In the last accounts published for West Ham for the 2021/2022 season, the Hammers turned over a record £253m but had running costs of £187m, leaving an operating profit of £68m. They spent £49m of that on net player transfers, which related to the summer of 2021 and not last summer as financial years end in May.
From the remaining £19m profit went £7m in loan interest charges and £2m in tax, leaving a net profit of £10m.
So let’s compare that to last season, which ended at the end of May; the turnover is expected to be around £222m, down £31m due to Europa League being more financially rewarding than the Conference League and also less TV money due to extra revenue last year due to COVID deferred income.
Running costs for last season are likely to be similar, around £187m, leaving an operating profit of around £35m, down £33m from the previous year.
Last summer, West Ham spent £165m net in transfers, which was included in last season’s figures and, as all are paid in instalments and depreciated over three years on average, that will most likely add £55m per year in costs on the Hammers books over the next three years.
Quite quickly, that operating profit of £35m last season turns into a potential loss of £20m, which is the problem.
Clubs in European competitions have to abide by UEFA FFP, meaning three-year running losses must be under £50m.
With a £10m profit in 2022 and a £20m loss in 2023, West Ham will need to keep their losses under £40m for this season and under £30m for the next two seasons.