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SBD Global/January 3, 2014/Franchises

League Championship Side Bolton Wanderers Posts $83M Loss Following Relegation

League Championship side Bolton Wanderers has "revealed the full cost of relegation from the Premier League" by revealing that the club now stands £163.8M ($276.7M) in debt following a record loss of £50.7M ($83.4M) during the financial year ending in June, according to Mark Ogden of the London TELEGRAPH. The Wanderers were "relegated after eleven consecutive seasons in the top flight" at the end of the '11-12 campaign. The figures "signpost a worrying future for the club, with the huge financial cost of relegation being borne out after just one season in the Championship." A £2.3M "outlay on compensation for former manager Owen Coyle and his staff following their dismissal" in Oct. '12, and "subsequent fees involved in securing the services of Crystal Palace manager Dougie Freedman, proved to be dwarfed by millions lost due to falls in commercial revenue." Despite still receiving a £16M parachute payment from the Premier League, Bolton's turnover from June '12 to the following year dropped from £58.5M to £28.5M, although staff costs fell from £55.3M to £37.4M. Sponsorship revenue dropped from £4.3M to £1.4M, while a 28% "decline in attendances at the Reebok Stadium resulted in gate receipts" amounting to £3.8M -- £1.9M less than in the club's relegation season (TELEGRAPH, 12/31). Also in London, Jamie Jackson reported Chelsea, ManU and Fulham have a "greater debt than Bolton, yet the north-west club is the only one of these outside the Premier League." The "eye-watering loss in a single year means Wanderers have the unwanted distinction of becoming the fifth club" to have lost more than £50M over 12 months (GUARDIAN, 12/31).

'SIGNIFICANT' LOSSES: The BBC's Nabil Hassan reported Sheffield Hallam University sports finance expert Rob Wilson described Wanderers' losses as "significant," adding that it "highlighted the harsh reality of life outside the Premier League." Wilson: "A £50 million loss over the course of the year is massive, especially when you consider their turnover is something like £28 million. At £150 million it is a worry now." Broadcast revenue "was more than halved" from £42M to £19M -- with that figure "thought to include" their £16M parachute payment (BBC, 12/31).
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