Brighton player sales help club post Premier League record profit

Brighton & Hove Albion’s annual profit soared last season to a Premier League record figure across all clubs of £122.8million.

Player sales and finishing sixth in the Premier League under Roberto De Zerbi to qualify for the Europa League for the first time contributed to the near £100m increase from £24.1m the previous year.

Football finance expert Kieran Maguire said: “It’s record profits in Premier League history post-tax. It’s the second highest pre-tax behind only Spurs in 2018 and that was partly due to the fact that they were moving to their new stadium. They still had the proceeds of their old stadium to take into account.

“It shows the club’s forensic approach to everything in terms of building revenues, keeping pretty tight control on costs. They finished sixth last season with the 13th highest wage bill and the 17th most expensive squad, an amazing achievement.”

Turnover for the year to the end of June 2023  jumped to a record £204.5m from £174.5m in 2021-22, a rise of more than 17 per cent.

The figure was boosted by the sales of Alexis Mac Allister to Liverpool, Marc Cucurella to Chelsea and Yves Bissouma to Tottenham for a combined total which has the potential, with add-ons, to exceed £140m.

It also includes the £21.5m compensation from Chelsea for the departure of Graham Potter with five of his staff in September 22, merit money for the highest-ever league finish and prize money for reaching the semi-finals of the FA Cup.

Part of the handsome profit is being used to begin a process of making the club more self-sustainable by repaying some of the near £500m owner-chairman Tony Bloom has poured into the club during his 16-year reign. That has kicked off with a £33.2m reduction in the loan balance owed to Bloom.

The profit will also be put towards a new fan zone outside the Amex Stadium due to open next season and creates greater scope to strengthen the squad during the summer transfer window as De Zerbi contemplates his future.

Alexis Mac Allister, Liverpool

Player sales have helped boost Brighton’s profits (Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Chief executive and deputy chairman Paul Barber said: “These accounts will of course catch the eye, because of the headline number. In a season when we made history on the pitch, we took a huge step forward in terms of the club’s long-held aim of becoming more sustainable and less reliant on Tony Bloom’s incredibly generous levels of investment.

“For the first time since Tony made his first interest-free loan to the club back in 2007, we have been able to make a substantial re-payment to him reducing the loan balance from £406.5m to £373.3m.

“Our profitability also means we can further improve our infrastructure with a significant multi-million pound investment in a new external fan zone which, subject to planning, will be completed in summer 2024.

“We now have a very solid platform to continue to make significant progress on the pitch, by investing in our squad, and off the pitch by making the match day experience even more enjoyable for our supporters, all of which we believe will help us to continue to grow.

“The dream is to be regularly challenging for a European place and for silverware. We are very proud of Roberto, the work he and his staff have done, and of course the performance levels of our squad. As ever we are hugely grateful to Tony Bloom for his clear vision, his world class ownership of our club, and his ongoing financial support.”

Brighton’s move from losses to substantial profits in the club’s Premier League era since 2017 will continue when the annual accounts for the current campaign are published next year.

They will incorporate the sales of Moises Caicedo and Robert Sanchez to Chelsea last summer, outside of the 2022-23 accounting period, which could reach a combined total of £140m.



‘Brighton are now our biggest rivals in certain markets – their model is brilliant’

(Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

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