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Brentford posts record turnover despite COVID-19 challenges

English Premier League football club Brentford posted a record turnover of £15.3m (€18.3m/$20.8m) for the year ending June 30, 2021 despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2020-21 season marked Brentford’s first at its new Community Stadium, but COVID-19 restrictions meant that the vast majority of matches were held without supporters.

Although the club posted a record turnover, it registered a loss before taxation of £8.5m (£9.1m in 2020) during a season which culminated in a first-ever promotion to the Premier League. The £15.3m turnover represents a slight increase from the £13.9m posted in 2020.

Brentford cited the increase in revenues from the English Football League (EFL) and Football Association (FA) as the main driver for the results, along with other revenues from TV coverage and commercial income.

Brentford estimated the negative financial impact of COVID-19 on the 2020-21 season at approximately £2.8m, compared to £1m in 2020. The figure is a net figure and primarily comprises lost matchday revenue, offset by a reduction in matchday operating costs and grant income.

Brentford’s financial statements for the year show a group operating loss, before player trading, of £53.1m, compared to £34.1m in 2020. Brentford noted that the loss arises following a season of “virtually no matchday income” due to COVID-19 restrictions. The loss also includes bonuses paid out to players and staff following promotion to the Premier League.

The departures of Ollie Watkins to Aston Villa and Saïd Benrahma to West Ham United also had an impact on the £8.5m loss-before-taxation figure, Brentford said.

Owner Matthew Benham’s total investment in the group on June 30, 2021 stood at £104.1m, which includes £22.4m of secured loans specifically in relation to the Brentford Community Stadium project. The stadium has a capacity of 17,250 and opened in September 2020.

Brentford chair Cliff Crown said: “The 2020-21 season was a momentous one for Brentford FC, on and off the field with the club realising its ambition of promotion to the Premier League.”

He added: “It has never been more self-evident that our togetherness and determination to achieve our goals was the key factor in our success.”

Image: Buckingham Group