SHEFFIELD UNITED: Cash-conscious Blades aim to be self-sufficient

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MOVES to ensure Sheffield United becomes a sustainable business have been outlined after the club announced a loss of £13 million in its annual report for 2012.

Kevin McCabe, United’s major shareholder and plc chairman, admitted the loss of television and commercial revenue totalling £4m following relegation from the Championship had impacted the club significantly and follows a loss of £13.6m in 2011. McCabe also acknowledged that the decision to retain players on high wages in an effort to secure an immediate return to the second tier was reflected in the accounts.

Stephen Quinn, Lee Williamson and Matthew Lowton were among those to depart following last season’s play-off final defeat at Wembley. “The financial impact of a season back in League One is self-evident, reinforcing the need to move forward as a financially sustainable organisation still having clear aims and objectives of playing football in the higher echelons of the English league pyramid,” McCabe said.

“On the playing side the transition to recruit younger players on wages the club is structured to afford is well under way ... in simple terms, driven by Football League enforced regulations, this club, like any other in Leagues One and Two, will now only recruit players its revenues can support.

“The focus going forward will be to develop and grow a high performing player talent base, maintaining a sustainable business where we can see a maximum return on our assets and ensuring we are a true family and community club.” McCabe confirmed that parent company Scarborough United Group’s capital raising initiatives with businessman and banker Jacob Esan were continuing.

For the year ended June 2012, turnover fell by £4.1m to £10.2m.

The loss on continuing operations was £12m (2011: £12.3m) while player trading contributed a profit of £1.6m. Offsetting that amount against some interest costs.