Liverpool bank borrowings increase in lossmaking 2019-20 financial year

By David Owen

April 28 – The value of long-term bank loans on Liverpool’s balance-sheet almost quadrupled in size in 2019-20 to stand at just under £197 million on May 31. But year-end cash was up by a similar proportion at £149.3 million.

The Reds’ newly-published accounts for what eventually turned out to be the season when they finally won their 19th English top-tier title disclose that a refinanced £200 million revolving loan facility was “drawn down in full” in advance of the year-end.

The five-year facility, which is said to be available for “general corporate purposes” including working capital and letters of credit, bears an advantageous nominal interest rate of 1.21%. In comparison, a £50 million revolving facility included in the prior year’s accounts carried a nominal interest rate of 1.96%.

The accounts also reveal that loan covenants attached to the £200 million facility were successfully renegotiated post year-end.

The size of an interest-free intercompany loan, by contrast, came down during the course of the year from £79.3 million to £71.4 million.

The US-controlled club, one of the would-be European Super League rebels, said the main element in a £24.5 million increase in tangible fixed assets related to the new training ground in Kirkby. It said this figure included “the impact of selling the Melwood Training site in August 2019 to Torus, a local housing provider”.

As previously reported, the Merseyside outfit fell into loss for the covid-affected 2019-20 period. Staff costs, which climbed about 5% to £325.6 million in a year in which turnover fell, were a big factor in this.

The club managed to post a £26.9 million profit on the disposal of player registrations, with striker Danny Ings’s sale to Southampton seemingly the major ingredient. The consolidated cash flow statement appears to indicate, however, that the club suffered a near £90 million cash deficit on transfer dealings in 2019-20, with proceeds from player sales of £32 million more than offset by purchases of £121.5 million.

According to the accounts, the club “always has and continues to enjoy a unique relationship with its loyal and dedicated supporter base. It recognises and respects the invaluable contribution made by each and every supporter to the ongoing success and longevity of the club. As such, Liverpool Football Club endeavours to be open and accessible to its supporters, communicating information via the appropriate channels in a clear and effective manner.”

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