Video: Elliott Stanley says the Trust is concerned about the accounts report
Nottingham Forest have announced a 90 per cent decrease in losses, with owner Fawaz Al Hasawi believed to have written off £17.7m in loans.
It has helped the club announce overall losses of just £2.2m for 2015/16, putting the Reds in line with the Football League’s Financial Fair Play regulations.
However, Forest also announced an operating loss of £23.7m for the year.
But turnover was up at the City Ground, with £18.1m rising to £18.4m, an increase of 20 per cent.
According to the annual report the club still owes Al Hasawi £55.6m although this is down from the previous £67m, and £82.8m to creditors.
The report says Forest would face: “A material uncertainty in the event that the Company’s ultimate beneficial owner becomes unwilling at any time to continue to provide funding support to the business to the general level that it previously provided.”
And the Nottingham Forest Supporters Trust says this remains a cause for concern.
The trusts’s communications team manager Elliott Stanley said: “I think the headline figure that’s really concerning is that the gap between what the club makes and what the club needs to operate is still at roughly £20m, it’s slightly down on last year.
“That is not sustainable and our headline sort of stance of having only seen them today is that that’s worrying because that sustainability does not appear to be there.”
Other figures from the NFFC accounts:
- Average match attendance down from 23,492 to 19,676
- Season tickets sold down from 15,482 to 14,079
- Tickets and membership sales down from £7,704,000 to £6,297,000
- Wages and salaries up from £26,244,000 to £26,939,000
- Sponsorship down from £633,000 to £325,000
- Advertising up from £153,000 to £252,000
- TV & radio up from £416,000 to £558,000
- Commercial down from £1,025,000 to £962,000
- Retail up from £232,000 to £2,465,000
The Reds home match against Rotherham a fortnight ago saw the lowest league attendance at the City Ground since the 2001/02 season with 15,770 fans watching their 2-0 win.
Stanley added: “The attendances boil down to apathy I think fans are starting to find other things to do, what’s worrying is that as those core fans the season ticket holders find something else to do they don’t always come back very quickly even if things change.
“This is a vibrant city there is a lot of things to do – it doesn’t take a lot for someone to say do you know what that £500 for me, that £2000 for my family, I’ll keep that in my pocket thanks this is not worth it anymore.
“It is seriously concerning that the trend appears to be accentuating downwards.”
Fans are fed up of seeing homegrown talents shipped off to keep the club afloat
The report also reads: “It should be noted that there are management initiatives that can be pursued to mitigate any potential funding shortfall including the sale of players and other business assets.”
And following a string of impressive performances from Ben Brereton, Elliot says he and other Reds fans are concerned the 17-year-old could follow a similar fate to Oliver Burke.
“It’s a concern from a business perspective unfortunately in the current position we are in it would make sense to sell Ben Brereton, we are going to get some big offers for him,” Elliott said.
“It’s hugely concerning though, fans like to see home grown talent, fans are fed up of seeing homegrown talents shipped off.”