Aberdeen reveal £1m in wage cuts as club reduce funding gap by £6.2m

The Pittodrie club have announced significant savings in funding gap
Aberdeen chief Dave Cormack has announced significant savings. Picture: SNSAberdeen chief Dave Cormack has announced significant savings. Picture: SNS
Aberdeen chief Dave Cormack has announced significant savings. Picture: SNS

Aberdeen have announced players, management and staff have accepted wage cuts to help save the club £1million.

The club revealed they have reduced the funding cap brought on by the coronavirus by £6.2million.

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With crowds not expected in grounds for the foreseeable future and then a reduced capacity expected when supporters return Aberdeen have projected that the initial funding gap of £5million would likely rise to £10million.

However, through a range of measures, that has been reduced significantly.

Talks have taken place with players and staff over wage cuts with agreements in place which will see an average cut of 20 per cent amongst those who earn more than £30,000-a-year. That will amount to £1million.

In addition, there has been a £2million of a cash injection from AFC investors, £2million in savings from government support and operational cost-cutting, £1million from higher than expected season ticket and AberDNA membership sales, plus £200,000 from less than expected refund requests.

Dave Cormack, the club's chairman, said: “I’m humbled by the response of our hard‐working and dedicated executives, management, players and staff who have accepted these cuts and the reasons for them. They’ve demonstrated a willingness to do what needs to be done to help secure the Club’s future. As a result of our higher earners sharing in the financial pain inflicted by the coronavirus crisis, we’re able to safeguard jobs and protect the incomes of those on a lower wage.

“It was clear that our situation was becoming unsustainable,” explained Cormack. “These cuts help to further reduce our running costs to a more sustainable level against what income we can continue to generate through season ticket sales, AberDNA Memberships and broadcast revenues. We have made significant strides getting the gap down to under £4million.

“We’re not out of the woods, by any means, but everyone at the Club is buoyed by our supporters and corporate clients’ desire for us to work together to get through this. And I believe we will. Along with our goal of avoiding redundancies and looking after our lower paid staff, we must stay competitive as a team and continue our investment in our youth academy.

“Every first team squad player from last season is under contract for the 2020/21 season, putting a huge burden on our payroll, but it was something we planned 18 months ago to ensure continuity and consistency in the squad. We were investing in the future when the pandemic hit.

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“The connection that AFC and the Community Trust have strengthened with our city region and our fans over the last four months has been heartening to see. The investment in our community and fan engagement programmes, including an expanded call‐centre team proactively reaching out to our community and responding directly to fans, is being positively received.”

Aberdeen have sold more than 7,500 season tickets sold with AberDNA memberships standing at 6,250, just short of the club's targets for this season.

Cormack added: “We remain hopeful of getting partial crowds back to Pittodrie sooner rather than later. Since we announced that one metre social distancing would allow 7,500 season ticket holders into Pittodrie, our ticket office and stadium planning team have now assessed that we could accommodate 9,000 season ticket holders based on the number of families that would be able to sit together.

“It is highly unlikely that we will go straight from limited crowds to full stadiums. We expect any limited crowd increase to be in increments and as such for season 20/21 there is a real possibility we will not be able to welcome walk‐up or away fans, so the only way to see a game could be as a season ticket holder.

“We hope this isn’t the case as we continue to work behind the scenes to maximise capacity and our commitment remains to provide full value for our 20/21 season ticket holders.

“Our promise is to continue our transparency and two‐way communication with our fans.”