Pandemic hits Liverpool FC as club slides into the red

Liverpool FC has slumped into the red, its latest annual figures for the year to May 31, 2020, showed today.

In common with other football clubs the final three months of its accounts were badly impacted by the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic which saw grounds shut as lockdown measures were introduced, and then games resume behind closed doors with no fans in attendance.

Overall revenue for the year was down by £43m to £490m, and the club made a pre-tax loss of £46m, compared with a pre-tax profit of £42m the previous year.

Media revenues fell by £59m to £202m, matchday revenues reduced by £13m to £71m, although commercial revenues increased by £29m to £217m,

The rise in commercial revenues was helped with the announcement of eight new partnerships during the period, including Cadbury and Iugis. Nivea and Carlsberg also renewed their existing long-term partnerships with the club.

LFC Retail experienced a significant increase in growth, with the Premier League champions’ home kit breaking record sales.

The club’s international expansion plans also added growth with new retail stores opened in Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam.

Digitally, the club saw a huge growth in its global social media following – up 32% annually, gaining an additional 22 million new followers.

LFC remains the most followed Premier League club on YouTube and is the fastest-growing club on Instagram.

The club’s combined Twitter accounts reached 17.4 million followers – a 29% increase and treble the growth rate recorded in the 2018-19 season.

Andy Hughes, LFC’s managing director, said: “This financial reporting period was up to May 2020, so approaching a year ago now. It does, however, begin to demonstrate the initial financial impact of the pandemic and the significant reductions in key revenue streams.

“We were in a solid financial position prior to the pandemic and since this reporting period we have continued to manage our costs effectively and navigate our way through such an unprecedented period.”

He added: “Importantly, what has remained constant throughout the pandemic is the club’s desire to support the local community and those who live in and around Anfield and across the city region.

“We have also worked closely with our city partners and provided unwavering support to the region’s public health departments in their drive to promote the important health messages across the region to help keep local people safe.

“More recently, we willingly made Anfield available to operate as a mass testing centre and now a vaccination hub with the incredible commitment and dedication of our Anfield staff.”

He said: “We can now look ahead to the conclusion of this season and hopefully a more normal start to next season.

“It’s no secret that supporters have been greatly missed at Anfield over the past year and we look forward to having them back.”