Brentford FC reports record annual turnover despite Covid challenges

Image above: Brentford Community Stadium

Brentford FC reported a record annual turnover of £15.3m when it published its annual results on 17 January.

In the year which saw the club’s historic promotion to the Premier League and its move to the new Brentford Community Stadium, which opened on 1 September 2020, the club saw increases in revenue from the EFL and FA and more money from live TV coverage and commercial income.

The club’s financial success in the year ending 30 June 2021 comes despite the significant operational challenges posed by Covid. Much of the season was played behind closed doors, resulting in a sharp reduction in ticketing income.

Image above: Brentford fans at the new stadium; photograph Liz Vercoe

Club pays tribute to its fans

The club paid tribute to the fans, with over 11,000 premium and season tickets sold in 2020, and to the commercial partners who stood by it throughout the pandemic with no refunds requested.

The estimated negative financial impact of COVID-19 during the 2020/21 season was approximately £2.8m (2020: £1.0m).

The financial statements for the year under review show a group operating loss, before player trading, of £53.1m (2020: loss of £34.1m). The current year’s loss arises following a season where virtually no matchday income was generated due to COVID-19 restrictions preventing supporter attendance at the vast majority of games.

The current year’s loss also includes one-off bonuses paid out to players and staff following the club’s successful promotion to the Premier League in May 2021.

Player trading

“Our player trading drove a significant profit on the disposal of player registrations of £44.3m (2020: profit of £24.9m). The principal contributors to this were the sale of Ollie Watkins to Aston Villa and the sale of Saïd Benrahma to West Ham United. These two transfers continue to provide evidence of the strong work done by the Club to recruit and develop talent.

“The knock-on impact of this was that the loss before taxation was £8.5m (2020: loss of £9.1m) – a significant reduction on the operating loss. This loss before taxation would have been a profit of approximately £3.5m were it not for promotion-related payments totalling £12.0m.”

Image above: Brentford FC Chairman Cliff Crown

Togetherness and determination “key factor in our success” – Chairman Cliff Crown

Matthew Benham’s total investment in the group on 30 June 2021, comprised of equity and loans, stood at £104.1m (2020: £103.0m). This sum includes £22.4m (2020: £21.3m) of secured loans specifically in relation to the Brentford Community Stadium project.

Cliff Crown, Chair, said: “The 2020/21 season was a momentous one for Brentford FC, on and off the field with the Club realising its ambition of promotion to the Premier League.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Matthew Benham for his unwavering commitment to the Club and congratulate Thomas Frank, Brian Riemer, the players and all the Club staff, both on and off field, my fellow Board Directors and everyone who has contributed to the best season the Club has experienced in the last 75 years.

“Our fans also deserve a special mention. Their support made a huge difference on and off the park and we will continue to do our very best to make them proud. On behalf of the Club, I want to thank each and every one of them.

“It has never been more self-evident that our togetherness and determination to achieve our goals was the key factor in our success.”

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Bill Hagerty’s Brentford FC match reports

See also: How are Chiswick’s pubs coping with Brentford’s promotion to the Premier League?

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