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After the longest-ever Premier League season, the three clubs that ended up being relegated to the Championship turned out to be Bournemouth, Norwich City and Watford, but what will the impact be on their finances? #AFCB #NCFC #WatfordFC
Looking at the last reported numbers from 2018/19, it would appear that #AFCB have most to fear, because they had by far the largest operating loss (£30m) and highest wage bill (£111m). #WatfordFC operating loss was only £6m, while I estimate small profit for #NCFC (pre-COVID).
In 2018/19 #WatfordFC had the highest revenue of the relegated clubs with £148m, ahead of £136m for #NCFC (estimated, as played in Championship that season) and £131m for #AFCB. Revenue will be lower in 2019/20, due to smaller TV money (lower league place) and COVID-19 impact.
Read 19 tweets
Nothing should come as a surprise in football, but it was still a shock when Wigan Athletic entered administration this month immediately after the new owners, Next Leader Fund (NLF), took control. This thread looks at how this happened, including #WAFC latest financials.
First up, in November 2018, after 23 years as owners, the Whelan family sold #WAFC to Hong Kong based International Entertainment Corporation (ICE), a company that runs hotel and casino business in the Philippines, for £22m (price £15.9m plus taking on £6.5m loans).
More recently in June 2020, ICE sold #WAFC to NLF for £17.5m, giving ICE a nice £1.6m profit, plus the repayment of the £24.6m they had invested. However, the club was immediately put into administration, as a result of the new owners not putting any more funds into the club.
Read 50 tweets
Blackburn Rovers’ financial results for 2018/19 covered “a season of consolidation for Tony Mowbray’s men”, as the club finished 15th in the Championship, having secured automatic promotion from League One the previous year. Some thoughts in the following thread #Rovers
#Rovers loss widened by £1.4m from £16.8m to £18.2m, despite revenue increasing by £7.7m (86%) from £9.0m to £16.7m following promotion, as operating expenses grew £8.6m and profit on player sales fell £0.5m to £0.6m.
Main reason for #Rovers £7.7m revenue growth was the higher TV deal in the Championship, which meant broadcasting almost quadrupled, rising £5.5m from £1.9m to £7.4m. There was also good growth in commercial, up £1.2m (28%) to £5.5m, and match day, up £1.0m (35%) to £3.7m.
Read 41 tweets
#ReadingFC 2018/19 financial results covered a season when the #Royals finished 20th in the Championship for the second consecutive year. Manager Paul Clement was replaced in December 2018 by José Gomes, who was in turn succeeded by Mark Bowen October 2019. Some thoughts follow.
This was the second season that #ReadingFC were under the control of Chinese businessman Dai Yongge (and his sister Dai Xiu Li), who own 95% via Renhe Sports Management Co Ltd. Bowen said, “He has spent a hell of a lot of money on the club and still wants to spend money.”
#ReadingFC loss increased by £9m from £21m to £30m, despite revenue rising £3m (18%) from £18m to £21m, and increases in profit on player sales (up £1m to £2m) and property disposals (up £2m to £8m). In contrast, other operating income fell £8m to £2m and expenses were up £7m.
Read 44 tweets
I’ve prepared a few more of the financial fact sheets for selected football clubs. To be clear, this is not new information as such, but just a more succinct presentation of previous data. This thread covers #AVFC, #AFCB, #CardiffCity, #HTAFC, #NCFC, #SUFC, #WatfordFC and #WWFC.
#AVFC posted huge £69m net loss. Operating loss even higher at £115m, including £46m promotion payments, but £14m HS2 compensation. Offset by £36m stadium sale and £11m player sales. Revenue fall due to lower parachute payments. Debt-free after write-offs and equity conversion.
#AFCB lost money 2 years in a row, as revenue has fallen from £136m to £131m, while wage bill has grown from £72m to £111m. Little benefit from low player sales. Debt up to £100m, 9th highest in PL. Spent £150m on player purchases in last 2 years with transfer debt up to £81m.
Read 10 tweets
Sheffield United’s 2018/19 financial results covered a season when they finished second in the Championship, securing automatic promotion to mark a remarkable rise from League One to the Premier League in 3 years under Manager of the Year Chris Wilder. Some thoughts follow #SUFC
These accounts cover the final year of #SUFC co-ownership between Kevin McCabe and Prince Abdullah. Since then the High Court has ruled that McCabe must sell his 50% share to the Prince for £5m. As a result, the club will purchase the stadium and training facility for £43.5m.
#SUFC loss increased from £2m to £21m, reflecting the “exceptional cost of promotion to the Premier League”. Revenue rose 4% (£0.8m) to £21m, while profit on player sales was up £6m (69%) to £14m, but this was more than offset by £26m of cost growth.
Read 42 tweets
Leeds United’s 2018/19 accounts cover “one of the most exciting years in over a decade” under renowned coach Marcelo Bielsa, though it ultimately ended in disappointment, as they finished 3rd in the Championship before losing to #DCFC in the play-offs. Some thoughts follow #LUFC
#LUFC loss widened from £4m to £21m, despite revenue rising £8m (20%) from £41m to £49m, as profit on player sales dropped £2m to £16m and expenses increased by a chunky £23m, as owner Andrea Radrizzani made significant investments to turn Leeds into promotion contenders.
The main reason for #LUFC £8.2m revenue growth was a £5.4m (25%) increase in commercial income from £21.8m to £27.2m (mainly merchandising and hospitality), though gate receipts also rose £1.4m (12%) to £12.6m, while broadcasting was up £1.5m (19%) to £9.1m.
Read 45 tweets
This thread revisits the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the football world, specifically focusing on the Premier League. Although England’s top flight may be in a stronger position than lower leagues, it still faces immense financial challenges, due to lost revenue.
First, the usual caveat that many of the numbers used are estimates, based on figures that are not current (largely 2018/19 accounts), but they should give a decent indication of the impact. As John Maynard Keynes asserted, “It is better to be roughly right than precisely wrong.”
On the face of it, Premier League clubs should be fine, given that they generate an impressive £5.2 bln revenue between them. However, this disguises the fact that the Big Six account for £3 bln of this total, i.e. around 60%, leaving £2.2 bln shared between the other 14 clubs.
Read 44 tweets
Middlesbrough’s 2018/19 financial results covered a season when they finished 7th in the Championship, just missing out on a play-off position. Former player Jonathan Woodgate replaced Tony Pulis as manager in July 2019. Some thoughts in the following thread #Boro
#Boro improved from a £6m loss before tax to a £2m profit, even though revenue dropped £6m (10%) from £62m to £56m and expenses were £3m higher, because profit on player sales more than doubled from £15m to £33m.
#Boro £6m revenue decline was very largely driven by broadcasting’s £6m (12%) fall from £47m to £41m, due to a smaller parachute payment, though gate receipts also dropped £1m (15%) from £7m to £6m. Commercial rose slightly by £0.3m (4%) from £8.3m to £8.6m.
Read 39 tweets
Nottingham Forest’s 2018/19 financial results covered the second season under the ownership of Evangelos Marinakis (80%) and Sokratis Kominakis (20%), when they finished 9th in the Championship, their highest position since 2012/13. Some thoughts follow #NFFC
#NFFC loss widened from £6m to £25m, despite revenue increasing by £2.7m (12%) to £25.3m and profit on player sales rising £0.5m to £10.6m, as expenses shot up £18m and there was no repeat of prior year’s £5m loan write-off.
All #NFFC revenue streams were higher with the largest growth in commercial, up £1.8m (34%) to £7.0m, followed by player loans, up £0.5m (51%) to £1.6m. There were also small increases in broadcasting, up £0.2m to £9.2m, and match day, up £0.1m to £7.6m.
Read 40 tweets
Aston Villa’s 2018/19 financial results covered a season when they finished 5th in the Championship, but were promoted to the Premier League after beating Derby County in the play-off final under manager Dean Smith, who replaced Steve Bruce in October. Some thoughts follow #AVFC
In July 2018 NSWE SCS, owned by billionaire businessmen Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens, bought a controlling stake from Dr. Tony Xia after #AVFC “experienced significant liquidity problems”, including a missed tax payment to HMRC. Xia’s minority share bought out in August 2019.
#AVFC loss widened by £33m from £36m to £69m, as revenue dropped £14m (21%) to £54m and profit on player sales fell £5m from £16m to £11m. Operating expenses increased by £15m, while £46m promotion payments were offset by stadium sale £36m and HS2 land compensation £14m.
Read 45 tweets
Swansea City’s 2018/19 accounts covered a challenging season when they finished a respectable 10th in the Championship following relegation after 7 years in the Premier League. Manager Graham Potter left for #BHAFC in May ‘19, replaced by Steve Cooper. Some thoughts follow #Swans
#Swans loss before tax widened from £3.2m to £7.0m, as revenue almost halved following relegation from £127m to £68m, despite parachute payments, and profit on player sales fell £16m to £30m, largely offset by cutting costs by £72m. After tax, loss increased from £2.9m to £6.0m. Image
The main reason for #Swans £59m (46%) revenue reduction was broadcasting, which more than halved in the Championship from £105m to £52m, though commercial was also down £6m (45%) to £8m and match day fell £0.8m (11%) to £6.6m. Player loans up £1.7m to £2.0m. Image
Read 45 tweets
Wolverhampton Wanderers 2018/19 financial results covered a “successful” season, when they finished 7th in their first season back in the Premier League since 2012, reached the FA Cup semi-final and qualified for the Europa League. Some thoughts in the following thread #WWFC
Since being bought by Chinese investment group Fosun International in July 2016, #WWFC is a club transformed, helped by a close relationship with super-agent Jorge Mendes. Under charismatic manager Nuno Espirito Santo, Wolves can realistically compete for European qualification.
#WWFC swung from £57m loss before tax in the Championship to £20m profit in the Premier League, a £77m improvement, as revenue surged from £26m to a club record £172m and profit on player sales was up £4m to £12m, though costs also increased significantly in the top flight.
Read 40 tweets
Birmingham City’s 2018/19 financial results covered a season when they finished 17th in the Championship after being deducted 9 points by the EFL for breaches of Profitability and Sustainability rules. Manager Garry Monk replaced by Pep Clotet in June. Some thoughts follow #BCFC
#BCFC loss before tax improved from £37.4m to “only” £8.4m, primarily as a result of £17.2m profit on the sale of the stadium, though revenue rose £4.2m (22%) from £19.1m to £23.3m, while profit on player sales doubled from £2.1m to £4.4m and wages fell £5.8m (15%) to £32.8m.
Almost all of #BCFC £4.3m revenue growth came from commercial, which increased £3.7m (57%) from £6.5m to £10.2m, though there were also some small increases in other revenue streams: broadcasting was up £0.4m (6%) to £8.0m, while match receipts were £0.1m (2%) higher at £5.2m.
Read 42 tweets
#BristolCity recently published their 2018/19 financial results, covering a season when they finished 8th in the Championship, their highest position for 11 seasons and just 4 points off a play-off position. Some thoughts in the following thread.
#BristolCity reported £11m profit before tax, a significant improvement on the prior season’s £25m loss, mainly thanks to profit on player sales surging from hardly anything in 2017/18 to £38m last season. Owner Steve Lansdown described the results as “a milestone” for the club.
#BristolCity revenue also rose by £4m (16%) from £26m to £30m, mainly due to commercial income increasing £4.6m (39%) to £16.1m, though broadcasting was also up £0.4m (5%) to £8.1m. On the other hand, match day income fell £0.7m (10%) to £6.0m.
Read 40 tweets
I recently wrote about the importance of the cash flow statement in assessing the financial performance of a football club, focusing on the Premier League. Since then I have had a few requests to do the same for the Championship, so let’s take a look in the following thread.
A club’s profit and loss account is easy to understand, i.e. basically revenue less expenses (mainly player wages), but this is a notional profit based on the accountants’ accruals concept, which can be very different from actual cash movements.
This is important, as the main reason that football clubs fail is cash flow problems. It does not matter how large your revenue is (or your profits are), if you do not have the cash to pay your players, suppliers or indeed the taxman, then you will find yourself in trouble.
Read 41 tweets
Hull City’s 2018/19 financial results covered a season when they finished 13th in the Championship. Manager Ian Adkins resigned in June, replaced by Grant McCann. The owners, Assem and Ehab Allam, have been looking to sell the club for some time. Some thoughts follow #hcafc
#hcafc profit before tax decreased from £24m to £3m, mainly due to profit on player sales falling by £26m from £31m to £5m. Revenue was down £7m (13%) to £48m, because of lower parachute payments. Partly compensated by expenses being cut by £12m.
The main driver of #hcafc £7m revenue reduction was a £6m cut in parachute payments from the Premier League from £43m to £37m, but the other revenue streams also declined: match day was down £1.1m (15%) to £6.1m, while commercial was £0.6m (20%) lower at £2.3m.
Read 40 tweets
We get every Premier League player to sit down on camera and say how they want their name pronounced - and there’s LOADS I did wrong. So here’s a thread so you don’t make the same mistakes I did!
First of all - Norwich City’s Teemu Pukki. His first name is actually pronounced ‘TAY-mu’ #ncfc
How about Chelsea’s #USMNT star Christian Pulisic? His surname is ‘puh-LISS-ick’, no Eastern European style ‘itch’ on the end #CFC
Read 11 tweets
In preparation for the upcoming 2018/19 Premier League season, I thought that it might be interesting to look at the transfer spend over the last decade, including the growing impact on debt. The analysis is split between 3 periods: last 3 years, last 5 years and last 10 years.
The transfer fees spend is taken from the clubs’ cash flow statements, as this is the only completely accurate source of data. However, it is worth noting that this does not always represent the full cost of transfers, due to the (increasing) use of stage payments.
In the very few cases where a cash flow statement was not available, e.g. if a club only published abbreviated accounts while they were in lower leagues, I have taken data for those years from the Transfermarkt website.
Read 24 tweets
Sheffield Wednesday have finally published their accounts for the 2017/18 season, when they finished 15th in the Championship. Manager Carlos Carvalhal left the club by mutual consent in December, to be replaced by Jos Luhukay. Some thoughts in the following thread #SWFC
As a technical point, it’s worth noting that #SWFC have changed their accounting close date from May 31st to July 31st, so the 2017/18 accounts covered a 14 month period, meaning a small £1.2m increase in turnover, but an additional 2 months of expenses.
#SWFC swung from a £20.8m loss to a £2.6m profit, entirely due to £38m once-off profit from selling the Hillsborough stadium. Revenue was only up £1.8m (8%) to £25.2m, while expenses surged £18m (41%) to £63m. Profit on player sales rose £1.7m to £2.3m.
Read 48 tweets
Sunderland’s 2017/18 financial results covered a second successive relegation. Having finished bottom of the Premier League in 2016/17, they repeated this feat in the Championship to drop into League One. Some thoughts in the following thread #SAFC
This was the last season under former owner Ellis Short before Stewart Donald bought the club in May 2018. Since then, the financial picture at #SAFC has greatly changed, but it is still instructive to look at these financials to understand the reasons for their fall from grace.
Following relegation #SAFC loss almost doubled from £10.2m to £19.9m, as revenue basically halved from £123.5m to £63.7m and profit on player sales fell £26.5m to £6.6m. Offset by once-offs: £8.2m profit on sale of Charlie Hurley Centre; no repeat of 16/17 £9.7m Alvarez payment.
Read 45 tweets
Although Derby County’s fans will be bitterly disappointed after losing to Aston Villa in the 2018/19 Championship play-off final, it might still be worth looking at their 2017/18 accounts to show how the club is trying to meet its financial challenges. Some thoughts follow #DCFC
#DCFC went from a £7.9m loss to £14.6m profit, mainly due to £40m from selling & leasing back Pride Park Stadium. Revenue was only up £0.6m (2%) to £29.6m, though this was the club’s highest in the Championship without parachute payments. Profit on player sales fell £12m to £4m.
Main reason for #DCFC revenue increase was an away FA Cup game at Manchester United, which meant match receipts were up £0.5m (5%) to £9.1m. Broadcasting also rose £0.2m (2%) to £8.1m, due to higher Premier League solidarity payment, but commercial was down £0.1m to £12.4m.
Read 46 tweets
Brentford’s financial results for 2017/18 covered “yet another season of consolidation and progress”, when the Bees finished 9th in the Championship under head coach Dean Smith, their fourth consecutive top 10 place. Some thoughts in the following thread #BrentfordFC
#BrentfordFC loss widened from £1.0m to £3.9m, due to “increased football related costs”. Revenue was stable at £12.7m, due to ”similar on-pitch performance and attendance year-on-year”, while profit on player sales rose £1.3m to £14.1m.
#BrentfordFC revenue was flat at £12.7m, as ticketing income fell £0.4m (12%) to £3.1m, offset by increases in commercial, up £0.3m (15%) to £2.3m, and broadcasting, up £0.1m (2%) to £7.3m. Other operating income dropped £0.3m to £0.2m.
Read 39 tweets
Leeds United’s 2017/18 accounts covered the first season under owner Andrea Radrizzani, when they finished a “disappointing” 13th in the Championship, sacking two head coaches (Thomas Christiansen & Paul Heckingbottom), before appointing Marcelo Bielsa. Some thoughts follow #LUFC
#LUFC posted a £4.3m loss, compared to a £1.0m profit the previous season, despite revenue growing £6.6m (19%) from £34.1m to £40.7m and profit on player sales doubling from £9m to £18m, due to “investment in both player registrations and salaries and scouting expenses”.
The main reason for #LUFC £6.6m revenue growth was a £5.5m (33%) increase in commercial income to £21.8m (catering, merchandising and the Selby-Warrington boxing fight), though gate receipts also rose £1.1m (11%) to £11.3m. Broadcasting was flat at £7.7m.
Read 41 tweets

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