By Tony Attwood
As I noted in my last article, for the financial year 2016-17, we have one club that hasn’t filed its accounts and has been threatened with a winding up order (Crystal Palace), two clubs that made a loss (Chelsea and Sunderland) and 17 that made a profit.
Clubs don’t have to report their figures in exactly the same way as each other, but I’ve taken three figures that all the clubs report and done a little chart comparing the top six.
And just so we don’t lose track of what happened in that year, Leicester, Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester City were the Champions League teams. Manchester United played in the Europa and Chelsea didn’t bother with Europe at all – which goes some big way to explain their loss.
As for the league it finished like this
The point about these preliminaries is that Chelsea lost money by not being in Europe, but used their free time to focus on the league which they won by seven points. But that League trophy didn’t bring in much extra money – all grounds are sold out anyway.
The figures are of course in millions of pounds… and they are for 2016/17
|Arsenal||Chelsea||Liverpool||Man C||Man U||Tottenham*|
The final row (debt) is the odd one in that the figures vary enormously with Manchester City and Chelsea around the one and a half billion pounds worth – which spelled out is £1,500,000,000 – while Tottenham say they have no debt but actually have £15m in the bank.
But there is an asterisk by their name because their accounts also note that they have a £400,000,000 bank loan facility which was taken out in May 2017 to fund the stadium programme of which at the time of completing the accounts for the year £152m had been borrowed.
The figures as they stand make Tottenham the most profitable club, which comes about because they had not engaged in any stadium work during this period, had no debt to service in terms of buying anything to do with the stadium, and once again had made a profit in terms of the buying and selling of players.
£1m behind them is Man U, who own their ground, and indeed have the biggest league ground there is, and are very popular when it comes to being selected for TV showing. In third place was Arsenal, who were also third in terms of turnover. Arsenal were however fifth in terms of money spent on wages.
So what might happen next time around in the next set of accounts that we will see in one year’s time and which will take into account the season 2017/18 which has just finished.
Arsenal will have a lower turnover, having not been in the Champions League in the season just finished. But expenses will be up a little because of the money spent on transfers, although we have to recognise that transfers are accounted for over a period of years, not just in the year in which the player was bought or sold.
Chelsea’s figures I imagine will leap up because they were back in the Champions League. Man U will suffer a set back also by not being in the Champions League.
So I would imagine Chelsea will show in one year’s time, a return to profit. But for them thereafter the issue is one concerning Mr Abramovich, and what happens to the debt that is accrued. As long as Mr Abramovich is at Chelsea there is no problem concerning the debt, unless he suddenly wants it repaid to him, which seems unlikely. He might sell the club, but write off the debt himself, or he might sell it with the debt in place, which would perhaps be a little difficult.
Very, very roughly a team that gets to the round of 16 in the Champions League will make around 25 million euros. I have not been able to find exact figures for the Europa league but I think Arsenal would have got around 7 million euros from getting to the semi-final of the Europa, so that might be a drop of about £15m on income last year.
And as a postscript we might note that 19 of the 24 clubs in the Championship made a loss in 2016/17, according to Deloitte.
Makes you think.
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