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What Fulham’s latest financial results mean for our summer spending

Written by Alex Mackenzie on 16th April 2024

Fulham against Sheffield United. Copyright Adam Farquharson.
© Adam Farquharson 2023

There we have it: we’ve officially avoided relegation. It was certainly a fear during the games before the second international break; the 3-1 loss to Aston Villa felt like a real low. Fulham looked like a team that couldn’t score for love nor money. Our xG was second lowest only to Luton’s. But, Fulham have turned it all around. This team is in its ‘establishing themselves in the top flight’ era; they’ve proved they can find a way.

A better financial position

The Whites have showed character and it’s paying dividends. The club’s accounts have felt the impact of good performances. Fulham posted record revenue of £182.3m for the 2022/23 season. We are the 26th richest club in the world. But ultimately, the club still recorded a loss of £26.1m. However, this pales in comparison to the £90m loss recorded only a few years ago. Considering these numbers, Fulham’s hierarchy will now decide how to move forward on the pitch ahead of a big summer. The aim must be to push on.

Rodrigo Muniz of Fulham celebrates after scoring his 2nd goal during… News Photo – Getty Images

They might start by looking at the wage bill. Fulham spent a total of £139.1m on salaries, which is the ninth lowest in the division. Had Mitrovic stayed, his goal bonus and salary would have slingshot the club into the top 10 of the salary league. The hierarchy will also look at Mitrovic’s transfer money, which has added revenue due to come into the club via amortised fees (£17.8m). Add that into the losses deduced through Covid clawbacks, and Fulham’s total losses fall on the right side of the profit and sustainability rules with room to spare – and now the limit for losses rises to £105m for the 2024/25 season. So, will Marco have money to spend?

The transfer budget will be allocated come June and given their financial position, the club will want to buy and sell players to keep those books balanced. Fulham’s total football costs are 101% of turnover – so we’re not yet ‘sustainable’. Our total wage figure looks set to rise no matter what, but some assets will have to leave to allow others to come in. However, the remarkable fact here is that Fulham have the luxury of thinking laterally. Selling and buying in the market is a viable option. Players of quality can come and go at the right price. And Fulham is an attractive club again. But, can they build a more consistent team unit?

How many out and how many in?

It seems very likely that Fulham will lose a centre midfielder. There are no prizes for guessing who that will probably be, but some other players might want to be regular first teamers or have their sights set on higher levels. Out of the options, Tom Cairney is probably the least likely to leave.

At the back, Tim Ream is nearing the end of his career, and Tosin may be headed out the door, so the scouting for a centre-back position should have already started. A right-footed player who can match Calvin Bassey on the left side must be the main requirement. He’ll have to be good with the ball at his feet to make him an improvement on Tosin, and he’ll have to be quick.

In the wide areas, Fulham have top-level talent . Effectively two players for either side is a depth level that they’ll want to maintain. The wage bill for these positions is likely to be the highest. If the current four cannot retain their position by churning out high level performances week in week out, any departure in this position will require a replacement who can hold his own for a handful of games at a time, and share the weight of supply needed from the right and left flanks.

Fulham’s striker crisis seems to be all-but over. Rodrigo Muniz has stepped up, and Raul Jiminez is capable of being a number two who can feature in the cup games. The Armando Broja has failed. Chelsea have ended up with nothing from the loan (except a plump £4m fee), and the player is almost worse off. Broja could come in for a very low fee, if at all. But for now, the position is not an area of concern.

The mix of the old and the young will hopefully be working as a combination for the next season at least. The full-back position is currently the lowest in terms of depth. Clubs are courting Antonee Robinson and Kenny Tete may look for pastures new after a frustrating campaign. Fulham will need to line up potential replacements. There have been rumours that Atletico Madrid would like Andreas Pereira, so that position will also be monitored by the scouting network.

To next season

So, in total that’s possibly up to five players out and needing replacements, plus any gaps Marco feels he needs to plug. Fulham will be aware that one big sale will be a way of mitigating any excess expenditure. It could change as the summer goes on, but the squad could be just as balanced if replacements and forward planning has been conducted well. Let’s not rule anything out, but if Fulham have lined up some transfers, then this new era of Fulham’s financial performance and thinking ahead in the boardroom would back up the progression made on the pitch.

Fulham’s relatively safe position going into the end of the season does provide for the opportunity of forward planning. The yo-yo status of the club has only ever hindered the making of plans in the past. Additionally, the Riverside stand, which has already cost £160m, will be ready for use in December. It will bring a much-needed increase to the revenue attributed to match-days, which can hit the accounts next season and benefit long term investment in players, staff etc.

The club has capitalised on the improvements we’ve seen under Marco Silva, who has developed a way of playing with a pragmatic transfer style. Silva and his men give Fulham a platform to plan from. Investing and selling in the right areas will be paramount to continuing the upward curve. If it’s managed better than ever before then who knows, ticket prices may even stay the same price this time next year. Let’s not get our hopes up just yet, but here’s to hoping.

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