BFC accounts: Clarets get right balance between risk and reward
Burnley recorded a net loss of Â£3.7m during the financial year ending in June 2016, having achieved "a balance between risk and reward" in regaining their Premier League status.
The club finished as Championship winners, having ended the season 23 league games undefeated, breaking their record transfer fee for Andre Gray along the way - albeit while making almost £12m profit in players sales after the departure of Kieran Trippier, Jason Shackell and Danny Ings.
Having spent over £20m with money from their precious spell in the Premier League on the new Barnfield Training Centre, ground buyback bond, and directors' and external loans, chairman Mike Garlick explained that boss Sean Dyche started this season with "a clean slate to work with...to give his team the best possible chance of finally consolidating our place in the world's most competitive and exciting league."
The loss, mainly as a result of paying bonuses to players and staff of £11.3m, compares to a record £30.1m profit the previous season.
In a statement to shareholders, Garlick said: “Financially we managed to strike a balance between risk and reward.
“The loss for the season of £3.7 million was made after paying bonuses for promotion to players and playing staff of £11.3 million.
“Our turnover for the year reduced from £79 million to £40 million; reflecting the change in TV revenue from the Premier League, to the Championship, whilst still under parachute payments.
“We are in a stronger position to be more competitive this time out in the Premier League. During and following our relegation in 2014/15 we spent over £20 million on:
• payback of Directors' loans
• payback of external loans
• payback of ground 'Buy Back Bond'
• payment for development of the Barnfield academy
“This time around we have a clean slate to work with and aim to give Sean and his team the best possible chance of finally, consolidating our place in the world's most competitive and exciting league.”
Garlick added: “Following our relegation from the Premier League in the season 2014/15 the board felt it was absolutely essential to retain the best of our existing squad whilst simultaneously investing in new playing talent, capable of enabling an immediate return to the top flight of English football.
“The result of this strategy was that we broke the clubs transfer record in showing our determination to achieve our goal of an immediate return to the Premier League.
“As you are all aware, the new Premier League TV rights deal will become effective from seasons 2016/17, meaning that one season in the Premier League would give £95 million in TV revenue for the club finishing bottom of the table. In comparison, this is a 50% increase from £67 million in the previous year.
“Clearly, with such large sums at stake we were not the only club willing to spend money to achieve promotion and as the season commenced we were one of a large handful of clubs chasing the big prize, which made it highly competitive and entertaining.
“In the end, it turned into a three-horse race in which there could only be two winners; thankfully one of them was us.
"Re-motivating and re-energising a team that has just been relegated can be extremely difficult.
“Statistically, only one in four teams makes it back the first time of asking to the Premier League.
“Couple that with the fact that the bookies made us one of the favourites for promotion (being 'favourite' is not a position we are used to!), and there was no doubt that 'the pressure was on.'
“Sean and his team responded magnificently to the challenge, and from start to finish it was clear there was only one goal - winning the Football League.
“Promotion was achieved as champions following a 23-match undefeated run, completing for the club a hat-trick of promotions to the Premier League through the play-offs, as runners up, and finally as champions - a feat yet to be achieved by any other club.”