Liverpool chief slams soccer study

Speaking exclusively to ahead of the new Premiership season, Parry refuted claims that an ever-widening chasm has emerged between the two footballing giants.

The comments come just a week after Liverpool beat Manchester United in the Charity Shield, with Parry pointing out figures published this week by accountancy firm Deloitte & Touche were out of date.

Manchester United was found to have an operating profit for 1999/2000 of £29.1m, while Liverpool were found to have an operating loss of £7.8m.

However, Parry pointed out that Liverpool had posted the fourth best pre-tax profit of all clubs with a profit of £2.2m, compared to United in second place with £16.8m.

‘Where the report is misleading is that it is focussed on operating profit where we score low down. On pre-tax profit we are top of the tree,’ he said.

‘Last year we hadn’t budgeted to reach three cup finals and that was of course very lucrative. This fact does not show up in these figures.’

Parry’s remarks are the just the latest controversy to surround the Deloittes’ study, with a number of senior football executives having taken exception to the firm’s findings in the past. Earlier this year Chelsea FC chairman Ken Bates blasted its report on football finance, saying the firm was wrong over its calculation of wages at his club.

Meanwhile, Parry added English football clubs will continue to avoid the debts amassed by clubs overseas due to their careful financial management.

Recent reports have suggested Spanish giant Real Madrid has defaulted on a £4m payment to Arsenal as part of the 1999 transfer of striker Nicholas Anelka. Although this was strenuously denied by a spokesman, the Madrid club has spiralling debt problems amounting to hundreds of millions of pounds – an amount Parry suggests would never occur in the UK.

‘The debt Real Madrid has run up is terrifying,’ said Parry. ‘No English club could go down that path as they are more financially disciplined and try to be financially smarter than them.’

Despite Liverpool winning four trophies this year, he said he would not hesitate to fund further player acquisitions. He added: ‘Our next aim is to win the Premiership. In order to be a top club in Europe you must spend money. In football if your aim is merely to be mediocre, you will be.’


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