Burnley to stay in the black – just – despite £10.5m covid hit

By David Owen

April 5 – Burnley, the English Premier League club recently taken over by Jersey-incorporated Velocity Sports, an entity controlled by new club chairman Alan Pace, has joined the select group of top-flight teams to have turned a profit in 2019-20 – albeit a tiny one.

The Clarets used the same business tactic as bottom-of-the-table Sheffield United, extending their financial year-end by a month to July 31. As a consequence of this and the team’s creditable 10th-place finish, all-important TV income dipped only modestly, from £115 million to £113.5 million, in spite of the club’s £8.5 million share of the broadcaster rebate.

The Turf Moor outfit put the overall loss of income and additional costs associated with covid at £10.5 million. Taking all of this – as well as staff costs, which climbed past the £100-million mark because of the 13th month – into account, the Lancashire club was able to post a pre-tax profit of just £4,000 against £5 million a year earlier.

A profit of £14.7 million on player sales, up from £7 million in 2018-19, also helped, with the departure of goalkeeper Tom Heaton to Aston Villa thought to have been a significant contributory factor.

The cash flow statement indicates that the club actually had a £20 million-plus cash deficit on transfers, investing £46 million in the purchase of “intangible assets”, while recouping £24.5 million on player sales.

Turnover for the latest 13-month period amounted to £133.8 million, down from £137.8 million for the twelve months to end-June 2019.

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