European triumph boosts Liverpool's finances

January 31, 2006

Liverpool chairman David Moores believes the Reds' Champions League glory is merely the 'first chapter in the modern-day history' of his club.

Writing in his annual report to shareholders, Moores added: 'This is a valuable springboard for further and sustained success.'

The financial report will show Liverpool - who will hold their annual general meeting on February 23, two days after the first leg of the Champions League last 16 clash with Benfica in Lisbon - made a profit after tax of £7.53million last year.

That compares with the previous year's loss of £18.22million, although the net debt has risen from £15.38million to £17.14million.

The accounts also reveal Liverpool have cut their wage bill from £66million to £64million - 53% of overall turnover, compared to 72% the previous year.

Turnover has risen by 32% to £121.05million, compared to the previous year's £91.57million.

Moores describes the 37 points which separated Liverpool from Chelsea last year as something 'that should not be acceptable' - adding the fifth-placed finish was 'sobering'.

But he is quick to praise manager Rafael Benitez.

'He has not shirked from difficult decisions - and since the change of manager, significant changes have occurred,' said Moores.

'I genuinely believe that real and tangible progress is under way.'

The business review in the Liverpool accounts maintains, however, that 'strict borrowing control will remain a key pre-requisite in the overall financial management of the club'.