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Wolves post £20m profit while debts are up in new club accounts

By Joe Edwards | Wolverhampton | Wolves | Published:

Wolves ended their first season back in the Premier League with a pre-tax profit of nearly £20million – but debts also rose significantly, new accounts show.

Wolves chairman Jeff Shi (AMA)

Financial results revealed that for the year ended May 2019, the club owes parent company Fosun £131m – up by £56m from the previous year.

A total of £210m (compared to £122m in 2018) is owed to creditors.

Wolves' pre-tax profit of £19.96m comes after a £57m loss the previous year –the season in which they won promotion from the Championship.

Returning to the top flight made the difference, with a whopping £145m distributed by the Premier League making up a large chunk of an overall turnover of £172.5m – up from £26.4m.

The turnover was also helped by Wolves' season-ticket numbers increasing to the maximum available, 22,500, and average league attendance of 31,030.

A total of £11.5m came in from gate receipts, while income from sponsorship and advertising, broadcasting rights and commercial increased significantly as well.

Wolves' wages – paid to 365 staff – are up to £92m, meaning they spent 53 per cent of their income on wages – a big decrease from the 192 per cent spent in the 2017/18 term.

Of the £92m wage costs, almost £81m went to the club's 87 playing staff. Wolves' first team received an average wage of £42,000 a week – the fourth-lowest in the top flight.

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Over the period, Wolves invested heavily in the playing squad, signing Joao Moutinho, Adama Traore, Rui Patricio, Willy Boly, Ruben Vinagre and Jonny Castro Otto – resulting in a net player trading loss of £25.8m.

Since last May, Wolves have also 'secured additional financing facilities totalling £50m'.

That was a loan taken out with Australian financial services giant Macquarie Group to fund operational costs, as reported by the Express & Star in October.

The loan was approved on the back of the impending multi-million pound income due to come into Molineux from the Premier League’s central fund.

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It is understood the loan will aid costs involved in running the club while Wolves await instalments totalling around £130m, due to finishing seventh in the league last season.

Also documented in the club's 'post balance sheet events' is the fact they have since acquired £95m worth of players.

In the club's review of developments and future prospects, they stated: "In the year under review, the club competed in the Premier League, the first year back in the Premier League since 2012.

"This year saw a continuation of strong investment into developing the squad, and ultimately proved successful, resulting in a seventh-placed finish in the league with 57 points, the best achieved by the club in the top division since 1979/80.

"The club have invested further in both the first team and development squads, and the supporting infrastructure and facilities throughout the summer."

The club added: "Going forward, the aim for the club is to establish themselves as strong contenders for qualification for European club competition year-on-year.

"The directors have a continued commitment to continuously improve the club. The directors consider prospects for the company to be excellent."

Joe Edwards

By Joe Edwards
Multi-Media Sports Journalist - @JoeEdwards_Star

Wolves fan turned Wolves correspondent for the Express & Star.

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