Champions League football helped beat Leicester’s £92.5m
• Reds reinvested £190m in players, including agents’ fees
Liverpool broke the world record for the biggest pre-tax profit made by a football club during the 2017-18 financial year, the club’s latest accounts have revealed.
Champions League qualification, progress to the final in Kiev and the £142m sale of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona were instrumental in producing a pre-tax profit of £125m, eclipsing the £92.5m made by Leicester City in 2016-17.
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The profit after tax was £106m and £190m was reinvested in Jürgen Klopp’s title-chasing squad, a sum that includes agents’ fees and associated costs. Money has also been invested in a £50m training complex under construction in Kirkby, and the overall wage bill increased to £263m.
Turnover for the year ending 31 May 2018 increased by £90m to £455m, with media revenue rising by £66m to £220m in the second year of the three-year Premier League broadcasting deal. Commercial revenue was up £17m to £154m and match revenue increased £7m to £81m.
Champions League football helped drive the increases on 2016-17, when Liverpool did not qualify for any European competition but posted a pre-tax profit of £40m, with the new main stand generating the extra match-day revenue. The outstanding loan on the main stand, provided by the owner Fenway Sports Group, is £100m with £10m in capital paid off over the year. The club’s external debt stands at £56m.
Liverpool made £72m from last season’s Champions League campaign. The latest accounts include the signings of Virgil van Dijk, Mohamed Salah, Andy Robertson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Dominic Solanke. They do not account for last summer’s club record spend on Alisson, Naby Keïta, Fabinho and Xherdan Shaqiri, signed for a combined total of £174m.
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Andy Hughes, Liverpool’s chief operating officer, said: “This growth and increase in revenue has enabled us to significantly reinvest both in the playing squad and the football operational infrastructure. Financial results do fluctuate depending on player trading costs and timing of payments but what’s clear in these latest results is the further strengthening of our underlying financial footing and profits being reinvested in the squad and infrastructure.
“Since the reporting period, which is now nearly 12 months old, we have continued reinvesting in the playing squad from those areas of growth. In addition, the capital investment in our new training complex in Kirkby is well under way, which will provide first-class amenities for our players and staff, and will vastly improve sports facilities for the community of Kirkby.”
Liverpool signed eight new sponsorship deals during the 2017-18 financial year and renewed four. Commemorative jerseys to celebrate the club’s 125th anniversary were the biggest selling in Liverpool’s history and its social media platforms attracted more than 60 million followers.