The figures show a significant financial boost for the club, as turnover increased from £29.2m to £139.4m as a result of the Premier League revenues — with a swing from a £38.9m loss in the preceding season to a £11.3m profit last season.
The accounts also show that the club fully complied with Premier League Profitability and Sustainability (Financial Fair Play) regulations for the period.
The increase in turnover also saw a corresponding increase in operating expenses from £59.3m to £130m — due to Albion’s promotion to the top flight.
The club has once again taken the step of making the annual accounts – including an annual statement from chairman Tony Bloom – publicly available to all supporters; and also published a Modern Slavery Statement, which is required for all UK businesses with a turnover of more than £36m.
We worked incredibly hard to reach the Premier League, and those considerable efforts have paid off for the club. It has helped put us on a firmer financial footing, has boosted our national and international profile, and positions us well for a bright future.
Our first-ever Premier League season was a successful one on the pitch for our club. These figures also show it was a success off the pitch, especially in terms of the club’s finances, as we made a profit for the first time in our recent history.
The infrastructure, processes, people and principles we have had in place at the club for some time served us well during our first season in the Premier League, and I’m confident these foundations will continue to serve us well at this level.
Chris Hughton's astute and skilful leadership, allied with his calmness under pressure has been vitally important. He has again been well supported by his coaching and backroom staff, and by all the many different departments across our club, which remain important components of our recent success.
On the subject of astute and skilful leadership, I would also like to thank our chief executive Paul Barber. He’s now in his seventh season with the club, and has overseen a period of significant progress, success and growth, both on and off the pitch.
In recognition of the way the club is continuing to grow and develop, the board has decided that in addition to his current responsibilities as our chief executive, Paul will become deputy chairman of the club. A promotion that is well deserved.
Paul has declined recent opportunities to move to bigger clubs, preferring instead to invest his energies and considerable football experience to help establish our club in the Premier League. The club’s board and I am delighted that he has chosen this option.
Whilst talking about our board of directors, I would once again like to thank each and every one, the majority of whom give us their time and expertise without charge, for their continued support and wise guidance. We are extremely fortunate to have such a committed, talented and stable board helping to steer our club during such an exciting period in our history.
Once again, our recruitment team, led by Paul Winstanley, have played a significant part in our success on the pitch. The extra quality we needed has helped us establish ourselves at this level, and provided that extra strength and depth we needed across all areas.
Equally the ability, hard work and endeavour of a refreshed playing squad was vital. It was so impressive to see many of our squad, those who won promotion and our new arrivals, adapt so quickly to the demands of the Premier League whilst maintaining that genuine sense of togetherness on and off the pitch.
The work undertaken by all of our staff in various off-pitch departments remains of the highest standard, and it must not be forgotten how important this work is in assisting us with our on–pitch ambitions. Again, we were absolutely delighted to pay all of our staff a significant Premier League retention bonus this summer. I would like to thank our staff for their continued hard work and professionalism.
In last year’s statement I wrote that ‘we made our most significant step in terms of progressing the club during the 2016/17 season’ and how ‘the finances of the club were changed virtually overnight, as we were celebrating promotion’.
Our aim is to establish ourselves as regulars in the Premier League. With this in mind it’s important we continue to invest cleverly and shrewdly, not just in terms of player recruitment, but in all areas of the club, and with the club's long-term future at heart.
The team has made another solid start at this level in 2018/19, and we are hopeful of a successful second season in the Premier League.
We are delighted with the appointment of Dan Ashworth as the club’s first-ever technical director. Dan’s achievements over the last five years at the FA have been phenomenal and his appointment underlines our determination to establish all of our teams at the highest levels of the game.
We first identified the need for a technical director more than 18 months ago, discussed the role internally over this period, and conducted a global search for the right candidate to meet our particular needs. In my opinion, Dan is the best in the business. He will complement our existing senior management team and our football operations staff, and help develop their skill sets. I’m confident Dan will have a lasting and hugely positive impact on our club.
While the club’s global fan base is growing faster than ever before, we still remain true to our commitment to the local community. It will always remain an important part of our immediate and long-term focus, both for the club and our multi award-winning charitable arm Albion in the Community (AITC).
We will shortly be publishing the results of an economic impact study, which shows the effect the club has on the local community and economy, and in particular the impact of promotion to the Premier League. We know it has brought so much pride and positivity to the local area and we will continue to embrace that — but this study also demonstrates the importance of the football club to our local economy and to the many businesses in the wider community.
We have now fulfilled our ambition for both the club's senior teams to play at the highest level possible, while our Category 1 academy for boys and our Tier One Regional Talent Club for girls continue to go from strength to strength, providing us with a pipeline of future talent. Now our aim changes and it will be to establish ourselves on the firmest possible footing in both the Premier League and Women’s Super League.
Here at the Albion it’s about making steady and sustainable progress from solid foundations – and doing things properly, on and off the pitch. It’s also about realistic ambitions and, where we encounter challenges, coming back even stronger and overcoming them together.
I continue to greatly enjoy my role as chairman of our club, and while I am extremely proud of our progress so far, our togetherness and spirit gives me the confidence and belief that our football club’s future will be positive.
Click here to download a copy of the club’s accounts.