Leicester City targeting Champions League return after record profits

By Simon StoneBBC Sport
Leicester City
Leicester exited the Champions League following a 2-1 aggregate defeat by Atletico Madrid last season

Leicester City are targeting a return to Europe after reporting record profits following their run to the last eight of the Champions League.

The Foxes qualified for the competition by winning the 2015-16 Premier League.

They have reported a £233m turnover for the financial year ending 31 May 2017 and a pre-tax profit of £92.5m.

"That experience has strengthened the resolve of all involved with the club to qualify for European football again," said a Leicester statement.

They were beaten by Atletico Madrid in the quarter-finals to end their Champions League run last season.

In 2014-15, the season before they won the league title for the first time in their history, Leicester's turnover was £104m.

The latest period, which saw wages rise 34% to £92.3m, also includes the dismissal of title-winning manager Claudio Ranieri.

Leicester's performance this term - they are currently eighth and in the last eight of the FA Cup, where they have been drawn against Chelsea - is rated as "satisfactory" after a "poor" start to the campaign, which cost Ranieri's successor Craig Shakespeare his job.

The statement added: "The club continues to make substantial net transfer investments into its squad and to increase the overall playing budget to allow it to compete and challenge at the top half of the Premier League."

Leicester also confirmed it had made a £3.1m payment to settle a Financial Fair Play dispute with the Football League dating back to 2013-14.

Analysis

Ian Stringer, BBC Radio Leicester

As the memories of the Champions League run remain vivid for Foxes fans, the ringing of the till at The King Power Stadium has lasting effects.

A profit of £80m after tax - up from £20.1m the previous year - is extraordinary and the club's promise to reinvest into the football club to secure its long-term future on and off the pitch - to include a multi-million pound new training facility near Loughborough - will be music to the fans' ears.

Player trading, gate receipts and broadcasting rights are all up, as well as the £70.1m secured from rubbing shoulders with Europe's elite. Quite the year from The Foxes.

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