THE BLACK Cats took a step closer to moving out of the red last season, despite seeing a rise in pre-tax losses.
Company accounts filed today for the financial year to the end of July 2014 show SAFC made a loss of £17,089,000, up from £13,023,000 in 2013.
But a revaluation of the club’s lands and buildings boosted the bottom line by £7,776.000, cutting the total recognised loss for the year to £9,313,000, down almost £4million on last year.
The club took extreme measures this week to tackle its drift towards relegation, sacking Gus Poyet to make way for interim coach Dick Advocaaat.
And the accounts released yesterday make it clear how critical remaining in the Premier League is to the club’s financial well-being.
Turnover – the total amount the club actually makes from all its commercial activities – was up by almost £30million last season, from £75,521,0000 in the financial year 2012/13 to £104,303,000 in 2013-14.
Gate receipts were up more than £3million, boosted by the run to the League Cup final, but TV revenue accounted for almost three-quarters of the club’s income.
The Premier’s League’s massive broadcast rights deal was worth £71,829,000 in the year to the end of July 2014, up from £44,908,000 the previous season.
And chairman Ellis Short’s statement accompanying the accounts makes no bones about the critical importance of preserving the club’s Premier League status.
“The directors consider the major risk of the business to be a significant period of absence from the Premier League,” it says.
“Ongoing investment in the playing squad aims to reduce this risk. There has been significance investment in the playing squad, both prior to July 31 2014 and since.
“Gross transfer fees of up to £24million have been committed in the summer transfer window, excluding wages, and everyone at the club is focussed on building on the club’s Premier League status.”
Income from sponsorship and royalties was down more than £2million, to £8,404,0000, but the club’s conference, banqueting and catering side saw income rise by more than £1.7million to £7,474,000.