Town recorded a first loss in five years this week with a hit of more than £700,000 charted in the year up to June 2020.
That period covers roughly three months of the pandemic and not the entire 2020/21 season, most of which was played behind closed doors. A true cost will be detailed in next year’s accounts, and the Montgomery Waters Meadow chief executive confesses the outlook is grim for clubs like Town.
“The loss doesn’t look good on paper and it’s not something we wanted. It just shows, without matchday, commercial and hospitality revenues, how things can be affected,” Caldwell said.
“Going forward, it is a concern for the next financial year. The bank balance did go up at the end of June 2020 but that was partly caused by the interest-free loan against future revenues all clubs had the opportunity to secure from the EFL. That will need to be paid back over the next few years and that will affect our turnover.”
Light at the end of the tunnel comes in the form of the prospect of full stands when next season begins in August. Town shifted 2,800 season tickets for the 2021/22 campaign across the early bird price range.
“The chairman has built up reserves over the last number of years to make sure we had a ‘rainy-day’ fund,” Caldwell added. “The last thing we wanted to spend it on was a pandemic. It has been hard to watch cash drift away over the last 14 months and we had to pay additional funds over the course of last season with testing staff and players.”