Record breakers: Relegated Hull City boast record £35m profits

HULL CITY posted a pre-tax profit of a little over £35m for last season '“ a record for Yorkshire football.

Harry Maguire.
Harry Maguire.

The Tigers, relegated from the Premier League last May, benefited from the lucrative new three-year TV deal that kicked in for top flight clubs at the start of the 2016-17 campaign.

City received £93.897m in TV fees to send turnover soaring to £116.927m – almost three times what the club had earned the previous year as a Championship club, albeit one receiving parachute payments after slipping out of the top division in 2015.

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It also significantly exceeded Hull’s previous highest turnover of £84.4m, set in the 2013-14 financial year that included an FA Cup final appearance.

This record-breaking turnover in the 12 months to June 30, 2017, helped the Tigers post a profit of £35.652m despite the wage bill more than doubling to £61.254m.

Slightly skewing this surplus, however, is the sale of Harry Maguire to Leicester City going through before the end of the financial year.

Hull received an upfront payment of £14m for the defender with another £3m possibly due in add-ons, whereas most summer transfer deals involving football clubs fall into the following year’s figures due to being completed after July 1.

According to the latest set of accounts, filed at Companies House after being approved by owner Assem Allam earlier this month, City’s debt fell from £100.406m to £81.343m. A further £21.099m was held in the bank at the end of June.

Following relegation, the wage bill at the KCOM Stadium will have fallen significantly due to clauses inserted in player contracts that stipulate salaries be cut by either 40 or 50 per cent.

“The club remains in a strong financial position as a result of the relegation clauses in place with contracts of players, coaches and backroom staff,” wrote Dr Allam in a strategic report to accompany the financial figures.

“The directors have implemented a plan to enable the club to achieve promotion to the Premier League. The plan began with the appointment of a new manager, Leonid Slutsky, in July, 2017.”

City’s record surplus underlines the impact top flight football has on a club’s balance sheet with the last available accounts for several of the county’s Championship clubs revealing substantial losses.

Sheffield Wednesday, for instance, posted a £9.8m deficit for the year to June 30, 2016, while Leeds United lost £8.9m and Huddersfield Town £1.6m across the same period.

Hull also posted a substantial loss of £20.6m in 2015-16 – a figure that is understood to have included various promotion-related bonuses totalling around £13m.

These payments to either staff or clubs who had sold players to the Tigers were not made until the club’s first Premier League payment was received in August last year but the liabilities had to be included in the previous year’s accounts.