Chesterfield company secretary Ashley Carson has admitted his disappointment with elements of the club’s financial performance in the past year, but he’s hopeful for a better 2016/17 period.
The Spireites director, writing in his strategic report in the club’s end of year accounts, called last season ‘frustrating’ and said he was disappointed with the reduction in gate revenue and season ticket income.
A pre-tax profit of £42k came after transfer fees of £2m were recouped by Chesterfield.
But the revenue from match attendance fell by around £400k to £1.64m in the financial year.
Mr Carson admitted the club’s debt, around £8.5m, remains a ‘strain’ for the Spireites, but the directors still aim to reduce it.
Mr Carson’s statement in full read: “The 2015/16 Season saw a challenging and frustrating season, finishing in 18th place with a total of 53 points.
Dean Saunders reign as manager ceased after just over six months, and the club was grateful to Mark Smith the Academy Director taking temporary charge until Danny Wilson was appointed as Saunders’ successor.
Joining Danny we were delighted to welcome Chris Morgan as assistant manager.
The Academy continues to show very impressive signs of re-generation and we can now see real assets being brought forward into the first team squad. Danny Wilson and his coaching squad are working very closely with
Mark Smith and this season we have already seen Curtis Morrison, Ricky German and Lawrence Maguire make their League One debuts.
During the season the club extended its contract with Puma, the official kit sponsor, whose brand is well received by both the players and supporters, with strong sales on leisurewear in the superstore.
Off the field we parted company with Paul Watts and appointed Peter Clarke to head up the Conference and Banqueting Division. He joins with a wealth of knowledge and expertise, working closely with Diane Shirt, and
their aim is to take this already very successful part of the business forward to another level.
As shown in the profit and loss account the company’s turnover has increased from £7.34m in the prior year to £7.53m. This is mainly due to increased revenue from player sales for which the club is dependent each year to balance the books.
Disappointing was the reduction in gate revenue and season ticket income, falling from £2.05m in the previous year down to £1.64m. The cash generated from the sale of players meant that the player budget was held
broadly in line with the previous season, but this has obviously seriously hit the profit and loss account result for the year.
This has led to an overall pre-tax profit for the year of £42,328 compared to £84,879 profit the previous year.
The debt still has to be managed and remains a continuous strain on the club, but we are committed to reducing it going forward.
We hope that 2016/17 will be a much more positive season, both on and off the pitch.”