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By ESPN Staff

Ayre confident for future

Liverpool's managing director Ian Ayre is looking forward to more money being invested in players instead of paying off debt now the club's finances are on a more even keel.

The Reds' accounts show they made a £20 million loss for the 12 months ending July 2010 - the last full year of the reign of former owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett. However, since then there have been huge developments with Fenway Sports Group buying Liverpool in October, paying off £200 million of debt.

The accounts also do not include income from the record £80 million, four-year shirt sponsorship deal with Standard Chartered agreed last summer.

The figures reveal revenues rose to £184 million in the last financial year, but net debt increased to £123 million, incurring interest payments in excess of £17 million. However, Ayre said the arrival of FSG meant everyone was now optimistic about the health of the club both on and off the field.

"As much as we are all aware of the difficult circumstances surrounding these accounts and that period in the club's history, everyone in the world can now see just how much has since been achieved," he said.

"Since the end of the last financial year, FSG has paid off £200 million of acquisition debt from the previous owners, dramatically reducing interest payments as a result and meaning we are able to invest more revenue in the team rather than servicing debt.

"We have also enjoyed significant commercial growth since these accounts were finalised, including our shirt sponsorship deal with Standard Chartered, which was the largest partnership contract in the club's history.

"On and off the pitch since the end of the last financial year, the picture is an improving one as we focus on growing profitability and strengthening the first, reserve and academy operations.

"We had an extremely successful January transfer window which saw the ownership and management teams working closely to bring in some high quality players. The club is now in an excellent position to move forward and all of us can approach the future with optimism."

The accounts also reveal the costs associated with a long-awaited new stadium rose by a further £2.9 million in the 12 months to July. FSG are currently assessing whether to press ahead with the Stanley Park project or redevelop Anfield.

The report on the club's accounts said: "Following the acquisition of the company subsequent to the year end, the new owners are currently evaluating the best course of action with regard to the stadium.

"Whilst this review process has not been completed at the date of signing the accounts, it is highly likely there will be a significant write-off of the new stadium project costs in the financial year ending July 31 2011.

"The directors continue to monitor the useful economic life of the existing stadium."


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