Yeovil Town Football Club held their Shareholders' AGM last night to report back financial figures released for the 2004-05 season. The overall news can be looked at from the perspective of having a half-full or a half-empty glass.
On the plus side, the Glovers are still one of the few profitable, debt-free, overdraft-free clubs in the country, having reported a £12,017 profit for the season's accounts which covers the period from July 1st 2004 through to June 30th 2005.
The 'half-empty' perspective though is that this was achieved in a season when the League Two title was won and the club reached the FA Cup Fourth Round, travelling to The Valley and playing Premiership side Charlton Athletic. The financial period also saw midfielder Gavin Williams sold to West Ham United for £250,000, although only £150,000 was paid up front. So if a 12K profit is only possible in a successful season, what does that mean for a more run-of-the-mill season (comparatively speaking!) such as the 2005-06 campaign that has just completed?
Speaking to the Western Daily Press, Chairman and Chief Executive, and more recently Club Owner John Fry said of the season: "It was a hell of a year, but as you can see, the finances are just not there in football. This shows the challenges that face all of us. We need a stadium that is suitable for the Championship because there is no reason why we should not get there. There needs to be a blueprint and investors but people will not invest into a football club unless there is security. There are clubs at the same sort of level as us who have overdrafts of £10million, but we have no overdraft and no debts, although we live on the verge of it."
Two other directors offered 'half empty' and 'half full' perspectives of the figures. Finance director Paul Sargent felt there was a stark truth behind the figures: "I would argue this was the most successful season we have ever had and yet we only just covered our costs. That is the main point arising from this."
Meanwhile fellow director Stephen Allinson saw the positives in the fact that the Glovers were bucking a trend in terms of football clubs' finances across the country: "I always read the annual Deloitte Touche report into club finances and I can say that we are the exception rather than the rule. I am pleased to say that because the club is going to be around a lot longer than any of us."
The WDP also have reported some interesting snippets from the evening's meeting. John Fry has given heavy hints that he would consider a relocation of the ground if his plans to redevelop the existing Huish Park structure proved to be unrealistic. The club are currently trying to negotiate themselves through a mass of restrictions on the use of the land - generally referred to as 'covenants' - that were put in place as part of the planning permission granted to build Huish Park and were drawn up between 1987 and 1990.
Finally it transpires that the transfer of winger Adrian Caceres from Australian side Perth Glory to Yeovil Town was a little more expensive than first thought, with it generally having been assumed that he had arrived in Somerset on a free transfer in July 2004.
It now transpires that the Glovers paid Perth Glory the sum of £20,000 to avoid the issue having to go before a transfer tribunal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Zurich. But it could have been worse - the Australian side had been demanding the sum of £50,000 as 'training compensation' due to the winger - who in the main was a flop at Huish Park - being aged Under 24 at the time of transfer.
The sums being bandied around for Caceres though will pale in to significance this time next year when the thorny subject of Argentinian Pablo Bastianini comes to the fore in the next AGM. In interviews around the striker's departure, Chairman Fry put the cost of his time at Huish Park at around £250,000 and that is probably the major reason why it would be a surprise if these pages were reporting a profit for the Glovers this time next year.
Comment on this News Item on Facebook
or Go back to Top of Page