Arsenal profit drops on player buys

Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:40am EST

Feb 25 (Reuters) - English Premier League soccer club Arsenal's first-half pretax profit more than halved as the club bought players such as Lukas Podolski, Santi Cazorla and Olivier Giroud.

The club, which has not won a trophy since 2005, said its pretax profit fell to 17.8 million pounds ($27 million) for the first half from 49.5 million pounds, a year earlier.

The north London club said profit from player trading fell to 23.2 million pounds from 46.1 million pounds a year earlier.

Fans of the north London club have been frustrated at the sale of top players including captain Robin van Persie, who joined rivals Manchester United in August.

Arsenal, which is majority owned by American Stan Kroenke, said it had no short-term debt and had cash reserves of 123.4 million pounds, up from 115.2 million pounds a year earlier.