Broadcasting hike enables English FA to bounce back into profit

FA logo on Wembley

By David Owen

April 29 – New broadcasting deals enabled the Football Association to bounce back into profit while boosting investments in the English game by almost 30% to £165.6 million during the year to end-July 2019.

Of the additional £38 million pumped into English football, however, just £2 million went into the women’s game, with nearly half of the additional funding earmarked for increased FA Cup prize money. All told, women’s football got just £11 million, or less than 7%, of the £165.6 million total, versus £51 million that went to FA competition prize funds, £19 million to facilities, £17 million to county FAs and £25 million to other football organisations.

Newly-published accounts show that turnover for the year was up by nearly a quarter, from £375.5 million to £467.2 million, with broadcasting much the largest contributor at £262.6 million.

Sponsorship and licensing income, by contrast, was down quite sharply at £63.4 million, against £79.1 million. Events income edged up to £70.6 million, in spite of the ending of the Tottenham Hotspur tenancy, reflecting a good year for rock concerts and the staging of three American football games plus a boxing bout involving Anthony Joshua.

Operating profit surged to £62.8 million, against a £1.8 million operating loss the previous year. Pre-tax profit weighed in at £57 million, against a loss of £8.5 million.

The FA’s debt was restructured during the course of the year, with a term loan replaced, in effect, by a revolving credit facility. At the 2018-19 year-end, net debt stood at £126.4 million, up from £106.7 million. Year-end cash amounted to £39.2 million. There was a £23.7 million purchase of tangible fixed assets.

A statement accompanying the accounts by FA chairman Greg Clarke was dated November 2019, predating emergence of the coronavirus pandemic.

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