Comparing Incomes of Arsenal and Manchester United

Man Utd recently published a summary of their 2009 financial statements. I thought it will be interesting to look at how the clubs compare financially. Since their  summary is only a two page document it’s not possible to do a detailed analysis but we can definitely compare the incomes of the two clubs.

Here is how the numbers look (United year ending June 30 2009, Arsenal YE May 31 2009)

All figures in millions of pounds


United – 278.5

Arsenal – 313.3 – From Football 225.1 (88 from property)

Matchday/Gate Income

United – 108.8

Arsenal – 100.1


United – 99.7

Arsenal – 73.2


United – 70

Arsenal – 48

Interestingly, the Matchday revenues are not very different even though United have a larger stadium and have also included revenues from their pre-season tours in this segment. Arsenal probably compensate for that via the Emirates cup. Food for thought for those who advocate pre-season tours, Wenger might be right on this one as well!

United have a significantly higher income in the Media category. Since they reached the Champions League finals and might have received more TV coverage in the premier league (Arsenal financial statements mention that the club received slightly lower EPL live coverage) the media figures might be explicable. Unfortunately, we do not have detailed breakdown of these numbers for either club but Arsenal can certainly do better on this front.

Commercial revenues have a equally large difference. I think Arsenal understand this opportunity and Gazidis is working on developing the team. Just yesterday the club website had an article that said – Arsenal invests in it’s commercial operations.

Shirt sponsorships are an important part of these numbers and it’s no surprise that Arsenal might be looking to renegotiate the Emirates deal. Just for perspective, the present Arsenal shirt deal is worth 100M over 15 years while United have signed a 4 year deal worth 80M. Of course, Arsenal got bulk of the money upfront and the board might have thought it was a good option at that time, there can be no denying the fact that there is serious room for improvement.

Arsenal have by and large been the best managed club in England and it isn’t by coincidence that Wenger has a sizable kitty at his disposal when the others can’t even spend what they raise through player sales. Once we make the improvements in our commercial and media segments, Wenger might actually bid for Messi instead of just joking about it! (It’s a different matter that most of us want someone right now :))

You can find the complete Arsenal financials here and the two page joke from United here.

12 Responses to Comparing Incomes of Arsenal and Manchester United

  1. Alex says:

    I think Arsenal can even better on revenues if the funds are used properly. Arsenal does not to buy big. At present there is problem with big spenders. All the clubs sees to be sinking. Also i suggest does not fall to single ownership as witnessed with several clusbs.

    They seem to be having problems bcos the investors are either looking for cheap reap off but it does not work that way in the biz of soccer. The club should remain as it were with different shareholdings. As such one doe not dictate on the club, otherwise with Arsene Wenger the club will be fine.


    • desigunner says:

      Single ownership or even dual, as in the case of Liverpool, can be very risky. I think the Arsenal board have done well to keep things the way they are.

  2. embryo says:

    i think it’s very good to bench mark us against Man U, and in the light of their recent shocking figures, we should rejoice in the fact that we have such a well run club. to be honest what AW has acheived within these constraints in close to a miracle.

    sad that it will take another 20 years for most gooners to appreciate what he’s done for us.

    • desigunner says:

      Wenger will be appreciated long after he is gone, sad in a way, but true. I guess that happens with most visionaries.

  3. Jessen says:

    Where are the figures for Ronaldo’s sale included? Guess I heard it was included in Utd’s financial statements

    • desigunner says:

      Profit on Players is a separate item as you must have seen in the document they have released. They haven’t included it in the turnover.

      I have ignored it as it’s a one off.

  4. bobbygee says:

    This does not include the huge debt Man U has. The bottom line Man U is in the red. The Glazers used Man U to strip the assets and use them elsewhere. This is sad. This will surely kill Man U. Man U AIG is broke.

  5. Hong_gunner says:

    Stability is as big as improvement. Thats where we have combined the both in a tactical and evolutionary way so thats nothing gets detoriated, only chances for improvement.

  6. Now that 59% of the supporters are saying that they are likely not to get a new season card, which is the record in the premier league i can’t imagine what will become with the club, it’s all about profit for the Glazer family, they keep forgetting that the fans are not happy and that is the most important thing imo.

  7. ronny says:

    man utd posted a profit of over 100 million for the first time for last season – but this was swallowed up by the Glazer debt.

    they ended up with losses of over 80 million so arsenals overall performance with a 50 million profit was miles better – tell me if i am wrong!

    • desigunner says:

      This article was for last year but based on this years results you’re right. Although, in fairness, it has to be said that Arsenal profits were boosted by income from the property business which will not be repeated every year.

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