Thursday 15 July 2021

Charlton's big car bill

 The 2019/20 accounts for Charlton Athletic relate to the year in the Championship and the company controlled by Roland and then ESI.

Charlton’s total losses over the years exceed £71,000,000. Loans are down after £20m of them were converted into shares.

2019/20 income was up on the back of higher gate receipts and the TV deal in the Championship being worth about £6m more than in League One.   Charlton claimed furlough income of £634k until June 2020.

Charlton lost £100k a week in 2019/20 but player sale profits and loan interest written off by Roland Duchacelet reduced these losses.

Charlton bought players for £262k in the season but spent £522k on motor vehicles.  Charlton owed car leasing companies over £550,000 for future lease costs at end of season, excluding interest payment.   Charlton terminated leases for six vehicles after the end of the season at a cost of £261,000,

Total remuneration of ‘senior management’ was £1.7 million. Charlton were invoiced £150k for ‘consultancy services’ by directors.

Rental costs for Charlton nearly doubled to £31.2k.  Wages were up 20 per cent following promotion.  The average first team wage was £5,700 a week, compared to a Championship averge of £15,000 per week.

Charlton were committed to future rental costs exceeding £4.5 million at end of 2019/20.

VOTV editor Rick Everitt comments: 'A key point for fans is that the playing side was not funded for the Championship in 19/20 - although salary costs rise by about a fifth, a chunk of this was “senior management pay” (including Lee Bowyer’s new contracts).

The increase in turnover on 18/19 was £7.5k, very nearly double. The club still made an operating loss of £5.3m (down from £11.9m in 18/19).

Actual loss after player trading was £1.134m (which suggests that club might have broken even but for ESI and Covid). However, this was not a sustainable budget for Championship football. Even so, Charlton very nearly got away with it on the pitch.'

Accounts confirm that the rent - which was a notional £50k a year from 1993 to 2020 - rose to £188k under ESI and is now £500k a year, so a significant overhead. You can’t usefully look at that in isolation of other financial adjustments. It’s going to be 5% of income now though.

There is a £10.5m unsecured interest-free loan from  Thomas Sandgaard repayable in 2025 - basically he is only likely to be able to get that back if Charlton make the Premier League or he sells the club. Even windfall transfer profits will be absorbed by operating losses.

Significantly accounts reveal that Duchatelet will benefit if the club is promoted to the Premier League  in or before 2030 - the details of this are not disclosed.

The outspoken Ramsgate-based fan comments: ‘This was always a likely component of any deal in one form or another, although IMO it stinks. He made the financial mess.’

Since the accounting date (in practice over the whole of 20/21), the club has received £5.6m in transfer fees and has paid out £1.4m including termination payments and agents’ fees.

CAS Trust take a look at the accounts here:

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