£1m deficit for financial year predicted at Scunthorpe United
SCUNTHORPE United are on course to make a second successive seven-figure loss this year.
Figures released by the club to the Iron Trust today predict a £1 million deficit for the financial year ending June 30, 2013 – a further example of just how tough the current economic climate is at Glanford Park.
The figures are an improvement on those announced
in November, with reference to the previous financial year, when the club revealed record losses of £1.9 million, but it means more cost-cutting and increasing revenue streams is necessary.
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“No loss is good news, but the chairman made it clear that the club would again lose a seven figure sum at the annual general meeting in December,” general manager David Beeby told the Telegraph.
“That is why he put a loan in place to provide the finance needed to see the club through to the end of this financial year.
“The forecast loss is an improvement on the previous year and a sign that the club is heading in the right direction, but we have to work extremely hard to make sure that continues next year.
“We’re looking at ways to increase revenue both on match days and non-match days but we’re also having to make savings on and off the pitch.”
The £1 million loss predicted for this year is only likely to increase too, given that figure was based on average gates of 3,600 at Glanford Park.
Currently, on the back of a season of struggle at the wrong end of the table, their average is just under 400 fewer.
Information released by the Iron confirmed they are this season operating with the 12th highest playing budget in League One.
Manager Brian Laws though, has already admitted it has been reduced ‘significantly’ for next term, regardless of what division they are in, yet Beeby says Scunthorpe remain
committed to trying to achieve success on the pitch.
“Our primary aim is to have a successful football team but that has to be achieved sustainably,” he continued.
“This club has been going for over 100 years and we need to make sure it is around for the next 100.
“There are teams in League One operating with a player budget half the size of ours and one of those is pushing for a play-off position.
“That shows what can be achieved and we need to get back to that.
“The Scunthorpe team that won the League One title was one the club could afford and we need to get back to that model.”
Forecasted figures for the current financial year were released to the Iron Trust
as a result of their meeting with the board of directors where they suggested it would be helpful for fans to have a more detailed insight into the budget.
They show that the Iron received £300,000 less from Football League funding, but have further reduced staff costs – which stood at £5.5 million in 2011 – to £3 million.
With chairman Steve Wharton leaving the board in the summer, the Trust are keen to play a prominent role in helping Scunthorpe become a ‘sustainable, fan-focused club’.
“The retirement of the chairman in the summer means the club needs to look at ways of increasing commercial revenue in order to maintain a competitive budget,” said a statement from the Trust, who have now signed up more than 230 members and hold £2,000 worth of shares in the club.
“We believe the best way to do this is by putting supporters at the heart of the club and by recognising the best way to keep fans supporting the club is through a focus on engagement with fans.
“The Trust is willing and able to play a role in this.”
That is something Beeby said United would welcome.
“The fans are the club and they have a huge role to play in the success of it,” he added.
“Sustainability is also key as it is the only way to guarantee the cub’s long term future.”