Doncaster Rovers: Financial results reveal losses and rise in debt

Rovers chief executive Gavin Baldwin
Rovers chief executive Gavin Baldwin

Rovers’ year in League One proved as tough as expected, the club’s latest financial results have revealed.

The report covers the 13 month period from June 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013 and reveals the club lost £4,387,733, increasing from the £3.32m loss during the previous year.

The drop into the third tier saw revenues take a major hit, decreasing from £8.28m to £5.250m. And the club’s overall debt jumped from £9.44m to £12.15m, an increase of £2.71m.

Such was the hit taken to club finances, relegation this season was identified as one of the biggest risks facing the business in the immediate future.

Yet while revenues dropped and losses and debt increased, there were positive signs for the future of the club in business terms.

The club cleared its overdraft while the increase in overall debt was much slower than the rise of the previous year.

Measures were taken to relieve the immediate debt burden on the club with net liabilities falling from £9.05m to £1.84m.

Most of the debt owed is to current and former shareholders, with the majority of it not carrying any interest.

As part of the report, the directors issued a statement saying: “Efforts were made to carefully control costs where possible and work within budgets.

“The return to the Championship is, however, a major boost for the club going forward.”

Many of the falls in revenue were predictable following relegation from the Championship.

They included: matchday income dipping to £1.56m from £2.15m; funds from TV coverage dropping from £117,542 to just £54,500; funds paid out from the Football League dropping from £2.50m to £644,025; and solidarity payments from the Premier League reduced from £2.17m to £324,500.

There were green shoots for the club in terms of income as commercial income increased from £906,441 to £1.28m while income from other sources dramatically jumped from £437,279 to £1.39m.

It was a year of major change for the club with a 99-year lease for the Keepmoat Stadium taken up, which resulted in an increase in staff numbers from 109 to 191.

But relegation saw the cost of the playing budget reduced with the club’s overall staff costs dropping from £9.36m to £7.06m while the number of football staff was reduced from 84 to 68.

Income generated from player sales in the period dropped from £1.43m to just £187,500.

Rovers issued the following statement:

“The accounts refer to an excellent period for Doncaster Rovers.

“On the pitch the club obviously achieved promotion back to the Championship at the first attempt and this created a wealth of positive feeling about Doncaster Rovers which in turn leads to positive financial results.

“Off the pitch this period also includes the first 12 months the club took control of Keepmoat Stadium, where there was a significant effort by all parties to turn the fortunes of the stadium around.

“This resulted in the stadium generating a profit during its first 12 months of operation.”