Walsall today announced a trading profit of £23,000 with chairman Jeff Bonser describing it as a “significant achievement” in the current financial climate.
The Saddlers posted the after-tax profit for the 12 months ending May 31, an increase of £13,000 on the previous year. Turnover fell for a second year running, down from £5m to £4.76m.
When discussing the club’s financial performance, the chairman made reference to Deloitte’s Annual Review of Football Finance report, which in the summer found the average net loss for a League One club to be around £2.4m. He added: “It is also worthy of note our profit was achieved despite a fall in Central Television Revenues of 26 per cent as a direct result of the reduction in the Football League’s new television deal with Sky.
“Consequently the club had to adjust and reduce its ‘Player Budget’ by a similar amount and this was done in a controlled and constructive manner.”
Bonser himself did not loan the club a penny during the period but received £57,178 in loan repayments, leaving him with an overall balance owing of £1.67m.
In addition to paying tribute to former community director Mick Kearns and commercial director Roy Whalley, who both retired from full-time duties in the summer, the chairman also hailed the work of manager Dean Smith and his coaching staff.
The Saddlers finished ninth in League One last term, their highest placing in nine years, despite the reduction in playing budget and the chairman made reference to the “football philosphy” adopted by the club last year.
In addition to building a committed team, this included the chief aim of bringing through players from the academy ranks.
Bonser added: “The underlying ambition behind the philosophy was, and always has been, to not only achieve a return to the Championship but to sustain Championship football thereafter.
“The philosophy implemented last season has borne some early fruit and it is great the supporters have embraced this wholeheartedly. It is still early days but the initial signs are promising, long may it continue.”
The annual meeting is at the Banks’s Stadium on Monday, November 18.