The piece on our Admin expenses costs I did yesterday provoked some comment on the messageboard I posted it on (more on that later), but I accept that it is hard to put the figures into context without more information, so I’m going to add our wage costs and turnover for the same period to the equation in this piece to try and get a better understanding of what has been happening at our club over the past eleven years.
I’m using the “wages and salaries” figure shown under the heading Staff numbers and costs in the accounts;-
y/e 31/5/01 (what is now League 2) = £3,319,876
As for turnover, the figure comes from the Consolidated profit and loss account for the period covered;-
y/e 31/5/01 = £2,754,367
% of wages to turnover = 120%
y/e 31/5/02 (what is now League 1)
wages = £6,043,479
turnover = £6,317,032
% of wages to turnover = 96%
y/e 31/5/03 (what is now League 1)
wages = £8,390,416
turnover = £7,252,029
% of wages to turnover = 116%
y/e 31/5/04 (what is now the Championship)
wages = £9,781,123
turnover = £9,550,781
% of wages to turnover = 102%
y/e 31/5/05 (what is now the Championship)
wages (from this year “social security costs” and “other pension costs” appeared in the accounts, so the figure I give from now will include them) = £10,569,727
turnover = £8,182,419
% of wages to turnover = 129%
y/e 31/5/06 (what is now the Championship) – Peter Ridsdale arrives
wages = £8,087,739
turnover = £8,008568
% of wages to turnover = 101%
N.B. There was also a payment of £201,745 to W H Sports Group for “consultancy services”
y/e 31/5/07 (what is now the Championship) – Sam Hammam leaves
wages = £9,616,754
turnover = £10,677,459
% of wages to turnover = 90%
N.B. There was also a payment of £534,490 to W H Sports Group for “consultancy services” and there was a bonus of £500,000 paid to Peter Ridsdale for his work in getting the new ground approved and reducing the Langston loan note debt.
y/e 31/5/08 (what is now the Championship) – FA Cup Final appearance
% of wages to turnover = 105%
N.B. There was a payment of £325,000 to W H Sports Group for “consultancy services”, also, the “highest paid director received £204,000 during the year”.
y/e 31/5/09 (what is now the Championship) – Club leaves Ninian Park at end of period
turnover = £10,400,966
% of wages to turnover = 130%
N.B. There was a payment of £325,000 to W H Sports Group for “consultancy services”, also, the “highest paid director received £400,000 during the year”.
y/e 31/5/10 (what is now the Championship) – Club’s first season at Cardiff City Stadium, Peter Ridsdale leaves and Malaysian investors arrive at end of period
% of wages to turnover = 99%
N.B. There was a total of £899,000 paid in Director’s remunerations - the “highest paid director received £350,000 during the year excluding compensation for loss of office” (that compensation is given as £172,000 elsewhere in the accounts).
y/e 31/5/11 (what is now the Championship)
wages = £15,762,000
turnover = £15,947,000
% of wages to turnover = 99%
So, my understanding of the Football Leagues Financial Fair Play Rules (I’ll be happy to be corrected if I’ve got this wrong) is that we would have been liable to sanctions under them for each of the seasons listed.
Although I again don’t intend to go into much analytical detail about these figures because I don’t have the expertise required to do that well enough, I’d argue that they do support my opinion that the damage was really done in the years 2000-2004. Effectively, we’ve been paying for ridiculous spending seen in the years before we got to the Championship – I’d say the extent to which we are being dragged down by the Langston debt can be seen by the figures for y/e 31/5/06 when a genuine effort to cut costs took place in the aftermath of black Friday and we still ended up with wage costs above our turnover.
I’d just like to return to the Admin expenses figures I referred to yesterday now to show them as a percentage of annual turnover;-
2001 = 32%
2002 = 24%
2003 = 26%
2004 = 55%
2005 = 64%
2006 = 39%
2007 = 53%
2008 = 32%
2009 = 57%
2010 = 52%
2011 = 38%
I’m grateful to Keith Morgan (Since 62) for providing those figures from 2006 onwards. Keith, who is just about the most respected City fan posting on messageboards when it comes to the club’s finances, provided some analysis of the figures he had come up with in the messageboard thread created to discuss the findings in my piece yesterday by saying
“ So wide fluctuations , even though admin expenses should normally not go up in line with turnover (you would usually expect things like admin and ground staff costs to remain fairly constant).
It may be that business rates on the new stadium are higher than Ninian Park , but I would expect ground maintenance costs to be lower even in a bigger stadium as it is so new.
One of the costs included in admin. would be the huge costs (about £500k)of defending the Langston Summary Judgement claim as the judge only awarded costs against Langston of less than £100k.”
Keith also stated that the very high Admin expenses figure in y/e 31/5/10 could be, partially, explained by the appointment of two “acquaintances” of Peter Ridsdale as stadium manager (we already had one!) and press officer respectively.
The last eleven years have been very exciting ones on the pitch for City fans (the best times I’ve seen supporting the club), but, for me, the club’s accounts for that period show that there has been a price to pay and with, each passing year, that price, potentially at least, gets higher and higher. We are lucky in that Vincent Tan may offer a way for us to break free of the financial strictures which have dogged the club for so long because he has the wealth to do so. However, I believe it’s fair to say that, even amongst those supporters who are prepared to accept the change of kit which has been imposed on us, there is a feeling that we are moving towards a truly decisive period in Cardiff City’s recent history and there is certainly no guarantee of a happy ending – a decade or more of being a footballing basket case in the financial sense may be coming home to roost.