Finance guru: Arsenal in 'genuine danger' of slipping out of 'big six' as Tottenham soar away

The lack of Champions League football at Arsenal is hitting the club even harder than the Covid-19 pandemic.

That is according to finance expert and Football Insider columnist Kieran Maguire, speaking exclusively after Arsenal published their financial results for the year ending May 2020.

The Gunners posted a £47.8million loss, a £20.7m increase on the previous year’s deficit.

In an accompanying statement, Arsenal wrote: “Pre-tax losses of £35 million were directly attributable to COVID-19.”

Maguire acknowledged the pandemic’s impact but insists that a lack of footballing success is more significant and is causing them to fall behind rivals Tottenham.

He told Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams: “Certainly, Covid has impacted Arsenal but a far bigger concern is the continued lack of Champions League exposure.

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“That is very expensive for the club. What we are seeing is the ‘big six’ becoming a ‘big five plus one.’

“While they are generating substantially more money than the clubs behind them in the form of Everton, Leicester, Leeds and so on, the gap in income between Arsenal and Spurs is starting to show up.

“If they don’t get Champions League or even Europa League football, they are in genuine danger of dropping off from that leading pack with which we’ve always associated them over the course of the last 20 years or so.”

The accounts show that the club’s broadcast revenue fell by £6m while they took a £14m hit in terms of matchday income.

Arsenal are in 10th place in the league and face 7th place Tottenham in the North London derby on Sunday hoping to make up a seven-point shortfall on their rivals.

In other news, a top pundit admits he was worried by what he saw from Bukayo Saka in last night’s 3-1 win over Olympiakos.