Bolton Wanderers' debt reaches record levels

Bolton Wanderers' debt reaches record levels

Bolton Wanderers' debt reaches record levels

First published in News
Last updated
The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , chief football writer

FINANCIAL reality continues to bite at Wanderers after the club revealed they were a record £163.8 million in the red this morning.

Parent company Burnden Leisure Plc reported losses of £50.7m, which see debts rise massively from last year’s £136.5m.

Turnover was down by £30m from £58.5m to £28.5m, while total staff costs for the year were £37.4m, down from £55.3m. The wage bill, currently standing at £32.7m is at its lowest level since 2007.

Chairman Phil Gartside said: "This year's results show the difficulties faced in the football business when a club has enjoyed a sustained and successful period in the Premier League, in our case 11 years, then suffers relegation back to the Football League Championship."

The chart below shows how Wanderers' debt has risen since 2005.

 

The Bolton News:

This chart shows how Wanderers' wage bill has been curbed in the last 12 months.

 

The Bolton News:

 

Wanderers reported that attendances at the Reebok Stadium are down by 28 per cent, while gate receipts were £3.8million, as compared to £5.7million last year.

That has contributed to the biggest single loss in the club's history - £50.7m - although that figure was lowered by the club according to "a number of one-off exceptional items relating to balance sheet impairments and other accounting adjustments."

Wanderers have not reported a profit in the last seven sets of financial figures.

 

The Bolton News:

A total of £2.3m was spent on "restructuring costs of previous management team" - which applies to the payment made to Owen Coyle and his staff when they were sacked back in October 2012 and that to bring in Dougie Freedman from Crystal Palace.

Sponsorship and advertising revenue dropped alarmingly from £4.3m to £1.4m, while revenues from corporate activity dropped from £1.7m to £1.1m.

Wanderers have acknowledged the massive financial debt now owed to owner Eddie Davies' Moonshift Investment Ltd, which stands at £151m, but have pointed out that the interest on money owed - for so long a bone of contention among Whites fans - has been reduced to nothing.

Wanderers report that their education business and Bolton Whites Hotel, recently accquired completely from De Vere, are making "positive strides" and also claim planning approval for the "Middlebrook Masterplan" development is expected to be passed "early next year" despite having met some initial hurdles at planning. In total £1.4m has been spent on fixed assets.

Gartside notes in the report that newly-installed Financial Fair Play rules mean the club must start to investigate alternative revenue streams away from football.

But the chairman does beleive investment is possible in Dougie Freedman's playing staff - with £4m invested in the last financial year.

"It should go without saying that Eddie Davies continues to provide a humbling level of support to the club. However, the financial support given by owners is no longer possible in this league without severe penalty," he said.

"We are responding to a changing environment by improvement and development of the wider Burnden Leisure business interests.

"This year we secured sole ownership of the hotel, expanded our education business and applied for planning permission to increase our non-football operations to improve revenues over the medium to long term.


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"We will continue to invest, both in the long and short term, where the returns can be justified.

"However, Financial Fair Play rules require an alternative funding structure and Bolton Wanderers is very much moving towards a self-sustainable future.

"Looking forward we have to recognise we are no longer a Premier League club in the Championship, but a Championship club with ambitions to play in the Premier League; a stark reality of the financial rules now imposed."

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