Football: Southampton report first profits since 2009 crisis

LONDON (REUTERS) - High-flying Southampton reported annual after-tax profits of 33.4 million pounds (S$68 million) in 2014, their first time in the black since the English Premier League club went into administration in 2009. The figure compared to a 7.1 million pound loss in 2013.

Gareth Rogers, Southampton's chief executive officer, said in a statement that the figures showed "the health of the club and the group is strong and the foundations are there to be built on.

"We believe it is possible to be a well-managed, well-structured football club that is successful both on and off the pitch."

The club, currently sixth in the league and six points adrift of fourth placed Manchester United in the battle for the Champions League slots, also reported total revenue increasing to 106 million pounds from a previous 71.8 million pounds.

The Saints said this was a direct consequence of broadcasting income rising from 46.9 million pounds to 79.4 million pounds in 2013/14.

Total group wages, including players, increased from 41.4 million pounds to 55.2 million pounds while the club's debt now stands at around 50 million pounds.

Southampton went into administration in 2009 after spending heavily on their St Mary's Stadium before being relegated from the English Premier League in 2005.

Relegated to the third tier of English football, they came out of administration later that year after being sold to Swiss businessman Markus Liebherr.

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