Aston Villa suffer annual loss of £99m as Covid-19 hits hard

Villa have confirmed plans to expand Villa Park despite suffering a financial loss of £99.2million during the pandemic-hit 2019-20 season.

A general view of Villa Park
A general view of Villa Park

The club’s latest set of financial results, published on Friday, estimated the cost of Covid-19 for the year ending May 31, 2020 at around £36.1million, with a large chunk of that the rebate paid to broadcasters due to the delayed finish to the campaign.

But despite the substantial loss, Villa remain debt free thanks to the backing of billionaire owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens, with all losses and investment funded through shareholder equity.

Without the impact of the pandemic, the overall loss would have been closer to the £68.9m sum incurred during the previous year’s promotion-winning campaign.

In a statement announcing the 2019-20 figures, the club revealed preliminary designs are being drawn up to increase Villa Park’s capacity and modernise commercial facilities.

Figures revealed Villa spent £155.9m on players following their return to the top flight, while turnover nearly doubled, from £54m to £112m, thanks to the riches on offer in the Premier League with the club also enjoying record season ticket sales.

They were eventually capped at 30,000, with Villa Park’s capacity currently 42,682.

Big money has been spent at Villa’s Bodymoor Heath training ground with the construction of a new high performance centre, while a significant investment has also been made in the club’s academy.

Further projects include the construction of a satellite academy in Aston, while the club’s statement confirmed preliminary designs are being drawn up to expand the capacity of Villa Park.

Like every other club, Villa have been forced to play matches behind closed doors since the pandemic began and season ticket holders were offered a refund for those games they were barred from attending at the end of last season.

After avoiding relegation on the final day of the campaign, Villa again invested heavily in their playing squad and those sums will be reflected in the accounts for the current financial year, when the club is also due to get back the broadcast income lost during the 2019-20 campaign.

The club statement concluded: “Taken together the average of the two financial years will give a more accurate reflection of underlying results.”

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