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Directors Report That Town Lost 2.5M Last Season

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 05/09/2001

GRIMSBY TOWN FOOTBALL CLUB will report a loss of nearly £2.5 million during the previous financial year at the Annual General Meeting to be held at held at Blundell Park on Thursday, September 27, at 10-30am.

The main cause of the losses is the increasing staff costs, mainly players' wages which says the club, were not matched by rises in income as gates stayed low and transfer revenue dried up.

The agenda and notice to shareholders for the ASGM has been issued but the Griumsby Telegraph reported today that while turnover was higher at just over £3m, it cost over £5m to run the club and a big big rise in players wages helped send Town deeper into the red.

The board say the facilities at Blundell Park cannot generate sufficient income to run the club. Staff costs at Blundell Park in 2001 rose to £4.3m compared to £2.9m the previous year.

Despite the Mariners being near the top of the table, their attendances are the lowest in Division One with gate income providing less than a third of the money needed to run the club. Sponsorship and TV money go only some way to making up the shortfall.

The players wages increase was mainly because the club invested heavily on loan players, such as Zhang Enhua, in the successful fight to maintain their first division status.

Relegation would have meant a big cut in TV income. The first instalment of the new TV money, £1.1m, is not included in the accountsas it has to be spread over the next three years for tax reasons.

The directors say in their report to shareholders: "The results reflect the increasing difficulty for Football League clubs in generating sufficient income to respond to the aspirations of their supporters while at the same time maintaining financial disciplines."

"This is demonstrated by the substantial increase in players' costs during the year, which shows that a continual review of the playing staff is essential for financial stability."

"The board cannot generate sufficient income from what it has at Blundell Park. Therefore we must adopt a policy of prudent financial management to ensure that players' costs and other overheads are kept within our available resources."

"From these resources funds have been made available to the manager for both first and youth team players."

"Your board remains committed to ensuring that we play football at the highest level possible while operating within the club's available financial resources."

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