Big loss at Aston Villa – this time off-the-field

X The Business Desk

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ASTON VILLA lost £27.3m last season, as the company limped to what was then its worst-ever Premier League finish.

The relegation-threatened club endured a difficult year, which saw it change its chief executive and team manager, with Paul Faulkner and Paul Lambert being replaced by Tom Fox and Tim Sherwood.

Since the year-end, Mr Sherwood has also left the club, as has finance director Robin Russell.

In a year which included an FA Cup Final appearance, the club lost £9.8m operationally, which included £3.3m for exceptional termination and onerous contract costs.

Interest payments of £1.2m and accounting for the declining value of the playing squad was responsible for the remaining losses.

The club’s wage bill has increased by more than £14m to £83.8m, with staff costs rising from 59% to 72% of its turnover.

The highest-paid director – believed to be new chief executive Tom Fox, who was in post for seven months of the financial year – earned £1.26m.

Broadcasting revenues, which includes prize money based on its final position in the Premier League, were down 2% to £71.4m, while commercial revenues fell 12% to £19.4m.

Positively, ticket revenues were up 8% to £13.8m and sponsorship revenues rose 17% to £10.9m.

Owner Randy Lerner, who has recently appointed Steve Hollis as chairman and former Bank of England governor Mervyn King as a non-executive director, reiterated his desire to sell the club in the accounts filed at Companies House.

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