Premier League rivals report contrasting financial fortunes
29 Feb 2012
Barclays Premier League rivals Aston Villa and Wolverhampton Wanderers have reported contrasting financial results, with the former outlining record losses of £53.9 million while the latter posted a £2.2 million profit.
Villa’s losses have increased every year since American Randy Lerner bought the Birmingham club in 2006, and the figures for the year ending May 31, 2011 represent a large increase on the £37.6 million posted in the previous 12 months. The Guardian reports that Lerner himself continues to fund the club, via an ultimate holding company called Reform Acquisitions, registered in the US. Lerner invested a further £25 million into the club for the 2010-11 year and Companies House documents show the total he has invested in return for shares is now £133 million.
The club’s figures come despite record revenues of £92 million and the sale of England internationals Stewart Downing to Liverpool for £20 million and Ashley Young to Manchester United for £17 million. “Given the challenging economic environment that we have been experiencing in the West Midlands, and indeed globally, we are pleased with the positive trends in our financial performance,” said Robin Russell, Aston Villa’s chief financial officer. “The board is confident that the actions taken since the end of the 2010-11 financial year have galvanised the longer-term sustainability of the club and have given us a better financial platform on which to build for future success.”
In contrast to Villa’s results, local rival Wolves furthered its reputation as one of the Premier League’s most financially sound clubs despite reporting a near £7 million drop in profits. The club’s £2.2 million profit for the year ending May 31, 2011, its second consecutive season in the top flight, compared to a figure of £9.1 million for the previous year. Turnover rose from £60.4 million to £64.6 million, while operating costs increased by £8.1 million to £37.9 million. “These are solid results, which reflect the club’s strong financial health,” said Wolves chief executive Jez Moxey. “We’re committed to running the club on this firm financial footing, while continually looking to invest in the first team.”