Losses widen at Sunderland AFC despite increase in gate revenue and TV money

Premier League club Sunderland AFC saw pre-tax losses on ordinary activities widen to £16.3m

The Stadium of Light in Sunderland
The Stadium of Light in Sunderland

Pre-tax losses have widened at Sunderland Football Club to £16.3m, up from £13.1m in 2013.

The Premier League club increased turnover to £101m from £72m during the year to July 31, 2014, during a year in which the team reached the Capital One Cup final.

Club chairman Ellis Short said continued investment had retained Sunderland’s Premier League status but amortisation of transfer fees had increased the loss on ordinary activities.

Gate receipts were up from £12.6m to £15.7m, and revenue from TV deals also increased from £44.9m to £71.8m.

An increase in corporate banqueting, events and catering activity led to a £1.8m rise in related turnover tp £4.1m.

Sponsorship and royalties fell from £10.7m to £8.4m in a year when the club signed its four-year partnership with national catering firm Bidvest 3663.

At the time of the deal it was revealed the firm would work alongside Sunderland AFC’s catering team, as well as 1879 Events Management, the club’s external events division.

The 2013-2014 season saw Sunderland produce a last-gasp escape from relegation after Gus Poyet was appointed in late 2013 and led the side to four straight wins, including victories at Chelsea and Manchester United.

The club reached the Capital One Cup final in March but was beaten by Manchester City.

But this year has also proved difficult, with the club currently just one place and one point above the Premier League relegation zone and having sacked Mr Poyet earlier this week. Former Dutch national team manager Dick Advocaat has been brought in as manager in a bid to save the club’s top flight status, with the massive Premier League TV deal signed earlier this season making relegation a massive financial risk.

During the year Sunderland recruited a further 64 staff across administrative functions, but shed 41 match day staff, bringing its total workforce to 658.

Wages and salaries, including those of the directors, operational staff and players rose to £68m from £56.7m.

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