12. Watford [£92.9m]
The 2019/20 financial results covered a season that the club described as “unique and challenging”, as it ended in relegation after they finished 19th in the Premier League. The following season was affected by covid pandemic which contributed to further losses. The club is currently back in the Premier League and will hope to stay in the division. Their total gross debt is £92.9m.
11. West Ham [£120m]
The Hammers’ turnover, at £140 million, was 27% down and the club’s net loss more than doubled to £65.3 million. West Ham’s operating loss for the season was £85 million (a rise of 132%) as broadcasting revenues declined by 35% to £83 million and matchday income fell by 17% to £ 23 million. Commercial cash also dropped by 5% to £ 34 million, hampered by a warehouse shut-down. West Ham’s gross debt has risen from £ 78 million to £120 million, but their cash levels are low – only £15 million. Net debt is therefore £105 million, 59% higher than 2018-19.
10. Wolverhampton Wanderers [£152m]
Wolves took a £40 million hit on revenues and turned a £22 million profit in 2018-19 to a £36.7 million loss in 2019-20. Unlike some clubs that reported a fall in matchday income, Wolves saw this revenue stream rise by 10% to £12.7 million. The club’s revenues for the season totalled £132.6 million, some 23% lower than 2018-19. Wolves’ biggest drop came in broadcasting, a 28% decline to £ 95.8 million. Commercial income also fell by 13% to £ 24.1 million. Given the covid scenario in the last couple of season, the gross debt of the club increased to £152m.
9. Arsenal [£218m]
Arsenal, once the standard-bearers for conservatism and prudence in football, posted their second successive annual loss in 2019-20, but there could be worse to follow. Covid-19 aside – the club revealed £ 35 million of losses were attributable to the pandemic – Arsenal’s absence from the UEFA Champions League is costing the club financially and reputationally.
Arsenal’s net debt has increased substantially, rising from £ 42 million in 2019 to £ 108 million. This is largely due to a reduction in cash at bank and in hand to £ 110 million from £ 167 million. Gross debt is still over £200 million.
8. Leicester City [£219m]
Leicester’s net debt has gone up by 147% to £162 million. While the gross debt is £219m. The directors have reviewed the club’s cash flow forecasts and they revealed that the company is reliant on continued funding from external banks as well as King Power International. Leicester have entered into two five-year loan facilities for a total of £ 30 million to finance the working capital requirements of the club and have increased and extended a £ 45 million facility with Macquarie Bank to January 2022.
7. Liverpool [£268m]
FSG and Fenway Sports have the Anfield club ran on a tight budget. Liverpool’s owners have taken out loans to develop Anfield in recent years. A total of £197m was drawn down from the credit facility, although it is understood that a significant chunk of that loan has been paid back already after football restarted and media revenues started to trickle in once more, as well as other monies that have been brought into the business in past months.
The £197m figure adds on to the £71m that Liverpool owe to owners Fenway Sports Group, paying off a further £8m of their £110m loan to aid the redevelopment of the Main Stand at Anfield. That takes the gross debt at the club to £268m.