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‘Effective transfer trading’ helps Motherwell post 2020 profit despite pandemic

By January 20, 2021No Comments

Motherwell have posted a profit of £346,590 for the year ending May 31 2020.

This profit came against a previous loss of £435,970 in 2019, a swing of £782,560.

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic resulting in an early finish to last season, the Lanarkshire club’s turnover rose by nearly £0.4m to £4.95m, up from £4.59m in the previous year.

A statement on their official website said Motherwell’s “view is that the club remains in a strong position” but also noted “genuine and ongoing threats” from the coronavirus crisis which, among other things, has meant no fans at Fir Park this season.

The statement reviewed the financial year and said: “A member’s resolution gave the SPFL Board the power to officially end the leagues and decide the outcome on an average-points basis, which they did on May 18 2020.

“This decision meant the club confirmed a third-place finish in the Scottish Premiership in the 2019-20 season, completing 30 of the campaign’s 38 matches.

“That represented our best league finish for six years, having finished second in 2013-14. It also meant a return to Europa League football for the first time since 2014.

“Sadly, there were no significant runs in either domestic cup competitions during the year.

“The shortening to the season and the lockdown restrictions, which started in mid-March and are likely to continue until at least the end of the 2020-21 campaign, had a material impact on the club’s ability to generate revenue in the last quarter. Included in that was the loss of at least four home matches, one being a Category A fixture.

“We continue to trade effectively in the transfer market. The overall figure on player registration gains is up by over £260,000, posting a final figure of £1.04m, compared to £781,000 the previous year.

“This came primarily from the sale of James Scott to Hull in January 2020.”

The statement continued: “Shortly after year end, the club also traded David Turnbull to Celtic for a fee significantly higher than the previous record received for Phil O’Donnell back in 1994.

“Costs for the year have remained relatively consistent. There was a slight increase in our staff costs, most of which resulted from performance-related bonuses for confirming third place and European football.

“Most importantly, during the year the club settled the outstanding amounts owed to Mr J Boyle and Mr L Hutchison.

“This repayment was facilitated by a small loan on favourable terms, offered by five Motherwell-supporting individuals.

“The five were all fully repaid less than two months later following James Scott’s sale to Hull.

“At the height of lockdown, to ensure sound management of the club’s cash flow, the club took advantage of HMRC schemes to defer VAT and PAYE/NIC liabilities and took out a small £50,000 “bounce back” loan from the UK Government.

“The “bounce back” loan is the only external debt on the balance sheet, with the only other borrowings currently being to the Well Society, an accumulation of their contributions across the last nine years, totalling £868,000.

“It is our view that the club remains in a strong position, but we are cognisant of the genuine and ongoing threats to the whole football infrastructure from the current crisis.

“The work that has been done to establish the club’s model and strategy in recent years has been successful, but we have to do more.”