Villa accounts/losses; Shocking…. Or are they?


There’s some interesting news coming out about the Villa lately and it’s another subject where I just need to stick my two bob’s worth in.

The headline figure says we’ve lost £27.3 million in the year ended May 15.
And given that we’ve been told that we’ve had to seriously tighten our belts over the last few years, which is the direct cause of why we have such a poor squad right now, I’m shocked!

But of course, as many of you might know, I’ve always been very suspicious about the way we do our accounts since Lerner came in and a closer glance reveals that we’ve paid down our debt from £102 million to £30.6 million = a repayment of £71.4 million.
Which is well over half of our turnover of £115.7 million and a figure that shocks me even more!

If you take the debt repayment out of the equation (-27.3 + 71.4) we actually made a profit of £44.1 million.

Which isn’t too shabby is it?
And explains to me exactly why we’re in the state we are.

While the top clubs have seen increasing debt, in a way that seems like the economics of the madhouse, we’ve been massively cutting ours.
It begs the question of if the top clubs had a much better idea of the riches that were due this coming season and Lerner was left somehow outside the loop, hence taking totally the wrong approach?
Maybe that’s something that explains why our Chief Financial Officer Robin Russell left suddenly?
It wouldn’t surprise me, but I’d speculate that it’s something like that or he simply hasn’t presented the accounts in the way Lerner and the trust would have liked.

Don’t get me wrong, Lerner is fully entitled to get back the money he’s put in. But the way he’s doing it is killing our club.
I know he wants out, but to claw back the money at this rate totally betrays any statements about him caring for the club in my opinion.
I wonder if the debt facility charge of £5 million a year the club pays him has reduced? I doubt it, but might be wrong.

Note that the accounts only go up to May 15, so the sales of Delph and Benteke aren’t included.
Which is fair enough.
But given that we’ve spent next to nothing on players this year, does anyone want to bet against us making another stonking loss for this current year?

Anyway, it leaves us with £30millish debt which will be no doubt be paid off in this current financial year, leading to maybe break-even.
We’ll probably be able to offset some of the previous losses against any profit in future years, which means Lerner will be able to sell the club cheaper because everything looks very rosy.
But what a cost has been incurred to the club, money apart.
We might look to be prudently run on paper, but we’re the equivalent of a train wreck in reality, aren’t we?

I’m not even going to go into Tom Fox’s wages, as we all know they’re just scandalous for what’s been achieved in his tenure. He has to be a goner.

Summing up is easy.
I’m left with a very sour taste in my mouth and just can’t wait for Lerner to sell the club, even if it’s to some consortium, as at least we’ll know what they’re about.

There’s a very apt one-liner that I saw on some other Villa blog the other day which referenced Johnny Rotten/Lyden, but it’s one I’ve always liked anyway;

“Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?”


Page 1 of 1
  1. pat57
    pat57 March 11, 2016 at 6:33 am . Reply

    There’s lies, damn lies and Villa’s accounts

  2. Hitchens 60
    Hitchens 60 March 11, 2016 at 8:10 am . Reply

    Repayment of that level of debt suggests that there are excesses of cash in the business but it probably isn’t in Lerner’s interest to be recording profits and thus be liable to tax in the UK and America.

    Part of the reduction in debt was down to the debt for equity swap which took place in 14-15 which again was a smart move tax wise as Lerner can (as I understand it) legitimately add the swap value to the price he paid for the club and thus reduce the tax liability on any gains he makes when it’s sold.

    Having said all that I am not sure how we continue to make such losses other than by clever accounting or just outright negligent management.

    King will need to be a magician to sort the finances out.

    1. pat57
      pat57 March 11, 2016 at 8:28 am . Reply

      @Hitchens 60
      ‘King will need to be a magician to sort the finances out’

      Let’s hope he’s learnt a lot from all the fiddles and outright thievery he had to deal with from the bankers while at the BoE. He’ll need that knowledge if he’s to sort out the mess at VP.

    2. Bum Bum
      Bum Bum March 11, 2016 at 6:42 pm . Reply

      Well he was Gvnr of the BoE!!!

    3. DSVilla
      DSVilla March 11, 2016 at 10:00 pm . Reply

      Not correct i think Hitchens. If you lend money to your business you can take it back tax free pound for pound. Converting debt to equity makes the balance sheet look better for a buyer, and you can take off what you paid for the club (and increases in equity like the debt/equity swap) from the price you get for it. I think it is pretty much the same, but it’s like repairing your roof and painting your house at a cost that’s the same as the extra that you sell it for.

      I’m no accountant by the way.

      1. Hitchens 60
        Hitchens 60 March 12, 2016 at 8:28 am . Reply

        DS I fully agree with your point about the balance sheet.

        For the sake of arguement let’s say Lerner did a £70m debt / equity swap following which he can legitimately say (for tax purposes) the business has cost him £134m and any taxable gains will be above this figure. Without that swop – a sale would repay him debt but the taxable gain would be above £64m the original purchase price. In other words taxed on his own debt!

        I’m not an accountant either but ran into exactly the same ‘discussion’ with HMRC on disposal of a privately owned business where we had to demonstrate cost not value for taxable gains.

        1. DSVilla
          DSVilla March 12, 2016 at 10:18 am . Reply

          Yes but say someone paid £200M for the club. If the club owes Lerner £100M I think he could sell the club for £100M on condition that the new owner put £100M into the clubs bank account and then paid him his £100M loan back free of tax (the club would still owe him the money even under new owners unless he wrote it off)

  3. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum March 11, 2016 at 9:58 am . Reply

    It’s the same as the other year when the headlines screamed a massive £54m loss…but that was purely depreciation on player values…seems Lerner has a liking for creative accounting, but then again, the entire tax system stinks anyway.
    Lerner’s as good as got his money back but has gambled and lost this season. Lerner is nothing but scum. I wonder why none of the press have highlighted the £70m repayment as yet…???

    1. Saddened
      Saddened March 11, 2016 at 11:13 am . Reply

      Agreed Bum Bum – very mysterious that the press haven’t mentioned he has paid himself back more than he paid for the club in the first place…. I think we are going to have a few years of absolute shite until his pockets are full then he may just throw us properly to the wolves and take us into admin.

      1. Bum Bum
        Bum Bum March 11, 2016 at 8:57 pm . Reply

        And in ONE year! Bastard. While the club dies. I f*****g hate that bloke.
        One thing that has just occurred to me, if he settles the remaining £30m next year, that means we’ll be turning a profit. Now sustaining the loss for a longer period would have meant paying much zero tax. So why this move? Manageable debt from a company perspective isn’t a bad thing…after all you can’t be taxed on what you haven’t earned. Strange…

    GIDDYVILLAN March 11, 2016 at 2:47 pm . Reply

    Can’t wait for next years figures lol ????

  5. Saddened
    Saddened March 11, 2016 at 2:49 pm . Reply

    Just a quick thought to cheer everyone up ….

    Our glorious leader, Mr Fox was not announced until August 2014 and he did not take up his position officially for 2 months, I must be correct in thinking the £1.25m paid to him was for approximately 6 months work

    If this is correct he is on around £48k per week – more than most of our players.

    This club is beyond ridiculous !

  6. nath
    nath March 11, 2016 at 3:59 pm . Reply

    where’s ian with his weekly takeover rumors, more bullshit villa depressing news. randy will not release his grip from villa until hes recoup everything and more. we will have 3 parachute payments to gain promotion. but if lerner takes that which i think he will then we have 3 more years before lerner releases his grip

    just heard wholly with brolly has been sacked and is fav for the villa job lmao even the bookmakers think we are one big joke too

    1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath March 11, 2016 at 5:22 pm . Reply

      He still thinks OGS is coming! Typical Newcastke get Benitez watch them beat Leicester on Monday typical. Where we get linked with Potato head!

      1. nath
        nath March 11, 2016 at 5:43 pm . Reply

        whats the bigger concern is mike ashley is a joke as for running a club like newcastle, but our owner makes ashley look like a fit and proper owner

        1. Bum Bum
          Bum Bum March 11, 2016 at 9:00 pm . Reply

          Am I wrong I thinking Ashley does actually splash the cash? Why is he so bad? (I really don’t pay attention to them so genuinely don’t know…!). The spent nearly £50m in the window didn’t they?

          1. nath
            nath March 12, 2016 at 7:57 am . Reply

            no your not wrong :)) and i cant back up my statement. only the fans of the club, say same thing as we do about lerner. lack of ambitions , sell their better players.i think hes only in it for free advertising his zero working hours company. your right he has spent awful amount of money this jan, but they are closer to us than any glory they should be. thats got to be the ambition he has , filtering down to the players. as long as they are in the premiership his advertisement are reaching a global audience

  7. nath
    nath March 11, 2016 at 5:56 pm . Reply

    well strike me down maybe some light some good news just maybe

    brain little could be joining the pointless board. brilliant idea having a football man make some contribution to running football club.maybe soon we will allow the players to train with a round ball

    1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath March 11, 2016 at 6:49 pm . Reply

      Too little too late. He will just be a puppet to shut fans up and deflect attention away from Lerner and Fox

      1. BWS
        BWS March 11, 2016 at 7:35 pm . Reply

        Never diss the Little Villan, your hero had one or two flaws.

      2. Stubbs
        Stubbs March 11, 2016 at 8:36 pm . Reply

        Have to agree oohah. But no doubt most will renew and spend hundreds of pounds on merchandise solely on the back of this appointment totally forgetting what damage fellow, still employed, board members have caused.

        1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
          OohAhPaulMcGrath March 11, 2016 at 8:56 pm . Reply

          Let them get on with it a fool and his money are soon parted! At least I’m not falling for it!

  8. Dave.C
    Dave.C March 11, 2016 at 7:36 pm . Reply

    Ha Ha Ha Ha!! You won’t have my tears Lerner, nor my money either, you deserve neither of them. I’ve not given you a penny since September, and I won’t darken your doorstep until you are gone. My son really missed not going for a few weeks, but he’s now getting used to it, a potential life long fan who may never go back.
    They say a good Captain goes down with his ship, well don’t feel you have to, get on to a life boat, piss off and never come back. VTID.

  9. swampduck
    swampduck March 11, 2016 at 8:42 pm . Reply

    there will be more fucking board members than players soon more money out the door .unless they shovel out the shit that’s already there being paid thousand for doing sweet fuckall

    1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath March 11, 2016 at 8:58 pm . Reply

      As much as I love Little as a player and to s lesser extent manager I really don’t see what he’s got to offer. His managerial career has been average at best and he has not managed in the prem for years. He is a dinosaur now we need someone more recent and driven. Dosnt necessarily have to have played for Villa

      1. BWS
        BWS March 11, 2016 at 9:09 pm . Reply

        If I take off my rose coloured 1970’s glasses, it is a shameless attempt to appease the faithful.

  10. DSVilla
    DSVilla March 11, 2016 at 9:55 pm . Reply

    Lerner converted about £100M of loans to equity in 2015 if memory serves me correctly. That will have improved the balance sheet but I think it was after the date these accounts go up to.

    I don’t think Lerner is exaggerating losses as it will hardly help him sell the business for a higher price. I think they are just the financial evidence that the club has been run really poorly. But then we all knew that didn’t we?

  11. DSVilla
    DSVilla March 11, 2016 at 10:27 pm . Reply

    oh. i’ve just read the accounts. Lerner has written off about £128M to reduce value of the club to £175M. He has invested around £300M. I don’t believe for a moment he is milking the club. I would bet he wishes he never came anywhere near it. if he writes off another £174.9M I might buy it myself!

    I’m on my second bottle of wine so my maths might be off.

    1. badger123
      badger123 March 12, 2016 at 12:29 am . Reply

      But that’s the thing, DSVilla.
      Even if you include player’s wages etc, I find it difficult to believe we’ve lost that much money.

      I’ve just added up the transfer spend during the Lerner years (06-07 – 14-15) according to the info here;

      And it comes to £115.3 mill net spend.
      At worst I think players wages approached 90% of income, so we weren’t losing on that.

      So where’s the rest gone?
      It can only be amortization/depreciation, as Bum Bum says. Let’s face it, many of the players we paid good money for were let go for nothing.

      Again, I haven’t looked at any detail.

      1. nath
        nath March 12, 2016 at 8:08 am . Reply

        iam with badger and i cant understand, how they reached these figures. we have been cost cutting wages for years. Austerity measures have been damaging to our club. so how the fook have wages gone up, spending has been absent, but for the summer when we only spent the benteke money and delph transfers.

        well i smell a rat. love to have a one to one and beat the crap out of the guy responsible. one thing i can see through all these smokes and mirrors is the money which is finally spent on the club is wastefully done. because proof is in the league table. we aren’t just bad we are rotten and thats a criminal offense and mismanaging on a massive scale. to have a super club like ours run like a third tier club in 12 months

  12. Holtender
    Holtender March 12, 2016 at 12:23 pm . Reply

    I just read the news about David Bernstein joining us. I’m very happy with that, it’s what we’ve all been wanting for years. A real football man with experience of stabilising and regenerating a fallen big club. The Brian Little appointment is great too, but I really feel Bernstein could be the man to get us our Villa back. It’s not going to happen overnight but hopefully change is on the way.

    1. pat57
      pat57 March 12, 2016 at 3:46 pm . Reply


      I agree. It’s actually the first evidence of us going in the right direction that we’ve had in years.

      Too bloody late but still good news.

    2. Hitchens 60
      Hitchens 60 March 12, 2016 at 5:30 pm . Reply

      At last a real business man from the world of football with a proper CV in turning round footballing ‘giants’ – and fair play to Hollis / King if it was their influence that made it happen. Wouldn’t surprise me if Fox stayed with Bernstein acting as his mentor – which may not be a bad move as he was undoubtedly successful and highly regarded at Arsenal.

      Almstadt apparently on holiday in Dubai, read into that what you will but – with Brian Little effectively acting as the Technical Director or Director of Football – hopefully he is already on his bike and quickly followed by Riley! In fact I’ll go and buy them a tandem now!

      1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
        OohAhPaulMcGrath March 12, 2016 at 7:38 pm . Reply

        Bernsteins record is very mixed he’s 72 now so well past his sell by date

        1. saddened
          saddened March 13, 2016 at 3:55 am . Reply

          a 72 year old accountant, specialising in football re-financing …… yawn !

          1. Hitchens 60
            Hitchens 60 March 13, 2016 at 8:33 am . Reply

            Saddened – picking and choosing from the guys cv and then putting a negative spin on it isn’t particularly clever and what has his age got to do with it? I suppose because I’m nearly 70 and still sit on company boards I’m an old fart whose past it as well?

            Some Villa fans will never ever be happy.

  13. Jvillan
    Jvillan March 12, 2016 at 8:02 pm . Reply

    Deadly nearly 90
    Hollis ?
    Bernstein over 70
    King ?
    Little over 60 out of top flight football over 15 years
    Lerner can pick them all ready for grim reaper like villa

    1. Hitchens 60
      Hitchens 60 March 13, 2016 at 8:36 am . Reply

      I really object to this negativity towards age. Apart from Deadly all the others bring a wealth of experience, knowledge and contacts? Of course if you prefer stick with the younger board of Fox, Almstadt and Riley!

      1. Jvillan
        Jvillan March 13, 2016 at 9:30 am . Reply

        Age doesn’t bother me but little has not been involved in top flight football since he walked out on us,18 years ago,as for the rest Lerner took 70 million last season so what are new men going to do say no ha ha,just pulling wool over fans as normal deadly style,even protest stopped today ,season tickets must be up for sale

      2. BWS
        BWS March 13, 2016 at 9:53 am . Reply

        Agreed Hitchy, there’s been a massive outcry for a “football’ man on the board, we get one that’s a true legend as a player and a manager. The last guy bring silverware to Villa Park and he’s too old?
        Come on people get a grip.

        1. Jvillan
          Jvillan March 13, 2016 at 10:04 am . Reply

          Who are football men on stoke ,wba west ham boards,as for little to long away from top level football for any impact,who of today’s players or staff will know him ,sure Cowan’s got searched going in and he works there,as long Lerner stealing money out of club the boards is as much use as a fart in the wind

          1. saddened
            saddened March 13, 2016 at 11:04 am . Reply

            As long as Lerner is at the Villa the Board’s remit will be around commercials and accountancy…. Little has been brought in as an ‘advisor’ purely to try and appease the fans.

      3. saddened
        saddened March 13, 2016 at 10:40 am . Reply

        H60 maybe I should not have used age as a negative and I apologise, but come on he has been brought in as another accountant and Little is purely an advisor to the board….

        1. Hitchens 60
          Hitchens 60 March 13, 2016 at 12:45 pm . Reply

          No problems saddened – I find as one gets older any reference to one’s age gets a bit prickly. Remember sitting on a a local authority committee where someone defined elderly as over 60 – that really got a broadside 🙂

  14. Stubbs
    Stubbs March 13, 2016 at 8:21 am . Reply

    So the “out the door on 74” protest has been “suspended” for today’s game against Spurs. as a mark of respect for Brian Little joining the board.

    Randy Lerner must be laughing at us.

    I said from the start the protest was pointless, this goes to show how pointless it really is. To pick and choose what games you’re going to protest at makes the whole thing unworthy.

    I wonder when season tickets go on sale!!

  15. swampduck
    swampduck March 13, 2016 at 10:41 am . Reply

    fickle fans out the door on 74 i walked in 1994 never been back since .that crap not getting my money

  16. Jvillan
    Jvillan March 13, 2016 at 11:15 am . Reply

    So Brian little job title means fuck all,little will not have any say in the management structure at villa as his experience ( 18 years ago) lies within the game,( no one under 30 will no who he is)..that means positions of Riley and alstad are unaffected by his arrival, written by moxley as most people thought more crap PR by villa board

    1. BWS
      BWS March 13, 2016 at 4:38 pm . Reply

      Well that’s it no one under 30 will remember who he is, well lets forget Rotterdam 82, Sir Ron, McGregor, Billy Walker, Pongo Wearing, Eric Houghton cause no one remembers them.
      Try reading a book (if you’re under 30 they are papery things, sometimes with a hard cover sometimes soft and they are full of words and information).

Right or Wrong? What do YOU think?