ABERDEEN has announced an operating loss of £322,000 for the year up to June 30 – better than director Duncan Fraser predicted 12 months ago.
The Managing Director admits there remain serious challenges facing the Dons in the coming year, but Fraser points to the revamped youth system and the club's commendable performance in the crucial wages-to-turnover ratio as indicators that the club will cope.
He said: “In the previous financial and operating review I stated that I expected an operating loss before depreciation and amortisation of more than £600,000 as a result of the continuing growth on the base football budget. Even after exceptional items that operating loss came in at £322,000.
“In delivering the budget year on year we have demonstrated to our creditors our commitment to keep tight control on the business to avoid the type of drastic measures faced by an increasing number of clubs throughout the country.”
Despite Aberdeen's terible performance in cup competitions and lack of European football in the last year, the club achieved the second highest turnover in its history and a wages-to-turnover ratio of 58%, within the recommended industry target of 60%.
Dons legend and Director of Football Willie Miller was praised for his efforts in restructuring the youth set-up at the club, as were those directly involved in turning Aberdeen from a club with few young prospects to one with potential in this area.
Fraser said: "The club had the foresight to deliver real investment into youth development and, down to the hard work of the likes of Willie Miller, Lenny Taylor, Neil Simpson and the rest of the staff we are seeing tangible rewards in this area, which the management team is already benefitting from."
The annual general meeting, where shareholders get the opportunity to quiz the board about the figures, takes place at Pittodrie on November 23rd.