Revealed: Sunderland AFC's wage bill, losses and sponsorship laid out in accounts

Sunderland's pre-tax losses jumped by more than £8million as the club narrowly avoided relegation last season.

Tuesday, 3rd May 2016, 5:54 pm
Updated Wednesday, 4th May 2016, 12:34 pm
The Stadium of Light

The Black Cats saw turnover fall from £104.4million to £101.1 million, new figures filed at Companies House for the financial year to July 31, 2015, show.

Reduced turnover and increased interest costs combined to push losses on ordinary activities before tax to £25.4million from £17.1million in the year to the end of July 2014.

Sunderland finished last season in 16th place, just two positions above the relegation zone, and the team's on-pitch struggles were reflected in numbers through the turnstiles and demand from TV.

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Gate receipts for the 2014/15 season were down by almost £4million, from £14,628,000 to £10,789,000, while television and media payments declined from almost £72million to just over£69million.

The club's other sources of income improved, however, with sponsorship and royalties up from £8,404,000 to £10,229,000; conference, banqueting and catering income rising from £8,602,000 to £9,162,000 and retail and merchandise jumping from just £16,000 in 2014 to £791,000 last year.

The club's playing staff, including scholars, reduced by three to 65, but the total number of employees, including part-time match day staff, rose by 28 to 1,068.

And the wage bill rocketed by more than £7million, from £60,902,000 in 2014 to £68,076,000 last year.

Aggregate directors’ emoluments totalled £1,195,377, up from £1,061,148 in 2014, accruing to three directors. Emoluments to the highest paid director amounted to £725,563 (2014: £663,196), including £53,000 pension contributions.

An accompanying statement from chairman and owner Ellis Short says: "Continued investment in the squad ensured the club retain Premier League status.

"Gross transfer fees of up to £43.2million have been committed, in the summer transfer window, excluding wages, and everyone at the club is focused on building on the club's Premier League status.

"The directors consider the major risk of the business to be a significant period of absence from the Premier League. Ongoing investment in the playing squad aims to reduce this risk."

The report says Short remains committed to the club: "The directors have received indications from the ultimate controlling party of their willingness and ability to continue to support the operations of the group and company for the foreseeable future."

The new report covers a period which saw the likes of Will Buckley, Jack Rodwell and Jermain Defoe join the club, while the period since has seen the likes of Fabio Borini, Jan Kirchoff and Wahbi Khazri arrive at the Stadium of Light.

But a year on, Sunderland's position is still extremely precarious.

Sam Allardyce's side lie 18th in the Premier League, one place and one point below arch-rivals Newcastle, on whom they have a game in hand.