TOTTENHAM Hotspur generated an impressive £ 444 million in revenues for 2021-22, a 22.7% increase on the covid-impacted season that was 2020-21. Despite this return to growth, for the third successive campaign, Spurs made a sizeable pre-tax loss, £ 61.3 million, admittedly better than the previous year but still a sign that their marvellous stadium is still bedding in.
Spurs not only have to pay finance costs that helped build their home ground, but their depreciation expenses total £ 72 million, far higher than any other club in the Premier League. But is clear the club has the potential to continue to grow income, especially as naming rights have yet to be included. Apparently negotiations are in progress for a deal that could raise in excess of £ 200 million. In addition, Spurs agreed a capital increase of up to £150 million from majority shareholder, ENIC Sports via the issue of convertible A ordinary shares and accompanying warrants.
For the first time, Spurs saw their matchday income hit £ 100 million, a dramatic rise on 2020-21 which saw games played to empty stadiums due to the pandemic. Spurs averaged 56,500 at their home games, the fourth highest in the Premier League.
The club has a very broad remit when it comes to stadium use and hosts American football, boxing and rugby, as well as rock concerts at the arena. Another positive was record commercial revenues of £ 183.5 million, up from £ 151 million, thanks to increased sponsorship and merchandise sales. Broadcasting earnings were down by more than £ 50 million to £ 154 million due to a lack of UEFA Champions League football.
Spurs participated in the Europa Conference League but failed to get out of the group that included, Rennes, Vitesse and Mura. This meant they missed out on more cash, although the Europa pays only 22% of the rewards a club can generate from the Champions League. Moreover, the attendances at Spurs’ home games were way below league games, suggesting a lack of interest in the Conference League
Finishing fourth in the Premier League, however, meant Spurs qualified for the premier UEFA competition for 2022-23. Once again, Spurs changed their manager, sacking Nuno Espirito Santo in November 2021, just a few months after he was hired. Antonio Conte, formerly of Inter Milan, Chelsea and Juventus, not to mention the Italian national team, replaced him.
Spurs’ wage bill was among the top six in the Premier League and it went up by 2% to £ 209.2 million in 2021-22, which amounted to a wage-to-income ratio of 47.1%, an improvement on 2020-21’s 56.6%. Spurs spent an all-time high of £ 160 million on players, including the summer 2022 signing of Richarlison for £ 60 million from Everton, which was included in the 2021-22 financials.
In the three years between 2019-20 and 2021-22, Spurs were the sixth biggest spender in the Premier, with an outlay of £ 406 million but their income from transfers in that period, £ 67 million, was fairly modest. Interestingly, one of the player shifted-out of Tottenham was Delli Alli, once the bright hope for English football but released on a free to Everton.
While Spurs’ net debt has reduced to £ 626 million, the football debt, which is a UEFA calculation based on cash, borrowings and net transfer fees owed to other parties, was £ 952 million. Only Chelsea, with their £ 1.5 billion owed to then-owner Roman Abramovich, had a higher figure in 2021-22.
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy, in his announcement to fans, said the club was looking to implement stricter control of its cost base while increasing commercial and sponsorship revenues. He added that consistent European football was key to the club’s ability to remain competitive. He also warned that Brexit’s affect on supply chains and the worrying rise in energy prices, would be a challenge going forward.
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