Liverpool have revealed huge financial losses for the year up to May 2020, as their Fenway Sports Group (FSG) ownership released an update.
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The American owned club won the Champions League and then the Premier League title in back-to-back seasons in 2018-19 and 2019-20, but off the pitch finances were hit hard even before the coronavirus pandemic arrived.
Overall, revenue was down by $64 million but that only accounts for the first few months of the pandemic when no fans were allowed in stadiums. Broadcast and matchday revenue fell but commercial revenue increased.
Liverpool also pointed to huge growth in their own social and digital channels, plus record-breaking sales of their 2019-20 home kit, as well as the success of new retail stores opened in Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam.
The latest financial results see a negative swing of $122.8 million compared to their previous financial year.
Below is the statement in full from the club.
“Liverpool Football Club has today filed its consolidated financial accounts for the year to May 31, 2020.
- Pandemic impacts final three months of accounts
- Media revenue down by £59m to £202m
- Matchday revenue down by £13m to £71m
- Commercial revenue up by £29m to £217m
- Overall revenue down by £43m to £490m
- Loss before tax was £46m
Andy Hughes, LFC’s managing director, said: “This financial reporting period was up to May 2020, so approaching a year ago now. It does, however, begin to demonstrate the initial financial impact of the pandemic and the significant reductions in key revenue streams. We were in a solid financial position prior to the pandemic and since this reporting period we have continued to manage our costs effectively and navigate our way through such an unprecedented period.
“Importantly, what has remained constant throughout the pandemic is the club’s desire to support the local community and those who live in and around Anfield and across the city region. We have also worked closely with our city partners and provided unwavering support to the region’s public health departments in their drive to promote the important health messages across the region to help keep local people safe.
“More recently, we willingly made Anfield available to operate as a mass testing centre and now a vaccination hub with the incredible commitment and dedication of our Anfield staff. We can now look ahead to the conclusion of this season and hopefully a more normal start to next season. It’s no secret that supporters have been greatly missed at Anfield over the past year and we look forward to having them back.”
This gives us a glimpse as to how much the coronavirus pandemic impacted Liverpool, if only for a few months due to the filing date of these accounts, and next year the financial figures will be grim reading.
That said, with fans set to return in much larger numbers for the end of the 2020-21 season in the Premier League and full stadiums planned for 2021-22, clubs will hope the financial impact of the pandemic will be a limited one. Or as limited as possible.
We all know that clubs have suffered financially and many owners stated that rebounding from the financial impact of the pandemic was the main reason they agreed to join the now collapsed European Super League.
John W. Henry and FSG have turned Liverpool into an extremely well-run club and now they have some work to do, like every club, to rebuild it financially.