Aberdeen covid impact laid bare as club report operating loss of over £5million

Aberdeen have reported a £5.2million operating loss during last season's coronavirus-hit campaign.

Aberdeen suffered a £5.2million loss during last season's covid-impacted campaign (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)
Aberdeen suffered a £5.2million loss during last season's covid-impacted campaign (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)

The club's annual accounts up to June 30, 2021, show a £3.3m drop in turnover with the loss higher than the £2.9m figure from the previous season, which was curtailed by the pandemic. Wages fell slightly to £9.4m.

The club stated that the past 12 months had been "one of the toughest financial periods" faced at Pittodrie.

A statement added: "The profound impact of the pandemic prevented fans from attending matches, left corporate hospitality lounges lying dormant and placed a significant additional burden of Covid-19 related costs on the club.

"A combination of player sales, business interruption insurance, fans buying more season tickets than anticipated, staff taking a temporary cut in pay, an injection of new cash from investors, and an interest-free loan from the Scottish Government, allowed the club to avoid making any redundancies or major permanent cuts in expenditure."

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The club's annual general meeting will be held on December 13.

Aberdeen chairman, Dave Cormack, said: “The overarching challenge for the club has been the coronavirus pandemic. When we compiled last year’s annual report, we still held out hope that we might see the return of fans to football matches and the restarting of matchday hospitality during the 2020/21 season, both of which are key income streams, but neither of these materialised.

“We had optimistically assumed that we might get a return to some degree of normality from the start of 2021. But, other than one trial match which 300 fans were allowed to attend, we had to wait until the start of the current season before fans were allowed back in a limited capacity.

“The exclusion of fans not only impacted on the atmosphere at matches but also decimated the club’s mainstream commercial revenues of match day gate receipts, hospitality, advertising, sponsorship, and retail sales.

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Supporters, sponsors, clients, staff, management and the board have all contributed to the club getting through the pandemic and navigating our way through a projected £10 million shortfall.”

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