Published: 10:00, 22 October 2020
| Updated: 10:50, 22 October 2020
Gillingham Football Club’s latest financial accounts show a loss of over half a million pounds - before the impact of Covid-19.
The financial statement is for the year ending May 31, 2019 and reveals a trading loss of £557,243.
Games are currently being played behind closed doors and that could continue well into next year. Clubs in the EFL are still awaiting a package of support from the Premier League after rejecting their £50m rescue package .
Gillingham had posted a profit of £180,591 in their previous yearly statement.
The accounts relate to the 2018-19 season which ended with the departure of manager Steve Lovell before the eventual appointment of Steve Evans in June 2019. The club finished 13th with Lovell leaving two games before the end of the campaign .
The club say the losses were down to several factors, including investment in the GFC School facilities and staffing, increased player and admin fees, less than expected growth in conferencing and banqueting and a drop in money made on player sales. Ticket income increased but remained 20% down on the year ending May 2017.
In October 2018 the club installed a new pitch, which came in at £418,000. Their old surface was deemed unsafe early on in the season and games were moved so they could make the costly upgrade.
The chairman’s statement also mentions the removal of Gillingham FC director Michael Anderson, following a unanimous vote at an extraordinary general meeting in August 2019. Mr Anderson, a former vice chairman of the Gills, was owed £371,868 by the club as of 31 May, 2019, a reduction of £110,000 on the previous figure.
In 2017, Mr Anderson was accused of defrauding the US military health care system of nearly six million dollars. The decision to remove him off the board of GFC was, according to the club, because they wished to pursue apprentice opportunities and also switch bank accounts. Neither could have been done while Mr Anderson remained a company director.
Mr Anderson does remain a director of Three Directors Limited, however, according to Companies House, a company which was owed £1.8m by the club as of May 31, 2019. Interest on the loan is charged at £63,000 a year.
Mr Anderson, Gills director Michael Quarrington - owed £16,366 by the Gills in the last statement - and Mr Scally are joint directors of Three Directors Limited, with each owning one third of voting rights.
The club remains under the control of GFC Holdings Limited. Mr Scally is the sole shareholder of that company.
Noting the drastic change of circumstances since the end of the last season (2019/20), Mr Scally said: “It is unknown when supporters will be allowed to return to stadia, and normal income streams resume, as a result the club has significantly reduced costs in all areas, including staffing costs, and despite all banqueting, conferencing and other non football incomes also ceasing, the directors are confident the business can continue, in challenging times for all, albeit playing football behind closed doors.
Mr Scally, who is the majority shareholder, was paid £168,000 for his consultancy services, a big reduction on the £311,273 which he was paid the year before. He also cleared an amount of £90,547 which he owed the club.
The accounts say that because of the current circumstances from the Covid-19 pandemic and the impact on professional football “there is a material uncertainty relating to these events that may cast significant doubt on the company’s ability to continue as a going concern.”
It added that: “The directors have a reasonable expectation that the company will have adequate resources to continue in operational existence for at least 12 months from the date of approving these accounts.”
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