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Brighton make record £123m profit after fine season



Brighton owner Tony Bloom took over the club in 2009 when they were playing in League One

Brighton have announced a record profit of £122.8m in the 2022-23 financial year – the most successful season in the Premier League club’s history.

Profit after tax increased annually by almost £100m from £24.1m, with turnover going up by 17.2% to a record £204.5m.

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

The figures can help more “significant progress” on the pitch, Brighton said.

“These accounts will of course catch the eye because of the headline number,” Brighton chief executive Paul Barber said.

“In a season when we made history on the pitch we took a huge step forward in terms of the club’s long-held aim of becoming more sustainable and less reliant on [Brighton owner] Tony Bloom’s incredibly generous levels of investment.”

Brighton have made a “substantial repayment” to Bloom for the first time, added Barber.

It means the club reduced the balance on Bloom’s interest-free loans, with the first given in 2007, to £373.3m from £406.5m.

Brighton’s record profits come at a time when a number of other clubs have posted significant losses for the 2022-23 top-flight season, including Aston Villa (£120m), Chelsea (£90m), Everton (£89m), Leicester (£90m), Newcastle United (£73m), Nottingham Forest (£52m) and Wolves (£67m).

Everton and Forest have already been docked points for breaching profit and sustainability rules, while Leicester are facing similar charges.

How did Brighton pull in the money?

A sizeable portion of Brighton’s income in 2022-23 was generated by their performances on the pitch and the ability to make a profit by selling players who arrived for much smaller fees.

Brighton manager Roberto de Zerbi guided the club to the highest league finish in their 122-year history, as well as the FA Cup semi-finals for only the third time.

As a result, the club’s income from prize money and broadcasting revenue increased from £126.2m to £155.2m.

Selling four key players – Mali midfielder Yves Bissouma, Spain left-back Marc Cucurella, Belgium forward Leandro Trossard and Argentina midfielder Alexis Mac Allister – led to a profit of £121.4m in transfers.

The £23m compensation received for De Zerbi’s predecessor Graham Potter, who moved to Chelsea with several of his backroom staff, also contributed to the record figures.

Player sales:

The end date for the 2022-23 accounts is 30 June last year.

Therefore they do not include the sales of Ecuador midfielder Moises Caicedo and Spain keeper Robert Sanchez, who both joined Chelsea in August 2023.

Caicedo was sold for £100m, which could rise to a British record £115m. Sanchez made the same move for £25m.

Brighton’s remarkable journey

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

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

Former chairman Dick Knight saved the club when his consortium purchased the majority of shares, before stepping down for sports betting entrepreneur Bloom to take over in 2009.

Bloom financed the building of the Amex Stadium – a fundamental part of Brighton’s renaissance – as well as delivering a state-of-the-art training ground.

Bloom’s interest-free loans enabled investment off the pitch 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 English top flight.

“As ever we are hugely grateful to Tony Bloom for his clear vision, his world class ownership of our club, and his ongoing financial support,” added Barber.

“Similarly, we are extremely fortunate to have a top quality board, who provide us with great stability and guidance; and top level staff in all areas of the club.”

What does the future hold?

Former Shakhtar Donetsk manager De Zerbi, 44, built on the work done by Potter and took the Seagulls into European football for the first time this season.

However, the Italian’s future remains unclear.

While contracted until 2026, De Zerbi has been linked to Liverpool and Bayern Munich, and has seemingly questioned Bloom’s ambition recently.

“Bloom has sunk half a billion pounds of his own money into turning Brighton from League One strugglers to Europa League participants,” said Seagulls supporter Scott McCarthy from the We Are Brighton fan site.

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

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