|ACCOUNTS PUBLISHED FOR 2009/10
(Monday 18th April 2011)
Accounts now published for the year ending June 2010, confirm Wanderers made losses of £1.17m with operating costs rising to an all time Club high of £6.8m. The accounts are the first since the Club began trading as Wycombe Wanderers Football Club Limited in August 2009 and come more than five months later than the typical registration date. Following on from the decision not to hold an AGM for the first time in the Club's history, the accounts have not been circulated to either Ordinary or Founder Shareholders of the Company but are available on request or via Companies House.
The losses for the 2009/10 season compare to just under £700,000 for the 2008/9 season when operating costs were also £638,000 lower. Other significant changes show that profit from the sale of players was also significantly down - with £523,000 boosting the coffers during the 2009/10 season following further income from the sale of Mike Williamson and Roger Johnson, compared to just over £900,000 the previous season, when income from the sale of Sergio Torres and Russell Martin added to the initial income from Williamson and Johnson. The combined effect of this is a negative impact on the balance sheet of more than £1m. Looking ahead to the figures for the current season, Wanderers received £325,000 for the sale of Matt Phillips to Blackpool in August 2010 but could miss out a further payment of £375,000 this financial year should The Seasiders be relegated from the Premiership. However, it appears to be the spiralling operating costs that are sending the Club into what onlookers may see as a financial tailspin. During the 2006/7 season operating costs were knocked down to below the £6m mark but have now reached a record level even though the Total Wage Bill for the Club has been relatively controlled at £3.88m (just £50,000 up from 2008/9).
Positives for the 2009/10 season saw average League attendances rise from 5,109 to 5,545 and Match Receipts consequently jump from £1.06m to £1.24m following promotion to 'League One'. Commercial Activities hit a record high of £3.4m, a 10% rise from 2008/9 and Merchandising also hit £232,000, a 24% rise from 2008/9. Total Turnover rose to an all time high of £4.9m (up 7%) on the previous season. Disappointing for the Club was a fall in Broadcasting fees to £50,369 compared to £213,134 the previous season. Commenting in the Directors Report, Club Chairman Ivor Beeks said, "The general economic backdrop was extremely challenging, with companies reducing their expenditure on corporate hospitality and sponsorship, and individuals having to make careful choices over their discretionary expenditure." The report goes on to add that the reduced funding to 'lower league clubs' from 'central distributions' is a 'key risk and uncertainty' and lobbying of the football authorities will continue in an attempt to protect this funding.
With regards to Share Capital, the report confirms that Steve Hayes converted £2.9m of his then loans in July 2009 to 100,000 voting shares. Part of that process also saw Directors Ivor Beeks and Brian Kane repaid their £44,484 loans, leaving Steve Hayes as the only Director with a loan outstanding. Perhaps significantly again, financial movement during the 2009/10 season saw Hayes increase his loans by around £1m to take the amount he is currently owed by Wycombe Wanderers Football Club Limited to just under £5m.
Meanwhile, The Directors report concludes with comment on the proposals for the new community stadium to be used by Wanderers and London Wasps, saying, "A new stadium would provide greater opportunities than those available at Adams Park, to develop nonmatchday revenue streams." COTN understands that Wycombe Sports Development Ltd (the company owner by Steve Hayes) plan to provide a business plan presentation to Wycombe District Council in October 2011 with a view to making a formal planning application in January 2012. Before then, despite previous claims that finances would 'move closer to breakeven', the high risk strategy looks set to continue against the backdrop of uncertainty and lack of visible business plan relating to the stadium proposals.
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