Cardiff City in £13.6m accounts loss for 2011/12

Cardiff City recorded losses of £13.6m in the year up to the end of May 2012, according to the Championship club’s latest financial accounts.

While turnover rose by £4m, including £2.3m from reaching the Carling Cup Final, other costs increased such as the wage bill and interest on loans.

Some £1.6m was paid out when manager Dave Jones and his staff were sacked in 2011 and Malky Mackay brought in.

The directors said many of the historic financial issues had been resolved.

The losses are an increase on the previous year’s £11.8m deficit, but the club are currently 10 points clear in the Championship and will hope for a major financial boost from reaching the Premier League.

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While their funding is not guaranteed, the new investors have indicated that providing the business develops as planned, they will continue to support the club in the foreseeable future ”

Cardiff City directors’ report
Keith Morgan, a Cardiff City fan and director of Mazars accountancy firm, said the £13.6m loss was worrying, but the club’s overall debt of just over £83m was not as serious as it first appeared.

The directors said in their report: “The club continues to face the challenging financial environment presented by the Championship competition, as illustrated by the operating loss year-on-year, despite significant turnover growth – these gains being absorbed by increased direct football costs.

“Since May 2010, the club has seen substantial new investment, principally from Malaysian businessmen, which has continued during the year to the end of May 2012 and thereafter.

“The new investment has stabilised the club’s financial position, allowing the club to work towards the delivery of a coherent and sustainable business strategy, as formulated by the new board and its management team.”

The directors admitted the immediate future contained “significant challenges” but the Malaysian investors had made further funds available and entered into negotiations with creditors to reschedule payment plans.

“In addition, while their funding is not guaranteed, the new investors have indicated that providing the business develops as planned, they will continue to support the club in the foreseeable future and provide additional finance in order that it can settle its liabilities,” said the report.

Increased sponsorship
The club also hopes that the rebranding of the team’s main colours from blue to red and featuring a dragon on the team badge will help secure “future commercial opportunities”.

The accounts revealed that the Bluebirds’ turnover was £17.5m for the year to last May, compared to £13.6m in 2011.

More than £2.3m of the increased turnover was attributed to the Bluebirds reaching the Carling Cup Final at Wembley, which they lost to Liverpool on penalties.

There was also increased sponsorship, including £1m in shirt sponsorship with the club carrying the “Malaysia” name.

But the boost in income was more than offset by increases in expenditure such as the wage bill for players and other staff. This reached £18.5m, up £5m on the figures for 2011.

Increases in administrative expenses and interest on loans also played a part.

The accounts also show that the debt to Langston, the company represented by ex-City owner Sam Hammam, is put at £19.2m, with a one-off payment of £5m due if City reach the Premier League while the debt is outstanding.

Mr Morgan said the losses showed the club could not run at Championship level sustainably, but added that the overall recorded debts of £83.1m “overstates the reality of the position”.

He said £37.4m was due to Malaysian backer Vincent Tan and his associates, which would disappear if this was converted to shares.

The £19.2m due to Langston could also be “greatly overstated”, said Mr Morgan, because there had been speculation about settling the debt for significantly less.