Media deals help slash Liverpool FC financial losses in “unprecedented” year

Liverpool FC slashed its financial losses thanks to a big rise in media revenues, its latest figures have shown.

The Anfield club released its report for the year to May 31, 2021, which it said covered “an unprecedented time, on and off the pitch”.

The reporting period included the club’s 19th English league title, but was marred by a 95% reduction in matchday revenues of £3m, against £70m the previous year, due to clubs having to play behind closed doors due to pandemic lockdown measures.

Nevertheless, total revenues only dropped by £3m, to £487m, thanks to a £64.5m increase in media revenues, giving a total of £266.1m for the financial year. Commercial revenues increased by £200,000 to £217.6m.

Pre-tax losses were reduced from £41.5m in 2020, to £4.8m.

The club said the increase in media revenues was due to the prolonged 2019-20 Premier League season, which fell outside of the previous reporting period.

And although there was an impact to non-matchday commercial revenues during the period, including retail stores, stadium tours and the museum closing due to the pandemic, there was still strong growth in partnerships sales. A total of 13 new partnerships were announced, including Nike, Expedia, Amazon, Quorn and SC Johnson.

This period also saw record-breaking kit sales with the new Nike partnership and mobile transactions increased by 89% on the club’s online retail store. Three new physical stores were opened in Thailand and Singapore.

The club’s social media channels surpassed 100 million followers, which included 30 million on Instagram, 20 million on Twitter and more than four million on TikTok. LFC also became the most engaged club in the Premier League across all social channels, with a total of 1.43bn engagements.

Twelve new players joned the club during the financial period, including Diogo Jota and Thiago Alcantara, while 12 player contracts were renewed, including Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Harvey Elliott.

Andy Hughes, LFC’s managing director, said: “These latest results demonstrate the significant financial impact of the global COVID pandemic, which affected all areas of the business.

“We have worked really hard these past years to get us into a really strong and sustainable financial position. Despite navigating through a very challenging and uncertain period, overall revenue remained flat, demonstrating the underlying financial strength of the business.”

He added: “It’s been an unprecedented time on and off the pitch. Our men’s team winning our 19th league title was a truly fantastic achievement, but not having supporters in the stadium to share the moment was not how we wanted it to be. Our women’s team also continues to grow and the hard work and strategic changes to the women’s section is seeing a challenge for promotion to the WSL this season.”

He said the club’s owners have invested more than £130m in infrastructure over the past three years, and work is progressing on the current Anfield Road expansion project, which will see the capacity of Anfield rise to 61,000, on completion in 2023.

Mr Hughes said: “It is imperative, however, that we continue to live within our means and operate within football’s regulations and financial fair play. But we’ll continue to reinvest on and off the pitch to further strengthen our position and compete at the highest levels right across the club.”