Aston Villa reports loss of more than $150M. Club says it is operating within EPL financial rules

Aston Villa's Lucas Digne, right, is congratulated by his team mates after scoring his sides third goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Luton Town and Aston Villa at Kenilworth Road Stadium in Luton, England, Saturday, March 2, 2024. (Bradley Collyer/PA via AP) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) — Aston Villa insisted the club is operating within the financial rules of the English Premier League despite reporting a loss of 119.6 million pounds ($151 million) in its latest accounts on Tuesday.

Those accounts are up to May 31 last year, covering a period when the team finished seventh in the league to qualify for the Europa Conference League.

Everton and Nottingham Forest have previously fallen foul of the Premier League's profit and sustainability rules, which permit losses of up to 105 million pounds ($133 million) over a three-year period. Everton has already received a six-point deduction — reduced from an initial 10 after an appeal — and could get another penalty along with Forest in the coming weeks.

Villa made a profit of 300,000 pounds ($380,000) in its 2021-22 accounts and said the latest figures “are in line with the strategic business plan.”

Much of Villa's spending has come in infrastructure, its women's team and its academy and foundation, which can be deducted from the PSR figures.

Wages rose nearly 60 million pounds ($76 million) to 194.2 pounds ($246 million).

Villa's revenue this season is set to rise by at least 15 million euros ($16 million) by competing in the Europa Conference League — the team plays Ajax on Thursday in the first leg of the round of 16 — and potentially more for a higher finish in the Premier League than last season.

Currently fourth in the Premier League, Villa will qualify for the Champions League by maintaining that place in the final standings. Playing in the elite club competition for the first time since 1982-83, when Villa was the defending European Cup champion, should be worth at last 40 million euros ($43 million) in UEFA prize money, potentially tens of millions more, plus increased matchday income.

However, Villa's net transfer spending also increased this season with offseason recruits Pau Torres and Moussa Diaby combining to cost a reported 80 million pounds ($100 million).

Villa's United States-backed ownership group V Sports also has a stake in Portuguese club Vitória Guimarães. That stake was cut to 29% last year to comply with UEFA rules protecting the integrity of its competitions from multi-club ownership groups.


AP soccer: