Accounts filed by West Bromwich Albion Football Club Limited have revealed an enormous leap in profits on the back of an 11th place finish in the Premier League last season.
Accounts published on Companies House by the company, which is the trading arm of West Bromwich Albion Group Limited which oversees the operation of the football club, reveal pre-tax profits increase from £500,000 in the 2010 financial year to £18.9 million last year.
However, after a loss posted in its West Bromwich Albion Heritage Limited sister company, the parent group's overall profit stood at £11.9 million at the end of the financial year.
The West Bromwich Albion Football Club Limited accounts also reveal a large rise in salaries, including the top-earning director’s pay rising to more than £1 million, despite returning a profit from player trading.
An increase in profitability came as revenue soared to £65.1 millon, compared to £28.1 million the year before, after the club returned to the Premier League.
The accounts also reveal the level of expenditure on salaries last summer, with the liability on team wages rising by £10.5 million over the course of the summer trading, to £48 million.
The directors’ report states that the club has learned lessons from previous seasons in the Premier League – all but one of which have resulted in relegation.
It states: "The board is aware of the risks which affect the company. We have analysed our previous seasons in the Barclays Premier League and have tried to implement lessons learned from this and as a consequence we believe that the squad will be stronger and more experienced.
"This is part of the long term policy of the club which is to improve the playing squad and infrastructure year-on-year."
The financial year to June 30, 2011, coincides with a period where the team’s fortunes on the pitch were transformed by the appointment of head coach Roy Hodgson midway through the season, who boosted revenue by improving its league standing.
The vast majority of the rise in income was from media-related activities, which rose from £17.2 million to £47.7 million.
Revenue from other commercial income soared from £2.8 million to £7.4 million.
The club was also boosted by selling 600 more season tickets, at 18,700, and seeing average attendances rise from 22,200 in 2010 to 24,650 last year. Gate receipts increased from £6 million in 2010 to £8 million.
The club reduced its net debt from £10 million to £2 million across the financial year as it benefited from a £7.6 million profit from player registrations.
However, spending on staff costs almost doubled, from £22.6 million to £43.9 million across the year.
Directors pay also increased, from £1.6 million to £1.8 million, with the highest-earning director seeing pay rise from £712,000 to more than £1 million.
The club also reveals the impact of trading in the summer before the 2011/12 season kicked off – which saw the likes of defender Gareth McAuley, loan goalkeeper Ben Foster, and striker Shane Long join the club.
It states: "Since June 30, 2011, the club has purchased and sold player registrations at a total interest cost of £5.2 million (2010: £7.4 million) and for proceeds of £8.2 million (2010: £5 million).
"As at June 30, 2011, the club’s future minimum liability on first team wages over the remainder of their contracts, excluding any option years, was £37.5 million.
"As at September 1, taking into account the purchase, sale and season-long loans of player registrations since June 30, 2011, together with any contract extensions, the club’s future liability on the team player wages has increased by a further £10.5 million to £48 million."