Aberdeen face tough decisions if unsustainable losses continue

Dons chairman Dave Cormack has detailed the multi-million pound losses the club faces during shutdown.

Cormack says the club can't provide clarity on when football will return. SNS
Cormack says the club can't provide clarity on when football will return.

Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack has warned that the club faces unsustainable losses if the football shutdown continues long-term, revealing that the Dons could miss out on up to £6m of projected income.

All Scottish football is suspended indefinitely as the country deals with the coronavirus crisis and clubs are missing out on matchday revenue while still incurring their normal running costs.

Cormack said that the health and wellbeing of employees was Aberdeen’s number one priority but, in an uncertain period when there was no news on play resuming, the financial impact on the club is potentially devastating.

In a statement on the club’s official website, he said: “As Scottish clubs await the decisions on what happens next, there are so many moving parts, largely outwith our control, that it’s impossible to provide any degree of clarity or certainty at this time.

“What we do know is that we are facing a collapse of income that is going to be almost impossible to sustain for a prolonged period.

“Three weeks ago we were in a healthy financial position; free of external debt, with £1.5m in the bank. We had expected income of about £1m from four home league games and the Scottish Cup semi-final and, potentially, £5m in season ticket sales, seasonal hospitality and new shirt sales coming in through mid-July.

“Our monthly running costs are about £1.2m and it’s only prudent to assume that, realistically,, there will be no football until July perhaps, at the earliest.

“During this period, we are therefore facing £5m in outgoings with no expected income. No matches are planned and we have no idea when a new season starts, never mind the current season ending, and it is highly unlikely there will be any player sales in the summer.

“This situation is clearly unsustainable. No club, whatever their size, scale or level of investment, can withstand a total lack of income over a period of anything between three to six months.”

The SPFL have yet to make a decision on the current season, which was called to a halt with most Premiership clubs having eight games still to play. The Scottish FA have postponed the remaining Scottish Cup games, but have said they are committed to holding the games in front of supporters and not behind closed doors when play can resume.

Cormack said that once more was known then Aberdeen’s directors could formulate a plan to safeguard the club as best as possible.

“Once we have answers to these questions, the board will recommend a course of action to ensure the club’s future,” he said. “This will include asking investors, including myself, to support the plan.

“We will be facing some tough decisions and we will need everyone to come together and play their part in efforts to make sure the club get through this period.

“We will be issuing regular updates as the situation becomes clearer and the club has explored all its options. In the meantime, the club, along with the AFC Community Trust, remains committed to our #StillStandingFree campaign which is providing valuable, practical support to those in need among our fanbase and the wider community.”

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