Arsenal makes $80M profit but debt rises by $62M


LONDON (AP) -- Arsenal made a half-year pretax profit of almost $80 million, thanks mainly to the sale of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri.

But the Premier League club's debt rose by 39 million pounds ($62 million) to 137 million pounds ($217 million) in the six months to Nov. 30.

Arsenal has struggled on the pitch this season, with the team highly unlikely to end a seven-year trophy drought. But the club swung back into a 49.5 million pound profit in the first half of its financial year, compared to a 6-million pound loss in the six months to Nov. 30, 2010.

Chairman Peter Hill-Wood said "it has been something of a roller-coaster season."

Profit from the sale of players was 63 million pounds ($100 million).