Liverpool's record £55m loss forces Broughton to put Benitez on tight leash

Liverpool's new chairman, Martin Broughton, has asked Rafael Benitez for a full written report on the club's playing assets before agreeing to a figure for Anfield summer spending, after the club's latest financial results revealed a record £54.9m loss before tax.

The results show Liverpool to be in such a poor financial state that Broughton – supported by the club's bankers – had to demonstrate to the Premier League that they could fulfil their fixtures for next season before submitting the figures to Companies House. It is a state of affairs which offers little encouragement to Benitez and which explains why Broughton asked Benitez for a player-by-player appraisal of his squad, rather than offering him a pot of money to go into the transfer market, when the two men met for the first time on Thursday.

The accounts for the year to 31 July 2009 reveal that Liverpool joined Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea as the only clubs in the Premier League with a wage bill over £100m and that the club were forced to ask their bankers for two extensions to their lending facility as they embarked on a desperate, though ultimately failed attempt to find new investors to bail them out earlier this year.

Benitez's decision on whether to move to Juventus in part depends on assurances that money generated from sales will be his to spend, though Broughton is clearly uncowed by the prospect of Benitez leaving and is dictating the summer spending issue. "We really need to sit down – and we have sat down – with Rafa to determine what is the strengthening that it needs, who are the right players, who needs to be sold – if anybody," he said. "I don't think we start with how much money do you have. We start with what the club needs and take it from there."

The accounts revealed that Liverpool's lending facility with Royal Bank of Scotland expired on 24 January and that the club secured a five-week and then a further two-week extension. This explains the deadlines the managing director, Christian Purslow, set on finding a new £100m investor before Broughton was brought in to locate a buyer instead. The accounts also suggest that the pay-off to outgoing chief executive Rick Parry last June was close to £4m.

The £54.9m loss was driven by £40m in interest payments to service debts. Broughton revealed he is recontacting groups who have previously expressed interest in buying the club, the same strategy Purslow embarked upon. He said there is neither a time limit on the sale nor a price put on the value of the club, but he expects to be out of Anfield within "a matter of months" once his role – securing a buyer – is concluded.

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Life and Style
tech

Apple has been hit by complaints about the 1.1GB download

Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Life and Style
Alexander McQueen A/W 2014
fashionPolitics aside, tartan is on-trend again this season
Arts and Entertainment
Rapper Jay Z performs on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury in 2008
musicSinger sued over use of the single-syllable sample in 'Run This Town'
Sport
Joel jumps over the board...and into a giant hole
footballFrom joy to despair in a matter of seconds
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC
tv

Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason

Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me
tv

Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama

Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife
film

Matt Smith is set to join cast of the Jane Austen classic - with a twist

Life and Style
i100

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week