Southampton's turnover falls after “disappointing season”

6 March 2019

Southampton annual report financials economy
Photo: Getty Images The annual report from Southampton once again showed how to make a profit, despite suffering a bit on the pitch. Turnover going down though.

Saints record another big profit - player sales the big driver.

Annual report reveals that the club hired a large number of people.

Southampton have posted a drop in turnover and profits for 2017-18, following what it called a “disappointing season” last year.

The Saints finished 17th in the Premier League and weren’t involved in European football last year.

In the previous season the club had benefitted hugely from a massive increase in TV revenue, qualification for the Europa League and a run to the EFL Cup final. The subsequent fall in on-field performance impacted on broadcast, match day and commercial revenues - however this was offset somewhat by reaching the FA Cup semi-final last season.

Despite a disappointing season for the club, the directors are pleased to report another year of positive financial performance

Results for St Mary’s Football Group Limited, the parent company for Southampton Football Club Limited, showed a £29.6 million reduction in turnover from £182.2 million in 2016-17 to £152.6 million in 2017-18.

The club achieved profit after tax of £28.6 million, compared to £34.1 million in 2016-17, with net assets increasing to £126.7 million, compared to £79.1 million the year before.

“Despite a disappointing season for the club, the directors are pleased to report another year of positive financial performance, achieving profit after tax,” the club wrote in a pressrelease.

Wages to turnover ratio increased

Profit on player trading grew from £12.3 million in 2016-17 to £32.3 million in 2017-18.

Player trading profit on disposal of players’ registrations came to £68.9 million, compared to £42.1 million in 2016-17. This was offset by the amortisation of players’ registrations of £36.7 million, compared to £29 million in 2016-17.

Intangible fixed assets - the capitalised element of each player’s transfer fee - increased from £97.3 million to £137 million.

This was driven by the signings of Jan Bednarek, Mario Lemina, Wesley Hoedt, Guido Carrillo, Stuart Armstrong and Mohamed Elyounoussi to the first-team squad, plus several players to the development squads.

The Group’s net cash position increased from £2.9 million at the 2017 Statement of Financial Position date, to £19.8 million in 2018.

The report added: “This increase was due to the timing of certain transfer fees before year-end, in advance of transfer fee payables post year-end.”

Despite player salaries falling from £86.6 million in 2016-17 to £85.2 million in 2017-18, the club’s wages to turnover ratio grew from 62 per cent to 74 per cent, with the ratio rising due to the reduction in the club’s turnover.

The average number of employees increased by 13 per cent, from 380 in 2016-17, to 429.