Aston Villa report £36.1m pre-tax loss for 2017-18 season

Villa Park, home of Aston Villa
Aston Villa are 11th in the Championship, six points below the play-off places

Aston Villa have reported pre-tax losses of £36.1m for the 2017-18 season and admitted that complying with spending rules "will continue to provide a significant challenge" for the Championship club.

Losses were up more than £21.5m on the previous season.

However, it is still significantly less than the £80.7m loss Villa made when relegated from the Premier League in 2015-16.

Villa are 11th in the second tier.

Financial accounts of the Recon Group, the club's parent company, filed at Companies House show Villa made losses of more than £1m a week before player sales were taken into account.

Figures also show that billionaire businessmen Wes Edens and Nassef Sawiris have put £68m into the club since taking control of the then-financially stricken club in July 2018.

Villa - who made a loss of £14.5m in 2016-17 - narrowly missed out on promotion to the Premier League last season, losing the Championship play-off final to Fulham.

John Terry
The Championship play-off final loss to Fulham was John Terry's final game before retiring

The financial problems faced by the club soon emerged after their failure to secure a top-flight return, which would have ensured an estimated windfall of £160m.

Villa missed a £4m tax payment and reached a payment agreement with HM Revenue and Customs, before Egyptian Sawiris and American financier Edens - co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks NBA franchise - took a controlling interest in the Midlands side.

Following the change in ownership, "a detailed review" of the club's operations, assets and "projected financial performance" was conducted, according to the publicly available accounts.

The report said the "directors believe" Villa will meet spending rules again this season.

"A number of measures have been identified to ensure financial fair play compliance can be maintained," it read.

Under the EFL's profitability and sustainability rules, Aston Villa are allowed to post losses of up to £61m over the three-year period which takes in their final season in the Premier League.

However, there are a number of dispensations regarding outgoings, including the running of academies.

If they fail to be promoted at the end of this season, their allowable losses are reduced to £39m covering their first three years in the Championship.

Villa's turnover last season was also down from £73.8m to £68.6m, which is attributable to the reduction in parachute payments as broadcast revenue was almost £8m down to £40.3m.

Gate receipts were up more than £1m to £11.8m as the club finished fourth in the table. Sponsorship was also up more than £2m.

Wages at Villa Park, in a season that they had former England captain John Terry on their playing staff, were also up more than £11.6m to £73.1m despite the club reducing its total number of full-time and part-time employees by 274 to 790.