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Liverpool lost almost £50M in '12-13, but believes that "it is heading in the correct commercial direction," according to the BBC. Last season, debts at the club decreased by 29% to £45.1M as revenue increased by 9% to £206.1M. A cash injection of £46.8M by Liverpool FC owner Fenway Sports Group "allowed the club to repay a stadium loan." The Reds, currently second in the table behind Chelsea, "hope to be playing" in the UEFA Champions League next season. The club has not "taken part in Europe's premier club competition" since '09-10, "but qualification would bring lucrative revenues" (BBC, 3/4).
LIVERPOOL 'UPBEAT': In London, Carl Markham wrote with turnover increasing by 9% to £206.1M and external debt down by 29% to £45.1M, Liverpool Managing Dir Ian Ayre "is upbeat about their future performance." This year's finances "will be boosted by a huge new television deal while the club, second in the Premier League table and six points clear of fifth-placed Tottenham," is on course to qualify for the Champions League -- participation in which brings in an estimated £20M ($33M) minimum. Ayre said, "These results demonstrate that the financial health of the club continues to make good progress as we continue our journey to transform the club on and off the pitch." The club has signed a number of significant sponsorship deals in the current season, "which will only continue to bolster commercial revenues" which rose to £97.7M in the year to May '13, up from £63.9M (INDEPENDENT, 3/4). Also in London, David Conn wrote the accounts predate the summer signings, which included Simon Mignolet for £9M from Sunderland and Mamadou Sakho, £18M from Paris St. Germain, and the £15M sale of Andy Carroll to West Ham, for whom Liverpool paid £35M "in the early months of ownership by the Boston-based Fenway Sports Group." The accounts state that the total net spending on these players to augment Brendan Rodgers's squad was £53M. Liverpool's wage bill, £132M, "was not excessive for the current financial size of the club, representing 64% of turnover, towards the upper end of what is generally considered healthy" (GUARDIAN, 3/4).
GLOBAL APPEAL: In Liverpool, John Thompson wrote Liverpool has dropped out of the Deloitte top 10 this year, but Ayre insisted that it "can soon return to the European big league and thrive there in future." He stressed "the continuing global appeal of the club, which saw sponsorship deals struck or renewed with companies including Standard Chartered Bank, Indonesian flagship airline Garuda, and Carlsberg." Liverpool pointed out that it remains "the highest ranked club that is not in the Champions League." Ayre: "These financial results are now up to 18 months old and we have continued to make further progress since this reporting period" (LIVERPOOL ECHO, 3/4). In London, Ben Rumsby wrote massive losses do not necessarily equate to a breach of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations -- "for which expulsion from Europe is the ultimate sanction." On the face of it, Liverpool’s £90M-plus loss between '11 and '13 "is well in excess" of the £37M FFP allows them to lose during that period, and the period '11-14. However, spending on infrastructure is exempt from FFP calculations "and, as any Liverpool supporter worthy of the name knows, the club have wasted millions on stadium-related projects in the last seven years" (TELEGRAPH, 3/4). Also in London, Tony Barrett wrote Liverpool remains confident of achieving its "objective of adhering" to UEFA’s FFP rules. As is the case with all other member clubs, Liverpool is "permitted to offset costs from youth development, infrastructure, community projects and the wages of any player" signed before July '10 against its losses. That could potentially allow it to comply with FFP requirements and with several lucrative commercial deals signed in the last 18 months, "adherence is not expected to be an issue when Liverpool’s next set of accounts are published next year" (LONDON TIMES, 3/4). In London, Roger Blitz wrote "the financial results cover the 12 months to May 31 and are compared with a 10-month period" reported for the '11-12 season. To comply with UEFA’s FFP rules, "clubs are allowed a total loss" of €45M ($62M) over the past two seasons. Last season’s loss follows a pre-tax loss in '11-12 of £40.5M. The club "did not comment on whether it believed it would comply" with FFP (FINANCIAL TIMES, 3/4).
EPL side Cardiff City Owner Vincent Tan "could face questions from the Premier League" after reports emerged that he offered the players an additional £3.7M ($6.1M) financial bonus "should they avoid relegation this season," according to Jack de Menezes of the London INDEPENDENT. Premier League regulations state that any performance-based bonuses such as a relegation avoidance payment "must be officially lodged before the start of the season, with personal benefits needing to be written into a player’s contract." A Premier League ruling states, “Full details of a player's remuneration including all benefits to which he is entitled whether in cash or in kind shall be set out in his contract. The terms of a contract between a club and a player shall be strictly adhered to” (INDEPENDENT, 3/4). REUTERS' Alan Baldwin reported newspapers quoted a Tan spokesperson as saying that the offer "had been a mistake." The spokesperson said, "We didn't realize it was against regulations. Vincent Tan has now rescinded the offer" (REUTERS, 3/3).