Liverpool FC debt soars despite sales boost

Liverpool Football Club saw its debts almost double last year despite registering a record turnover.

The club’s net debt rose to £86m in the year to July 31 2008, from £43.9m a year earlier while Kop Football Holdings, the club’s holding company, saw its net debt rise to £299.5m.

Liverpool’s owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett Jr borrowed heavily to buy the club in 2007. They paid £36.5m in interest on the club’s debts last year, according to accounts filed with Companies House.

The interest burden, coupled with the duo’s pressing need to renegotiate the credit deals with Royal Bank of Scotland and Wachovia, believed to total about £350m, increases the need for the two to raise fresh finance.

Reports last month indicated that Carlsberg, the club’s primary sponsor, was willing to discuss naming rights for the club’s proposed new stadium when discussions over an extension to its current sponsorship deal start shortly.

Any naming rights would boost the current £7.5m a year deal the brewer has with the club.

Despite debt woes, the club’s appeal continues to grow with revenue generated from the merchandise, ticket sales and brand spin-offs lifting turnover to a record £159.1m.

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