Dons Finances Continue Slow Improvement

The Aberdeen Football Club Board of Directors today announced the Club's financial results for the year ended 30 June 2004.

Despite shocking results in the football area of the business, the Board's prudent management has seen savings of £1.674 million on Total Operating Charges when excluding Centenary costs of £824,000. Turnover for the year increased from £7.043 million to £7.132 million, however this was after taken account of the Centenary income of £1.034 million. The overall loss for the year dropped from £2.391 million to £1.699 million. The vital wages to turnover ratio saw another 5% decrease, even when excluding Centenary income, falling to 68% from last year's 73%.

Stewart Milne today said: "The increase in turnover was achieved after taking into account the revenue generated from centenary events and initiatives. When these are excluded, the overall turnover is down by 13%. This reflects the very poor season that saw SPL home gates fall which had a knock-on effect on all our income streams.

"Our disappointing, and quite frankly unacceptable, performance led to the board taking stock of the overall performance of the club?s football operation and the ultimate decision to change the management team.

"The appointments of Jimmy Calderwood and Jimmy Nicholl are already paying dividends and the results to date are encouraging, allowing us to move forward with more confidence. The support which has been generated at the SPL away games in the early part of the season has been inspirational and long may that continue - both the fans and the shareholders deserve this stronger Aberdeen.

"However, we cannot afford to get carried away. The period covered in our financial results was one of the most difficult faced, not only by the club, but also by Scottish football. Three of the twelve SPL clubs went into administration during the 2003/4 season, emphasising the financial struggles we all face. We can take hope from the fact that even in such a dire season we have reduced our losses. We believe that this trend will continue.

"This is a much healthier position than many other SPL clubs find themselves in and, with our improved performance resulting hopefully leading to higher attendances, we are optimistic of continuing to move towards a breakeven position. However, we are not yet out of the woods and must continue to be prudent in managing all our costs and concentrating on increasing our revenues and ensuring that wages are clearly linked to a successful team on the park. It is the only way to a sustainable future for the club."

There is further news emerging today that AFC are to issue 300,000 shares at 50p each, to fund youth development initiatives and fund new players. More information is not yet known, but Stand-Free regulars will be among the first to know once more information filters through.

The Club's AGM will be held in the Richard Donald Suite at Pittodrie Stadium on Wednesday 15th December at 7.00pm, and Stand-Free will provide a full report at the time.