Motherwell Football Club posted a profit of £346,590 in the year ending 31 May 2020.
This profit came against a previous loss of £435,970 in 2019, a swing of £782,560.
Despite the hugely difficult restrictions resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, the club’s turnover rose by nearly £0.4m to £4.95m, up from £4.59m in the previous year.
The financial year in review
A member’s resolution gave the SPFL Board the power to officially end the leagues and decide the outcome on an average points basis, which they did on 18 May 2020. This decision meant the club confirmed a third-place finish in the Scottish Premiership in the 2019/20 season, completing 30 of the campaign’s 38 matches.
That represented our best league finish for six years, having finished second in 2013/14. It also meant a return to UEFA Europa League football for the first time since 2014.
Sadly, there were no significant runs in either domestic cup competitions during the year.
The shortening to the season and the lockdown restrictions, which started in mid-March and are likely to continue until at least the end of the 2020/21 campaign, had a material impact on the club’s ability to generate revenue in the last quarter. Included in that was the loss of at least four home matches, one being a Category A fixture.
We continue to trade effectively in the transfer market. The overall figure on player registration gains is up by over £260,000, posting a final figure of £1.04m, compared to £781,000 the previous year. This came primarily from the sale of James Scott to Hull City FC in January 2020. Like last year, the club wishes to record its gratitude and acknowledge the recruitment and coaching staff’s excellent work on that particular transfer, together with all the Elite Academy staff, who were instrumental in James’ development into an excellent young talent.
Shortly after year end, the club also traded David Turnbull to Celtic FC for a fee significantly higher than the previous record received for Phil O’Donnell back in 1994. Not only did this action justify the board’s decision not to accept a revised transfer deal in the summer of 2019, but also validated the investment the club made in David’s rehabilitation to get him back to the level he was before his operation.
Costs for the year have remained relatively consistent. There was a slight increase in our staff costs, most of which resulted from performance-related bonuses for confirming third place and European football.
Most importantly, during the year the club settled the outstanding amounts owed to Mr J Boyle and Mr L Hutchison. This repayment was facilitated by a small loan on favourable terms, offered by five Motherwell-supporting individuals. The five were all fully repaid less than two months later following James Scott’s sale to Hull.
At the height of lockdown, to ensure sound management of the club’s cashflow, the club took advantage of HMRC schemes to defer VAT and PAYE/NIC liabilities and took out a small £50,000 “bounce back” loan from the UK Government. The “bounce back” loan is the only external debt on the balance sheet, with the only other borrowings currently being to the Well Society, an accumulation of their contributions across the last nine years, totalling £868,000.
It is our view that the club remains in a strong position, but we are cognisant of the genuine and ongoing threats to the whole football infrastructure from the current crisis. The work that has been done to establish the club’s model and strategy in recent years has been successful, but we have to do more. We must secure the foundations of the club and emerge from the crisis in a sustainable way. Our aim continues to be that of an exemplar fan-owned, community-focused, family club.
The 115th annual general meeting of the club will be held on Thursday 11 February 2021.
Due to the current Covid-19 restrictions, attendance at the meeting will be by Zoom. Shareholders who wish to attend the AGM are required to provide an email address to the company secretary at email@example.com no later than 5pm on 9 February 2021.
Any shareholder who would wish to receive either a printed or emailed copy of the audited accounts should email firstname.lastname@example.org before the close of business on 9 February 2021.