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Seven Years in Ti-Debt: Liverpool Show First Profit Since 2008

Step 1: Get new owners who know how to make money. Step 2: Build up a strong portfolio of sponsors and partnerships. Step 3: ??? Step 4: PROFIT.

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Important face flanking the entrance to one of the club's many revenue streams.
Important face flanking the entrance to one of the club's many revenue streams.
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

It's the favourite time of year for those who love to delve into Liverpool's detailed financial statements, or at the very least like to skim the surface and look at the highlights to see where the club are at. Liverpool released their statements for the year ending May 31, 2014 on Monday, and for the first time in seven years the club had shown a profit.

It may not be a huge chunk of change burning a hole in John W. Henry's pocket, but it's the first time under Fenway Sports Group's ownership of Liverpool FC that the club has done so. The pre-tax profit is a whopping £0.9m — yes, that is a decimal point with a zero in front of it — but it marks considerable improvement over the previous fiscal year that saw a loss of nearly £50m.

The money given to clubs as part of Premier League media deals certainly helped push Liverpool into a profitable position last year, but Ian Ayre was keen to make it clear that the club's other revenue streams are both healthy and diverse.

"Although these set of results reflect the first year of the current TV deal, which had an uplift," Ayre explained, "we also saw an increase in our commercial profits due to the great work across all of our commercial areas and particularly around partnerships. And also a fantastic improvement in the way we do our pre-season tours and the revenue that we generate from those. It's a great commercial effort and that, and a combination of media and some matchday improvements, have all added to the pot, so to speak.

"If you look at the overall plan and project we've been on with this ownership since they took charge, it's been very much the return of the club to a sustainable position and to continue to build on that. I think the announcement of these results today shows the progress we've made and the progress we continue to make. That's important, particularly in this type of environment that football is in today."

Just last week Liverpool were cleared of facing any Financial Fair Play sanctions after being invited to share their books with UEFA's investigators. With last year's profit and this year's continued expansion of commercial and media revenues — Nivea for Men, anyone? — Liverpool are shaping up to become increasingly sustainable for the future. Financial stability may not be the sexiest part of a club's identity, but it can be a pretty damned important one.

High level details from the financial statements:

  • Revenue increased by 19% to £255.6m
  • Media revenue increased by 46% to £100.9m
  • Commercial revenue increased by 5% to £103.8m
  • Profit before tax for was £0.9m compared to a 2013 loss of £49.8m
  • Moved up three places to 9th in Deloitte's Money League
  • Net debt increased by £12.2m to £57.3m but overall debt has decreased from £237m when FSG took over in 2010

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