Leeds United have announced a £4m loss for Andrea Radrizzani’s first year as owner of the club.
The accounts for the 2017-18 financial period saw an overall profit of almost £1m in the previous 12 months turn into a deficit of £4.3m during the year leading up to June 30, 2018.
A statement from chief executive Angus Kinnear in accounts published my Companies House this morning said the change in position was down to investment in players, increases in United’s wage bill and expenditure on the club’s scouting network.
Leeds saw a substantial rise in turnover from £34m to £40m and are expected to hit a figure of around £45m in the 2018-19 accounting period.
Administrative expenses, however, rose dramatically from £37m to £53m, creating an operating loss of £20m. That figure was offset by £18m raised through the sale of players, including the £15m transfer of Chris Wood to Burnley in August 2017.
The club’s wage bill jumped from £20m to £31m following a major influx of first-team and academy signings in Radrizzani’s first summer in charge.
Gate receipts increased by £1m to more than £11m while the club earned £1.3m in commercial revenue from the IBF featherweight title fight between Josh Warrington and Lee Selby which was staged at Elland Road last summer.
Radrizzani became sole owner of Leeds when he bought out former chairman Massimo Cellino in May 2017 and moved to buy back the club’s Elland Road stadium from its private landlord shortly after his takeover.
The deal cost around £20m and saw the ground acquired by Greenfield Investment Pte Ltd, a firm controlled by Radrizzani and United’s current parent company.
The accounts reveal that Leeds entered a lease agreement with Greenfield to June 2032 and were given an “initial rent-free period” of 33 months. Annual rent of Elland Road previously cost the club around £1.7m and increased every 12 months.
United, under head coach Marcelo Bielsa, are on the verge of promotion to the Premier League this term with seven games to go and the accounts show that bonuses and add-ons agreed during transfer negotiations could cost the club up to £25m if they make the top flight.