SBD/February 29, 2012/Franchises

EPL Club Aston Villa Announces Record Loss For Year Ending May 31, 2011

Aston Villa's losses have deepened every year under Lerner's ownership
EPL club Aston Villa announced that it lost $86.1M (all figures U.S.) in the year from June 1, 2010 to May 31, 2011, which is a "record loss" since Randy Lerner bought the club in '06, according to David Conn of the GUARDIAN. Under Lerner's ownership, the team's losses "have deepened every year." Lerner himself "continues to fund the club, via an ultimate holding company," called Reform Acquisitions, and Aston Villa said that Lerner has "invested a further" $39.9M into the club. Documents indicate that the total Lerner has invested in return for shares is now $212M. He has "also put money in as loans, but Villa did not release full figures, only the headlines of their financial results, so the total Lerner has invested is not yet known." However, the club "pointed to a slight increase in the club's annual income to a record" $146.6M (GUARDIAN, 2/29). In London, Peter Lansley notes the deficit of $86.1M -- up from $59.9M-- "explains the urgency with which Villa have moved to address their financial plight." With "average crowds dropping, the team facing their lowest league finish" since '06 and F Darren Bent "ruled out for the rest of the season, Villa are countenancing a new and harsh reality" (LONDON TIMES, 2/29).

RISING PROFITS: The BBC reported EPL club Arsenal has seen a "huge rise in profits" to $78.9M following the sale of several key players. The profit from May-November '11 compares with a loss of $9.7M for the same period in '10. Some $66.3M of the club's profits "came from player trading." The figures "saw Arsenal's cash reserves rise" to $183.6M, up from $176M. Turnover from soccer rose to $180.9M from $155.6M (BBC.co.uk, 2/27). In London, Rory Smith noted Arsenal CEO Ivan Gazidis was "quick to warn that, contrary to speculation, not all of that money is theoretically available to be spent on players," as much of it is "earmarked for wages, running costs and a 'rainy day' fund designed to improve a cushion should Arsenal miss out on the Champions League" (LONDON TIMES, 2/28).
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