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SBD Global/October 17, 2012/FinancePrint All
EPL Swansea City is "set to announce" a £14.6M ($23.5M) profit from its debut season in the Premier League, according to the PA. The club, which finished 11th in the top flight last season, had a turnover of £65.2M ($105M) for the year ending May 31. The "strong set of figures" showed the Swans received £5M ($8M) in compensation payments from Liverpool for the departure of Manager Brendan Rodgers and his staff, with the club "in the black despite increased operating costs and higher wage bill" as a result of their promotion to the Premier League (PA, 10/16). FCBUSINESS wrote that while the extent and timing of a capital investment program "relies heavily on the club’s ability to remain in the Premier League," progress has already been made on the £2.5M ($4M) Landore training ground development. Swansea has also created a partnership with Swansea University, which "involves the acquisition of a long-term lease" of the playing fields at Fairwood, which is "expected to provide a first class training complex befitting a Premier League club" (FCBUSINESS.co.uk, 10/16).
MODEL FOR SUCCESS: In London, Phil Cadden wrote, "If there was a league table for financial success then Swansea City would be challenging for Manchester City's Premier League title." While the Manchester clubs and Liverpool "use the foreign owner approach," Swansea, which is debt-free, has "a unique style." The Swansea City Supporters Trust has a "significant" 19.9% share of the club. Chair Huw Jenkins believes the club's "home-grown structure and supporter-owned model, which was the first seen in the top flight, is the envy for even those competing for Champions League places." Jenkins said: "I think we are a blueprint. If we can work our way to the top of the British game this way, it will give everyone else connected with football a genuine lift" (INDEPENDENT, 10/16).
Accounts of its Bahrain parent company Gulf Finance House show that the Dubai-based investment firm negotiating to takeover Championship club Leeds United, one of English football's most-famous clubs, "appears to have little financial fire power to complete the deal," according to Sa'Pinto, French & Weir of REUTERS. According to an internal document from '10 reviewed by Reuters and verified by four former insiders, the Bahrain company had "previously taken big fees from projects that rarely see completion." Dubai-based GFH Capital "is in exclusive talks to buy Leeds, which it estimates has a market value of around £52M ($83M)." However, the GFH group "had more than a quarter of a billion dollars of accumulated losses and less than $6M in cash at the end of June." Leeds Supporters' Trust Chair Gary Cooper said, "Words don't buy football clubs; Money buys football clubs. We would expect to see evidence of GFH's ability to fulfill their claims and promises in the very near future after the takeover." GFH Capital CEO David Haigh said that "his company had the resources to complete the transaction and buy new players, but gave no further details on the deal, citing a non-disclosure agreement during negotiations." GFH Capital said that "it can afford the investments to get the club back into the Premier League and buy back the stadium." The group's accounts "present a more more equivocal picture." After losing more than a billion dollars in '09 and '10, the group reported a profit of just $381,000 in '11 -- less than a month's pay for a top EPL player -- after "slashing staff costs and canceling staff bonuses already accounted for in previous financial statements" (REUTERS, 10/16).