News   |    March 24th, 2022


It seems Brentford can do the business both on and off the field, as they record a record turnover, albeit registering a loss of £8.5m before taxation, superseding any finances they have achieved before. Following their promotion from the Championship to the Premier League in 2020/21, Brentford currently sit in 15th where they continue to do battle with some of the best clubs in the world.

Brentford published its annual results for the year ending June 30, 2021, which shows turnover increasing to a record high of £15.3m after the previous year’s £13.9m. This in part is driven by increases across English Football League and Football Association revenues, other football revenues (including monies from live television coverage) and commercial income.

This is even more impressive given the Covid-19 situation and its negative impact on attendances at matches. It is estimated that the negative financial impact of Covid-19 on the club’s 2020-21 season was approximately £2.8m net, an increase of £1.8m on the previous year. This primarily comprises lost matchday revenue, offset by a reduction in matchday operating costs and grant income.

As with any business or club facing challenging circumstances, the need to adapt and evolve is essential. This is where Brentford demonstrated the type of business acumen that facilitates longevity and success. As the coaches and players performed on the pitch, keeping fans, sponsors and commercial clients happy, the board of directors and chairman kept the finances in shape. For example, player trading drove significant revenues of £44.3m (2020: £24.9m).  The principal contributors to this were the sale of Ollie Watkins to Aston Villa and Saïd Benrahma to West Ham United. Ultimately, this meant that there was a loss before taxation of £8.5m (2020: loss of £9.1m). Brentford stated this would have been a profit of approximately £3.5m were it not for promotion-related payments totalling £12m.

Cliff Crown, Brentford chair, said: “It has never been more self-evident that our togetherness and determination to achieve our goals was the key factor in our success.” This highlights the harmonious relationship Brentford have developed throughout their club through their business strategy and collective objectives. Companies should consistently aim to be on the same page, because when facing challenging times, you need every component to be working together in order to be successful.

Running a business will inevitably throw up challenges, whether they be strategic, operational or economical. They could be internal or external and yet what employees, managers, executives and any other stakeholders must remember is that working in synergy is the key to overcoming such adversities. Too often do we see colleagues identifying problems and blaming each other without resolution. Brentford were struck by an external factor of Covid, in turn experiencing a great financial loss. Subsequently, the first team also experienced a loss, two of their best players in order to gain financial stability. This sacrifice from one department of the club allowed all other departments to continue, saving jobs and the club alike.

Sometimes in business, departments that are exceeding expectation must look to help other operational areas, and if that means sacrificing resources for the greater good of the company, so be it. The idea of a mission statement is to represent an ethos that the company must collectively advocate and stand by, and to remember no one entity is bigger than the company, and is this case the club.

 (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Alfie Bobbins - Integral Sports Management.

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