AFC Bournemouth Limited has filed its annual accounts for the year ending 30th June 2020.
The club recorded a loss after tax for the period of £60.1 million, compared to a loss of £32.4 million the previous year, mainly as a result of the Covid-19 related drop in revenue.
The club, as well as the rest of society, were faced with the many issues that arose from the global Covid-19 pandemic. The outbreak forced all English professional football to be suspended on 13th March 2020, until its resumption on 17th June 2020.
This delay caused the final seven fixtures of the 2019/20 season to be played after the end of the financial year and led to revenues decreasing as a result of having to apportion Premier League distributions between the 2019/20 and 2020/21 financial years.
In addition, behind-closed-doors games meant no ticket sales or hospitality income and catering receipts, lower commercial revenue and no matchday footfall through the club’s Superstore.
The club refunded previously sold tickets and commercial packages for services that could not be delivered, while also having to recognise a further £7.2 million reduction in revenue due to a Premier League rebate to broadcasters, of which £5.9 million contributed to the 2019/20 loss. The remainder will be attributed to the 2020/21 financial year.
Turnover was down by £35.7 million, from £131.1 million in 2019 to £95.4 million in 2020. This decrease is mainly attributable to the Covid-19 global pandemic and final league position.
Player registration cost additions for the year were £38.7 million, compared with £94.2 million in the previous year.
The club strived to offer competitive remuneration packages to attract and maintain the calibre of playing and team management staff necessary to allow the club to compete in the league. While this aim wasn’t ultimately achieved, the board of directors were committed to this level of remuneration through long-term contracts already in place at the start of the season.
AFC Bournemouth chief executive, Neill Blake, said: “The financial statements cover a year in which the club competed in the Premier League for a fifth consecutive season, finishing in 18th place with 34 points. That unfortunately resulted in relegation from the Premier League into the EFL Championship.
“During the financial year, the club's focus was to consolidate its position in the Premier League through targeted expenditure on assets and expertise in the playing squad and supporting infrastructure. Contrary to the hopes and expectations of all the club, the goal of retaining Premier League status was not achieved.
“The directors continue to maintain close control over cash flow and continue to develop and maintain policies with the aim of ensuring the club is run in a sustainable and successful manner.
“These policies are seen as vital in order to keep control over all expenditure that the club commits to in order to go some way to mitigating the risks arising from the inherent uncertainty over league status in the following season.
“The club sees retention of staff as a key ingredient to success. During the year there were no changes to key personnel in first team management or senior executive positions. The directors considers the financial position of the company to be satisfactory.
“After the year end, the club sold three players for a profit of £50.8 million. Clearly, if these sales had been made before 30th June 2020, this would have removed a large portion of the loss for the year, and in an ordinary year such sales would have been possible prior to the year end.”
The club’s accounts in full can be viewed here.