Aston Villa's promotion last season came at a price, as the club have revealed that they made a loss of £69m on their way back to the Premier League in their published accounts.
Villa, who spent £20m on transfer fees in the season of their promotion, went up via the playoffs in 2018/19 after beating Derby Country at Wembley last May.
In Villa's official financial statement, it was confirmed that the Midlands side suffered a huge financial blow in the year ending 31 May, 2019, citing 'exceptional promotion-related costs' as key factors in the results.
It is also noted that Villa paid former owner Randy Lerner a sum of £30m, after beating Derby 2-1 in last season's play-off final and earning promotion back to the big time. According to a BBC report, the money owed to Lerner related back to the takeover by Tony Xia in 2016, when the Chinese businessman had to borrow money in order to fund his purchase.
Xia's time in charge of Villa was short-lived and it was current owners Wes Edens and Nasser Sawiris who were the party to reimburse Lerner for the loan.
The duo, who bought the club from Xia in 2018 have pumped a lot of money into the club since they gained control, with transfer spending exceeding £100m for 2019/20.
As noted by The Guardian, Villa losses would've been far greater than the reported £69m but for the club's owners purchase of Villa Park through a holding company.
Journalist David Conn writes: "That loss would have been much greater, and possibly breached the limits of the EFL’s financial 'profit and sustainability' regulations, if the owners had not bought Villa Park for £56.7m via another of their companies.
"The Land Registry record for the stadium notes the £56.7m sale to NSWE Stadium Limited, owned by Villa’s joint owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens, was completed on 21 May, just 10 days before the financial year end."
Villa's off-the-pitch troubles mirror those suffered by Dean Smith's team on the field who find themselves 19th in the Premier League table, four points above bottom of the table Norwich City and two points adrift of Watford and West Ham - the sides hovering above the relegation zone.
In truth, it has been a rocky season for the Villans who have the leakiest defence in the top flight, having shipped 52 goals in 27 league games.
Villa do have a game in hand on the Hornets and the Hammers in the Premier League, having contested the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City on Sunday.
However, it won't be easy. Villa face a tough run of games, going up against the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea, Wolves and Liverpool in their next six league encounters.
The BBC's report adds that the club 'anticipates' that they will break even in the coming financial year, however, while every member of manager Dean Smith's squad is thought to have a relegation clause in their contract.
Source : 90min