Liverpool’s media revenue fell by £59m and match-day revenue by £13m in the first three months of the pandemic, the club’s latest accounts have revealed.
The full scale of the pandemic’s impact on football finances remains unclear, with limited crowds only just being allowed back at test events, but Liverpool believe it has cost them at least £120m in lost revenue since March 2020.
On Tuesday the club posted financial results for the year to 31 May 2020, a period that covers only three months of the current 13-month crisis. As a result of the Premier League season being suspended in March 2020 and completed behind closed doors in July, when Jürgen Klopp’s team won the club’s first title in 30 years, media income at Liverpool dropped by £59m to £202m. Four fewer Premier League home games during this period meant match-day revenue declined by £13m to £71m.
Liverpool’s overall revenue was down by £43m to £490m and the club suffered a pre-tax loss of £46m. The losses were cushioned, however, by strong commercial performance. Eight new partnerships, sponsorship renewals with Nivea and Carlsberg, record sales of the new Nike home kit and new retail stores in Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam helped increase commercial revenue by £29m to £217m.
Fenway Sports Group, the club’s owner, has been widely condemned for playing a leading role in the Super League fiasco that would have netted Liverpool and the other founding clubs £300m per season before a ball had been kicked. FSG recently sold a 10% stake of its business to the private investment firm RedBird Capital Partners for £543m, enabling Liverpool to continue with plans to redevelop the Anfield Road stand and invest in player recruitment at pre-pandemic levels.
Andy Hughes, Liverpool’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.”