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Jun 13 43 tweets 33 min read
Crystal Palace’s 2020/21 financial results covered a season where they finished 14th in the Premier League for the second year in a row in a campaign “enormously impacted” by COVID. Manager Roy Hodgson replaced by Patrick Vieira in July 2021. Some thoughts follow #CPFC
#CPFC pre-tax loss narrowed from £58m to £40m, despite revenue falling £8m (6%) from £142m to £134m, due to profit on player sales increasing from £1m to £10m and expenses falling £17m (8%), mainly due to a change in the accounting date (two fewer months).
Main driver of #CPFC revenue fall was COVID, which led to reductions in gate receipts, down £8m (97%) to just £247k, and commercial, down £4m (20%) from £21m to £17m. Partly offset by TV money rising £4m (4%) from £113m to £117m, mainly due to broadcasters’ rebate in prior year.
#CPFC wage bill decreased £6m (4%) from £133m to £127m, while player amortisation fell £7m (16%) from £43m to £36m. Other expenses were also down £4m (21%) to £17m, partly due to the lower cost of staging games. Net interest payable doubled to £2m.
Worth noting that #CPFC 2020/21 accounts only cover 11 months, but prior year was 13 months, as financial reporting period extended to 31st July 2020 to take into consideration COVID delaying end of season. Little impact on revenue, but significant cost reduction year-on-year.
Although #CPFC £40m loss is obviously not great, the 2020/21 Premier League was badly impacted by the pandemic. Only four clubs were profitable, while many reported huge losses with three of them above £100m: #CFC £156m, #AFC £127m and #EFC £121m.
Adverse COVID impact for #CPFC in 2020/21 was £10.4m (revenue loss net of cost savings), but expenses were £14.0m lower, due to the accounts covering only 11 months, so the underlying loss was £44m (£11m worse than prior year). Net COVID impact over two years amounts to £21.5m.
Despite COVID depressing the transfer market, #CPFC profit on player sales increased from £1m to £10m, mainly Alexander Sørloth to RB Leipzig, though still far below #MCFC £69m, #WWFC £61m and #LCFC £44m. Many players released for no money at end of season.
Since promotion to the Premier League in 2013, #CPFC have made money in half of their eight seasons, though they have made an overall £93m loss in that period, including a £128m deficit in the last four years alone. In line with the Premier League average.
#CPFC could have improved financials with more player sales, but they have opted to retain talent instead of cashing in. Their £10m profit from player trading over the last two years is one of the lowest in the top flight, though this has helped them stay in the Premier League.
#CPFC operating loss (i.e. excluding player sales and interest) reduced from £58m to £48m, around mid-table in the Premier League, where only #SUFC and #LUFC posted profits, while some had huge losses: #CFC £159m, #EFC £118m, #FFC £94m and #AFC £91m.
#CPFC revenue has fallen by £21m (14%) from its pre-pandemic club record of £155m in 2019 to £134m. However, it has still grown by £44m (49%) since 2014, their first season following promotion to the top flight, with much of that growth due to new Premier League TV deals.
#CPFC £134m revenue was one of the lowest in the Premier League, only above Fulham, Sheffield United and Burnley, though this season’s rankings are distorted by different amounts of revenue deferred from 2019/20 accounts. For some perspective, less than a quarter of #MCFC £570m.
As the 2019/20 season was extended, many clubs deferred revenue into 2020/21 for games played after the accounting close. However, as #CPFC moved year-end to 31st July, they deferred nothing, while clubs with a May year-end benefited significantly, e.g. #WWFC £43m.
#CPFC broadcasting income rose £4m (4%) from £113m to £117m, mainly because prior year included a broadcasters’ rebate. However, this was still on the low side in the Premier League, as other clubs benefited from revenue deferrals from 2019/20 for the extended season.
#CPFC gate receipts fell £8m (97%) to just £247k, all home games were played behind closed doors (except two with severely restricted capacity). Palace match day income was 12th highest in the Premier League before the pandemic with £15m in 2019.
#CPFC average attendance fell slightly from 25,455 to 25,060 in 2019/20 (for games played with fans), the 4th lowest in the Premier League, which helps explain the decision to build a new main stand at Selhurst Park. Crowds have grown by nearly 8,000 (45%) since promotion.
#CPFC stadium project expected to cost around £100m, though negotiations for land still need to be resolved. The club say it “will offer a step change in revenue potential with over 8,300 new seats, up to 3,000 new premium covers and major opportunities for non-matchday revenue.”
Despite COVID delays, Steve Parish has said that the stadium development “is a long-term plan for the future of the football club. To be competitive, we need as much revenue as possible and other Premier League clubs have £20m-£30m more revenue than #CPFC.”
#CPFC commercial income fell £4m (20%) from £21m to £17m, due to less money from sponsors (11 months) plus lower revenue from events, catering and club shop (COVID). One of the lowest in the Premier League, despite including £2.5m for business interruption insurance claim.
W88 replaced ManBetX as #CPFC shirt sponsor in 2020/21, reportedly for £76.5m a year, though club just announced multi-year deal with online car marketplace Cinch from 2022/23. Puma has been kit supplier since 2018. New sleeve sponsor is financial services provider Mukuru.
#CPFC did not report anything in other operating income, though this is where most clubs included £2.5m business interruption insurance claim for COVID losses. Highest amount reported here was #CFC £12.6m, mainly due to unexplained recharges.
#CPFC wage bill fell £6m (4%) from £133m to £127m, mainly because the accounting period only covered 11 months in 2020/21 (prior year 13 months). On a like-for-like 12 months basis, wages would have actually increased by £17m (13%) from £122m to £139m.
Unlike most clubs #CPFC also break out player wages, which grew £12m to £102m on an adjusted 12-month basis. Including social security and agents’ fees, total player compensation was £120m. Club said investment required “to ensure competitiveness and retention of PL status.”
#CPFC reported £127m wage bill was 12th largest in the Premier League, probably higher than most would expect. If it were adjusted to £139m, based on 12-month period, the Eagles would be in 10th place. Either way, around £200m below #MCFC £355m and #CFC £333m.
#CPFC wages to turnover ratio increased from 93% to 95%, which was 3rd highest in the Premier League, though this would rise to 103%, the worst in the top flight, based on 12-month wages. Like all other clubs, the ratio in 2020/21 is inflated by the loss of revenue due to COVID.
Remuneration for #CPFC highest paid director, Steve Parish, slightly increased from £802k to £811k, mid-table in Premier League, far below Ed Woodward #MUFC £2.9m and Daniel Levy #THFC £2.7m. A lot lower than previous years, though any bonus was reinvested in Academy development.
#CPFC player amortisation, the annual charge to expense transfer fees over a player’s contract, fell £7m (16%) from £43m to £36m, partly due to the shorter accounting period. One of the smallest in the Premier League, reflecting the club’s relatively low investment in the squad.
#CPFC player purchases more than doubled from £12m to £28m, including Eberechi Eze from QPR, but this was the third year in a row that Palace were among the lowest spenders in the Premier League, way below the likes of #CFC £221m, #MCFC £194m and #LFC £136m in 2020/21.
#CPFC had £217m player purchases in last 5 years, but that included £104m back in 2017. Of the clubs in the Premier League in 2020/21 only #LUFC, Burnley and #SUFC spent less in this period. However, Palace did spend big last summer (£73m) under new manager Patrick Vieira.
Parish noted, “We don’t have the money to just buy our way through”, but the significant investment of new director, John Textor, has “helped facilitate the necessary rejuvenation of the squad”, including the arrivals of Guéhi, Andersen, Edouard, Mateta and Olise.
#CPFC gross debt increased by £17m from £77m to £94m, including £58m from the owners (up £12m) and a funding facility with Aldermore Bank of £35m (up £5m). Since these accounts, the club have taken out a 4-year £30m loan in December 2021.
Despite the increase, #CPFC £94m gross debt not that high for the Premier League, though it will surely rise with the stadium development. Far below #CFC £1.5 bln (Abramovich funding), #THFC £854m (stadium), #MUFC £530m, #EFC £379m and #BHAFC £375m (stadium/training ground).
#CPFC interest payment increased from £0.9m to £2.1m, mainly Aldermore bank loan. Most of the shareholder loan is interest-free, but £8m is at 5%. Much lower than #AFC £34m (debt refinancing break fee), #MUFC £21m and #THFC £18m, but maybe the best comparison is #WHUFC £8m.
#CPFC have used a lot of cash to pay stage payments from previous years’ transfers, thus significantly reducing transfer debt from £49m in 2018 to only £11m in 2021, one of the lowest transfer payables in the Premier League, e.g. #THFC had £170m.
#CPFC £48m operating loss became £40m negative cash flow (after adjusting for non-cash movements), but they then spent £15m on players (purchases £28m, sales £13m), £15m on the new Academy and £2m interest. Partly offset by £16m loans (£12m from owners, £4m bank).
As a result, #CPFC cash balance significantly decreased from £58m to £2m, the lowest in the Premier League, though the club noted that the prior year balance was boosted by the inclusion of a stage payment for the central TV rights (due to extension of accounts).
In the last 10 years #CPFC have generated £120m from operations, with £61m provided by the owners (loans £48m and share capital £13m) plus £33m external loans. Most (£165m) can be seen on the pitch, while £38m went on infrastructure, £6m interest and £3m tax.
The £61m provided by #CPFC owners in the last decade (loans £48m plus £13m share capital) is on the low side for the Premier League, but the club noted that it had received “a significant injection of funds” in August 2021 as a result of shares issued to new investor John Textor.
Textor’s investment in #CPFC was reportedly £87.5m with £57.5m intended to be used to repay the shareholder loan, while the remaining £30m will go towards the stadium redevelopment.
#CPFC have complied with the Premier League’s Profitability and Sustainability (FFP) rules. Their £79m loss over the 3-year monitoring period (2019/20 and 2020/21 averaged) is within the £105m limit even before making allowable deductions (including COVID impact).
#CPFC will continue to focus on the Academy, having invested £20m in the new academy facility in Beckenham, which “should enable us to attract, develop and retain some of the very best young talent and have a truly transformational impact upon the club.”
After a lengthy period of low investment in the squad, the times appear to be changing at #CPFC, as purse strings have been loosened for Vieira’s exciting young team, while money is also being spent off the pitch on the academy and stadium development.

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More from @SwissRamble

Jun 14
Sheffield Wednesday’s 2020/21 accounts cover a season when they finished 24th in the Championship and were thus relegated to League One (after a 6-point FFP penalty). Manager Garry Monk replaced by Tony Pulis, then succeeded by Darren Moore. Some thoughts follow #SWFC
#SWFC loss slightly increased from £24m to £26m, as revenue nearly halved from £20.9m to £11.6m and profit from player sales fell from £6.2m to £0.6m, though these decreases were largely offset by a significant £14m (26%) reduction in expenses. Image
Due to COVID, #SWFC match day decreased 98% from £6.6m to £0.1m and commercial was down a third from £5.7m to £3.8m, while broadcasting fell £0.7m (8%) to £7.8m. Note: match day and broadcasting not separated in accounts, so I have estimated these based on similar sized clubs. Image
Read 44 tweets
Jun 7
There have been a few analyses of football club debt published recently, which are at best misleading, if not downright incorrect. So it’s once again time to wheel out my explanation of why debt figures should be treated with caution, as there are so many different definitions.
For the purpose of this review I will take the 2020/21 audited accounts of those clubs featuring in the Deloitte Money League (with the exception of Zenit St Petersburg, where I have not managed to source the details).
At the narrowest extreme, we have just bank debt, but the broadest extreme covers total liabilities, which includes all financial obligations, including transfer debt, staff payables, tax liabilities, trade creditors, provisions, accrued expenses and even deferred income.
Read 39 tweets
Jun 6
Birmingham City’s 2020/21 financial results covered a season when they finished 18th in the Championship, a slight improvement on previous season’s 20th place. Head coach Aitor Karanka was replaced by Lee Bowyer in March 2021. Some thoughts in the following thread #BCFC
#BCFC loss narrowed from £18.2m to £4.8m, largely due to profit on player sales rising £15m to £27m, thanks to Jude Bellingham’s move to Borussia Dortmund. Revenue dropped £9.1m (40%) from £22.8m to £13.7m, due to COVID, partly offset by expenses falling £7m (14%).
COVID drove reductions in match receipts, down to zero from £4.7m, and commercial, which more than halved from £9.3m to £4.4m. In contrast, broadcasting rose £0.5m (5%) to £9.3m, while other operating income increased £0.3m to £1.8m, including £659k COVID grant.
Read 44 tweets
May 30
Swansea City’s 2020/21 accounts covered a season when they finished 4th in the Championship, thus reaching the play-offs, but were beaten in the final by Brentford. Head coach Steve Cooper since replaced by Russell Martin. Some thoughts in the following thread #Swans
#Swans swung from a pre-tax profit of £2.7m to a loss of £4.6m, as revenue fell £22m (45%) from £50m to £28m and profit from player sales dropped £5m (30%) to £12m, partly offset by total expenses reducing by £17m (26%) and £3.3m insurance claim. Loss after tax was £4.1m.
The main reason for #Swans £22m revenue decrease was broadcasting, which dropped £17m (44%) from £39m to £22m, mainly due to lower parachute payment, though COVID also drove reductions in match day, down £3.0m (63%) to £1.8m, and commercial, down £1.8m (31%) to £4.1m.
Read 40 tweets
May 27
Manchester United have announced financial results for Q3 of 2021/22, incorporating the first 9 months of the season (July 2021 to March 2022), so these are boosted by the return of fans to the stadium. Some thoughts in the following thread #MUFC
#MUFC swung from £18m pre-tax profit to £58m loss (£45m after tax), despite revenue increasing £65m (16%) from £400m to £465m and profit on player sales rising from £0.3m to £18m, as expenses were up £109m (27%) and net interest went from £18m recoverable to £31m payable.
The main driver of the #MUFC £65m revenue increase was match day, which rose £84m from £5m to £89m, as games no longer played behind closed doors, though commercial was also up £14m (8%) from £180m to £194m. In contrast, broadcasting fell £34m (16%) from £215m to £181m.
Read 24 tweets
May 24
The Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid on Saturday night is a mouth-watering prospect, but how much money is it worth to the Reds? #LFC
My model suggests that #LFC have already earned around £102m (€117.6m) for reaching the Champions League final.

This comprises participation fee €15.6m, prize money €66.3, UEFA coefficient €22.7m and TV pool €17.1m less COVID rebate €4.1m.
However, #LFC Champions League earnings this year are restricted by their third place finish in last season's Premier League, which means they only receive 20% of the first half of the TV pool.
Read 9 tweets

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