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Last Updated: Monday, 24 September 2007, 12:49 GMT 13:49 UK
Arsenal bullish over 200m income
Arsenal's Emirates Stadium
Arsenal's move to the Emirates Stadium has reaped rewards
Arsenal claim their new position as Britain's richest football club shows they do not need foreign investment.

Latest figures reveal the club's turnover has broken the 200m barrier after the move to the Emirates Stadium.

"These results demonstrate we really don't need any outside investment," managing director Keith Edelman told BBC Radio 5live.

"We secured all the players we wanted in the summer and manager Arsene Wenger did not spend his budget."

The Gunners have been subject to takeover rumours after Alisher Usmanov increased his share in the club to 21% with reports suggesting that he wants to increase his stake to 25%.

American billionaire investor Stan Kroenke has a 12% stake and, while he has met with Arsenal, the club have yet to hold talks with Usmanov.

606: DEBATE
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"I am unsure what he (Usmanov) can do with 25%, and I do not believe he can stop us operating the business on a day-to-day basis," said Edelman.

"Usmanov has a stake, (Stan) Kroenke has a stake and we get on and run the business every day.

"It is a distraction for us to keep talking about it, but we are trying to focus on the team getting the job done and we do not think it affects them."

He added: "As far as Usmanov is concerned, we have always stated our belief as a responsible corporate body, we meet anybody who requests a meeting, and that is still our policy."

Uzbek businessman Usmanov's company, Red and White, is chaired by former Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein, who claims foreign investment is needed to compete with the likes of Chelsea.

But Edelman told the BBC: "We are looking at a position where we don't believe we need additional monies.

"We had 73.9m cash at the year's end and we are telling people today we've got increased cash balances at this juncture."

The move to the new stadium from Highbury means the Premiership leaders are generating more than 3m a game.

A statement from the Arsenal Supporters' Trust said the group was delighted with the club's current financial position.

MIHIR BOSE BLOG
BBC sports editor Mihir Bose

"These results are a testament to the success of the Emirates project. These results are the fruits of opening the new stadium on time and on budget," the statement read.

"The club have sown the seeds for a bright new future.

"The AST studies carefully the different models of how football clubs are run. Arsenal's model, based on sensible borrowing to invest in facilities that generate an increased income stream, is a model we commend.

"AST reiterates its opposition to any hostile takeover at Arsenal."

BBC sports editor Mihir Bose says Arsenal can now argue that this brings them into the big league of European earners, just behind Real Madrid.

"Manchester United will have to put on another 32m from last year to match the Gunners - Chelsea will have to show an increase of nearly 50m; Liverpool 80m and Tottenham 127m to match Arsenal," stated Bose.

He added that Arsenal project that the "Emirates effect will continue to produce vast sums of money for years".

And on Dein's ambitions?

"One well-placed Emirates source told me: 'David always sees himself as number one. He wants to be chairman. The Arsenal board puts Arsenal first. They see themselves as the custodians of the club. That is the difference'," said Bose.

The stake held by Red and White Holdings Limited could see them seek a seat on the Arsenal board - and a return for Dein.

But Edelman said: "The board can review anybody being a director at any time, and either accept or decline it.

"If he had 49.999%, but the board did not think he would add value as a director, it would say no.

"It would have to go over 50% for the board not to have a choice."



SEE ALSO
Arsenal 'freed up' by Henry exit
24 Sep 07 |  Arsenal
New stadium boosts Arsenal income
24 Sep 07 |  Business
Arsenal 5-0 Derby
22 Sep 07 |  Premier League
Usmanov aims to up Arsenal stake
21 Sep 07 |  Business
Usmanov ups the ante at Arsenal
18 Sep 07 |  Arsenal
Arsenal not for sale - Hill-Wood
10 Sep 07 |  Arsenal


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