Nottingham Forest announce operating loss of £32m for 2019/20

Nottingham Forest have announced a huge loss for the 2019/20 season, with turnover affected by the Covid-19 pandemic

Nottingham Forest have announced losses of £32m for the 2019/20 season, reducing to a loss before tax of £15.9m after interest, profit on disposal of players and a historical loan write off.

The 2018/19 accounts saw an operating loss of £34.3m, reduced to £25.1m after tax.

Turnover increased slightly to £25.7m from £25.3m, while administrative expenses are reduced but remain high at £49.4m. Wages increased from £36.3m to £38.1m.

The accounts stated: ‘It is worth noting that the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the club’s revenue is not visible due to the club, prior to the suspension of the season, being on track to report a record turnover. Turnover has been affected by loss of matchday revenue for the remaining games played behind closed doors – the loss of ticketing income, catering income and season card refunds resulted in a material drop on our expected revenue for the year.’

The difficulties faced by the English Football League after March 2020 is serious, and the existing situation is already untenable for many clubs.

Average attendance fell from 28,144 in 2018/19 to 21,696, while season tickets sold reduced marginally from 22,554 to 21,237.

The accounts added: ‘It is obvious that the Covid pandemic has had a serious impact on the football club. The prohibition on the attendance of supporters at matches has had a profound impact on the revenues of the club and has fettered the club’s ability to build on the off the field progress which had been achieved in the previous periods of the current ownership.

‘In addition the Directors and senior management team are in no doubt that the requirement to play matches behind closed doors impacted on sporting results and the club’s final league position may well have been improved if the club’s supporters had been able to attend matches both at home and away.’

Shares worth £20.8m were issued on 31 May 2020 to NF Football Investments, Evangelos Marinakis’s holding company, writing off a large portion of the debt owed to the owner.