Shrewsbury Town accounts reveal loss of more than £700,000 for 2019/20 season

Shrewsbury Town lost more than £700,000 during the 2019-20 season as the Covid-19 pandemic began to hit the club's finances.

Town missed five home fixture at the end of the 2019/20 League One season, which was curtailed early due to Covid-19. Ninety per cent of fans kept monies with the club rather than asking for a refund. (AMA)
Town missed five home fixture at the end of the 2019/20 League One season, which was curtailed early due to Covid-19. Ninety per cent of fans kept monies with the club rather than asking for a refund. (AMA)

The loss, recorded in the club's newly-published accounts for the year ending June 2020 – four months of which included the pandemic and lockdown in the United Kingdom – is the first posted by the club for five years.

A pre-tax loss equating to £723,840 was recorded for the year. This was down on a huge profit of £2.25million from the previous year – which was enhanced significantly through player sales.

Biggest losses were felt in operating income, which plummeted from a profit of £3.8m to just £507,000.

The loss is the first example of how the pandemic and a lack of matchday revenue has affected the club, with bigger damage expected to be highlighted in next year's figures, covering the recently-ended 2020/21 season.

Despite this, chairman Roland Wycherley stated in his notes that 'the directors have a reasonable expectation that the company has adequate resources to continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future'.

He adds the football club is 'well positioned' in the current challenging financial environment.

Town's prudent existence ensured they were as well-prepared as any Football League club of similar stature in dealing with the pandemic

Chief executive Brian Caldwell has previously stated the club have relied on the chairman's 'rainy day fund' to help them through the last 15 months. The 'cash in the bank and in hand' figure rose from £2.7m in July 2019 to £3.35m 12 months later, despite the first few months of the pandemic.

The club were also aided by an interest-free EFL loan of £182,000 in the early days of the pandemic. Ninety per cent of supporters left some form of the monies in the club rather than applying for refunds for the five home league fixtures lost in the curtailed 2019/20 campaign.

Directors decided that no dividends would be paid to shareholders for the financial year

The club's turnover had actually increased by around £85,000 to £5.45m, largely thanks to the lucrative FA Cup run and fourth round tie against Liverpool in January last year.

Chairman Wycherley has, however, taken a swipe at Liverpool, claiming the way Shrewsbury were handled across the two ties as 'at best disappointing', especially given Reds manager Jurgen Klopp and his entire first-team squad were missing for the sold-out Anfield replay, costing the club in lesser ticket prices and potentially another significant broadcast fee.

The club's wages and salaries increased more than £145,000 to £3.88m for the year ending June 2020, though number of players were down from 49 to 46.

The number of stewards and security dropped considerably from 86 to 47.

The full force of the pandemic, with almost the entirety of the 2020/21 campaign played behind closed doors without any fans in attendance, will be felt in next year's accounts.

Town have also missed out on vital income from their events and conferencing department, which would normally run 365 days each year but has been on hold since March 2020.

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News