Leicester City hit by Covid as £33m losses revealed

Leicester City Football Club has revealed the impact of the Covid pandemic on its finances – posting pre-tax losses of £33m for the season.

It said 2020/21 was a period “largely without precedent” in that it included the conclusion of two Premier League seasons – the overwhelming majority of which took place behind closed doors – and accounted for costs (including those related to COVID-19) and revenue associated to both.

Outstanding on-pitch performance during the period saw the club’s men’s team secure fifth place in each of those seasons (jointly, the club’s second-best ever Premier League finishes), ongoing participation in the UEFA Europa League and a first FA Cup in its 138-year history – all of which contributed to notable growth in revenue.

Success was also achieved in the women’s game, where LCFC Women won promotion to the FA Women’s Super League during the Club’s first professional season. 2020/21 is the first set of consolidated accounts since the acquisition of LCFC Women in August 2020.

Despite the effects of COVID, such as playing behind closed doors, revenue grew by £76.2m on the previous year to £226.2m (£150m in 2020). While timing differences relative to the conclusion of the 2019/20 season have affected this figure, the club’s on-pitch success in the Premier League and the FA Cup, and participation in UEFA competitions have also increased revenue in the financial year.

The club posted a pre-tax loss of £33.1m for the year ending 31 May, 2021 (£67.3m in 2020), which includes a loss of £36.1m directly attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Susan Whelan, Leicester City chief executive, said: “A second season in the grip of the pandemic, played almost entirely without supporters, presented a great number of challenges. That we were able to turn that into one of the most successful seasons in the Club’s history – across our teams – is testament to the diligence and skill of our personnel, the unending support of our fans and the performances of our team on the pitch.

“Our chairman, Khun Aiyawatt, and the entire Srivaddhanaprabha family have been there for the club throughout, providing security across the business that has enabled us to continue investing in excellence, while supporting the welfare of our staff and communities throughout challenging times.

“The growth in our revenue streams is an encouraging indication of progress in our pursuit of sustainable success, particularly in the context of the obvious limitations brought about by the pandemic. As the world hopefully returns with confidence to more familiar settings, building on that commercial progress will be an important next step on that journey.

“Our supporters remain integral to our future planning. Their return to matchdays has been transformational this season and it’s been a pleasure to see them – with all their passion, colour and energy – in their rightful place, reunited with our teams.”

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