Covid-19 and drop in transfer income cited as reasons behind Bradford City's £845,000 financial loss

BRADFORD CITY have announced a loss of &845,000 in their latest accounts filed via Companies House for the last financial year ending on June 30, 2021.

Utilita Energy Stadium, home of Bradford City AFC.
Utilita Energy Stadium, home of Bradford City AFC.

In the previous financial year, the club had made a £1.1m profit.

Revenue levels in 2020-21 decreased by 31 per cent to £5.4m - the figure for 2019-20 was £7.8m - chiefly due to the dramatic impact of Covid-19 which prevented supporters from attending matches last season.

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Club director and chartered accountant Alan K Biggin FCA compiled a financial summary on the club's latest figures and stated that Covid-19 'had a significant effect on trading with transfer income remaining modest. The losses were mitigated, to an extent, by the receipt of furlough monies to the tune of £369,000, he commented.

Transfer income, earned from player sales, sell-on clauses and appearance fees, totalled £490,000 - a significant drop from the previous figure for 2019-20 of £2.6m.

Mr Biggin continued: "First and foremost, the club must remain financially stable and be able to generate income from its own various activities and cost centres, so that it does not need to rely on external sources such as shareholders or other lenders. As a consequence of the above realities, gate receipts, matchday income, season-ticket sales and all commercial activities have been materially affected, although income from iFollow has had some mitigating effect to the value of £529,156.

"Transfer fees remain an important part of our income generation model. However, for the year under review, this income stream has greatly diminished from the previous year and has been a significant contributory reason for the loss which has been generated.

"The club is likely to continue with the affordable season-tickets policy as it is effective and has been successful. This also comes during a time where so many throughout our region have been financially impacted as a consequence of the pandemic, and so the club sees it as its responsibility to not add to this economic burden.

"Not for every club, necessarily, but certainly in a large city such as Bradford with a low-income economy, this is a significant factor in ensuring season tickets continue to be viable for supporters.

"As always, football wages, salaries and on-costs remain a major outlay to the football club. These costs have been maintained at £2.7m for the current season compared to £2.9m previously.

"It should be noted that, in both these years, charges are within the spending constraint framework termed ‘Salary Cost Management Protocol (SCMP)’, which links clubs spending in Sky Bet League Two to 55 per cent of their turnover.

"This may very well be an issue for some other clubs in the future, particularly for those promoted from the National League where no current restrictions exist. The definition of ‘turnover’ for EFL purposes is rather wider drafted than SCMP rules and allows donations and injections of equity from owners to be included in turnover.

"Our club will have no problem remaining within the desired parameters and considers all such rules to be part of a policy of good, sound financial management, which is completely necessary for the future of Bradford City AFC.