Leeds United have announced losses of £64m during the coronavirus-hit 2019/20 campaign, despite ending their 16-year Premier League exile by winning promotion from the Championship.
The Whites destroyed the rest of their competition last season, finishing top of the second tier by a ten-point margin in what will be remembered as a famous year for the English giants.
But their success on the pitch was not replicated off of it as they announced financial losses of £64m, as reported by BBC Sport.
Leeds spent £46m on players last year in their bid to return to the top flight and subsequently distributed £20m in promotion bonuses to players and coaching staff. However, they did see an upturn in commercial revenue, raking in around £15m in shirt and merchandise sales.
The club also made a £2.5m insurance claim due to the coronavirus pandemic, which saw all games played behind closed doors, costing teams up and down the country millions in ticket revenue.
Leeds’ managing director Angus Kinnear explained that despite the losses, the club was able to maintain ‘the group’s financial integrity with record commercial growth.’
“Despite the unprecedented operational and financial challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the group won the EFL Championship by ten points whilst successfully maintaining the group’s financial integrity with record commercial growth.”
The Whites’ turnover increased from £48.9m in the 2018/19 season to £54.2m last year, largely thanks to the aforementioned boost in merchandise sales. Leeds have become extremely popular in South America, particularly with fans who are enchanted by coach Bielsa.
Kinnear also praised the ‘new-found unity’ throughout the club and described their base as the ‘perfect platform’ to become a success both on and off the field.
“The commercial figures illustrate the positive sentiment of the fan base and the new-found unity between supporters, players, management and, combined with promotion to the Premier League, represents the perfect platform for continued footballing and commercial success.”