The accounts demonstrate the extent to which 2014/15 was the year that many years of investment in the essence of what the club is about – community-ownership and engagement, developing our own talent, living within our means as we do so, and releasing the value of our assets at opportune times - came to fruition as the accounts were transformed.
The primary factor behind this transformation was the carefully planned nature of the transfer of Matt Grimes to Swansea, and the resulting restructuring of the club’s financial picture and management. Alongside this, like for like turnover was very similar in 2014/15 to the previous year, with this performance being achieved on a close-to-5% reduced cost base, primarily resulting from the decision to operate the business of the club without a chief executive.
Despite making selective expenditure during the year as a result of receiving the initial payment from the sale of Matt Grimes, the club made a pre-depreciation profit in the year of £59,917 (reported as a loss of £129,311 after depreciation is applied). The equivalent figures for the previous financial year were a loss of £76,732 before depreciation, and a loss of £271,196 after depreciation was applied.
The accounting treatment of the proceeds of the transfer of Matt Grimes (and other smaller fees) means that these sums (£1,771k) are brought into the accounts as a whole for the year, producing a declared profit for 2014/15 of £1,642k.
The strength of the club’s overall financial position is illustrated by the £761k of surplus shareholders’ funds on the balance sheet at the end of the period (2013/14 equivalent figure was a deficit of £880k) and, with the Matt Grimes transfer fee being paid in instalments, the club has repaid some loans and its trade creditors. The balance of cash at the Bank at the end of May 2015 was £223k compared with £85k the previous year.
Three further instalments of the Matt Grimes transfer fall due in August 2015, January 2016 and August 2016. The board have agreed in broad terms how the income from the transfer should be spent to improve the infrastructure strength of the club in line with its vision and underlying model and these plans are now being developed in detail for further presentation.