The Hammers’ turnover climbed from UK£175 million (AU$338.3 million) to UK£190.7 million (AU$368.3 million) last season – of that amount, UK£127 million (AU$245.3 million) came from broadcasting and a further UK£27 million (AU$52.1 million) from match days.
However, this was offset by the wage bill rising by almost UK£30 million (AU$57.9 million) to UK£135.8 million (AU$262.3 million). This took the Hammers’ wages-to-turnover ratio to 71 per cent, a year-on-year jump of ten per cent.
The club also invested heavily in the playing squad, spending UK£107.9 million (AU$208.4 million) on signings. UK£4 million (AU$7.7 million) was also spent on improving their Rush Green training ground and a further UK£600,000 (AU$1.2 million) on their women’s team, which now competes in the top-flight Women’s Super League (WSL).
Vice Chairman Karren Brady’s salary rose by nearly UK£250,000 (AU$482,825) to UK£1.14 million (AU$2.2 million), while co-owners, David Sullivan and David Gold, were paid a combined UK£1.9 million (AU$3.7 million) as interest on their loans to the club of UK£45 million (AU$86.9 million). A total of UK£1 million (AU$1.9 million) was also paid to them in partial repayment of their loans.
West Ham made UK£26.9 million (AU$52 million) in 2015/16, their final season at the Boleyn Ground before moving to their current home of Olympic Stadium which seats 60,000 people. That increased to UK£28.6 million (AU$55.2 million) in 2016/17 but fell to UK£24.5 million (AU$47.3 million) for 2017/18.
Despite the substantial outlay on wages and signings, the club have slipped to 18th in the Premier League, joining Watford and Norwich City in the relegation zone.
‘Retention of our status in 2019/20 season is an absolute necessity for the future wellbeing of the club,’ said West Ham in their accounts, adding there will be ‘serious financial consequences’ should they be relegated into the Championship.
A 3-3 draw with Brighton means the Hammers are still without a league win since thumping Bournemouth 4-0 a month ago, but West Ham are only two wins away from 14th-placed Crystal Palace.
With 25 rounds played, there’s still time for West Ham to turn around their form.