Middlesbrough FC reveal £ 30m losses as club’s finances are rocked by covid-19 pandemic

Boro have revealed £ 30m losses after the club’s finances took a battering from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The club today released its results for the year to June 30, 2021 which show how total income plummeted to just £ 14.5m from £ 19m a year earlier due to games being played without fans.

The results come a year after the club revealed record losses of more than £ 35m after being hit by the twin blow of an end to Premier League parachute payments and the early stages of the pandemic.

Read more: Middlesbrough to donate their Chelsea gate receipt share to humanitarian aid in Ukraine

The pre-tax loss was £ 30.8m and the club said it has been forced to cut numbers of both playing and non-playing staff to cope with the drop in income. However its wage bill remains at £ 26.9m, well above its overall income, despite a drop from £ 30.9ma year earlier.

Gate receipts for the year tumbled to just £ 36,000 from £ 4.4m as games were played behind closed doors due to covid restrictions.

The club’s accounts said: “Government restrictions imposed on football stadia to tackle social distancing concerns have significantly hampered the company’s ability to generate income in its usual manner, both from a matchday and non-matchday perspective.

“The company has been forced to significantly reduce the size and cost of the playing squad to reduce its cost base to partially offset the reduction in income.”

Boro’s overall workforce fell from 214 to 198, with its playing squad cut from 74 to 69. The club made a £ 4.2m profit on player sales during the year.

However it was also revealed £ 7.8m net spending on players has also been made since June 2021 as the club looks to secure promotion back to the top flight. They included six new signings and the recruitment for four players on season-long loans.

Neil Bausor and Steve Gibson

The accounts also confirmed the departure of Keith Lamb as a director of the company, who has been replaced by chief executive Neil Bausor. Mr Lamb played a major role in the development of the club throughout Steve Gibson’s ownership of him.

The club received £ 589,000 from the Government’s furlough scheme during the period. It also received £ 2.7m in insurance to cover the impact of the pandemic. Broadcasting income edged up from £ 8.3m to £ 10m while sponsorship income dropped from £ 4.5m to £ 2.5m. Merchandising sales rose from £ 1.3m to £ 1.7m.

The figures cover the 2021 Championship season for Boro under then boss Neil Warnock.

The side ultimately finished 10th although performances have improved this season following the appointment of Chris Wilder and the return of supporters. Boro remain in the running for a play-off spot and the club has also enjoyed a successful FA Cup run with victories over Manchester United and Spurs.

The club announced on Friday it would donate the gate receipts from Saturday’s sellout FA Cup quarter final clash with Chelsea to humanitarian efforts in Ukraine.

In the accounts, Boro chairman Steve Gibson says the club’s biggest financial risk is “failing to perform competitively in the league in which it competes”.

The accounts also again reveal the importance of the owner’s financial support.

They state: “The going concern basis of the company depends on the support from the Gibson O’Neill Company Limited, the ultimate parent undertaking, who will continue to provide that support, if required, to the company for the foreseeable future.

It added: “The club will continue to keep control of operating costs and make as much income as possible available to invest in the football team.

“The club will continue to strive for progression and promotion to the Premier League.”

Separate results from the club’s parent company Gibson O’Neill, which also includes Steve Gibson’s interests in chemical firm Bulkhaul and luxury hotel Rockliffe, are yet to be released.

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