Full Sunderland AFC financial details highlight importance of TV deal

Ellis Short
Ellis Short

The price Sunderland will pay for relegation is highlighted in the club’s latest accounts.

The Black Cats filed their annual accounts for the year ending July 31, 2016, last week and the full details have now been uploaded to the Companies House website.

We acknowledge that our financial performance must improve significantly.

Ellis Short

They cover August 1, 2015 to July 31, 2016, a period which saw Dick Advocaat leave the club and his replacement Sam Allardyce lead the team to Premier League survival, only to be hired as England boss and succeeded by David Moyes in the Stadium of Light hotseat.

It also covers the departure of Chief Executive Margaret Byrne, who resigned over the handling of the Adam Johnson case.

The latest figures show the club had a turnover of £108million, an increase of £7million on the 2014-15 figures and making a small operating profit of £1.5million, but post-tax loss rose from £26.6million to £33million.

And the full report underlines how critically important the massive Premier League TV deal is to the club’s financial stability.

Sunderland received £71,582,000 for television and media rights in the year to the end of July, up from £69,071,000 in the previous 12 months.

If anything, the figures undersell the importance of the deal, covering the last year of the previous rights agreement. Premier League status is estimated to be worth more than £100million this year, though Sunderland will receive parachute payments to lessen the blow.

Gate receipts, on the other hand, accounted for just £10,439,000 in income last year, a fall of £350,000 on the previous season, while conference, banqueting and catering brought in £10,323,000, up from £9,162,000 the year before.

The club saw income from retail and merchandising jump significantly, up from just £791,000 in the year to the end of July 2015 to £3,823,000 in the latest accounts.

But the wage bill, including pension and social security costs, also rose, up from £77,106 to £83,937 - more than 77 per cent of turnover.

Chairman Ellis Short said: “We acknowledge that our financial performance must improve significantly.

“It is not something that can be fixed overnight, however we have taken the first steps towards making the positive changes necessary by restructuring the club at senior level, including the appointment of CEO Martin Bain last summer.

“Implementing these changes was done with the aim of giving us the best platform from which to proactively address the issues we face, both on and off the field, and that will be our focus moving forward.”