New figures have revealed that last season's Championship winners, Wolverhampton Wanderers, made a loss of £55 million last term. The club's pre-tax loss more than doubled from 20.8m the season before, with the increase in expenditure down to Wolves heavily investing in players capable of earning them promotion to the Premier League. Player wages rose from £24m to £44m, while around £20m was reportedly spent on bonuses for staff and players following the club's promotion the top-flight.
Wolves spent over £20m on signing Ruben Neves, Barry Douglas, Roderick Miranda and Rafa Mir last term, while the increase in staff both on and off the field also had an effect on the club's finances last season. Wolves' playing staff increased from 74 to 89 in May 2017, while their non-playing staff went up by 22, moving from 208 to 230. This saw staff costs rise from £28m to £50m, almost doubling from the 2016/17 campaign.
Attendances at Molineux increased significantly from the season before however, rising from 21,568 to 28,270 as the team dominated proceedings in the second-tier. This saw a massive upturn in ticket sales, up 7.8m from 1.3m. Merchandising also saw revenue boosted to £600,000, while corporate hospitality packages pocketed the club £400,000.
Having earned promotion to the first-tier in May, the figures will read much better for Wolves this financial year. The club will generate roughly £100m through TV rights, while other avenues of sponsorship and ticket sales will have risen 10-fold over the past seven months.
Wolves have still spent freely this term, splashing out over £100m on players, though it is looking to be a worthwhile investment as the club currently find themselves sat seventh in the Premier League table, in with a real shout of obtaining Europa League football next season. Nuno Espirito Santo's men are also still in the FA Cup, with a quarter-final clash against Manchester United in two weeks the only thing standing between themselves and a trip to Wembley next month.
This weekend they travel to West London to take on Chelsea in the league, hoping to repeat the 2-1 victory they inflicted on the Blues in December's reverse fixture at Molineux. Nuno Espirito Santo will travel to Stamford Bridge without star defender Ryan Bennett however, after the defender picked up his 10th booking of the season in the 2-0 win over Cardiff on Saturday. Bennett will be absent for Sunday's clash against Maurizio Sarri's top four-chasers and will also miss the trip to Burnley at the end of the month because of the suspension.