Liverpool turned a £21m loss in 2016 into a £39m post-tax profit in 2017 thanks to the first year of the latest Premier League broadcasting deal and new Main Stand at Anfield.
The club’s latest accounts, for the year ending 31 May 2017, show overall revenue increased by £62m to £364m and a net cash investment of £91m on players and infrastructure. The increase was based on media revenue rising by £30m to £154m in the first year of the current three-year broadcasting deal, commercial revenue growing £20m to £136m – with 12 new partnerships announced during the year – and matchday income increasing to £74m.
Liverpool’s matchday revenue was up £12m on 2016’s figures courtesy of the new Main Stand increasing hospitality sales and the ground’s capacity to 54,074. Jürgen Klopp’s team did not play European football in 2016-17 and the club expects a continued increase in next year’s figures due to a Champions League campaign. The Main Stand was funded by a £110m inter-company loan from the owners Fenway Sports Group, who secured the loan in the United States at an attractive interest rate of 1.24%.
The accounts cover the year when Liverpool made six additions to the first team squad, including Sadio Mané, Georginio Wijnaldum and Loris Karius, and renewed seven senior contracts. They do not cover last summer’s £36.9m acquisition of Mohamed Salah, the £75m record signing of Virgil van Dijk or the sale of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona for a fee rising to £142m.
As a result of the cash investment in players and capital infrastructure – the Main Stand, a retail store, a relaid pitch at Anfield and preparatory work on a new £50m training complex at Kirkby – Liverpool’s net bank debt increased by £22m to £67m. However, the club maintain the debt is sustainable given the overall growth in its financial performance.
Andy Hughes, Liverpool’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.”
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Hughes confirmed Liverpool’s owners are still exploring the possibility of redeveloping the Anfield Road end of the stadium and will invest further in Klopp’s squad in the summer.
He added: “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 last month we will look to invest again in the summer.”