• 'The professor has joined in with the nutters'
Arsène Wenger confronts Martin Atkinson during Arsenal's draw with Sunderland. Photograph: David Moir/Reuters
Harry Redknapp has described Arsène Wenger as "one of the key nutters" among managers after the Arsenal manager served a one-match touchline ban for pushing the assistant referee Martin Atkinson at Sunderland last weekend.
"It was strange," the Tottenham Hotspur manager said. "It just shows you what happens in football. We can all remember when Arsène first came to England [in 1996 to manage Arsenal] – I remember reading articles saying he was like a professor watching the game and all the other nutters were jumping up and down, shouting and screaming. And that he wasn't like these idiots, that he's studying every move that's going on on the pitch like chess.
"[In 2003-04] they never lost a game all season so it was OK. I could've sat there with a cigar. But suddenly when you start losing a few games it all changes, doesn't it? Now he's joined the nutters. In fact he's one of the key nutters."
Redknapp was clear that he has no problem with Wenger and described him as a "gentleman".
Arsenal announced record pre-tax profits of 56 million pounds (C$90.6 million) Friday as the Premier League club reaped the rewards of paying off the entire debt on its Highbury Square development.
Accounts for the year ending May 31 showed Arsenal was enjoying the benefits of income from apartment sales on the development, built on the club's former ground. There was a 67-million-pound (C$108.4 million) rise in group turnover to 379.9 million pounds (C$614.9 million).
"The group has made good progress in the last year and I am excited by the opportunities we have in front of us," said Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis, who added that most of the profits were going back into the team.
Revenue was boosted by an increase of four million pounds ($C6.5 million) in Premier League television income and a similar increase in Champions League returns, up to 27.3 million pounds (C$44.2 million). Total pre-tax profits were up more than 10 million pounds (C$16.2 million) on last year.
The settlement of loans on Highbury Square, which had stood at 130 million pounds (C$210.4 million), will delight the Arsenal board, which had been forced to extend the bank repayment deadline of April this year to December.
Arsenal has not won a trophy since 2005, and its last league title came a year earlier. Despite the club's healthy returns, manager Arsene Wenger has remained cautious with his spending in the transfer market, preferring instead to concentrate on bringing players through the youth scheme.
"We do have a policy of building and not buying, and that's a difficult path to tread sometimes, but as a result of that policy we're seeing a tremendous number of good young players progressing and developing into the finished article," Gazidis said.
Sorry for all the text. Here are some pretty pictures fyt