Everton have announced a record turnover but post-tax loss for the 2014-15 season.
In a statement of accounts released on Wednesday, the Toffees said their total turnover had increased from £120.5million in 2013-14 to £125.6million.
That was despite a £3.1million reduction in broadcast revenue from £84.8million to £81.7million – in a season they finished 11th in the Barclays Premier League compared to fifth a year earlier.
Sponsorship, advertising and merchandising income rose by £2million, while participation in the Europa League also contributed to an increase in revenue from other commercial activities by £5.1million.
And gate receipts grew by £1.1million as the average league attendance at Goodison Park soared to 38,406, the highest recorded total since 2003-04.
But Everton also reported on Wednesday that total staff costs had risen by £8.2million to £77.5million, and that, incorporating the annual net interest charge of £3.8million, the results for the year showed a post-tax loss of £4.1million.
The club had a record overall profit of £28.2million in 2013-14 – a campaign during which they sold Marouane Fellaini to Manchester United for £27.5million.
Ahead of the 2014-15 season Everton splashed out a club-record £28million on striker striker Romelu Lukaku from Chelsea.
Before player trading, the Merseyside outfit had an operating profit for 2014-15 of £16million – down from £23.7million.
The accounts also show their net debt had increased by £3.2million to £31.3million.
Everton chief executive Robert Elstone said: “Our financial performance, like so many Premier League clubs, was underpinned by the second year of a TV deal that beat all expectations, but also by increases in matchday and commercial revenues.
“We also continue to work hard managing and controlling our cost base and remain determined to ensure investment and spending is effective and delivers returns.
“Beyond the Premier League table, probably the most significant barometer of success is attendances and 2014-15 broke all recent records with our highest season ticket total for at least 10 years, the lowest season ticket non-renewal rate, 12 full houses and an average attendance in excess of 38,000 for the first time since 2004.
“As reported year-in, year-out, our revenues continue to be spent on sustaining a great academy, the best possible coaching, scouting, performance and medical teams and, of course, a first-team squad that can compete for a place in Europe. That strategy remains central to everything we do.”
Now in their third season under manager Roberto Martinez, Everton are currently ninth in the Premier League table.
Club chairman Bill Kenwright said: “There is no more hard-working a manager in the land than the manager we have, no manager more determined to bring success to his football club, to bring silverware to his football club, to build a winning mentality and a winning team.
“Roberto’s mentality is resolute and relentless. This is what makes him such a remarkable man and a man I believe will definitely take the club forward.”
Meanwhile, Elstone has stressed the club remain in discussions about funding for a new stadium he feels will be “the real springboard to greater things”.
Everton have identified Walton Hall Park as the intended site of a new ground to replace Goodison Park, and Elstone said in the 2015 accounts document: “A consistent feature throughout 2014-15 has been our work on Walton Hall Park, in partnership with Liverpool City Council.
“When offered the site, the club responded to a regeneration agenda with conviction, recognising that we had an opportunity to not only find a solution to our search for a new stadium but also make a significant, lasting and much-needed difference to north Liverpool, the city and the region.
“Those objectives underpin our ambition today and we continue discussions with the Mayor and his officers to finalise a funding model that gives the scheme a fighting chance of success.
“The real springboard to greater things will be the new stadium. It’s why we will continue to work with determination and creativity to find the solution.”