23 October, 2007

State of affairs

Nottingham Forest have published their accounts for the 2006-7 period. I am not going to run through the minutiae here, there are other people far more qualified than me to do so, and the commentary provided on the official website seems to cover most things that we would want to know. In addition, "Through the Seasons Before Us" has it's own, fans-eye opinion on the matter.

Obviously I don't want to overlap with the analysis of my fellow blogger, but it seems to me that the salient points are:

  • The club's total loss is £4.2 million, compared to a stonking £8 million in the previous year
  • Annual turnover was £9.2 million, an increase or £1.3 million
  • 90% of turnover was spent on staff costs (wages, NI contributions etc) - this is way above the Football League's benchmark figure of 75% for clubs in the bottom two tiers of the league
  • The sale/release of players on high wages has reduced the burden, as has CC's frugal spending in the transfer market - new player purchases were financed by the release of others
  • Nigel Doughty loaned the club £3 million last season, saving the demanding repayment terms and interest costs of using external sources of finance
  • The operating deficit of £4.2 million would most likely be plugged should Forest earn promotion to the Championship, which, it is estimated, would be worth £4-5 million per annum

So, once again, we owe the chairman a debt of gratitude for finding the cash, contrary to what many critics seem to claim. Yes, they are loans, but given that the club will continue to operate at a loss for at least another season (possibly more, depending on when we get promotion and when the rewards from said promotion starts to flow inwards), I doubt that Mr Doughty will realistically expect the money back in the short or even medium term.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but the above figures should serve as a stark reminder that without Nigel Doughty, Forest may very well not exist today.

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