|PLC REPORT LOSSES OF £1.66m
(Friday 7th November 2008)
The PLC has reported losses of £1.66m for the year ending 30th June 2008. This compares to a loss of £699k in the previous year when Wanderers had the luxury of a run to the semi-finals of the League Cup. Meanwhile, Club CE Steve Hayes has increased his loans to the Club by £1.8m to £5.85m, raising the total net debt of the Club to £7.2m. The net debt now outstrips tangible fixed assets, worth £6.28m, for the first time in the Club's history. The AGM has been called for Thursday 4th December 2008.
The losses reflect a year where turnover fell by £319K to £4,470K, while staff costs increased to £3.38m from £2.95m, and with an increase in staff numbers from 97 to 104, compared to the previous season. Total opertating costs increased by £359k to £6,287k primarily due to an increase in the Football Department costs of £337k. Chairman Ivor Beeks commented in his report added, "In chasing promotion we significantly exceeded budget but ultimately this course proved unsuccessful.".
The biggest reduction in income came as result in the fall in gate receipts by £550K to £1,035K. This is mainly attributed to the £450K plus windfall from the League Cup run in 2006/7, although League income in 2007/8 dropped in its own right by £66K to £1,035K, hindered by a drop in the average home League attendance by 255 to 4,711 compared to 2006/7.
Once again profit was made of the sale of players, with £240K shown on the plus side and principally due to the sale of Jermaine Easter to Plymouth Argyle. However, this compared to a profit of £530K the previous season when significant profits were made from the sale of Kevin Betsy and Roger Johnson. The transfers of Sergio Torres and Russell Martin will be reflected in the 2008/09 financial year.
Positives saw Commercial income rise by £336K to £3,149K, helped by an increase in League sponsorship of £70K and a £50K increase in the ground tenancy fee received from London Wasps - now believed to be in the region of £365K per year. There were also improvements in other non-matchday activities, with the 'Food & Beverage' and 'Conference Centre' highlighted as key sources of revenue. Merchandising income rose by £32.5K to £193K and was principally attributed to the sale of new home and away shirts launched at the start of the 2007/8 season.
Club Chairman Ivor Beeks commented in his report, "For the year to 30 June 2009 the Club's finances are expected to improve significantly, although the loss will be in the region of a million pounds. The football costs are being brought under control and commercial and matchday revenues are expected to increase. In the following year the finances are expected to move closer to breakeven." The comments come as the PLC report their fourth consecutive loss since the conversion to a PLC in July 2004. During that period the Club has lost £4.85m and increased net debts from £1m to over £7m (*).
(*) Footnote: The true debt position is higher with an additional £1.2m of short term debts to pay to creditors including the Inland Revenue. See article on the Wycombe Wanderers Supporters' Trust website for more information and links to PLC documents.
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