Wednesday, April 15, 2015

News: Impressive results for Rotherham United

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The importance of maintaining Championship status to Rotherham United Football Club can be seen in its latest financial results for the year ended December 2014, where gaining promotion to the second tier of English football helped to increase turnover to £11m, up from £7.1m in the previous year.

2014 was another momentous year for the Millers under the chairmanship of successful local businessman, Tony Stewart, the owner of Rotherham lighting manufacturers, ASD Lighting. The highlight undoubtedly being the dramatic playoff win at Wembley in May which secured promotion to the Championship.

The accounts for the year ended December 31 2014 show that turnover reached £10.98m resulting in a profit before tax of £167,000. This compares to a reported turnover of £7.07m and loss before tax of £477,000 for the previous year.

Stewart was one of a number of business people invited to the Town Hall with the aim of finding a way of resurrecting the borough's football league club after it fell into administration for the second time in 2008. He ended up going it alone and brought them out of administration via a Creditors Voluntary Agreement.

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The latest financial report states: "All revenue streams have seen impressive growth during the period. Higher average match attendance, and a greater number of season tickets sold have boosted match receipts. Media receipts have also increased following the televised playoff games.

"Increased advertising and sponsorship income has improved commercial revenues. Commercial relations remain strong with our existing partners and the club continues to look for and develop new commercial opportunities."

Match receipts, which included larger attendances at the 12,000 seater, £20m New York Stadium on the edge of Rotherham town centre, were up by £600,000 to £2.6m. Average attendances were up by 1,000 to 9,320 for 2014 with season ticket numbers up by 1,500 to 6,078.

Commercial revenue was slightly down at £3m. The sponsorship deal from Stewart's ASD Lighting has been reduced from £2m in 2013 to £1m in 2014 but in November, the club announced a substantial deal, worth six figures for the next five years, with successful Rotherham manufacturers, AESSEAL, becoming the club's first ever stadium naming rights partner.

Central distributions, the money that is handed out to Football League clubs as part of massive TV deals, increased from £1.13m with the club in League One, up to £2.81m with the club in the Championship. Although not clear in the accounts, the club will also be due a £2.3m solidarity payment from the Premier League.

With the new financial fair play rules introduced in the Football League, which limits spending on total player wages to a proportion of each club's turnover, clubs in the Championship agreed to introduce a breakeven approach that requires clubs to stay within pre-defined limits on losses and shareholder equity investment that will reduce significantly over the next few seasons.

The club said that its financial performance for the year was an "impressive result in light of current economic conditions and in comparison to other clubs in the same league."

With four games remaining in the season, the Millers are currently four points above the relegation zone but have recently been charged with fielding an ineligible player in the recent win over Brighton & Hove Albion. If found guilty, the club may have three points deducted from its points tally.

Rotherham United website

Images: Rotherham United

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