Walsall FC has recorded a 14th consecutive year of profits despite having to pay an annual rental fee to use its home stadium.
The announcement is the club’s first under new majority shareholder Leigh Pomlett and means it has been profitable for 23 of its last 26 years.
Pomlett said: “I have inherited a stable and financially sound Club in a continuingly difficult climate in which football clubs operate and they deserve great credit for that.
“It is against this backdrop that we have been able to record our 23rd year of profit in the last 26 years, which is in itself a significant achievement.”
Pomlett also vowed to address the issue of the club having to pay around £400.000 per year in order to use the stadium.
“As part of the deal that sees me take ownership of the Club, Jeff and I have agreed an ‘Option to Purchase’ the freehold and it is my aim to reunite it with the Club at some point during my tenure.”
Walsall had a particularly tough season on the field, with relegation bringing an end to a 12 year stay in League 1.
“This was a real disappointment for all concerned with the Club – Players, Staff, Directors and Supporters alike.”
Despite this, the 2018/19 Directors’ Report and Financial Statements have revealed that Club’s income was up 14% on the previous year, largely as a result of increases in both match day and commercial returns.
The club made loan repayments of £176k during the year with £3k interest on bank loans and £20k on director loans. Meanwhile, director pay rose by 10% to £193k.
Walsall spent £145k on players in 2018/19. This figure is made up by the undisclosed fees paid for Josh Gordon, Morgan Ferrier, Cameron Norman and Dan Scarr.
The Club’swage bill rose by 21% to over £4 million while the average weekly wage at the club is around £1,900.
“There is a strong platform here to move this Club forward,” added Pomlett. “And working alongside my fellow Directors, I have already made a number of strategic changes to the business and a number of key appointments.
“We will continue to review all aspects of the Club on an ongoing basis in order to give us the best possible opportunity to be successful both on and off the field.”
The result of Pomeltt’s strategic changes are yet to play out but in an attempt to bolster season ticket sales the #StrengthInNumbers early bird has been launched.
“We are significantly up on season ticket sales from last year which is extremely pleasing, I’m actually a little surprised given our home form.”
“The signs are good but it’s still a hell of a challenge to reach the 3000 season ticket goal we have set.”