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Losses increase in the latest accounts
Friday, 24th Mar 2017 22:06 by Tim Whelan

The clubs annual accounts for 2015-16 were published today, and showed a loss of almost £9m. Revenue increased and costs were reduced, but we didn’t make the sums from player trading that improved the results 12 months before.

The bottom line figure is a loss of £8.9m compared to £2m in 2014-15, but the latter figure owed much to the £11m received from Fulham for Ross McCormack. The result at least compares favourably with the £23m deficit of the year ending in June 2014, most of which was under the chaotic ownership of GFH.

We still owe the Bahraini bankers £17m for the amounts they put into the club to finance their own losses. Originally we were due to refund this as soon as we got back to the Premier League, but the accounts now show this has been renegotiated, and we’ll be paying it off in instalments until 2029!

The club won’t be liable to make a similar payment to Cellino for his own investment, as that has been converted in a shares, but he will get his money back one way or another, as this will increase the cost to Andrea Radrizzani to buy him out.

Total turnover increased by £6m to £30.1m, helped by catering income of £4.8m, after Cellino bought the catering rights back from Compass, to end the poor deal Ken Bates set up in 2012. After Bates spent a fortune on rebuilding the East Stand instead of funding the team, we should have at least expected a return from the new corporate facilities.

The wage bill fell from £19.8m to £18.1m, but the club did have to find £3.5m to pay for “exceptional costs of commercial disputes” . This included the ending of a contract with former kit manufacturer Macron who Leeds replaced with Kappa on a five-year deal in the summer of 2015. At least we’re assured that these exceptional costs would “not be repeated in future seasons.”

That might be because Massimo is intending to sell his remaining stake in the club fairly soon and won’t be around to get us into any more scrapes. And the indication is that the results for 2016-17 will show an improvement, not least because of the increased attendances as Garry Monk’s team chase promotion.

If we do reach the Premier League we will have to pay £4.75m will be paid to the creditors who lost out in our insolvency in 2007. This amount would be more than covered by a huge increase in the amount we get from television, though it might still have an impact on our ability to build a squad capable of competing during our first season back with the big boys.

If we don’t go up this season one consolation will be that the £4.75m will no longer be due, as the terms of the administration only applied for a ten year period. And another bit of good news if we remain in the Football League is that the losses weren’t big enough to trigger another transfer embargo for next season.

So after a very difficult decade and a half, it seems that in the future our finances could at last start moving in the right direction. Now if we can just get promoted and get rid of Il Presidente…

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