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In advance of the Women’s Euro 2022, I thought it might be interesting to review the finances of the FA Women’s Super League (WSL) for the 2020/21 season, albeit severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with almost all games played behind closed doors.
Reviewing WSL financials is made more difficult by the fact that not all clubs publish detailed accounts, so some lack information on revenue, expenses, wages and headcount. Nevertheless, there is enough data available to identify some common themes.
Overall the WSL reported a record pre-tax loss of £9.7m for 2020/21, which was £2.5m more than the previous season’s £7.2m  and slightly higher than the £8.9m deficit in 2018/19. Note: the WSL increased the number of clubs from 11 in 2019 to 12 in 2020. Image
Read 43 tweets
Newcastle United’s 2020/21 financial results cover a season when they finished 12th in the Premier League under head coach Steve Bruce, since replaced by Eddie Howe in November 2021. Disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some thoughts in the following thread #NUFC
This was the last set of accounts under Mike Ashley’s ownership, as the club was acquired in October 2021 by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (80% stake), as well as PCP Capital Partners (10%) and RB Sports & Media (10%).
#NUFC pre-tax loss reduced from £26m to £14m, despite revenue falling £13m (8%) from £153m to £140m and profit on player sales dropping £24m to £2m, as operating expenses decreased £51m (25%), mainly due to change in accounting date. Loss after tax narrowed from £23m to £12m.
Read 52 tweets
Leeds United and Burnley have written to the Premier League, threatening to take legal action for their failure to punish Everton for what they believe to be a serious breach of the regulations. Relegation would have significant financial consequences. #EFC #LUFC #BurnleyFC
If a club breaches the Premier League’s Profitability and Sustainability rules, it can face sanctions ranging from fines to points deductions. #LUFC and #BurnlyyFC would argue that #EFC have enjoyed a competitive advantage, as the league has not sanctioned their high spending.
#EFC are adamant that they are in line: “'We have worked so closely with the Premier League to make sure we are compliant. We are comfortable we have complied with the rules. External auditors have told us what we can and cannot claim against the pandemic.”
Read 27 tweets
Sheffield United’s 2020/21 accounts covered a season when they finished 20th in the Premier League, leading to relegation after a two-year spell in the top flight. Manager Chris Wilder was replaced by Paul Heckingbottom (interim basis). Some thoughts follow #SUFC #twitterblades
This was the second year under new #SUFC owner Prince Abdullah after the High Court ruled that Kevin McCabe had to sell his 50% share to the Prince. This also triggered an agreement whereby the club had to purchase the stadium, training facility, gym, hotel and offices for £38m.
#SUFC pre-tax profit fell from £19m to £10m, as revenue dropped £28m (20%) from club record £143m to £115m and profit on player sales decreased £3m to £1m, partly offset by operating expenses falling £21m (17%). Net interest payable was up £1.7m to £2.5m.
Read 43 tweets
Fulham’s financial results for 2020/21 cover a season when they were relegated to the Championship after just a single season in the Premier League, after they finished 18th. Head coach Scott Parker replaced by Marco Silva in July 2021. Some thoughts in the following thread #FFC
#FFC pre-tax loss widened from £48m to £93m, despite revenue doubling from £58m to £116m following promotion to the Premier League, as profit on player sales fell £25m to zero, while expenses increased by £78m (60%) in the top flight (including £21m player impairment). Image
Main driver of #FFC £58m revenue increase was broadcasting, up £61m from £44m to £105m, due to the more lucrative Premier League TV deal, though commercial also grew £2m (26%) to £11m. This offset the COVID driven reduction in gate receipts, down £5.3m (96%) to just £231k. Image
Read 39 tweets
#WatfordFC 2020/21 financial results covered a season when they finished 2nd in the Championship, securing immediate promotion back to the Premier League. Head coach Vladimir Ivic was replaced by Xisco, since succeeded by Claudio Ranieri and Roy Hodgson. Some thoughts follow.
Despite impact of relegation and COVID, #WatfordFC pre-tax loss reduced from £36m to £22m, even though revenue fell £63m (52%) from £120m to £57m, as profit on player sales shot up from £18m to £56m and expenses were cut £35m (21%). Other income included £2.5m insurance claim. Image
Main driver of #WatfordFC revenue decrease was broadcasting, down £45m (48%) from £95m to £50m, as TV deal is much more lucrative in the Premier League, though also big falls in commercial, down £13m (76%) from £17m to £4m, and match day, down £5.7m (78%) to £1.6m. Image
Read 43 tweets
Leeds United’s 2020/21 accounts cover their first season back in the Premier League after a 16-year absence, when they finished an impressive 9th under Marcelo Bielsa, recently replaced by Jesse Marsch. Finances impacted by COVID. Some thoughts follow #LUFC
#LUFC swung from a £62m pre-tax loss in the Championship to £26m profit in the Premier League, thanks to revenue more than tripling from £54m to club record £171m, though competing in the top flight increased expenses by a third (£44)m. Bottom line boosted by £21m loan write-off. Image
Main driver of #LUFC £117m revenue increase was broadcasting, up £124m from £9m to £133m, due to much more lucrative Premier League TV deal, though commercial also grew £2m (6%) to £36m. This offset the COVID driven reduction in gate receipts, down £10m (83%) to just £1.9m. Image
Read 42 tweets
Everton’s 2020/21 financial results covered a season when they finished 10th in the Premier League and reached the quarter-finals of both domestic cups under Carlo Ancelotti. The COVID-19 pandemic had a “dramatic” impact on the accounts. Some thoughts follow #EFC
#EFC loss narrowed from £140m to £121m, as revenue rose £7m (4%) from £186m to a club record £193m, though profit on player sales dropped £27m to £13m. Total expenses, including exceptional items, fell £42m (12%), but interest payable increased £3m to £9m.
#EFC broadcasting income rose £48m (49%) from £98m to £146m, mainly due to money deferred from 2020 for games played after accounts. This offset COVID driven reduction in match day, down £12m (98%) to just £222k, and £29m (39%) fall in commercial to £47m (naming rights option).
Read 49 tweets
Southampton’s 2020/21 financial results covered a “mixed” season when they dropped from 11th to 15th in the Premier League, but reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup. Finances were significantly impacted by the COVID pandemic. Some thoughts in the following thread #SaintsFC
#SaintsFC pre-tax loss narrowed from £76m to £23m, as revenue rose £30m (24%) from £127m to £157m, profit on player sales increased £2m from £14m to £16m and operating expenses fell £25m (12%). Net interest payable was up £6m to £9m. Loss after tax was down from £62m to £15m. Image
#SaintsFC broadcasting revenue increased £43m (46%) from £93m to £136m, mainly due to money deferred from 2019/20 for games played after the accounting close, while commercial rose £2m (10%) to £21m. Offset COVID driven reduction in match day, down £14m (96%) to just £625k. Image
Read 40 tweets
Wolverhampton Wanderers 2020/21 financial results covered a season when they finished 13th in the Premier League. Although lower than previous two seasons, still third best since 1980. Head coach Nuno Espirito Santo replaced by Bruno Lage in June 2021. Some thoughts follow #WWFC
#WWFC swung from £40m pre-tax loss to £145m profit, £18m excluding £127m waiver of debt owed to owners Fosun. Revenue rose £61m (46%) from £133m to a club record £194m, while profit on player sales increased £51m to £61m, partly offset by operating expenses growing £54m (30%). Image
#WWFC broadcasting revenue increased £73m (77%) from £96m to £159m, mainly due to money deferred from 2019/20 for games played after the accounting close, which offset COVID driven reduction in match day, down £13m (99%) to just £144k. Commercial rose slightly (2%) to £25m. Image
Read 39 tweets
Aston Villa’s 2020/21 account covered a season when they finished 11th in the Premier League. The “rebuilding” of the club continued apace, following the arrival of owners Nassef Sawiris & Wes Edens in July 2018, despite the challenges posed by COVID. Some thoughts follow #AVFC
#AVFC pre-tax loss narrowed from £99m to £37m, as revenue rose £71m (63%) from £113m to club record £184m, though profit on player sales remained low at £1m. Investment in the squad increased operating expenses by £10m (5%). Image
#AVFC broadcasting revenue more than doubled, rising £79m from £78m to £157m, mainly due to deferred money from 2019/20, which offset COVID driven reduction in match day, down £11m (97%) to just £311k. Commercial rose £3m (16%) to £25m, while player loans halved to £1m. Image
Read 41 tweets
Aston Villa publish 2020/21 accounts
Revenue ⬆️ £71m mainly due to higher broadcast income
Losses ⬇️ from £100m to £38m #AVFC Image
Villa have total losses over the years of £584 million, third highest in EPL after Chelsea and Manchester City. Balance sheet shored up though by big cash share issues to owners. Image
Villa spent £89m cash on players in 2020/21, slightly down from previous season. Owners have put £225 million cash into club via shares issues into Villa in last two years. Image
Read 11 tweets
Arsenal’s 2020/21 financial results covered a season when they finished 8th in the Premier League and reached the Europa League semi-finals under head coach Mikel Arteta, but their finances were adversely impacted by COVID-19. Some thoughts follow #AFC
#AFC pre-tax loss shot up from £54m to £127m (after tax £107m), as revenue dropped £16m (5%) from £344m to £328m and profit on player sales fell £48m from £60m to £12m. Operating expenses were cut £17m (4%), but bond finance break costs increased interest payable by £26m to £40m.
#AFC broadcasting revenue rose £65m (55%) from £119m to £184m, mainly due to deferred money from 2019/20, which offset COVID driven reductions in match day, down £75m (95%) to just £4m, and commercial, down £6m (4%) from £142m to £136m. Player loans slightly down at £3m.
Read 50 tweets
Queens Park Rangers 2020/21 financial results covered a season when they finished a creditable 9th under Mark Warburton, their highest in the Championship since 2013/14, though the campaign was badly disrupted by COVID. Some thoughts in the following thread #QPR
#QPR pre-tax loss narrowed from £16.4m to £4.5m, despite revenue falling £3.8m (21%) from £18.3m to £14.5m, as profit on player sales rose £11.7m to £17.6m and there was no repeat of prior year’s £4.5m write-off of previous training ground development.
#QPR £3.8m revenue reduction was entirely due to the COVID driven £3.8m fall in match day income from £4.0m to just £207k. Broadcasting rose £0.1m (2%) to £8.6m, including iFollow streaming income, while commercial was flat at £5.8m, thanks to furlough payments.
Read 41 tweets
Brentford’s 2020/21 financial results covered a “momentous” season when they were promoted to the Premier League following victory in the Championship play-off final and also reached the Carabao Cup semi-final. Some thoughts in the following thread #BrentfordFC
#BrentfordFC pre-tax loss slightly improved from £9.1m to £8.5m (£2.4m after tax), as profit from player sales rose £19m to £44m and revenue grew £1.4m (10%) from £13.9m to a club record £15.3m. Largely offset by operating expenses, up £22m (46%), including £12m promotion bonus.
#BrentfordFC revenue increase was driven by broadcasting, up £3.4m (47%) from £7.3m to £10.7m, partly due to deferred TV money from 2019/20, with commercial also up £0.9m (26%) to £4.5m, which offset COVID driven reduction in match day, down £2.9m (95%) to just £155k.
Read 43 tweets
Manchester City’s 2020/21 accounts covered a season when they won the Premier League for the third time in four years, reached the Champions League final for the first time in the club’s history, won the League Cup and reached the FA Cup semi-finals. Some thoughts follow #MCFC
#MCFC swung from £125m loss before tax to £5m profit (£2m after tax), despite the adverse impact of COVID, as revenue increased £92m (19%) from £478m to club record £570m, profit from player sales rose £29m to £69m and operating expenses fell £11m (2%).
Main reason for #MCFC revenue growth was £107m (56%) increase in broadcasting from £190m to £297m, including deferred revenue from 2019/20 and higher CL money, plus £25m (10%) growth in commercial to £272m, which offset COVID driven reduction in match day, down £41m (98%) to £1m.
Read 43 tweets
#FCBarcelona have signed the young forward Ferran Torres from #MCFC for a hefty €55m transfer fee (plus €10m add-ons). Given the club’s well documented financial difficulties, this deal will have left many fans scratching their head. This thread will explain how it is possible.
President Joan Laporta was characteristically bullish after the signing: “We're still players in the market. Everyone had better get ready, because we're back, and with the desire to do good things. We've got our status back. The resurgence of #FCBarcelona is a reality.”
This seemed a little optimistic, not to mention very surprising, as #FCBarcelona had been pleading poverty not so long ago. For those in the cheap seats,  it’s worth taking a few moments to remind ourselves of the magnitude of their financial problems.
Read 43 tweets
Four Premier League clubs have now published their accounts for the 2020/21 season and it may surprise to many fans that two of them managed to increase their revenue in a season so badly impacted by the pandemic. This thread will explain the reasons, which are mainly technical.
West Ham reported significant (38%) revenue growth from £140m to £193m, while Chelsea also increased revenue by 7% from £407m to £435m. The other clubs saw relatively small revenue falls: Manchester United from £509m to £494m (3%) and Tottenham Hotspur from £392m to £360m (8%).
As almost all games were played behind closed doors without fans in 2020/21, match day income took a real pasting, with substantial reductions across the board: #THFC down from £95m to £2m, #MUFC from £90m to £7m, #CFC from £54m to £8m and #WHUFC from £23m to £1m.
Read 19 tweets
West Ham’s 2020/21 financial results covered a season when they finished 6th in the Premier League, thus qualifying for the Europa League, though it was “another difficult year” with finances significantly impacted by COVID. Some thoughts in the following thread #WHUFC
#WHUFC pre-tax loss reduced from £65m to £27m, as revenue rose £53m (38%) from £140m to £193m, while other operating income was up £3m to £5m, offset by profit on player sales falling £7m to £18m. There was growth in operating expenses £7m and net interest payable £4m.
#WHUFC broadcasting revenue virtually doubled from £83m to £163m, including deferred money from 2019/20, which offset COVID driven reductions in match day, down £22m (98%) to just £508k, and commercial, down £5m (16%) to £29m. Other income included £2.5m insurance claim.
Read 47 tweets
🧵HUMAN COST OF ANTI-SCIENCE COVID MEASURES🦠

As some of you know, & for my sins, I’m a lifelong #AVFC fan. Born & bred a Brummie, I’ve followed them home & away for 32 yrs, through thick & thin.

I’ve attended every home game this season. Now, I am banned.
#NoVaccinePassports👇🏻
Football was always so much more than 22 men kicking a football around a pitch. It was a culture, a social activity, a release from the stresses of everyday life.

It’s why I attended multiple cup finals, celebrated family occasions there, & trekked to Sunderland on a Tues night.
In fact, my grandparents appeared in the matchday programme as 2 of the most long-standing season-ticket holders of all time. Their whole marriage was framed around a devotion not only to each other, but to our hometown football club.

@avfcofficial was & is ingrained in our DNA.
Read 12 tweets
Premier League clubs have pushed back against the independent regulator proposed in the recent @tracey_crouch government-led review, raising concerns about the “unintended consequences” of the report’s recommendations. But what is the actual state of English football’s finances?
This analysis looks at how football clubs in the top two divisions have fared in the last 10 years up to 2019/20, the last season when all clubs have published accounts. It therefore excludes 2020/21 when COVID had a big adverse impact as matches were played behind closed doors.
Just looking at revenue, people might think that there are no problems, as the 44 clubs in the Premier League and Championship have generated an impressive £41 bln in the 10 years 2011-20. That said, there is a clear gap between the Big Six, led by #MUFC £4.7 bln, and the rest.
Read 13 tweets
Tottenham Hotspur’s 2020/21 accounts cover a season when they finished 7th in the Premier League, were beaten in the final of the EFL Cup and reached the last 16 of the Europa League. Financials significantly impacted by COVID-19. Some thoughts in the following thread #THFC
#THFC pre-tax loss widened from £68m to £80m (£84m after tax), as revenue dropped £32m (8%) from £392m to £360m, though profit on player sales rose £4m to £19m. Partly offset by a £9m (2%) decrease in operating expenses, while net interest payable was cut £6m (15%) to £37m.
The main reason that #THFC revenue only fell 8% was £71m (52%) increase in broadcasting from £136m to £207m, mainly due to deferred revenue from 2019/20, which compensated for COVID driven reductions in match day, down £93m (98%) to £2m, and commercial, down £10m (6%) to £152m.
Read 49 tweets
Olympique Lyonnais’ 2020/21 accounts cover a season when they finished 4th in Ligue 1 and reached the Coupe de France quarter-finals, but did not participate in Europe after the previous season ended early in March due to COVID-19 with #TeamOL in 7th place. Some thoughts follow.
Due to a combination of COVID and no European competition, #TeamOL pre-tax loss increased from €36m to €109m, as revenue fell €63m (35%) from €181m to €118m and profit on player sales dropped €38m from €83m to €45m. Partly offset by €18m (6%) decrease in operating costs. Image
#TeamOL revenue fall was driven by gate receipts, down €34m (94%) from €36m to €2m, and broadcasting, down €29m (29%) from €98m to €69m. Commercial held up pretty well, only slipping 1% to €47m. Including player trading, revenue dropped €94m (35%) from €272m to €177m. Image
Read 42 tweets
After I put together a thread looking at the financial trends in the Premier League over the last 10 years from 2011 to 2020, a few people asked me if I could do the same for the EFL Championship. So here are the finances for England’s second tier over the last decade.
This analysis comes with caveats, as not all Championship clubs published accounts in the last decade, e.g. Derby County in 2019 and 2020. Also no accounts for clubs in administration, e.g. Portsmouth (2011 & 2012), Bolton Wanderers (2018 & 2019) and Wigan Athletic (2020).
Nevertheless, the themes and trends can still be highlighted, including the impact of COVID in the last three months of 2020. We will also feature some comparisons with the Premier League to illustrate the immense differences between England’s top two divisions.
Read 50 tweets

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