Arsenal warned over huge financial losses if matches go behind closed doors

Arsenal have been warned they stand to lose huge sums in revenue if the Premier League decide to stage matches behind closed doors next season.

The Arsenal Supporters' Trust (AST) reported in their findings that the club's finances would be £144m worse off as a result – even with income from European competition and broadcast agreements.

Premier League clubs and officials are already resigned to the rest of the current season being played without the presence of fans – if it manages to be completed.

A lack of income from the remaining 10 games alone is expected to force Arsenal to end the financial year with £19m in losses, as opposed to their originally projected profit of £4m.

Arsenal have already had to refund fans for the four home games that were still left to play.

The financial damage is certain to have a knock-on effect to the club's business in the transfer market this summer, with manager Mikel Arteta already working on a tight budget.

Of course Arsenal are not yet guaranteed qualification to the Europa League next season, which would further hamper their finances if they missed out.

Players at the club have already been in discussions with Gunners chiefs regarding taking a 12.5 per cent pay cut amid the coronavirus crisis.

But that amount is merely a drop in the ocean compared to what they could lose out on long-term.

There is no suggestion that next season will be played behind closed doors, but the general consensus is that the opening games will at least be shut off from the public.

Matchday proceeds equate to almost a quarter of the club's total revenue over a season.

In addition to lost ticket income, Arsenal would also be impacted by a drop in commercial and retail revenue.

A key concern is the delay in receiving season ticket income, which is usually collected this time of year, but has currently been frozen until further notice.

Arsenal would normally call on those funds to help cover costs over the summer months.

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