2015/16 Accounts Review – @jonnysmales

“Anyway, next year again, eh? With us being John Stones Paint Trophy champions of the world, we might at least have a bit less of a loss…”

That’s how I signed off last year’s article. I had hoped that was a bit of a joke, and that with us winning the trophy AND gaining promotion, we’d at least break even.

If you’ve read any of the insomnia-curing articles regarding the accounts in previous years, or indeed read the accounts themselves, you’ll see that year on year the club remains reliant on outside funds. With two Wembley visits, a Cup win and a promotion, it’s somehow the same old story, albeit to a much lesser extent.

During the ‘15/16 season, the Club spent a total of £587,500 on new players. Not exactly big spenders, even by League One standards, but this amount is represented on the balance sheet so does not affect the profit of the company.

Unfortunately, Barnsley Football Club 2002 Limited has taken advantage of reduced disclosure for the year ended 31st May 2016, and so it is not possible to compare the turnover, wages and player sale profits against the previous year.

The main points that can be taken from the accounts are as follows: –

  • The company made a loss of £577,669 for the year, as compared to a loss of £3,004,116 in the previous year
  • For the more boring among us, accruals & deferred income has almost doubled to just over £3m (potentially player bonuses for promotion, but no explanation is/needs to be given in the accounts)
  • HMRC creditors for PAYE has reduced, which is expected due to the reduced wage bill, but the VAT liability has increased by almost 20%, potentially indicating an increased turnover
  • The company still has a lease agreement with Oakwell Community Assets Limited, which owns Oakwell, and is owned by Patrick Cryne & the Council. Oakwell Community Assets appear to have made a profit of £44k on this agreement, for the year ended 31st March 2016.
  • The bank overdraft has been cleared, and the club had £576,000 in the bank at 31st May 2016

So how much do we still rely on Patrick Cryne?

If not for a £402,143 donation by Patrick, the club would be looking at a near £1m loss for the year.  This “donation” has been written off to the profit & loss account, which means there will be no repayment.

The additional monies introduced in the previous year by way of a future share subscription, have been restated as a loan in the current year, but the accounts state there are no terms of repayment for this amount.

On top of the donation and reclassification, “Other Loans” have increased by a further £865,806. Even though we were a supposed big fish in a smaller pond in League One, it seems we were still heavily reliant on the owners backing.

Patrick still has a personal guarantee with the bank to cover the overdraft up to £1.98m, which means he’d be liable to pay this if the company ever went into liquidation.

So where do we go from here?

Well, in a bit of good news, the final note in the accounts states that the company made £10m for player trading just after the year end, most likely being the Stones & Mawson deals. The accounts were signed off in November, so the January transfers will not be included in this amount, so who knows, the sale of John Stones to Man City could provide the club with its first profit since we sold John Stones to Everton.

Unfortunately, unless we find our own billionaire willing to back the club financially, it seems we will remain a club that needs to sell its prize assets in order to continue as a business.