Tuesday 7 August 2018

How Charlton compare financially

The authoritative Swiss Ramble has been taking a look at League One finances based on the 2016/17 accounts. In some cases clubs publish only abbreviated accounts so the information available is limited.

The results are not a great surprise as far as Charlton are concerned (most tweets have been on the debt figure), although it is interesting that the club is still ranked quite high on match day revenue, suggesting that the potential to grow is there under new leadership.

11 of the 24 clubs in League One made money, though the amounts are very small – the highest were Swindon Town and Rochdale £1.4m. The largest reported losses were Millwall £5.8m, Sheffield United £5.7m and Scunthorpe United £5.6m.

Profit on player sales was below £3m for all but two clubs in League One. The exceptions were relegated from Championship: Charlton £16.2m (Lookman to Everton, Gudmundsson and Pope to Burnley, Cousins to QPR) and Bolton Wanderers £5.6m (Holding to Arsenal, Clough to Forest).

The three clubs promoted from League One in 2016/17 had the highest revenue: Bolton Wanderers £14.7m (though this includes £6.5m from the Whites Hotel), Sheffield United £11.4m and Millwall £10.0m. Next highest were Charlton £7.6m, Oxford £7.0m, Walsall £6.6m and MK Dons £6.6m.

At this level, match day revenue can be a critical differentiator with Sheffield United leading the way with £7.9m, followed by Millwall £5.2m, Charlton Athletic £3.2m and Bolton Wanderers £3.2m.

Highest attendances were at two Yorkshire clubs: Sheffield United 22,000 & Bradford City 18,000. Sheffield United crowds would have placed them in the top 10 of the Championship. Followed by Bolton 15,000, Charlton 11,000 and MK Dons 10,000.

Three of the four highest League One wage bills were at the promoted clubs, though these were inflated by promotion bonuses. Highest was Bolton £13.8m (including £1.1m for hotel), followed by Charlton £11.1m, Sheffield United £10.0m & Millwall £9.4m, then large gap to Scunthorpe £6.0m.

Clubs in League One have to comply with the Salary Cost Management Protocol, so the wages to turnover ratios are normally better (lower) than those in the Championship. Nevertheless, still some clubs above 100%: Charlton 146%, Scunthorpe 145%, Fleetwood Town 109% and Southend 104%.

The highest financial debt by far in League One was £65m at Charlton Athletic, mainly owed to owner Roland Duch√Ętelet’s company, followed by Coventry City £37m, mainly owed to hedge fund owners SISU Capital, then Bolton Wanderers £22m, Millwall £20m and Southend United £18m.

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