West Ham United’s accounts for the 2016/17 season have today been published.
- Profit of £43million in the year, up from a loss of £4.9m the previous year.
- Sale of Boleyn Ground generated £8.7m profit.
- Reduction of net debt by £21.3m.
- Net cash investment in players of £33.6m.
- Investment of £8.1m in the infrastructure of stadium and training grounds.
Profit for year
- Three key factors contributed to the growth in profit;
- An increase in TV rights fees of £32.6m, which contributed over £11m after increased player costs and amortization.
- Profit on the sale of players up £24.3m to £28.4m against £4.1m the previous year.
- Profit on the sale of the Boleyn Ground of £8.7m.
It is noted that 19 out of 20 Premier League clubs made a profit in the 2016/7 season, the first of the new and drastically-improved broadcasting deal. The Club’s TV rights income rose £32.6m despite a finish of 11th as opposed to seventh in the 2015/16 season.
Sale of Boleyn Ground
The ground was sold in July 2016 for £38m, against a net resalable value in the accounts of £30m, thereby generating an £8m exceptional profit. A further £0.7m was generated from the sale of stadium assets.
The Club had already received two £5m deposits in 2014/15 and 2015/16, with the net proceeds used to pay off legacy bank loans of £14.7m and the £15m one-off usage fee for access to the London Stadium.
The Club net debt, including cash, fell by £21.3m during the 2015/16 season. The Club, at the end of the season, had no bank debt, replaced by short-term lending of £30m and shareholder loans of £45m.
During the campaign in question, the Club borrowed £42.5m of short-term funds and repaid them all in full. The Club also repaid £14.7m of legacy bank debt during the season.
The Club has moved away from bank lending completely and now utilises short-term lending and Shareholder loans. The vast majority of the money put in by the shareholders has stayed in the business although, as a result of this successful year, £4.2m of the oldest shareholder loans were repaid along with associated interest during the season.
In addition, the interest on the Shareholder loans was reduced to 4.0% from 6-7% from 1 April 2017.
Investment in playing squad
During the season, the Club invested cash of £60.7m in players, and received £27.1m from player disposals, to give a net outlay on players of £33.6m.
In the previous season, our net outlay on players was £32.4m, illustrating the Club’s commitment to investing consistently in the playing squad every year.
Investment in infrastructure
The Club spent £8.1m on capital expenditure during the season, predominantly relating to the London Stadium including fit-outs of the offices, shop, warehouse, Club lounges and meeting rooms as well as the branding of the stadium, but also substantial investment on new pitches and refurbishment of Rush Green, the first-team training ground.
The Club also spent £5.1m last season on building works at the London Stadium and further enhancements to Rush Green.
A further £3.5m is planned for redeveloping the Academy at Chadwell Heath this summer.
Chairman David Sullivan said: “The Club is in the healthiest financial position it has been in for years.
“In each of the last two seasons we have broken our transfer record and improvements in our overall financial position will help us to increase investment again this summer.
“I know some of our supporters will argue we have not spent enough in the transfer windows and signed the right targets - I accept that. I have explained in recent weeks we are changing the structure of our scouting and recruitment set-up and will make every effort to improve our performance in those areas in the future.”