CLARETS chairman Barry Kilby has revealed he has no intention of stepping down.
In a full and frank interview, in the aftermath of Thursday’s meeting with shareholders, Kilby also explained a perceived lack of movement in the transfer window.
There has been a lot of speculation over Kilby’s future as chairman, with a recent club statement announcing there had been some manouevering of shares, and Kilby said: “I’m not going to be around forever. I’ve got my bus pass now and my rail card.
“There are younger members on the board and I think you can stay too long. But at the moment I have sold half of my shares.
“John Banaskiewicz increased his shareholding and took 7.5% and Brendan Flood took 2.5%.”
Asked will he still be chairman next year, he replied: “Two things can happen - I could get voted off by the directors or I can resign.
“The board of directors have told me they still want me to stay on as chairman and I’m still a substantial shareholder in the club.
“The directors vote on the chairman and the shareholders vote on directors.”
In view of impending Financial Fair Play rules, he also spoke of the need to look at lowering the wage bill accordingly: “It’s got to be part of our strategy to keep a weather eye on the rules that are coming in. 60% of turnover is now in force in League Two and League One are doing it voluntarily.
“For the one that’s been provisionally passed (for the Championship) the devil’s in the detail in these things, and it probably will be voted in that in two years’ time – 2013/14 - if a club doesn’t break even and records a loss on its trading account there will be penalties against it.
“The penalties that have been discussed and again have to be voted on and decided are a points deduction and, one that would hurt everybody, is you have to donate into a pool and that’s distributed to all the other clubs.
“You will be penalised for the loss, the logic behind it being there is an unfair advantage when people come in and run up big losses, when some people are keeping their house in order, and then these people walk away.
“That’s going to affect every club in the Championship.
“It means that you’ve got to break even.”
That means preparing for that eventuality now: “We’re doing contracts now that would affect that time. At the moment if you say you’re going to run at a loss in 2014, how are you going to pay for it?
“If we have got to break even in a normal trading season for the Championship we are usually in that £10m/£11m bracket for our normal income.
“A sort of safe figure for your players’ wage bill if you’ve got to break even on that, is about £6m.
“Your £10m will net down to £8m because you’ve got direct costs on that.
“You don’t have to be a genius to see that’s where your levels have roughly got to be.
“If you did a sale in that year and you were plus £2m you’d have a little bit more to play with, other than borrowing it, which we’re not going to be able to do because you’ve got to pay that back one day, so you either increase revenues or people can buy shares and that comes in as capital and that counts towards what you can use.”
A common question from fans is ‘where has the Premier League money gone?’, and Kilby added: “As I told the shareholders, it’s all in the accounts, but just let’s step backwards.
“The season we went up we lost £11million. In the Premier League season we made a profit of £14m.
“This year, going off our management accounts, we going to make a loss, I think, of about £3.75m.
“So in a sort of a way we’re back to where we were before we went up. It’s all there in the flow of your movements.
“It’s slightly simplified – it’s not cashflow, it’s not capital expenditure. Interestingly, in player trading we have a big minus on that in cash terms over the past three years.
“In the last three years our player trading reads 2008/09 £6.5m out, nothing in; 2009/10 £7.916m out and £1.478m in, so that’s -£6.4m. In 2010/11 with the Fletcher sale, it was £5.382m out and £6.842m in. With that we are +£1.4m.
“Overall, we are minus £11.5m over the last three years in our player tradings.
“In the previous three years it reads 2006 +£1.4, 2007 -£2.5m, 2008 +£4.4m and +£3.3m over three years. So that’s £1m a year to add.
“In the trading figures for the last nine years we’ve only made a profit in three of them.”
Kilby had said the Premier League season would set the club up for the next 10 years, and he returned to that statement: “What I meant by that was we got all that debt off the books, which had been hanging around since ITV Digital.
“It’s there and can be called on at any time at a cost.
It got that out of the way and we got our own destiny back in our hands rather than owing it to people. It’s about the freedom it gives the club in getting rid of the weight around its neck.”
Asked did the club have to sell Chris Eagles and Tyrone Mears, he was unequivocal: “They had one year to go on their contracts when we got the offer in.
“At the end of that year they could have just walked away for nothing. They weren’t interested in new deals.
“We could have hung on to them and said ‘no, you’re staying’ but we would have had two players that didn’t want to play for us and I’ve seen it before – they get to Christmas and they don’t want to get injured and at the end of the day we would have passed up on £3m, and you’ve seen what that means to our finances.
“It really would have been the logic of the madhouse not to take that money for them.”