Arsenal revealed the damaging numbers on Friday for the year ending May 31, 2020 as the financial effects of COVID-19 begin to materialise.
That period does not include Arsenal's decision to make 55 non-playing staff redundant in August or more recent expensive severance packages to release Mesut Ozil, Sokkratis Papastathopoulos and Shkodran Mustafi.
Arsenal face Olympiakos in Thursday's Europa League round of 16, first leg, a year on from Arteta contracting coronavirus shortly after facing the Greek side in last season's competition -- the first high-profile case which ultimately triggered the suspension of English football.
"I could never imagine when I got tested and had the symptoms, OK I could be ill, but all of the consequences that this virus was going to have on all of us," Arteta said.
"It has been really challenging, having the first job, to do that and after being in the job for only three months in normal conditions, to start to have a completely different context and framework to work in has been really challenging but, at the same time, it has made us, as a club, much stronger.
"We have created a really strong group, a really strong bond with our players, with our fans, with our staff and that is going to pay some big tribute in the future I think when everything comes back to normality and we are able to work the way we needed to work with some stability.
"I think this project is going to go bang and this is where we are. Sometimes it is difficult to see the moment now but I'm sure where we are going."
The Spaniard wants to make significant changes again at the end of this season, but money is expected to be tight with Arteta having said Champions League or Europa League football is a vital component in his rebuild.
"It's another big important factor because that gives us the opportunity again to keep our club involved in Europe, in the Europa League or Champions League," he said.
"We know the aim always is to be involved in the Champions League but at the moment things are looking difficult but possible and obviously the financial package that is attached to it for the club at the moment is really, really important.
"We don't know yet [how much of a problem the £47.8m loss will be] because we have so many things to do.
"We have people on loan, people finishing contracts, there is a lot going on the last two transfer windows, the amount of things to be done was probably unprecedented and it will be again in the summer so we are trying to put a plan together to see with the resources we have how much we want to improve, how we're going to do it and at what cost and that is just so many factors.
"It is not just about one thing or just about an amount. It is about a project that time wise, how to build it is going to take some effort from everybody and we know that and the challenging moments we are facing at the moment is making it even harder."