Motherwell FC held its 114th Annual General Meeting at Fir Park on Monday. The shareholders praised the board and management for their stewardship of the club.
The club posted a loss of £436,000 for the financial year ending in May 2019. Much of that was due to the drop in turnover to £4.59M from £6.84M in the previous year. Without a long cup run the reduction in gate and TV income was inevitable. Gate receipts almost halved while income from prize money and UEFA solidarity dropped by more that £500K. At the same time the board took the view that an increase in the playing budget was necessary to try to maintain competitiveness within the division.
The club is effectively debt free.
Chairman Jim McMahon gave an overview of the journey the club had made since the start of fan ownership. Initially the club was £2M in debt and the club was under spending on infrastructure as well as the playing budget. The club was at maximum risk.
Now, the club is without debt and with the help of cup money and player sales there has been substantial investment in the stadium and in the player budget. We now have a “normal operating budget”. He expects that this current year will be cash neutral. The club is less at risk.
Threats remain however. Relegation would pose a huge peril. A couple of bad years (10th place in the league with no cup run or player sales) would see a loss approaching £1M. The income from the Well Society remains crucial.
Should the club consider looking for a joint venture partner?
He summed up by noting that the club cannot afford any part of the enterprise to be out of kilter. At the moment all components are working well.
Stephen Robinson was on hand to respond to football related questions. He was pleased with David Turnbull’s progress though he was unwilling to speculate about a return to action. David will join the January training camp in Tenerriffe. The manager explained the huge importance of the trip and recognised the importance of playing a friendly ahead of the cup tie against Dundee.
Robinson talked of the reputation Motherwell was gaining as a platform for players to gain exposure with a view to future sales. It is a mutually beneficial operation for both the club and players.
Alan Burrows revealed that the club has received a compensation payment for Jake Hastie (£300k plus sell on) and that negotiations continue with the MLS about compensation for Chris Cadden.