Football finance expert provides clarity on Doncaster Rovers’ latest accounts

Found yourself scratching your head at Doncaster Rovers’ latest set of accounts? You’re not the only one.

Sunday, 3rd July 2022, 6:00 am

An operating profit of £98k in the first full year of the Covid-19 pandemic is good news, but what about the overall losses made over the years of £32.5 million?

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The Free Press spoke to football finance expert Dr Dan Plumley, who explained what it all means.

Doncaster Rovers made an operating profit of £98k in the first full year of the Covid-19 pandemic. Photo: Alex Pantling/Getty.

What’s the biggest takeaway from these accounts?

“Any profit you can take away from that year, given it was behind closed doors, is a real positive for any football club.

"If you look at the collective of 92 clubs, they [Doncaster] were in the minority. You expect that really, it was against the norm.

"I get the sense looking at it, like a lot of football clubs, they are still reliant on their owners. That’s not unusual.”

What impact will relegation have on Doncaster’s finances?

“Relegation will hurt them a little bit, but the gap between League One and Two [financially] isn’t that big. You are looking at about £1 million.

"At that level it’s not the end of the world.

"It’s something like £700,000 less in TV money and you would expect a drop-off in matchday attendances.

"You also wouldn’t be signing as big commercial deals in that league as you would in the league above.

"A conservative estimate would be a £1 million off the turnover, which might mean they run into losses. That’s not unusual in football.”

But what about the overall losses of £32.5 million?

"It can be taken out of context. That’s the accumulated losses since the formation of the company, it’s a long time period.

"If you look at the year before, it’s £34 million.”

On that evidence, the club’s financial situation has improved.

"It’s not unusual for a club to be running at those kind of figures,” Dr Plumley added.

"It’s not the worst case scenario and we need to take that number with context, but they are still reliant on their owners. A lot of football clubs are like that.”

Any final thoughts?

"The fact they made a profit in that year is phenomenal.”

It is worth noting the club made 19 staff redundant to save around £350,000 over this financial year.

"The other context is important as well.”