Arsenal post losses of 47.8 million pounds as COVID-19 hits revenues


(Reuters) - Arsenal have reported a loss of 47.8 million pounds ($65.97 million) in the last financial year as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted schedules and forced games to be played in empty stadiums, the Premier League club said on Friday.

The north London club said the losses for the financial year ended May 30, 2020 -- up from 27.1 million in 2019 - have been a result of a decline in matchday, broadcasting and commercial income.

A number of the matches from the final stages of the 2019-20 campaign, including Arsenal's FA Cup triumph at Wembley, have been completed in the current financial year ending in May.

"Matches continue to be played without fan attendance and consequently the club is operating without one of its key revenue streams," the club said in a statement.

"The club continues to have the unwavering support and commitment of its parent company, Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, and its ultimate owner Stan Kroenke."

In January, Arsenal borrowed 120 million pounds from the Bank of England to ease the strain on their finances -- an amount that the club must repay by May 2021.

These funds enabled the club to refinance the debt on their Emirates Stadium last year.

The report also showed Arsenal spent 10.4 million pounds in replacing manager Unai Emery and his coaching staff with Mikel Arteta and his assistants in December 2019.

($1 = 0.7245 pounds)

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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