By David Owen
March 1 – Liverpool’s remarkable 2021-22 season has helped to restore the Merseyside club to profit. The Reds have served notice that pre-tax profit weighed in at £7.5 million in the year to end-May 2022; this compared with a loss of £4.8 million the previous year.
With fans returning to Anfield, revenues surged by £107 million to £594 million, with the matchday income stream accounting for £83 million of the improvement. Commercial revenue was also up by £29 million at £247 million.
However, administrative costs also rose sharply, by £69 million to £545 million. In a media release, the club attributed this to an “increase in salary costs and matchday overhead costs”. It said that in the past five years, annual operating costs for Anfield had “increased by nearly 40%”.
Liverpool’s form has been far less impressive this season, with the latest setback being a heavy defeat at home to old rivals Real Madrid in the Champions League.
A question-mark has also hovered over the club’s ownership, though some uncertainty was removed last month when American John Henry indicated that his Fenway Sports Group was not poised to sell up, though it was talking with investors.
Liverpool won both the FA Cup and the League Cup in 2021-22, while finishing a hard-chasing second in the Premier League and losing the Champions League final to Real Madrid.
Managing director Andy Hughes said that the club had invested more than £250 million in infrastructure over the past five years and was looking forward to the new Anfield Road stand coming onstream “in the summer”.
The club has generally excelled in its transfer dealings in recent times, but a substantial close-season makeover of the squad appears necessary if it is to keep pace with big-spending rivals. The arrival of teenage midfield prodigy Jude Bellingham from Borussia Dortmund would provide a huge boost, but competition for the England man’s signature could hardly be stiffer and Champions League football at Anfield in 2023-24 now looks a tall order unless Jürgen Klopp’s team can conjure a grandstand finish to a hugely disappointing season.
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