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Liverpool report £19.8 mn annual loss, despite record revenue

Fenway Sports Group took full control of Liverpool in 2010 © AFP / PAUL ELLIS

London, United Kingdom, Mar 1 – Liverpool announced a pre-tax loss of £19.8 million ($24.5 million, 23.2 million euros) for last year on Wednesday, despite record revenue of £301 million.

The loss in the year ending May 2016 was due to investment in the first-team squad and pay-offs to manager Brendan Rodgers, who was sacked in October 2015, and his back-room staff.

But with commercial revenue projected to climb and Anfield’s towering new Main Stand now complete, the club predicted “significantly improved results” for the current financial year.

“These results demonstrate the solid financial progress that’s been made over the past six years under the leadership of FSG (Fenway Sports Group) with continued investment in the playing squad and the completion of the Main Stand,” said chief operating officer Andy Hughes in a press release.

“The increase in the underlying revenue adds further strength to the club’s financial position despite the cost of football rising with player transfer fees, wages and agents’ costs.”

Liverpool signed 12 players in the 2015-16 accounting period, spending £32 million on striker Christian Benteke, who has since left, and £29 million on Brazilian forward Roberto Firmino.

They agreed six contract extensions and incurred costs relating to the redevelopment of the Main Stand.

But the club also earned £49 million from the sale of Raheem Sterling to Manchester City.

Overall revenue has grown every year since American owners Fenway Sports Group took over in October 2010 and rose to £301 million from £279.9 million.

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Liverpool spent a combined £61 million on Christian Benteke (left) and Roberto Firmino in 2015 © AFP/File / OLI SCARFF

– ‘Solid financial progress’ –

Commercial revenue dropped slightly, falling £700,000 to £115.7 million, but there were increases in match-day (up £3.4 million to £62.4 million) and media revenue (up £1 million to £123.6 million).

Liverpool were ranked ninth in financial consultants Deloitte’s latest Football Money League despite being the only club in the top 10 who did not play in the Champions League last season.

Hughes added: “Since this reporting period … we have continued to make solid financial progress and we expect to see further growth in our revenues following the successful opening of the Main Stand and the new media deal.

“Our commercial operations continue to thrive through new partnerships, global retail growth and developing our international soccer schools, with our newest academy opening recently in Australia.

“The investments from this ownership have been a key factor to our financial and global progress.

“We have seen continued investment in the playing squad, the expanded Main Stand, the new flagship retail store opening later this year, fully refurbished retail stores in Liverpool and Belfast, and we are consulting on a proposed development at our academy in Kirkby to bring together the first team and our young players.

“These investments all contribute to further progress and strengthen the club’s financial position which ultimately serves to support all of our football ambitions.”

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool are currently fifth in the Premier League table, a point off the Champions League places, reached the League Cup semi-finals and have been knocked out of the FA Cup.

They did not qualify for European football this season.

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