Watford Announce Losses Due to Lack of Player Sales

March 28, 2011

The company that owns English nPower Championship soccer club Watford has reported a sharp increase in losses for the second half of 2010.

Despite a small rise in revenue to £5.4m (US$8.6m), hospital pre-tax losses for the six-month period came in at £2.5m ($4m) compared with a loss of £172, sale 000 ($274,400) a year earlier.

The lack of player sales in that period is what Watford Leisure is crediting with much of the loss.

The club, who sit 9th in the league at the moment and four points off a play-off place, is currently the subject of a £440,000 ($702,000) buy-out offer.

The bid was tabled earlier this month by Panos Thomas, a surgeon who set up company Watford Football Club, specifically to buy the club, and is backed by entrepreneur Laurence Bassini.

Watford Leisure said that it needed to sell players in order to keep the business sustainable.

Chairman Graham Taylor stated: “It should be no surprise to anyone to read that our half-year figures state a deficit.

“Our focus on ensuring we remain true to our business plan means that failure to trade in either [summer or January transfer] window inevitably leads to the need for a working capital injection from alternative sources.”

He said this injection would have to amount to about £3.5m ($5.6m) this year.

Match day revenue fell to £2m ($3.2m), while season ticket sales fell by 1,500, resulting in a £49,000 ($78,000) drop in revenue – less than would have been the case had it not been for a “restructuring of the [season ticket] pricing model”.

Media revenue increased to £2.6m ($4.15m).