Yeovil Town have reported heavy operational losses in their latest accounts. The 2014-15 season accounts for the year ending June 2015 show that the club made an operation loss of £692,000 over the season, despite an FA Cup Third Round televised tie against Manchester United.
The club have cited the reduced turnover that affects the drop between the Championship and League One as being a major factor in this, indicating that the club gained a level of £7.8 million during the 2013-14 campaign which dropped to a level of £4 million during the 2014-15 campaign. The club state that the difference in the centralised revenue provided for Football League clubs between those two divisions was £2.9 million.
They also indicate that Gate Revenue between the two divisions incurred a loss of £0.66 million between the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons. This compares with the club's average 6,616 gates they got for Championship football and the 4,346 average gates they got in League One - the attendance in the away end of the stadium is a huge factor in this drop. There was also a drop of £0.1 million in Commercial and Hospitality income, linked in part to the same crowd levels.
Although the Football League's centralised income dropped by £2.9 million, the club's expenditure only dropped by £1.6 million, showing the problem where the amount of money the club was spending that season didn't drop by enough to balance against the loss of income. Chairman John Fry indicates that the cost of keeping players recruited for the Championship division, whilst operating as a League One club was a large factor in the club's losses:
"Although the Club’s £2.3m squad budget was covered by a reserve fund of £1.4m, and through revenues from the Manchester United FA Cup tie, the cost of keeping Championship high earners under contract – and bringing in 21 emergency loans – was the main cause of the decline in both the financial and footballing performances. These figures demonstrate the true cost of our relegation from the Sky Bet Championship and the size of the job we have in keeping Yeovil Town in the Football League. However, with Darren Way at the helm, we now have our losses under control, and not only does our Football League future look secure, the squad and club is being rebuilt, back to winning ways."
In February 2015, Yeovil Town parted company with Gary Johnson, initially appointing Terry Skiverton as his interim successor. By April though, the club was on the edge of relegation, and chose to change management again, appointing Paul Sturrock as their manager. Fry says that when the season started, he thought the club had a good enough squad to return to the Championship:
"We thought we had sufficient quality in both our playing squad and the management team to return the Club straight back to the Championship. Instead, right from the start of the 2014-15 season, we were involved in a costly battle to save our League One status. On the pitch it was a very disappointing season, which sadly led to the departure of manager Gary Johnson. The appointment of Paul Sturrock in February failed to stop the decline in results, with the season ending in a second successive relegation."
Fry's mention of Sturrock being appointed in February doesn't reflect reality, and omits Skiverton's two month spell as manager. Sturrock's appointment saw him take charge on the day the club was relegated, as he oversaw a draw against Notts County that saw them relegated on that day.
The Yeovil Chairman doesn't indicate what this year's trading figures will be like, except to say that he believes they will be brighter than the 2014-15 figures:
"With the help of increased match-day revenues to support manager Darren Way's squad budget and ambitions for the club next season, I am forecasting a much brighter future for the Glovers. However, our priority now has to be to ensure, we remain competitive at our current level, at least until our proposed stadium development plans come to fruition, and we can then use those as a basis to push the Club forward."
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