Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Reds on right financial path - Ayre

Ian Ayre insists Liverpool are moving in the right direction

Liverpool made a near-£50million loss in their last financial year but managing director Ian Ayre insists the club are heading in the right direction with reduced debts and record turnover.

Figures released for trading up to the end of May 2013 show the Reds made a loss after tax of £49.8m.

The previous year the deficit was £40.5m, but that was for a 10-month period as the club re-aligned their accounting period with the football season.

But with turnover increasing by nine per cent to £206.1m and external debt down by 29 per cent to £45.1m - courtesy of an interest-free, inter-company loan from owners Fenway Sports Group - Ayre is upbeat about their future performance.

This year's finances will be boosted by a huge new television deal while the club, second in the Barclays Premier League table and six points clear of fifth-placed Tottenham, are on course to qualify for the Champions League - participation in which brings in an estimated £20m minimum.

"These results demonstrate that the financial health of the club continues to make good progress as we continue our journey to transform the club on and off the pitch," Ayre told the Liverpool Echo.

"Over the past four or five years revenue has been consistently increasing from around £170m in 2009 to over £200m today - and external debt has decreased significantly to less than £50m.

"With a hugely supportive ownership group, we have taken a measured approach to bring back financial stability to this great club by ensuring it is properly structured on and off the pitch."

The club have signed a number of significant sponsorship deals in the current season, which will only continue to bolster commercial revenues which rose to £97.7million in the year to May 2013, up from £63.9million.

"These financial results are now up to 18 months old and we have continued to make further progress since this reporting period," Ayre added.

"Our strong links remain with our existing partners, signing new deals with Standard Chartered, Garuda Indonesia and Carlsberg, and we have recently announced five new partnerships which endorses the global appeal of the LFC brand."

Ayre also praised the leadership of FSG, led by principal owner John Henry, which has seen external debt reduced by nearly £200million since they bought the club in October 2010.

"With a hugely supportive ownership group we have taken a measured approach to bring back financial stability to this great club by ensuring it is properly structured on and off the pitch," said Ayre.

"During the period (of the most recent accounts), we signed six new players including Daniel Sturridge, Philippe Coutinho and Joe Allen, and we extended seven players' contracts which included Daniel Agger, Martin Skrtel, Martin Kelly, Lucas Leiva and Raheem Sterling - adding depth and strength to the squad while continuing to develop young talent.

"In addition, nine players were transferred out and eight players were loaned out.

"We have also seen good progress being made regarding a proposed stadium expansion at Anfield.

"Given where Liverpool Football Club was only a few years ago, the progress that has been made since FSG acquired the club has brought back much-needed stability with an ambitious vision which everyone is focused on."

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