Liverpool announce £50m loss

Liverpool have reported a loss of almost £50 million for the last financial year including £35 million spent on their failed project to build a new stadium.

Eurosport

Despite owners Fenway Sports Group wiping out debts of £200m with their October 2010 purchase of the club, they had to write off a further £35m associated with the doomed HKS-designed Stanley Park project of predecessors Tom Hicks and George Gillett.

HKS is a Dallas-based firm of architects that won the battle to build the new stadium at Stanley Park, only for the project to be shelved after projected costs spiralled to £400m and the club became mired in interest repayments as a result of the loans taken out by their American former owners.

In January 2012, Liverpool decided to revert to previous plans drawn up by Manchester-based architects AFL.

And Roy Hodgson's exit in January 2011, after just 191 days in charge, and the departure of former managing director Christian Purslow, contributed to a further £8.4m relating to contract terminations, accounts filed to Companies House show.

Current managing director Ian Ayre insists the accounts, without that "extraordinary" expenditure, are in good shape. "I guess people will focus on the loss of £49.4m and there's no business - or people running any business - who are going to be pleased with any loss," he told the Liverpool Echo.

"But I think the important indicator here is this £59m charge for exceptional items and as a business that's been in a transition, it's about moving from where we were to where we want to be.

"We have written off a huge amount on the stadium project. A big chunk of that £50m loss relates to the HKS project - which is now defunct - and associated costs around that."

On the accounts as a whole Ayre said they were in better shape long-term as a result of the action taken by the owners. The figures do not include the kit deal signed with American company Warrior Sports, which is worth at least £25m a year.

"If we had not written off these extraordinary costs, we would have been looking at breaking even," Ayre said.

"We have reduced interest charges from £18m to about £3m. That puts us in a much stronger position to utilise our revenues more effectively on the team. These figures in many ways represent the commitment of the owners, in paying down the acquisition debts and in other areas."

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