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Brighton announces record profits after the best season in the English Premier League

Brighton announces record profits after the best season in the English Premier League

  • Written by Jonathan Yurejko
  • BBC Sport

Image source, Getty Images

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Brighton owner Tony Bloom took over the club in 2009 when it was playing in League One

Brighton reported record profits of £122.8m in the 2022-23 financial year, the most successful season in the Premier League club's history.

Profit after tax increased year-on-year by nearly £100 million from £24.1 million, with turnover rising 17.2% to a record high of £204.5 million.

Albion finished sixth in the Premier League in the 2022-23 season, reaching the semi-finals of the FA Cup and also bringing in huge transfer fees for several key players.

Brighton said these numbers could help achieve further “significant progress” on the pitch.

Brighton chief executive Paul Barber said: “These accounts will of course attract attention because of their headline number.”

“In the season in which we made history on the pitch, we took a big step forward in terms of the club's long-term goal of becoming more sustainable and less dependent on [Brighton owner] Tony Bloom's generous investment levels.”

Barber added that Brighton had made a “significant payment” to Bloom for the first time.

It means the club has reduced Bloom's interest-free loan balance, with the first loan made in 2007, to £373.3m from £406.5m.

Everton and Forest have already been deducted points for violating profit and sustainability rules, while Leicester face similar charges.

How did Brighton get the money?

A large portion of Brighton's income in the 2022-2023 season was generated through their performances on the pitch and the ability to make a profit by selling players who arrived for a much lower fee.

Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbe has guided the club to the highest league finish in its 122-year history, as well as reaching the FA Cup semi-finals for only the third time.

As a result, the club's income from prize money and broadcast revenue rose from £126.2 million to £155.2 million.

The sale of four key players – Malian midfielder Yves Bissouma, Spanish left-back Marc Cucurella, Belgian striker Leandro Trossard, and Argentine midfielder Alexis McAllister – generated a £121.4m transfer profit.

The £23m compensation received by De Zerbe's predecessor, Graham Potter, who moved to Chelsea with several of his staff, also contributed to these records.

The deadline for 2022-23 accounts is June 30 last year.

Therefore, it does not include the sale of Ecuadorian midfielder Moises Caicedo and Spanish goalkeeper Robert Sanchez, who joined Chelsea in August 2023.

Caicedo was sold for £100m, which would rise to a British record of £115m. Sanchez made the same move for 25 million pounds sterling.

Brighton fans of a certain age still have to pinch themselves when they think about how far the club has come in the last 30 years.

From struggling in the depths of the Football League and facing liquidation in 1997, the Seagulls' astonishing rise has been remarkable.

Former president Dick Knight saved the club when his union bought a majority stake, before stepping down for sports betting businessman Bloom to take over in 2009.

Bloom funded the construction of the Amex Stadium – a key part of Brighton's renaissance – as well as providing a state-of-the-art training ground.

Bloom's interest-free loans enabled investment off the field and led to success on it.

Brighton reached the Premier League for the first time in 2017, establishing themselves as one of the most attractive and progressive teams in the Premier League.

Barber added: “As always, we are extremely grateful to Tony Bloom for his clear vision, global ownership of our club and his continued financial support.”

“Similarly, we are very fortunate to have a high-quality board of directors, who provide us with a great deal of stability and direction, and top-quality staff across all departments of the club.”

What does the future hold?

De Zerbe, the 44-year-old former Shakhtar Donetsk coach, built on the work done by Potter and led the Seagulls into European football for the first time this season.

However, the Italian's future remains unclear.

While De Zerbe is under contract until 2026, he has been linked with moves to Liverpool and Bayern Munich, and he appears to have questioned Bloom's ambition recently.

Seagulls fan Scott McCarthy, of We Are Brighton fan site, said: “Bloom has spent half a billion pounds of his own money to transform Brighton from Championship strugglers to Europa League entrants.

“Question him, pit yourself against him, and there will only be one winner in the popularity contest in the eyes of most Albion fans.”

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