Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club (“Wolves”) has released headline financial information for the year which ended 31st May 2012. The announcement is earlier in the season than usual to comply with new Football League rules which also include the introduction of Financial Fair Play criteria for Championship clubs. The results fulfilled the Financial Fair Play requirements and show the Club to have operated on a sound financial footing.
Club executives publically shared the headline financial information first with supporters at a meeting of the Fans’ Parliament, which took place at Molineux last night.
The reporting period covers the 2011/12 season, Wolves’ third consecutive season in the Barclays Premier League, which to the huge disappointment of everyone connected to the Club, culminated in relegation to the npower Championship.
The Club generated turnover for the year of £60.6m compared with £64.4m in 2011, the reduction due in part to lower Premier League merit receipts and lower league match revenues. Attendances, which decreased from an average of 27,695 in the previous season to 25,670 during the 2011/12 season, were only slightly affected by a lower stadium capacity due to the redevelopment of the new Stan Cullis (North) Stand. Cup receipts were also lower compared to the previous season.
Despite this the Club posted a pre-tax profit for the year, after player trading and net interest, of £2.16m compared to £2.24m for the previous financial year.
The financial information for the year in question does not include transfer activity during the summer of 2012 that saw the sale of Steven Fletcher, Matt Jarvis and Michael Kightly and the recruitment of seven new players.
In general, operating costs were on a par with the previous season. The player payroll cost was at a higher level before taking into account the reduction in player bonuses earned from an unsuccessful season. During the year the Club signed four new players, Jamie O’Hara, Roger Johnson, Dorus De Vries and Eggert Jonsson and secured modest transfer fees for Greg Halford, Scott Malone, Stefan Maierhofer and Andy Keogh who left Molineux for other clubs.
The Club also re-signed a number of players on extended contracts, including Michael Kightly, Kevin Foley, Stephen Ward, Kevin Doyle, Carl Ikeme, David Davis and Anthony Forde.
At the year end the Club’s holding company, WW (1990) Ltd, had a strong balance sheet with net assets totalling £74.9m. This figure includes all the Club’s property assets including Molineux Stadium and Sir Jack Hayward Training Ground at Compton Park. During the 2011/12 season the Stan Cullis Stand redevelopment was completed providing first class amenities, including a new Megastore and Museum, a supporters’ bar and a Bar & Grill restaurant facility.
The Club also completed the first phase of the expansion and improvement of the Training Ground which saw the installation of an outdoor, floodlit full size FIFA standard 3G artificial pitch. This development was important to the Academy’s success in securing Category One Status, the highest accreditation possible, as part of the Premier League’s reorganisation of the Academy system into the new Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP).
Furthermore, a number of Academy players made their first team debuts in the Premier League, namely Anthony Forde, David Davis and Johnny Gorman – a tremendous achievement for those individual players and testament to the work of the Academy.
In accordance with financial reporting standards, the cost of players bought (i.e. transfer fees) is amortised over the life of their contracts and transfer market valuations of players are not included in the figures. Moreover, home grown players do not appear as assets even though many of them have a significant value in the transfer market.
The Club’s official charity, Wolves Community Trust (www.wolvescommunitytrust.org.uk), continued to make a real difference to the lives of people in the community and just recently announced that it had reached the milestone of £500,000 of donations made to local good causes.
Jez Moxey, Chief Executive, Wolves, said: “As usual we were pleased to first share our headline financial results with the Wolves Fans Parliament, which met last night at Molineux with many new Parliament members present for the very first time.
“The season under review was dominated by the huge disappointment of relegation from the Premier League, which impacted on everyone connected to Wolves.
“Since then, the Club has been through a period of significant change with the appointment of a new manager and the arrival of seven new players. As we all know, the Championship is a very competitive league, both on and off the pitch, however, we all remain united behind the goal of trying to regain Premier League status as soon as possible. We recognise this will be a difficult challenge in a number of different ways but we are totally committed to it.
“Once again, I’d like to thank all the Club’s supporters for their tremendous support, both home and away, during a very difficult and upsetting season.”