Everton has posted record turnover and a post-tax profit of more than £30m. Turnover for the year amounted to £171.3m, almost £50m more than the previous highest recorded in 2014/15, a season in which the Club reached the last 16 of the UEFA Europa League.
Broadcast revenues accounted for most of the increase in turnover, with 2016/17 the first year of a record-breaking £5bn TV rights deal for the Premier League. The Club’s seventh place finish, up from 11th in 2015/16, boosted the merit share distribution from the Premier League and helped secure the seventh biggest share of TV revenue for the season, up from 10th in the previous season.
For the first time in the Premier League era, average attendances at Goodison Park exceeded 39,000. An average of 39,310 fans attended Premier League games, an increase of almost 1,000 on the previous best average attendance in 2014/15 - and representing occupancy of 99%. However, reductions on Season Ticket prices and early exits from both domestic cup competitions meant that gate receipts for the 2016/17 season fell by £3.6m.
A record post-tax profit of £30.6m follows a £24.3m loss in 2015/16 and comes despite significant investment in the playing squad. International players Yannick Bolasie, Morgan Schneiderlin, Ashley Williams, Idrissa Gana-Gueye and Maarten Stekelenburg were signed along with talented young Englishmen Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Ademola Lookman. There were also new contracts for Leighton Baines, Tom Davies, Kevin Mirallas and Seamus Coleman. This significant investment in the first-team squad led to staff costs rising by 25% to £104.7m. However, the Club also saw wages as a percentage of turnover (including outsourced catering and retail revenues) reduced to 59%, down from 65%.
A substantial shareholder loan of £105m, increased to £150m post year-end, without a fixed repayment date, allowed the Club to repay both the long-term debt taken out in 2002 and other short term loans, which cost the Club £2.8m per annum in interest and finance charges. It also allowed the Club to invest in strengthening the playing squad and to make capital improvements to Goodison Park.
The shareholder loan is reported as equity and has resulted in the balance sheet reverting to a net asset position of £91.7m.
Everton Chief Executive Officer, Robert Elstone said: “Our financial performance in 2016/17 breaks all records and highlights the progress made by the Club in recent years. Whilst the Premier League’s incredible new TV deal has made the biggest contribution to our results, we have created waiting lists for Season Tickets, filled our lounges and grown our commercial income.
“As well as maintaining strong relationships with existing partners, the Club’s first training ground naming rights partnership with USM Holdings and new partnerships with William Hill and Sure contributed to sponsorship and advertising revenue increasing by almost 66% to £15.4m from £9.3m. And we’re confident it is progress that will continue into 2017/18 with our highest ever sponsorship deal from SportPesa and our first sleeve partner, Angry Birds.”
Everton Chairman Bill Kenwright added: “I would like to congratulate Robert and his teams at Goodison and Finch Farm for the sustained growth experienced across all areas of the Club.
“Of course, the chance to grow further is made possible by the much-improved financial position secured by Farhad’s personal investment in the Club. His support has allowed us to repay the long-term debt, invest in our playing squad, expand and improve Finch Farm and make significant and overdue improvements to how Goodison Park looks and operates. I have always said that I believe Farhad is exactly the right person to take our Club forward; his ambition matches that of every Evertonian and both the financial investment and the time he has put into the Club demonstrates that commitment.
“I’m especially pleased to see young faces filling Goodison Park every week and the ‘investment’ we are making in reduced gate receipts will undoubtedly pay dividends in the years ahead. Our first training ground partner, USM, a new European betting partner in William Hill, our first sleeve partner in Angry Birds and of course, our new main partner, SportPesa will underwrite future commercial income.”