Southampton record £76.1m loss after COVID-hit season

Southampton have reported a £76.1m loss in the Premier League club’s latest set of financial results which have been hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Parent company St Mary’s Football Group Ltd announced a decrease in overall turnover down to £126.6m from £149.6m in 2019, with the net loss before tax up from £41m.

With the suspension of the season from March 2020 until Project Restart, match-day revenue fell from £17m to £14.5m as games were played behind closed doors.

While the Saints went on to finish in 11th place when the Premier League season finally concluded, broadcasting revenue for the period was down from £112.8m to £93.5m as a consequence of the campaign ending after June 30 2020.

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Project Restart also incurred an extra £1.5m of “net additional costs of sales and administrative expenses” so that the men’s first-team squad could train and play out the resumed season in a Covid-19 secure environment.

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Southampton reported the total 2019/20 revenue foregone as a result of the coronavirus pandemic over the financial year was £10.3m, with a further £20.9m revenue deferred into the next set of results which will be for year-ended June 30 2021.

The club said revenue would have shown a five-and-a-half per cent increase up to £157.8m had it not been lost or deferred due to the coronavirus crisis, while the group’s overall net loss for the financial year would have stood at £47m.

Transfer business was also significantly impacted, with the summer window not opening until July 2020, which was after the latest financial year had ended.

The sales of Charlie Austin and Sam Gallagher during the previous summer helped see a profit of £13.9m – but these were offset by the purchases of Che Adams, Moussa Djenepo and the loan of Kevin Danso.

Southampton managing director Toby Steele said: “As with many companies and industries, the group is in the midst of a challenging financial environment due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This is reflected in the financial results for 2019/20 and necessitated the group to restructure its debt facility during June 2020.

“Despite these challenges, our group-wide staff have shown great resilience, facilitating a smooth return to training and matches for men’s and women’s teams across all age groups, as well as the return of fans, albeit briefly, during season 2020/21.

“We also have great pride in the work of the Saints Foundation, in particular the collaboration with group staff in the ‘Saints as One’ initiative during the early stages of the pandemic.

“The ongoing support of our fans, many of whom purchased a 2020/21 season ticket at a time when the return of football was unknown, is greatly appreciated and it is our hope to get fans back where they belong, supporting all our teams in person, in greater numbers as soon as possible.”

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