Aberdeen FC have reported a profit of over £1m in their annual accounts and praised their player trading model as one of the key reasons.
The figures take into account the year from July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023, when the club secured a third place finish in the Premiership and reached the Viaplay Cup semi-final.
Net losses at the club before player sales have been reduced by £11.4m in the last three years, from £14.8m to £3.4m.
Turnover increased by just under £2m, which represents a jump of 14%, to £15.8m from £13.9m over the same period in 21/22.
However, the club say the combined financial impact of finishing tenth in the League at the end of the 21/22 season and not qualifying to compete in Europe, whilst still increasing investment in the playing squad, led to an operating loss of £6.27m, compared to £5.29m in the previous financial year.
This operating loss was offset by £7.45m of gains from player sales to deliver a net profit of £1.1m for the 22/23 financial year.
The wage bill was raised by £1.7m from £10.2m to £11.9m due mostly to bonuses paid to players for securing European group stage football by finishing third.
And the average announced attendance at Pittodrie was was up by around 20% to 15,636, from the 13,103 average in the previous season, and season tickets for the 23/24 season have reached record levels of 12,250.
Chairman, Dave Cormack, said: “To compete at the highest levels in Scottish football, and to qualify for Europe each season, we continue to invest more in player wages and transfer fees. This has led to annual operating losses which, over time, have to be balanced by positive player trading and increased commercial and football performance-related income.
“I’m pleased to report that we are making progress on balancing the significant additional investment in football wages and transfer fees, which leads to these operating losses, against positive income as a result of successful player trading.
“The club’s board and investors are committed to this strategy which has required a significant expansion of recruitment resources to unearth and invest in emerging talent such as Bojan Miovski, Duk and Leighton Clarkson.
“This acquisition of emerging young players combined with continued, substantial investment in our youth academy to develop young, homegrown talent, gives our Club the best opportunity of success.”
Cormack stressed that the market for acquiring young players is fiercely competitive but said that the club has been successful because it has been able to demonstrate, through examples like Lewis Ferguson, Ross McCrorie, Scott McKenna and Calvin Ramsey, that it is providing the platform and the environment in which young players can develop.
Cormack added: “This steady, off-the-pitch financial performance, combined with progress in our football performance, most notably playing in the group stages of European club competition for the first time in 15 seasons, and getting to our first cup final in five years, puts the club on a good footing.
“Our strong senior management team, now led by Alan Burrows who was appointed as chief executive in February this year, are driving the key projects which will propel the club even further forward.
“I’d like to express my heartfelt thanks to our investors, board directors and dedicated staff for their continued hard work and efforts throughout the season. But we cannot do this without our fans and their unwavering support at home and away has been phenomenal and continues to be both acknowledged and envied across Scottish football.”
Investment in the Aberdeen FC women’s team has also increased with more players now on professional contracts.
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