Roker accounts show trading loss of £103,080

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SHAREHOLDERS of Sunderland A.F.C. have been well prepared for the bad news which will be presented to them at the annual meeting on September 1, when the statement of accounts will show a loss for the year ending May 31 of £103,080.

Income for the year was £160,028 (£136,854 the previous year) against expenditure of £268,814 (£241,929).

The operating loss, after taking into account depreciation (£9,555), auditor’s remuneration (£650), and interest payable (£21,440), as £108,786, from which is deducted a surplus on the sale of fixed assets (£5,706) to give the figure of £103,080.

An operating loss of £105,705 in 1971 was reduced to a nett loss of £41,017 by the deduction of £64,058 accruing from a balance of £62,875 on transfer fees and £1,183 from the sale of fixed assets. This was further reduced by writing back into the account £15,561 overprovided for corporation tax to give a loss carried forward to the balance sheet of £25,676.

Thus in 12 months a loss of £25,676 has been overtaken by a mammoth adverse balance of £103,080 which is deducted from reserves.


Gross match revenue for last season was up by £35, 279 at £169,255 and after deduction of £35,110 for percentages to League and F.A. and shares to visit clubs (£25,014), nett match revenue was £134,145 (109,962).

This was an encouraging trend, but not encouraging enough as pointed out in the directors’ report which states “home attendances were inadequate to support a club of our size.”

Larger items in the revenue account include: Refund of League percentages levy (£8,636), F.A. and League Cup pools (£6,185), profits on programmes (£1,245), rent for use of ground (£1,550), receipts from advertising, television etc. (£6,154), and profit on catering (£1,566).

Expenditure in this account was up by £26,885 from £241,929 to £268,814, which is largely accounted for by an increase in players’ wages by £14,241 to £109,130 and the writing of the £12,091 loss recorded on the Washington Youth International Festival.


In the balance sheet, fixed assets are down by £22,519 at £467,688 and current assets (Stock, debtors, bank balances, and cash) are down by £72,735 at £28,815.

Current liabilities of £249,486 are shown and these consist of season tickets 1972-73, £10,595; creditors, £64,180; bank overdraft (secured), £79,311; and current loans (£95,400). After deducting current assets, nett current liabilities are shown as £220,671.

In the director’s report there is a recommendation that no dividend should be paid to shareholders, but this is only a token economy, for in the best of years the club is not permitted to exceed a total pay-out of £135 tax free to its shareholders, this being the product of 5 per cent on the 2,700 issued £1 shares.

Donations from Roker Bingo and the Supporters’ Association, totalling £32,512, have been credited to the development reserve.


Referring to the past season the report states “After a hard fought season, when promotion seemed at times within reach, the first team finished in fifth position in the Second Division. This was an improvement over the previous season. However, it is the view of your director that any position other than promotion is unsatisfactory. On the credit side, a number of young players have made satisfactory first team appearances and should add to the general strength of the first team pool.

“Unfortunately, the improvement shown was mainly in away matches, consequently there was no marked effect on the size of the home attendances.

“The reserve and youth teams suffered from the continual withdrawal of players to replace those of the first team pool who were injured and it is to their credit that both these teams won their respective leagues.

“This year the club pioneered the first youth international tournament at the Washington training headquarters. Unfortunately attendances were marred by inclement weather and by the simultaneous live transmission of the England v West Germany international. However we feel that this was a very worthwhile promotion and we would like to thank our sponsors and all the local industries and people who supported us.

The beneficial interests of the directors and their families in the shares of the company (1971 holdings in parentheses) are K. L. Collings 334 (327), J. M. Ditchburn 120 (114), S. S. Collings 60 (53), J. Cooke 31 (31), S. Ritson 353 (346), E. M. Evans 82 (75), R Thompson 40 (40).

Messrs S. S. Collings and R. Thompson retire by rotation and being eligible, will offer themselves for re-election at the annual meeting.

Story taken from the Sunderland Echo on August 10 1972.