So Liverpool have finally released their financials for last year and despite Liverpool Managing Director Ian Ayre’s spin, these numbers do not make good reading.
Liverpool’s total income last season fell by £1m to £184m, with TV and media £14m down due to Liverpool not playing in the Champions League. Worrying for Liverpool fans is that the club’s wage bill increased by £13m in 2010-11. So basically Liverpool are playing Champions League type wages, without actually playing in the Champions League.
Overall, Liverpool made a loss on their operations of £90m. This did include £59m in “exceptional costs”, with £49m of that written off work on the proposed new stadium. The club made a profit of £43m on selling players so they ended up with a net loss of £49m loss.
So the write-off on the new stadium and the Torres sale basically balanced each other out. That still leaves a massive net loss of £49m that does not look like getting any smaller this season, unless Liverpool sell some players this summer.
It will be interesting to see where the wage bill falls for this season as Liverpool sold high earners like Mascherano, Torres and Babel and replaced them with hopefully cheaper players in Jordan Henderson, Charlie Adam, José Enrique, Stewart Downing, Craig Bellamy and Sebastián Coates.
Liverpool’s American owners, Fenway Sports Group announced that they had lent the club £30m in 2010-11 (at 0% interest) and that they had arranged for the club to have a £120m borrowing facility with three banks.
What has to worry Liverpool fans is that the revenue gap between the reds and teams like United and Arsenal continues to widen. Liverpool’s £184m in income last season pales in comparison to Manchester United’s £334m and Arsenal’s £256m. Without a new stadium and/or significant investment from the teams owners, the gap between Liverpool and its rivals will continue to widen. Thus making it more difficult for Liverpool to attract the kind of top players needed to reach the Champions League. It’s like a slow death, as each year the gap widens, making it more and more difficult for Liverpool to get back into the top four, where they can receive that Champions League windfall.