Chairman Dave Allen Concerned About Debt
Allen told shareholders: 'The club carries far too much debt, with loans of £7 million, which needs to be reduced. Ideally, we'd like to get the debt to around half that figure. I think the business could sustain a debt of about £3 million.
If Dave Allen hadn't have put his own money into the club, the team would still be playing at Saltergate which was haemorrhaging money because of low attendances. That didn't cover the week to week running of the club. Although its a big debt, there is money coming into the club from the hospitality.
The IT system is costing the club over £100,000 a year. Allen said: 'We went over the top with the IT system and that's something we're trying to address.'
Another way of bringing money into the club is by holding concerts in the summer, the Elton John concert was a huge success with around 15,000 people filling the Stadium. The club can make between £300,000- 400,000 thousand from these concerts. More are planned, it was hoped that Tom Jones would come this year, but he has no plans to tour until next year.
Allen also said: We've got to reduce operating costs. Chris Turner has succeeded in making some dramatic reductions but we have to be a selling club. Seventy per cent of money raised will go to reducing the debt and thirty per cent will go to the playing budget.'
Although despite of this the board have backed Cook in the transfer market allowing him to bring in Cooper, O'Shea, Brindley and Gnanduillet, and also give long term contracts too Lee, Darikwa and Broadhead.
Chris Turner also spoke by saying: 'We've got to find other savings in the next 12 months to keep things on an even keel. The St Johnstone's Paint Trophy win saw £350,000 coming into the club but there were 1,000 people not renewing season tickets for obvious reasons. It's a winning team that brings crowds back. We can't spend above our means so we do have to be a selling club. We have to produce our own players.
At least the board are being brutally honest admitting to making mistakes, and that they have to be a selling club. At least they are not gambling like some clubs have, they are living within their means which is very important in this economical climate.