Hibernian FC today reported its financial figures for the year ended June 30th, 2020 – highlighting the ongoing impact of the global Covid 19 pandemic and the restrictions taken to tackle it.
And figures for the current year also highlight the continued financial stress being suffered by professional football clubs caused by the inability to have supporters return to stadiums.
The financial statements cover the suspended 2019-2020 playing season. The suspension had a negative impact on the Club’s financial performance, with turnover down 17% to £8.9m from £10.8m the previous year. This decrease in turnover increased the Wages to Turnover ratio to 74% compared to 59% for the previous year. However, the Club received approximately £0.5m of income from the United Kingdom’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which adjusted the wage to turnover ratio to 68%.
Although some operating costs were cut due to the early conclusion of the season, the Club still recorded an operating loss of £1.4m, and ultimately a net loss of £1.2 million in the year. While the loss during the year was significant, the Club held a cash position at 30th June 2020 of approximately £5.3m. This position marked a slight decrease from the previous year end position of £5.5m. Cash received from historical player sales and season ticket revenue brought in during the final three months of the season boosted this position.
The annual report also points out that the pandemic impact on the current season has been significant, through a combination of increased Covid-19 compliance cost and lack of revenue from game day fan attendance. This left the Club’s cash balance at £2.6m as of 31 December 2020, highlighting the importance of a successful season ticket campaign for the upcoming 21/22 season.
The 2021 Annual General Meeting of the Club will be held on Wednesday 7 April 2021 at 3:00 pm through a virtual webinar.
In his letter to shareholders, Chairman Ronald J Gordon said: “Although we would all prefer to hold the meeting at Easter Road Stadium, current restrictions to stop the spread of the Covid virus do not allow for us to welcome you back to the Club’s home yet.
“We will do our best to make sure the virtual meeting runs smoothly. We also intend to provide shareholders with an update on progress on implementing the strategic plan we outlined at the previous AGM. “
“Your Board and I would like to thank all those who supported the Club during the 19/20 season, especially in view of the challenges imposed on the Club and football in general by the Covid-19 pandemic. We are particularly grateful to our season ticket holders, the players and coaching staff, and the entire team at Hibernian FC for their tireless work behind the scenes to help the Club navigate the public health and financial challenges of the ongoing pandemic. Gratefully, the vaccine programme combined with the restrictions of recent months are bringing the pandemic under control, and the outlook for football in 2021 is starting to look brighter. We believe that in the foreseeable future we will be able to welcome you back to Easter Road. That will be a very special and wonderful day for us all.”