Arsenal have repaid the £120 million loan they took out from the Bank of England in full.
With the financial impacts of the coronavirus pandemic still being felt the Gunners confirmed in January that they had met the criteria to borrow money from the COVID Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF), a scheme set up by the treasury to provide short term capital at marketable rates to companies that “make a material contribution to economic activity in the UK.”
The loan was due to be paid back this month, but the Gunners had the option to roll it on into a new one that would have been repayable in March 2022, which is what local rivals Tottenham have done.
However, as previously reported by football.londonArsenal opted to pay back the amount they owed in full ahead of the original deadline. Bank of England record show that they have now repaid the £120 million that they owed in full.
As the club who rely most on their matchday revenue in the Premier League, according to The Telegraph, Arsenal have been hit significantly by the fact that the majority of this season has been played behind closed doors.
They recorded a £47.8 million loss for the 2019/20 financial year, while the Arsenal Supporters Trust estimate the club could lose as much as £144 million for 2020/21.
With money tight at the Emirates football finance expert Kieran Maguire told football.london that it would seem the only way the Gunners would be able to afford to pay the CCFF loan back this month was via some form of intervention from their owners.
“There’s no evidence of Arsenal borrowing from any banks as far as the accounts are concerned and documents lodged at Companies House,” says Maguire.
“So the only logical source of funding would have to come from KSE and Stan Kroenke’s organisation in some way, shape or form.”
It is currently unclear exactly how KSE have helped Arsenal pay off their CCFF loan.
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Having paid off the loan the Gunners are effectively in a position where they could now go out and spend in the transfer market without a £120 million debt hanging over them.
The news comes on the same day that it was confirmed by Dennis Bergkamp that Spotify co-founder Daniel Ek had made a second bid to buy Arsenal, as the Kroenkes’ ownership of the club comes under increasing scrutiny following their decision to sign it up to the European Super League.