Southampton’s 2021/22 financial results covered “another mixed season” when they finished 15th in the Premier League for the second year in a row, but reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.

Serbian media mogul Dragan Solak bought 80% of the club for £100m in December 2021 via his investment vehicle Sport Republic Limited. He acquired his stake from Chinese businessman Gao Jisheng, who had controlled the club since 2017, with Katharina Liebherr retaining the remaining 20%.

Solak tried to encourage Saints fans, “We will really try to give support. I can’t tell you how much that would cost, but definitely adequate support to the team.”

Southampton’s pre-tax loss narrowed from £23m to £15m, despite revenue dropping £6m (4%) from £157m to £151m, mainly because profit from player sales nearly doubled from £16m to £31m. Operating expenses slightly fell by £1m (1%), but net interest payable was up to £9m.

Loss after tax reduced from £15m to £13m, as the tax credit was down from £8m to £2m.

Southampton’s revenue was boosted by the return of fans to the stadium, which led to a steep increase in match day, up from just £0.6m to £17.4m.

However, revenue was down overall, as broadcasting fell £21m (15%) from £136m to £115m, as prior year included revenue deferred from the extended 2019/20 season. Commercial also decreased £3m (12%) from £21m to £18m.

In addition, other operating income reduced from £2.6m to £0.5m.

Southampton’s wage bill was flat at £113m, while player amortisation dropped £12m (26%) from £47m to £35m. Other expenses increased £11m (44%) from £25m to £36m, mainly due to the higher cost of staging games with fans.