Clubs’ debt shows scale of achievement

John Banaszkiewicz
John Banaszkiewicz
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Clarets co-chairman John Banaszkiewicz feels the report of the Championship’s £1billion debt shows the scale of Burnley’s achievement in getting promoted.

The Guardian produced a guide to Championship finances based on figures from 2012/13, showing the cost of trying to win a place in the promised land.

And the 24 clubs had a combined debt approaching 10-figure sum.

Burnley reported a pre-tax loss of £7.6m and net debt of £12.2m for that year, and were 13th in the figures, with a turnover of £15.3million and wage bill of £15.4m.

Incredibly, Bolton Wanderers topped the figures with a turnover of £35m and wage bill of £37.4m, with a pre-tax loss of £50.6m and net debt of £163.8m.

Burnley have only spent £450,000 in three transfer windows now, on Ashley Barnes in January, and Banaszkiewicz said: “It makes it an even bigger achievement - the figures are a year old but it’s quite a good summary and puts things into perspective.

“A one billion pound debt is scary. For us it shows the structure of the club. If we’ve not got lots of money we’re not going to spend it.

“But it also highlights the value of promotion.”

Burnley have operated, as they have in the past, by selling prized assets at a profit such as Jay Rodriguez and Charlie Austin, having prepared in advance for Financial Fair Play, and were expected to break even this financial year, even before the fruits of promotion.

A loss of above £3m or £8m (with £5m allowed to be put in by owners) is likely to result in a transfer embargo from January 1st, unless, as in the case of QPR, clubs are promoted to the Premier League, whereupon they will be required to pay a Fair Play Tax penalty, which scales from 1% on the first £100,000 overspent to 100% on anything above £10m.

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