By David Owen
March 23 – Not even a £100 million leap in annual revenue was enough to propel Fulham into profit during its brief visit to the Premier League last season.
Results for the year to end-June 2019 reveal a pre-tax loss of £20.2 million on turnover of £137.7 million, against a loss of £45.2 million on turnover of £38.3 million in the west London club’s promotion season.
The main problem was a splurge on players, such as Jean Michaël Seri, André-Frank Zambo Anguissa and Aleksandar Mitrović, in a doomed attempt to consolidate top-flight status. This sent wage costs and amortisation surging. Total staff costs at the corporate entity Fulham Football Leisure Limited leapt predictably from £54.3million to £92.6 million, while depreciation/amortisation more than doubled to £44.5 million.
The profit and loss account shows a small profit on player sales of £2.5 million, down from £14 million. The cash flow statement indicates that cash actually spent on transfers in 2018-19 jumped to £58.6 million, with £9.6 million recouped from player sales.
All elements of turnover showed an increase with gate receipts up from £7 million to £10.7 million, central awards from £20.6 million to £93.4 million, broadcasting from £1.1 million to £15.6 million and sponsorship/commercial from £8.5 million to £17.7 million.
The club, whose immediate parent is Cougar Holdco London Limited, is controlled by Shahid Khan. Just before the year-end, 49.3 million new shares were issued to Cougar Holdco in consideration for which debt owed to the shareholder was “offset”. The accounts note that Cougar Holdco has “demonstrated its commitment to the company through converting £49,295,000 from debt into equity in the year ended 30 June 2019”.
The club said that the Riverside Stand continued to be redeveloped. Planned works began following the final game of the 2018-19 season and would last until the beginning of the 2021-22 campaign.
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