Importance of Premier League football to Sheffield United is underlined by remarkable jump in income in club's accounts

The importance of Premier League football for Sheffield United has been laid bare in the club's annual accounts, which show that the Blades posted a profit of £17.5m for the last year despite the losses associated with Covid-19.

Thursday, 1st April 2021, 5:40 pm

United recorded a record high income of £143.1million - compared to the £20.8m they earned in the previous financial year - which would have been even higher, but for £11m lost because of the coronavirus pandemic, made up of lost broadcast income and missing matchday revenue.

As is the case for Premier League clubs, the majority of United's income - almost £117m - came from broadcast revenue, while sponsorship money of almost £15m was an increase on the previous accounts.

But wages also increased, from £40.7m to £77.9m, including bonuses paid to United's players after their promotion to the Premier League in 2019.

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United extended their accounting period to the end of July 2020, to encompass the entire, extended 2019/20 season.

That also allowed the transfer of assets, including Bramall Lane and the Shirecliffe training complex, from former owner Kevin McCabe to be included in this set of accounts. The cost of those, plus the Bramall Lane hotel and other properties, was included at a cost of £38m and covered by a mortgage.

To put the accounts in context, it is only the second time in a decade that United have posted a profit - and they will be bracing themselves for a significant drop in income if, as expected, they are relegated to the Championship this season.

Playing games behind closed doors had hit United's income this season, as detailed in the club accounts. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)