Money, money, money...

Financial results are out. And by the looks of it the caviar and champagne will continue to be digested by our commander and chief while the people of the land happily feast on the footballing steak dished out by head chef Harry. Well done.

The figures?

  • Revenue remains high at £113.0M
  • Player trading profit of £56.5M
  • £119.3M spent on player acquisitions in financial year
  • Group net assets increased to £62.1M from £42.6M at prior year end
  • Planning application submitted for the Northumberland Development Project, our new stadium and related scheme
  • £61.0M committed on property transactions in and around current stadium over the past six years
  • Works started on new Training Centre for the First Team and Academy at Bulls Cross in Enfield

Pdf here: http://www.tottenhamhotspur.com/uploads/assets/docstore/financial_results_nov09.pdf

We are also the second highest spenders (cue more 'spend money, never win anything' taunts) but at least we are turning profit, even if it's not as hefty as suggested about. I doubt we have much in the way to spend come Jan and will need to rely on selling-off unwanted assets (Pav, Bentley…) to raise the cash for a DM (Sandro) and a brand spanking new centre-back (£10M on Upson? No thanks).

I'm not going to pretend to understand the accountancy involved. It's way above my head (number-crunching was never my strong point) but plagiarising some of the more savvy members of GG, it appears that the profit cited above (that's the money made from the club selling players) is not as clear cut as you would assume simply by accepting that the £56.5M is straight-forward cash in the bank monies.

The profit - depending on the length of the contract tied to the amortisation costs - is largely accounting profit which means it attracts taxation. By selling our best players (Berbatov, Keane - stop laughing) the taxation bill simply bloats out further (this year reaching £10.2M). The taxman is the only winner here.

We seemed to have profited only because the players sold (most of them) wanted out - rather than us looking to remain in the black by selling our best assets. Also, to further prove the complexities of the financial side of football transfers, if you took the figures released by Spurs and attempted to work out what we paid for players signed and what we got for players sold you'd probably find they don't quite add up. In other words, don't take what you read in the press for granted. Sometimes the total fee is reported. Sometimes the realised profit is reported. I'll quote the following example to further explain this (and confuse):

If Darren Bent was bought for £16 million on a 4 year contract - the club would amortise his contract at a rate of £4 million per year.  Bent moved to Sunderland after being at Spurs for two years 2 years.  If he was sold for £16 million then this would represent a profit of £8 million on his current asset value.

Where it gets further muddy for me is the fact that most modern day transfers are deals paid over instalments, which will no doubt journey through one tax year into the next which means this can also account for discrepancies between the reported official figures and the account work.

If any readers know your stuff where this is concerned, I'd appreciate a break-down of the figures for us simpletons.

More dizzying figures? We made an operating profit (before football trading) of £24.1M. This taking into account the various payments/settlements to the likes of Ramos/Poyet and the money forked out to Pompey.

Conclusion?

We are healthy. But in no way a threat to the likes of Chelsea or City cometh the next transfer window.

We are not a selling club - a suggestion often mouthed off. We sell if the player strops and wants to leave. That's a bit different to buying players to sell on for profit (although once upon a time, Levy believed in a 'buy young, buy British' policy). We make money as a 'business' before any player outgoings are taken into account. If loyalty existed and the lure of building a side was more attractive than jumping ship to an alread-made CL club, then we would probably only sell players we did not consider good enough. Fantasy football.

We are (apparently) the richest club never to have played in the Champions League (if we gatecrashed it, we'd be positively choking on sterling). You get nothing for a profit margin. Not in this game.

We are profitable club, financial year in, financial year out.

All this with a 36,000 capacity ground. Although I expect we might be negative come next report thanks to the money spent on the new players. Time to cash in on England stars, JJ and Hudd?

Roll on White Hart Lane II. In the mean time, the only real profit we want to see is the kind that swaggers around on the pitch, achieving things that the fans find tangible and relevant (although one aids the other more than we can to mention).

Also, new sponsors for next season. Let's hope the colour red does not figure once again. Although don't be surprised to hear that old chestnut about how the colour red is part of our tradition because on a past club badge there was a red...

 

(thanks to the geeks over at GG for their math skills)