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Ebbsfleet United Football Club reveal £2.6m loss in latest accounts

Ebbsfleet United’s latest financial statement shows a loss of £2.6m for the second year running.

The non-league side are funded by KEH Sports Limited, a UK registered company that is controlled by Dr Abdulla Al-Humaidi, the man behind the theme park that is set to be built on the Swanscombe Peninsula.

Dr Abdulla Al-Humaidi continues to fund Ebbsfleet United Picture: Andy Payton
Dr Abdulla Al-Humaidi continues to fund Ebbsfleet United Picture: Andy Payton

The football club’s recently released financial figures, for the year ending May 30, 2019, show a pre-tax loss of £2,661,073 - just £38,460 better off than the 2018 accounts.

Fleet finished the 2018/19 campaign eighth in the National League but there was trouble off the field. The playing squad made three separate public statements over claims they hadn’t been paid on time. They refused to warm-up before their match against Wrexham in March in a bid to highlight their case.

Despite those issues the team only narrowly missed out on a play-off place. Since then they have been relegated to the National League South, dropping out of non-league’s top-flight this season on points per game average after the season was cut short because of coronavirus.

The club's latest accounts show a turnover of just over £1m, up on the previous year. Income includes sponsorship, matchday revenue, National League funding and a solidarity payment from the Premier League.

Total player and staff costs for the year were just above the £2m figure while total operating expenses were put at £3.5m. The financial statement reports an unsecured loan of £933,549.

The financial report makes clear that the football club remains reliant on continued financial support from the ultimate parent company, Kuwaiti European Holding Company, which is also controlled by Dr Al-Humaidi.

The report was published at a time where many clubs are having to cope with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

A statement says: “As we were about to file these accounts, the impact of the coronavirus on our income was unfortunately becoming clear, so we paused publication in order to share some of these preliminary impacts.

"Effectively the Covid-19 outbreak saw all revenues to the club cease outside of the central funding distribution from the National League.

“This was mitigated by the government job retention scheme which covered 80% of contracted staff wages, however fixed costs of utilities, maintenance, insurances and contracts remained. The club also carried the burden of 20% of the wage obligations over and above the job retention scheme relief.”

They added: “While the cessation of the revenues was a substantial reduction of income for the cub, with the majority of the wage bill contracts ending during the lockdown period under furlough, this has minimised the financial impact to the club.”

Fleet are hoping to win their place back in the National League next season, with German manager Dennis Kutrieb taking charge of team affairs and building a new squad.

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