West Brom rack up £23million loss as Covid hits

Albion made a loss of £23.7million during the 2019/20 season as the club dealt with the financial implications of Covid-19 while also paying bonuses following promotion to the Premier League.

Grady Diangana of West Bromwich Albion celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 2-0 with Semi Ajayi of West Bromwich Albion and Matheus Pereira of West Bromwich Albion.
Grady Diangana of West Bromwich Albion celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 2-0 with Semi Ajayi of West Bromwich Albion and Matheus Pereira of West Bromwich Albion.

The Baggies annual accounts are due to be published on Companies House this week.

But the Express & Star understands they will show a £23.7million loss – a rise of £17million on the previous 12 months.

That was mainly down to promotion bonuses paid to players and coaching staff, while the coronavirus pandemic cost the club £3.3million up to July 2020 – with that figure set to increase for the time that’s followed since.

Overall, the club’s turnover fell from £70.8million to £53.7million, media-related income dropped from £52.7million to £40.5million while gate receipts fell from £7.3million to £4.8million.

But despite those loses, Albion remain debt free – with the club not needing to take out any loans despite the global financial climate.

Forecasted cash flows for the next 12 months also remain positive.

In the accounts, which have been independently audited, it is revealed the Baggies committed to spending £47.4million in transfer fees during the summer of 2020.

That money was used to purchase the likes of Matheus Pereira, Callum Robinson, Grady Diangana and Karlan Grant and will be spread across instalments made over the next few years.

The accounts show Albion received £7million less in Premier League funding than anticipated for the 2020/21 season because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The impact of the virus also means the Baggies will have to pay a £2.1million rebate to the Premier League which relates to the 2019/20 season. That means, in total, the Baggies received £9.1million less than if they had gone up in any other year.

At the outbreak of the pandemic, the club opted not to furlough any staff.

But it was decided in May 2020 to utilise the government initiative given the uncertainty of how long the pandemic would last.

The use of the scheme was suspended when the club earned promotion to the Premier League in July 2020

The coronavirus pandemic also saw full refunds paid to all season-ticket holders who requested one.

Elsewhere, the amount Albion’s highest paid director received went down from £437,000 to £208,000.

Overall directors payments down from £667,000 to £378,000.

Wages and salaries increased from £41.7million to £59.7million.

Albion opted to extend their accounting year for 2020 from June 30 to July 31.

It means their accounts now include the whole of their promotion winning season from the Championship.

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