Sunderland AFC record £33million loss

Ellis Short
Ellis Short

Sunderland AFC's financial results 'must improve significantly,' says Ellis Short, as the latest figures show the club made a loss after tax of £33million in 2015-16.

Speaking as the club unveiled its annual accounts for the year ending July 31, 2016, the Black Cats' owner 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.”

Sunderland announced a round of redundancies in February, with staff from both The Stadium of Light and the club’s training ground, the Academy of Light, warned cuts were coming.

The latest figures cover August 1, 2015 to July 31, 2016, a period of upheaval which saw Dick Advocaat leave; his replacement Sam Allardyce leading the team to Premier League survival, only to be hired as England boss, and the arrival of David Moyes in the Stadium of Light hotseat.

It also covers the departure of Chief Executive Margaret Byrne, reported to have received a £750,000 pay-off from the club after resigning 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 showing a small operating profit of £1.5million.

The figures do not include changes in player value and trading costs, however, which saw a commitment to gross transfer fees of £38.3 million during the 2016 summer window

The period saw a reduction of £23million in the club’s net debt, from £133.2million, to £110.4million, but the proportion of wages to turnover rose, from 76.3% in 2015 to 77.6% in 2016.

The club's post-tax loss rose from £26.6million to £33million.

The club says the figures also highlight Ellis Short's continued commitment to fund significant shortfalls within its club’s finances.

Sunderland are currently rock bottom of the Premier League and could fall into the Championship tomorrow if results do not go their way.