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95/96 accounts
The 95/96 accounts have just been released and it's fair to say that they don't make very reassuring reading...

Chairman's Statement

The financial year 95/96 represents a severe setback from the previous year. The operating performance was especially disappointing given the signs of progress during the previous year.

Shareholders will be well aware of the traumatic year on the football side of the club. Relegation was a bitter pill despite the flourish at the end of the season. Whatever the reasons for a very poor football year overall, the fact remains that for much of the season we struggled, albeit with appalling injury problems.

We saw costs on the playing side increase as we attempted to maintain the momentum of the encouraging previous season. The lack of short term return on this in most areas was disappointing, and obviously had an effect on the revenue generation opportunities. Contrasting the last third of the season with the first two thirds provides a vivid example of the difference a degree of success can make.

March saw a major change in the club with Graham Taylor's return and a number of management changes including a further strengthening of the youth side of the club. The last part of our season and financial year was characterised by a renewed sense of purpose but against a backcloth of two major issues - a reversal of our football fortunes (with the financial implications of relegation) and a requirement to examine the financial base of the club.

We have collectively had a tough year which has seen us struggle commercially, financially and on the field. The changes made during the season have been important and offer some realistic prospect that our fundamental problems tackled. Frankly, given our industry position and our financial position, they have to be addressed urgently and I am determined that they will be addressed.

In a difficult year it is heartening to be able to thank our shareholders, supporters and staff for their support and efforts. It is already quite clear that our early efforts are bearing fruit and I look forward to a better year 1996/97.

S Timperley
5 February 1997

The figures are as follows...

Income Analysis 95-96
1,575,000Gate Receipts
46,000Transfer fees net
11,000Other income
952,000Marketing income
361,000Other football income
2,945,000Total income

Cost Analysis 95-96
1,825,000*Players' wages
515,000Admin, finance & tax
435,000Marketing expenses
643,000$Other wages
792,000Other football expenses
4,210,000Total costs

A simple bit of subtraction ought to tell you that the figures mean that the club made an operating loss (before tax) of stlg 1,265,000 during 95/96.

* The average player's wage is stlg 43,000
$ The average staff wage is stlg 22,200