Aston Villa reduce losses but see revenue plummet during first Championship campaign
Villa saw reduced overall losses but also a dramatic drop in revenue during their first season in the Championship.
The club’s accounts for the 2016-17 campaign, their first under the ownership of Tony Xia, revealed an overall loss of £14.5million - down from £81m the previous year.
That is also despite Villa, who finished 13th in the table, splashing out more on players than any other club in the division.
But the impact of relegation from the Premier League - and the club's acute need to reclaim top flight status swiftly - was laid bare in figures which showed a sharp drop in revenue across the board, with a total reduction in turnover of more than £35m to £73.8m.
Gate receipts fell from £12.4m to £10.7m, while broadcasting revenues reduced from £65m to £48m.
Hardest hit was the club’s commercial income, which was cut by more than half, including a fall in sponsorship of more than £9m to just £2.7m.
The reduced overall losses were chiefly due to both parachute payments and a £26.6m profit on player sales over the course of the financial year. Villa were effectively losing more than £800,000-a-week before those sales were taken into account.
The club still spent big during the initial months of Xia’s reign, with more than £88million splashed out on player signings during the first two transfer windows following his takeover in June 2016.
Yet concerns over Financial Fair Play rules saw the club spend just £2.9m on players last summer, with Villa actually returning a net profit of £19.5m on transfer sales during that window.
Elsewhere, the consequences of relegation could further be seen in reduced staffing levels, with the club’s overall number of employees falling from 543 to 401, while the number of part-time staff was cut from 1,080 to 663.
Wages also fell by more than a third, yet Villa remained among the biggest spenders in the Championship, with a total wage bill of £61million.
A further reduction was found in the salary received by the club’s top director, with the accounts revealing chief executive Keith Wyness was paid £357,000.
That is a sharp decrease from the £3million given to predecessor Tom Fox during his final year at the club, though that figure is understood to have also included the American's pay-off following his exit in March 2016.