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Wolves reveal huge loss in latest accounts

By Tim Spiers | Wolves | Published:

Wolves made a huge pre-tax loss of £23.2million last season, the club has revealed.

Managing director Laurie Dalrymple and executive chairman Jeff Shi (© AMA / Sam Bagnall)

Ahead of the club’s financial incomings and outgoings being released in detail for the 2016/17 season Wolves have announced the key figures from the accounts – which spell out a grim financial picture compared to previous years.

However the huge investment made by owners Fosun – who bought the club at the start of the season in question – is paying dividends this season with the club top of the Championship and edging towards promotion to the cash-rich Premier League.

Wolves had made a profit of £5.8m the year before, when previous owner Steve Morgan was still at the helm.

Fosun’s arrival heralded a huge increase in money spent on players – with around £28million believed to have gone on the likes of Helder Costa (£13m), Ivan Cavaleiro (£7m) and Romain Saiss (£3m).

Despite the big outlay the team only finished 15th in the Championship table, one position lower than the previous season.

Large sums were also spent changing their head coach, with Kenny Jackett sacked and Walter Zenga and Paul Lambert hired and fired during the season.

This was Wolves’ first season without ‘parachute payments’ following their relegation from the Premier League in 2012, which contributed to turnover for the year dropping to £23.8m, from £27.2m in 2016.

However this was partly offset by a £2.6m in commercial, ticketing and broadcasting funds.

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Molineux’s average attendance rose to 21,572, despite a drop in season ticket figures, meaning an increase of £1.2m in ticketing income.

Player sales also decreased dramatically. Wolves had made £9.9m in player sales in 2015/16, mostly thanks to the sale of Benik Afobe to Bournemouth, but this was down to £2.2m in 2016/17.

Wolves attributed the massive £23.2m pre-tax loss to player transfers, wages, changes in head coach/staff and an investment in their Compton Park training facilities.

Wolves said today: "Since taking ownership of the club, Fosun International have always maintained the view that increased expenditure both on and off the pitch is essential to ensure Wolves are able to compete with other clubs of a similar size and ambition.

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"They believe that with sound investment, made with the club's long-term future at heart, they can realise their ambition for the club to win promotion to the Premier League, where it can enjoy continued growth and sustained success."

The figures will heighten the need for Wolves to win promotion this season.

Financial fair play rules dictate that clubs are able to lose up to £39m over a three-year rolling period.

Wolves have recouped far more from player sales this season (around £10m) but still spent around £20m on signing Ruben Neves (£15m), Roderick Miranda (£2.5m), Barry Douglas (£1m) and Rafa Mir (£1.5m), meaning they are likely to post another sizeable loss for 2017/18.

Tim Spiers

By Tim Spiers
@tim_spiers_Star

Writes about Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club for a living

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