Nottingham Forest have announced losses of just £2.2m for the 2015/16 season, despite an operating loss of £23.7m, following a write-off of £17.7m in loans
The financial results see losses fall 90% from £21.6m in 2014/15 and are well in line with Financial Fair Play regulations. Given that the Football League has approved the accounts, albeit belatedly, it suggests the £17.7m write off is allowable.
Shares amounting to that value were allotted in May 2016, according to Companies House. QPR’s write off in 2015 proved somewhat controversial.
Debt owing to Fawaz Al Hasawi stands at £55.6m, down from £67m, while creditors are owed £82.8m in total.
Worringly, the accounts state: ‘After having taken into account a range of possible outcomes arising from on-pitch performance, the forecasts and projections adopted as a basis for going concern show a further funding requirement in excess of the current level of funding facilities immediately available to the Director.
‘Therefore the Director acknowledges a material uncertainty in the event that the Company’s ultimate beneficial owner becomes unwilling at any time to continue to provide funding support to the business to the general level that it previously provided.
‘It should be noted that there are management initiatives that can be pursued to mitigate any potential funding shortfall including the sale of players and other business assets.’
Wages increased from £26.2m to £26.9m, despite efforts to reduce under Dougie Freedman, indicating there has been little effort to bring players’ remuneration under control.
Turnover increased from £18.1m to £18.4m although revenue from ticket and membership sales fell from £7.7m to £6.3m, reflecting the average attendance of 19,676 down from 23,492. The shortfall was made up from an increase in retail turnover and which is claimed to have accounted for 13% of turnover for the year returning a gross profit of 44%.
The accounts’ business review stated: ‘The end of the 2015/16 campaign was ultimately focused on maintaining a place within the Championship following a disappointing second half of the season for the club. The club managed to achieve its target and finished in 16th position.’
‘The club continued to work within the constraints of an FFP embargo in reducing overhead spends. Results on the pitch subsequently reflected in lower than average gates for the season. These lower attendances along with departmental managers continued drive to decrease operating costs and the write off of £17.7m in loans saw a significant decrease in the overall loss for the period.’
The odds on Forest being relegated are currently 6/1, with Rotherham United, Blackburn Rovers, Burton Albion and Wigan Athletic all odds-on at the moment.