Friday, 20 February 2015

Charlton Athletic Finances for 2013-14 Season

Charlton’s holding company published its accounts today for the year ending June 2014 (i.e. last season) and I thought it might be useful to fellow supporters to highlight a few key metrics.  Certain figures are rounded for ease of use.  

Turnover was up by £829k mainly due to an increase in match day revenue (this is prior to the new catering which was awarded in July 2014), despite a fall of roughly 2,000 in match day crowds to just over 16,000. This bodes well for the future if they can get the crowds through the doors but shows the importance of attendances at Championship level, especially as it is larger slice of revenue than central income from the Football League and Premier League.  However, judging from the announced gates I expect roughly the same or slightly less for the current season*.

 Expenses were pretty much in line (baring a few exceptional costs such as the hired pitch cover) with last year resulting in a loss of £5.9m on par with the prior year.  Employee costs are 88% of turnover (mainly football players).

On the balance sheet there was a net increase in intangible assets (football players to you and me) of £3.3m on the books (representing the net cost of players amortised over the life of their contracts) and a reduction in short term creditors (which appear to be the banks).  This together with the loss for the year has been financed through approximately £10m of loans from Staprix NV, Duch√Ętelet’s holding company.   It looks like the bank loans will all be replaced with Staprix funding by December 2015.

There is no mention of compliance with Financial Fair Play but the club is comfortably within the £8m loss for the season allowed under the rules for the season. 

With respect to players Charlton spent £4.4m on additions to the squad.  The majority of this will be for the acquisition of Vetokele but payments were also made in respect of Parzyszek, Nego and Goochannejhad.
This was partially offset by a profit (which for the avoidance of doubt is not the same as the fee received) of £1.7m on the sale of Stephens, Kermorgant, Button and Smith plus an amount from the on sale of Shelvey by Liverpool to Swansea.

Post the year end loan fees and sales of players generated income of approximately £900,000 although how much of this goes to clubs within the Duch√Ętelet empire we don’t know.  Most of this will be on player movements in the summer.

Interestingly, like the Shelvey fee, the club has increased its use of contingent fees on players it has sold , the figure now standing at £4.17m (up from £3m).  While this income is uncertain it does allow the club to make sure it does not lose out on proper fees for the development of players that go on to excel.

One thing that did make me think is whether the use of players (and now managers) in the network is making the accounts trickier to decipher on a standalone basis, given the use of loan and transfer fees between clubs to transfer money around the network.  I’m not in any way implying any impropriety, in fact it makes perfect commercial sense for the network as whole, just that it may not necessarily give a complete picture on the profitability of the club as a stand alone entity.

*update.  It has been pointed out that this was in part due to the club's good FA cup run that season.  Clearly our early exit this season will have an impact on match day revenue.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Charlton Athletic: Don't Just Sit on the Fence

News reaches us that the Charlton Athletic Supporters Trust are to hold a public meeting about the direction of our club Charlton Athletic.  A severe lack of honest engagement by the club with fans has left many of us disillusioned with how Charlton is being run and I'm pleased to see the Trust not sitting back on this.

Whatever your views on the future of the club or its engagement with fans please do make an effort to attend the meeting to be held in Woolwich on Wednesday evening.

Full details can be found here:-

If you can't attend the meeting then do take a couple of minutes to complete their survey:-

In other news, we were warned by the Standard Liege fans what would happen, so any one got in touch with the Lens supporters yet?