FOOTBALL: Arsenal have raked in a massive half-year profit of £49.5 million thanks to the controversial sale of stars Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri.
Unhappy fans are likely to be further enraged by today's announcement - coming amid a seven-year trophy drought widely attributed to Arsene Wenger's refusal to spend big.
The Gunners' whopping pre-tax profit for the six months to the end of November was largely thanks to a overall profit on player trading of £46.1m, up from a loss of £5.9m the previous year.
The club lost £6.1m over the same six-month period in 2010.
Arsenal's cash reserves swelled to £115.2m from £110.4m, with their turnover from football rising to £113.5m from £97.6m.
Chairman Peter Hill-Wood told Arsenal's official website that the club "have the foundations in place, at every level of the club, to ensure we remain a force in the seasons ahead."
But chief executive Ivan Gazidis sounded a more cautious note. He asked fans to lay off manager Arsene Wenger, saying: "We hear the noise, we understand the concern of the fans, we know that there are issues, we know we're not where we want to be.
"Victory through harmony. The strength of this club has always been its unity and our fans and our players need to come together in this fight for the rest of the season."
Gazidis added: "We have a healthy cash balance of £115m for the half year.
"But it's important to understand that not all that money's available to invest in transfers.
"We do spend all of the money we generate - we do invest it in the squad."
Arsenal are set for a seventh successive season without a trophy.
They could even fail to qualify for the Champions League, a competition they have taken for granted for the last 15 years.
Missing out would carry a high financial cost.
Gazidis said: "We can't gear our entire financial model around that - that expectation - because that would place the club in jeopardy if we didn't qualify.
"So we've always got to keep something in reserve in case things don't go our way."