Newcastle United have more than £30m in cash to potentially spend on an overhaul of its playing squad, accounts show.
The club announced two weeks ago that it had almost doubled its profit after tax to £18.7m after increasing turnover by 35% to £129.7m.
Now full accounts for Newcastle United Limited have been made public, revealing more details about the club’s finances in the year ending June 30, 2014.
Those details reveal that the club’s staff numbers remained the same at 288, though playing squad and support staff increased by 18 to 133, ofset by a reduction in commercial and other positions.
The company’s wage bill rose by £16.5m but because of the large rise in turnover, the ratio of wages to turnover improved to 60.3% (from 64.3%), which the accounts say is “within the club’s desired range”.
A breakdown of income shows that while matchday revenue was down slightly - due to the club playing seven fewer matches at St James’ Park because it was not in the Europa League - media revenue increased by more than 50% to £78.3m and commercial revenue went up almost 50% to £25.6m as a result of deals with sponsor Wonga and kit partner Puma.
The club’s net debt decreased by £38.6m as it paid off a £4m overdraft and had £34.1m cash in the bank. It is thought that a £129m loan to owner Mike Ashley and companies under his control remains unchanged.
In the accounts, director Lee Charnley says: “The directors report a profit before tax for the year of £18.7m (2013: profit of £9.9m) and consider the group’s results for the year and future prospects to be satisfactory.”
A note to the accounts reveals that after the year-end, the club invested £29.6m on six new players and received £12.6 from player sales. The accounts also note Alan Pardew’s departure as first team coach in January.
No dividend was paid to shareholders - the club is wholly owned by Mike Ashley - and directors’ pay reduced from £261,745 to £189,771.