Two-time Asian champions Guangzhou Evergrande recorded a deficit of 953 million yuan (147 million dollars) as the Chinese Super League (CSL) reigning champions had an annual revenue of 380 million yuan (59 million dollars) in 2015.
The club announced the fiscal report on Wednesday after they crashed out of the Asian Champions League despite beating group rivals Sydney FC 2-0 as the defending title-holders on the same day.
Evergrande won their second Asian title in three seasons last year and they spent heavily during the off-season, buying striker Jackson Martinez from Atletico Madrid for 42 million euros.
Evergrande have named Li Yimeng as new president in place of outgoing Liu Yongzhuo, in an effort to seek to improve the club’s management and try to increase income last week.
Since real estate developer Evergrande Group took over the club in 2010, Guangzhou Evergrande have collected five straight CSL titles and two Asian Champions League trophies in five seasons supported by a splash of investment on signing top players and world renowned coaches including Brazilian strikers Elkeson, Muriqui, Ricardo Goulart and Argentina’s forward Dario Conca as well as Italian Marcello Lippi and Luiz Felipe at the helm.
During the period, Evergrande Group has upgraded from a second-tier property developer to one of the most profitable ones in China and extensively extended its business to mineral water, grain and oil, and financial sector. It’s believed that brand establishment benefited from soccer helps Evergrande Group manage to enter some areas once regarded as the monopolized.
Evergrande real estate sale amounted to 133 billion yuan (20.6 billion dollars), making a protit of 17.3 billion yuan (2.7 billion dollars) in 2015, according to its recent financial release.
Guangzhou Evergrande are valued at 3.35 billion dollars, atop the world football clubs after they finished the first transaction in China’s National Equities Exchange and Quotations (NEEQ) on March 8, surpassing Real Madrid’s 3.26 billion dollars and Manchester United’s 2.35 billion dollars.
Evergrande Group holds a 56.71 percent stake in the club and e-commerce giant Alibaba has 37.81 percent, with the rest in the hands of other investors following a share sale through a Chinese over-the-counter market in January.
This season, Evergrande face tough challenge in the domestic league in title defense from Jiangsu Suning, which had the record signing of Alex Teixeira from Shakhtar Donetsk in February. Evergrande now sit in second place, one point behind the pace-setters Suning after four rounds.