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Yalla Shoot :West Bromwich Albion report £11m loss for 2022-23 season

The Hawthorns, home of West Bromwich Albion
West Brom’s accounts relate to the 2022-23, their second consecutive campaign in the Championship

West Bromwich Albion have recorded an £11m loss for the 2022-23 campaign – the final full season under the ownership of Guochuan Lai.

Having made a £5.4m profit in 2021-22 – Albion’s first campaign after relegation from the top flight – these latest figures follow the reduction of Premier League parachute payments.

Staff wages increased slightly from £42.4m to £45.9m, largely down to the departure of manager Steve Bruce and his coaching team – and the appointment of head coach Carlos Corberan and his own backroom staff.

Turnover decreased by £7.7m to £56.7m after a reduction in income from sponsorship deals, as well as the parachute payments reduction.

Guochuan Lai spent over seven years as Albion chairman after taking over from Jeremy Peace in 2016
Guochuan Lai spent more than seven years as Albion chairman after taking over from Jeremy Peace in 2016

Albion also spent a total of £11.4m – down from £12.6m – on players.

Corberan has not signed any player for a fee in his 17 months at the club, but this includes payments for two players signed for the Covid pandemic-delayed 2020-21 Premier League season.

The first was the £18m deal for winger Grady Diangana from West Ham United on a five-year contract in September 2020, having initially signed on loan, followed by £15m for striker Karlan Grant, who signed from Huddersfield Town on a six-month deal in October 2020.

The club made £9.8m from sales, most of it recouped from Brazilian winger Matheus Pereira, who turned his loan move from Sporting Lisbon into a permanent arrangement for a reported £9m fee in August 2020, but left after Albion were relegated to join Saudi Arabian club Al Hilal for an undisclosed fee in August 2021.

2023-24 losses could be higher

The February takeover from Lai by Bilkul Football WBA, owned by Florida businessmen Shilen Patel and his father Dr Kiran C Patel, who now have an 87.7% share in the club, has brought an air of positivity back to The Hawthorns.

Despite all this season’s continued off-field distractions, Albion remain on course to secure a play-off place, having been fifth in the Championship since early December.

But the annual report estimates that the club is still losing a seven-figure sum on a monthly basis.

It also warns that losses in next year’s financial accounts are expected to be even higher, as the current 2023-24 season is the first without any parachute payments.

Regardless of what division Albion are in next season, they will still have to be prudent to stay within EFL profit and sustainability rules, which allow for clubs to report losses of up to £39m over a three-year period.

New West Bromwich Albion owner Shilen Patel
Shilen Patel is also a minority shareholder of Bologna in Serie A

As for the £4.95m loan taken out by Lai to Wisdom Smart Corporation Limited, to help prop up his other businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, this was repaid by the club’s new parent company when they took over in March.

The loan was repaid by West Bromwich Albion Group Limited, which records separate accounts and reported a lower annual loss of £7.6m.

The further £20m loan from MSD Holdings UK Limited taken out in December 2022 by West Bromwich Albion Group Limited was extended by £8m in November 2023.

But Patel told BBC Radio WM in last month’s exclusive interview that this would continue to be repaid in instalments as it made no financial sense to repay it earlier.

A further 2014 loan between the club and West Bromwich Albion Holdings Limited, now taken on by Bilkul Football WBA, is still under investigation.

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