Liverpool FC has filed its annual accounts for the financial year to May 31, 2017, which saw sustained growth and further investment across the club.
- Overall revenue increased by £62m to £364m
- Reported profit after tax £39m
- Further net cash investment of £91m on players and infrastructure (£95m invested in FY2016)
- Six new player signings
- Work starts on new £50m training ground in the summer
- 12 new commercial partnerships
Profitability improved from a £21m loss in FY2016 to a reported profit after tax of £39m in FY2017. Cash generated from operations has continued to improve from £37m in FY2016 to £71m in FY2017. Overall net cash investment into the club over the two-year period is £78m.
Overall revenue increased to £364m resulting in reported profit after tax of £39m. Over the past seven years, the club has been transformed to a financially stable, sustainable and growing football club since Fenway Sports Group (FSG) took ownership in October 2010.
Media revenue increased by £30m to £154m with the first year of a three-season Premier League broadcast deal, and commercial revenue grew by £20m to £136m following another successful year announcing 12 new partnerships including Malaysia Airlines, Konami and Joie. Three existing partners also renewed their deals, further demonstrating the club’s global appeal and consistent value to established partners. New wholesale retail businesses have also been established in USA, Hong Kong, Canada and Holland.
It was in this financial period that LFC opened its expanded Main Stand which saw an increase in Anfield’s capacity to 54,074. And despite not playing in Europe during this financial period, matchday revenue increased by £12m to £74m mainly as a result in the increased hospitality sales. Following the continued cash investment in players and capital infrastructure, net bank debt increased by £22m to £67m which is sustainable given the overall growth of the club’s financial performance.
Improving how Liverpool connects digitally with its supporters continues to be a priority for the club and reported a five-million increase in new followers taking the total to over 55m across LFC’s social media platforms.
The club also increased its commitment to the local community by introducing a new programme that is dedicated to supporting people who live in and around Anfield. Red Neighbours was launched in January 2017 and provides a range of community support programmes including unique free match tickets for over 1,100 local schoolchildren, fitness programmes for elderly residents, and vital support to help local families tackle food poverty.
On the pitch, there were six additions to the first-team squad including Sadio Mane, Georginio Wijnaldum, Loris Karius and Joel Matip. 11 first-team players left the club and seven renewed contracts. Youth players remain an important part of the club’s football strategy and 11 Academy players were offered professional contracts during this reporting period.
Andy Hughes, LFC’s chief operating officer, said: “With the full support of this ownership group, we have significantly improved the club’s financial position over the past seven years and these results further demonstrate our solid financial progress – despite the ever-rising costs in football.
“During the seven years, we have seen operating profits one year and losses in others, a situation which can be attributed, in the main, to player trading costs and the timing of payments. What is important is the underlying trend that has continued with the aim of strengthening our financial position with profits being reinvested back into the club and players, allowing this long-term stability to become a reality.
“In addition to the three-year Premier League TV deal, we have had a successful commercial year which included a new training kit partner in BetVictor, a record number of home shirts sold recognising the club’s 125th anniversary, and a successful first season with the opening of our expanded Main Stand.
“Giving back to the local community is also a priority for this football club and launching Red Neighbours during this period, in addition to the great work delivered by our Foundation, means we can support even more local people and initiatives.”
Liverpool maintained ninth position in the Deloitte football money league despite the rising cost of football and not playing in a European competition during this financial year. Since this reporting period, the club has continued its commercial progress and qualified for the UEFA Champions League.
Hughes added: “These results are approaching a year old. Further progress and reinvestments have continued to be made both on and off the pitch.
“Our recent capital projects which include the Main Stand, the new retail store, the combined training ground and the new pitch at Anfield will be close to £200m which further demonstrates the commitment from this ownership.
“We continue to work up design, capacity and economic viability options for Anfield Road working with an architect to help with that process. This follows the same comprehensive process we followed with the Main Stand expansion.
“Performance on the pitch and the reinvestment in our squad is always a priority and following the club’s record signing in January we will look to invest again in the summer.
“Progress on and off the pitch is critical to the growth of this football club – we all want success and everything we’re doing is geared toward fulfilling our football ambitions. We must also continue to manage our finances and cash flow effectively that we have worked so very hard to secure since FSG took charge of the club.”