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Kieran Maguire is an Economics, Finance and Accounting Lecturer in the University of Liverpool’s Management School
“The announcement of the redevelopment of Anfield has come at the perfect time from a financial point of view. The Reds have slipped behind their rivals in recent year in terms of generating income, and one of the reasons for this has been the constraints of operating at a stadium whose capacity is far lower than the demand for tickets.
“The club has fallen in the last five years from seventh to twelfth in the Deloitte money league of the richest clubs, and the ground expansion, along with new TV and kit manufacturing deals, along with Champions League qualifications, and a potential very large bonus for winning the Premier League from shirt sponsors Standard Chartered Bank, should reverse this decline.
“As you can see from the above the table, Liverpool have fallen behind significantly compared to rivals both internationally and domestically. However, the club’s global standing and popularity, which meant that the shirt manufacturing deal with Warrior is the second most lucrative in the country, despite no Champions League presence, indicates the potential of the club to reverse that relative decline.
“Liverpool’s most recent financial statements revealed a loss of nearly £50 million, up from £40 million the previous season, and not only is this unsustainable from Fenway Sports Group’s (FSG), the club owners perspective, it also would not be allowed under the Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules introduced by UEFA. The Reds failure to qualify for European football this season meant that their financial results have not been scrutinised by UEFA.
“The increase in capacity from 45,000 to a potential 59,000 for Anfield means that not only will Liverpool be able to increase matchday income, which last season was £44.6 million by about a third, but also that the club will be able to provide a greater range of services to commercial customers and partners. Whilst some fans might bridle at the increasing influence of the prawn sandwich brigade, their funds are a necessary evil in modern football.
“The funding for the stadium of £150 million should be sustainable. The club’s most recent accounts revealed they owe about £48 million in bank loans and £90 million to other parts of the FSG empire. Hopefully shirt sponsors Standard Chartered will offer them a cut price deal for any further borrowings.”
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