14. Leeds United [£29.6m]
Leeds United lost £62 million during the 2019-20 season amid the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Marcelo Bielsa’s side won promotion to the Premier League last season, finishing top of the Championship as they returned to the top flight for the first time in 16 years. Turnover at Elland Road did leap to £54 million, from £48 million the year prior. This was projected to hit £56 million before the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
13. Fulham [£56.7m]
The impact of the COVID pandemic had a major effect on the financial results. Heading back to the Championship would necessitate another summer rebuild. Fulham’s current side is heavily built around loan players, who would all leave. It is fanciful to think that Joachim Andersen, Ademola Lookman or Ruben Loftus-Cheek would be eager to play in the second tier and their current deals would make them too expensive in any case.
12. Burnley [£90m]
The pandemic meant matchday income was down by £1.7m to £4.6m, broadcasting dropped to £113.5m from £115m and commercial income slipped to £15.7m from £16.5m. The air is still clearing at Turf Moor over a £170m US takeover which has used the club’s own money and loaded it with debt. It is understood ALK have so far paid £102million towards the Burnley takeover, with around £60million raised through a loan provided by Michael Dell’s MSD UK Holdings. The club is now approximately £90m worse off, with interest to pay.
11. Southampton [£92.6m]
Despite finishing in 11th place in the 2019/20 Premier League season (five places higher than the previous season), the Group’s turnover decreased to £126.6m (2019: £149.6m). Broadcasting revenue fell to £93.5m (2019: £112.8m) as a consequence of the season-ending after 30 June 2020, whilst match day revenue fell to £14.5m (2019: £17.0m) due to matches being played behind closed-doors. The club’s overall debt has climbed from £32.1 million to £92.6 million.
10. West Ham [£105m]
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.
9. Arsenal [£108m]
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.