed to see Robin van Persie leave the club, we have taken steps to secure our best players going forward and have recently signed Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott, Kieran Gibbs, Aaron Ramsey, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Carl Jenkinson to new long-term contracts.

“During this financial period we also invested £40.9m in the acquisition of new players, Lukas Podolski, Santi Cazorla and Olivier Giroud, and the extension of other player contracts. More recently we added Nacho Monreal to our ranks from Malaga.”

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