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Town Debt Deepens
By: Rob Sedgwick
THE accounts published for the previous financial year in Grimsby's Annual Report show the Mariners made a pre-tax loss of just under half a million pounds up to the end of May. This compares with a loss of just Â£73K in the previous twelve months.
The club's relegation from the old First Division led to a decrease in TV revenues of over Â£800K. Lower attendances at Blundell Park last season also saw gate revenue drop by Â£200K. Other areas such as sponsorship and commercial income also saw a year-on-year fall.
Although some of the shortfall was met by a fall in the annual wage bill of over Â£700K, this was not enough to counter the effect of the fall in income.
The annual report itself acknowledges that the reason the club is still afloat is largely down to its directors propping the business up. "The company has traded at a loss during the year and net assets remain in deficit at 31st May 2004. The company's ability to continue to operate remains dependent upon financial support from its bankers and directors," the report states.
This is likely to continue for at least the next twelve months, when Town's income will fall even further due to their second successive relegation: "Financial projections indicate that the company's bank facilities may be exceeded during the current season. In order to obtain football league grants the directors have provided written confirmation that they will continue to provide sufficient working capital for the company to meet its financial obligations. Therefore, the directors are not aware of any reason to suggest that the company should not be able to finance its operations and other obligations for at least twelve months from the date of approval of these financial statements and therefore to prepare the financial statements on a going concern basis."
The club's AGM is to be held on Mon 20th Dec at 10am, in the Executive Lounge at Blundell Park. The AGM will be immediately followed by an EGM to approve reducing the board from five to just three members.
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