LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, March 11, 2020: Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum celebrates scoring the first goal during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 2nd Leg match between Liverpool FC and Club Atlético de Madrid at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool generate stunning £264m broadcast returns ahead of uncertain financial landscape

Liverpool generated £264 million in broadcast revenue in 2018/19 as they recorded a year-on-year operating profit in the latest financial review.

The latest annual review of football finance from Deloitte breaks down figures from the 2018/19 season, which is expected to be the ‘peak’ before the impact of coronavirus strikes European football.

Both the English and European football scene reached “new record levels of revenue generation”, with the Reds’ sixth European Cup triumph and second-place finish in the Premier League ensuring they recorded a number of positive returns.

Earlier this year, it was reported that the Reds’ total revenue hit £533 million, with commercial and broadcast growth largely attributed to a 17 percent rise from 2017/18.

And the latest report has revealed that the Reds generated a remarkable £264 million in broadcast revenue across all competitions last season, a 19 percent increase from the season prior.

The increase came as a result of the increased values of UEFA broadcast rights and their new distribution mechanism, which saw both the Reds’ performances in the Champions League and Premier League rewarded.

MADRID, SPAIN - SATURDAY, JUNE 1, 2019: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp is embraced by owner John W Henry following a 2-0 victory in the UEFA Champions League Final match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Liverpool FC at the Estadio Metropolitano. (Pic by Paul Greenwood/Propaganda)

  • Liverpool generated £264m in broadcast revnue across all competitions last season, a 19% increase
  • Liverpool’s wages to revenue ratio sits at 58%
  • Of the ‘big six’ only Liverpool and Arsenal recorded year-on-year operating profit increases
  • Reds the only ‘big six’ club to increase their spending year-on-year with total spend reaching £223m
  • Possible Premier League clubs will report a collective operating loss for the first time in 2019/20 financial year

On another positive note, Liverpool were one of only two clubs from the ‘big six’ who recorded a year-on-year operating profit increase, alongside Arsenal.

Chelsea were the only ‘big six’ club to report an operating loss (£2m), with the remaining five accounting for 70 percent of Premier League clubs’ total operating profits with £566m.

On the other hand, Liverpool were the only ‘big six’ club to increase their spending year-on-year, with their total spend reaching £223m – largely in part due to the arrivals of Alisson, Fabinho, Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri.

But while Liverpool’s figures largely represent positive returns and Premier League clubs’ revenue totalled over £5 billion for the first time in 2018/19, the effects of coronavirus are to cause a level of uncertainty which Deloitte expects to result in profitability falling in 2019/20.

They state: “It is very possible that Premier League clubs will report a collective operating loss for the first time when we report results for the 2019/20 financial year in the summer of 2021.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, August 29, 2016: Red seats in Liverpool's new Main Stand as it undergoes testing as supporters experience the newly rebuilt stand for the second time at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The loss of matchday revenue, hits to future broadcast deals and questions marks over deals with commercial partners all come into play during what is an unprecedented and unpredictable time for the football industry.

And such predictions fall in line with Jurgen Klopp‘s comments pertaining to Liverpool withdrawing from making a £50 million move for Timo Werner.

As the report states: “We anticipate a much quieter, and more polarised, transfer window this summer in money terms.

“A few large clubs funded by wealthy owners may remain well equipped to secure their top targets, but many clubs will be unable or unwilling to invest and many that sell may be similarly not in a position to reinvest.”