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Volume 7 No. 82

Finance

U.S. businessman Tom Crotty ​made an investment of $1M in Scottish Premiership side Aberdeen "through the acquisition of shares in the club," according to Adele Merson of the Aberdeen EVENING EXPRESS. Crotty, who is "heavily involved" in U.S. charity Grassroots Soccer, was introduced to the club by Dir Dave Cormack. The new investment "follows the club's earlier announcement" it has secured more than 60% of the funding required for "the first phase of its plans for a new stadium, training academy and community sports hub" at Kingsford. These pledges, coupled with Crotty's investment, bring "the total for phase one" to more than £6M ($7.9M) and mean that if planning "is granted in the new year, construction could be under way almost immediately" (EVENING EXPRESS, 11/20). In Glasgow, Darren Cooney reported Crotty said that his interest "was piqued due to the club's determination to relocate from Pittodrie and set up a training ground that would also be used by the community." He said, "I'm really happy to be part of what is a very exciting time for the club both on and off the pitch. My experience of soccer is that it has a profoundly positive impact across whole communities. This is why my investment is directed towards enhancing the community facilities on offer as part of the club's modern and progressive development" (Scotland DAILY RECORD, 11/20). The BBC reported Crotty, who attended a game at Pittodrie with Cormack, "made his fortune working in the communications and software industries, leading investments in dozens of early-stage companies." He sits on the boards of numerous private and not-for-profit organizations "as well as on the board of trustees" at Notre Dame. Aberdeen Chair Stewart Milne said, "It's great to see Dave's efforts in attracting U.S. investment to the club come to fruition" (BBC, 11/20).

Australian Football League side Essendon "bounced back from the dark days of the supplements scandal" to record a A$5M ($3.8M) profit in '17, according to Peter Ryan of THE AGE. The Bombers generated A$65.2M ($49.2M) in revenue for the year as the club welcomed most of its "best players back from the season-long ban" they served in '16 when the Court of Arbitration for Sport "suspended them for their part in the ill-fated" supplements scandal in '12. The club set a new membership record of 67,768 and "received increased backing from commercial sponsors" as more than 1 million people attended Essendon games in '17. Essendon CEO Xavier Campbell said that the Bombers' plan "was on track." He said, "This has been a year of progress from both a football and financial perspective" (THE AGE, 11/20). In Melbourne, Michael Warner reported the Bombers lost A$9.8M in '16. The last of the club’s compensation settlements with past and present players "caught up in the long-running drugs saga" were finalized in September. Campbell said, "We will increase investment in our men’s and women’s football programs, community programs, Next Generation academy zones and our people to ensure we make further progress toward our long term strategic objectives." The club is also finalizing plans for an extension of its Tullamarine HQ. Campbell said, "As a club, we have never been more unified or as strong to rise to the challenge which awaits" (THE AGE, 11/20). 

Scottish Premiership side Heart of Midlothian announced a profit of £2.3M ($3M) and a rising turnover of £1.3M ($1.7M) -- even though it spent £6.9M ($9.1M) on redeveloping Tynecastle Park. The club's annual accounts also revealed a "mystery benefactor bankrolled" it "to the tune of" £2.5M ($3.3M) (Scotland DAILY RECORD, 11/20).

Scottish Premiership side Hibernian recorded a loss of £277,000 last season, its annual accounts revealed. The side won the Scottish Championship and reached the Scottish Cup semifinals but "could not break even" in the 12 months to June 30. However, the club announced its highest turnover figures since '13 at £7.7M, while its cash balances were up £1M to £3.5M at the end of the year "after a boost in season ticket sales" (DAILY RECORD, 11/20).

Racing Victoria recorded a total profit for the financial year of A$9.2M ($6.9M) -- a "hefty drop" on the A$28M recorded a year earlier. However, RV's management said that the headline figure "masks" what it described as a "trend of positive results" in recent years and that '16-17 showed "healthy growth in revenue, wagering, prize money and participation." The "hefty downturn" in profit was reportedly due to "increased investment" in prize money, media rights aggregation and club funding (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 11/20).

Online revenues at bookmaker William Hill are "more than offsetting a decline in wagers being made in its high street shops" as the betting industry prepares for an "anticipated crackdown" on fixed-odds betting terminals. The company's online revenues climbed 6% in the 17 weeks to Oct. 21, following a 13% increase in the amount wagered, pushing its total group revenues up 4%. CEO Philip Bowcock said that William Hill "was on track to meet market expectations for the year" (London TELEGRAPH, 11/20).