Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein has revealed that the club may consider seeking a full listing for its shares on the London Stock Exchange.
Speaking at the Soccerex football business forum in Dubai, Dein said a full listing was “one of the options” for funding after the club moves to its new stadium.
The club – which is currently listed on the smaller Ofex share exchange – is due to move into its new 60,000-seater Emirates Stadium at Ashburton Grove for the start of the 2006/07 season.
Mr Dein also warned the current level of TV coverage of the Premiership may be reaching saturation point, with signs that match attendances have been dropping off in the first few months of this season.
When Arsenal move to their new stadium it will see its proportion of turnover from media earnings drop from 52% this season to 34% in two years’ time.
The club is hoping to increase matchday earnings from 29% to 40% of turnover, and has not ruled out other money-earning measures, including a full share listing.
“When the new stadium opens we will go through a thorough financial review,” Mr Dein said.
“Listing would be one option, but we are flexible and no decisions have been made on that issue yet.
“We want to be in the best financial health – maybe clubs can do it [listing], Manchester United have been a success.”
Mr Dein admittted that, although television money and coverage had driven the English game forward in the past 10 years, he feared there might now be too many games being screened.
“Television has been the driving force over the past 10 years… but we must constantly improve if we want to remain as the world’s leading league competition.
“We must monitor the quality of the product and ensure attendances do not decline, and we must balance that with the quantity of exposure on TV too.
“I think we have practically reached saturation point… sometimes I think less is more.”
The club is funding its move to Ashburton Grove through a number of sources, including borrowing from banks, cash reserves, revenue due from sponsors, and from the sale of surplus property, including its Highbury Stadium.
It is also looking to create new revenue streams from overseas markets, including Asia.
“We have two executives travelling round Japan and China at the moment building relationships with organisations and clubs, and we know our supporters clubs are growing there too, as they are around the world.
“We have got a very good product, so it is very important we go and look at these markets, and make sure we are on the case.