BLACKPOOL FC have posted profits of £15.5m – despite failing to reclaim their place in the Premier League.
The pre-tax figure, which covers up to the end of May 2012, and includes Pool’s relegation from football’s top tier, the sale of talismanic skipper Charlie Adam and the club’s appearance in last season’s play-off final, kept the Seasiders well in the black.
The financial results are unlikely to spark the same level of controversy as last year’s which included an £11m payment to club owner Owen Oyston.
But they may do little to silence critical fans who want Bloomfield Road chief Karl Oyston to invest more in the team, stadium and training facilities.
The chairman said he was delighted with the financial report for 2011/12 which he said proved the Seasiders were well run at a time when some clubs were gambling with their futures by overspending.
However, Oyston said he accepted fans were likely to criticise him over a lack of big transfer signings.
And Karl Oyston hinted the next big target for the club would be an investment in modern training facilities.
He told The Gazette: “I’m delighted with the financial results.
“There are so many reasons to do the wrong thing in football, that it’s nice to have been able to hold our nerve and do things properly.
“We’ve been in good shape for 15 years. The pressure from supporters to spend has been there since the day I walked into this job. Some people seem to think football is all about spending money, but sometimes that is the worst thing you can do.”
Oyston pointed to other clubs who had over-stretched themselves when they had been promoted to the Premiership and were now facing serious financial difficulties.
Liverpool posted a pre-tax loss of £40.5m on a turnover of £169m, while debt at Preston North End is said to total more than £40m.
Oyston added: “We will continue to run this club in the way we’ve always done.
“There have been something like 60-plus administrations or financial failures in football in my time and it is vital that Blackpool continues to navigate a path forward in a sustainable way for the benefit of the club and the community.”
Oyston said there was no pressure on the club to sell players and revealed he had turned down offers worth £13m in the last two transfer windows.
He explained: “It’s better to hold on to those players and see them develop as a player for the club and then see the transfer fee hopefully rise.”
Talking about criticism over training facilities, together with the poor state of the pitch, he said his policy would be to invest carefully.
He said: “With training facilities, we do not want, like some clubs have done, to end up with an unwieldy, leg-iron of a training set-up that costs a fortune to run. It will have to be of benefit to the club and community.”
The 2010/11 figures caused a storm among supporters when the Companies House report showed £11m had been paid to Owen Oyston.
This time the highest paid director received £65,067 for his services.
The figures posted at Companies House by the parent company Segesta Ltd for 2012 showed profits had fallen from £20.4m in the previous year and that the club paid an eye-watering £4m corporation tax on the £15m.
The Oyston-owned company which owns the club and its stadium, posted an annual turnover of £29.1m in a year that the directors described as one of “further significant change”.
The club was back in the Championship and finished fifth in the table earning a play-off spot which ended in a heartbreaking 2-1 defeat by West Ham at Wembley.
In the Carling Cup they lost in the first round on penalties to Sheffield Wednesday but did better in the FA Cup with wins over Fleetwood and Wednesday again before losing to Everton in the fifth round.
Due to the relegation at the end of the 2010/2011 season, the club’s turnover fell from £51.7m as TV payments decreased, but it was still entitled to a “parachute payment” from the Premier League.
In the 2011/12 season they got around £15m parachute payment and in 2012/13 this was due to be around £13m.
The gate receipts from the team’s FA Cup run and play-off performances, plus transfer fees of £6m – which included the sale of star midfielder Adam to Liverpool and striker DJ Campbell to QPR.
Football related wages for the year were £10.6m and £1.7m was spent on transfers.
Overall costs were £13.6m and the corporation tax bill was £4m.
The directors are not recommending a payment of a final dividend to shareholders, but say the club is in a good financial position with assets of £24.7m.
Glenn Bowley chairman of the Blackpool Supporters Association said while it was good to see the healthy profits, and know the club is being run well as a business, it was vital that the fans could see progress soon both on and off the pitch.
He said: “It’s a well run business but that’s academic because this is football. £15m is no use if the club is relegated so I think we would like to see backing for Paul Ince, maybe with some loans.
“The fans also want to see a legacy from the Premiership and investing in good training ground facilities and improving the pitch which is not fit for purpose is vital.”