Today Heart of Midlothian PLC published its Annual Report for the year ended 30th June 2020.
The unprecedented challenges facing businesses across all sectors during 2020, in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic taking hold, unsurprisingly, impacted our 2019/20 financial results and will, unquestionably, continue to impact financial performance for the foreseeable future. That said, the club took swift and decisive action at the onset of the virus to manage our cost base, taking full advantage of all government aid schemes available. This, coupled with the unwavering support of our staff, players, fans, sponsors and, of course, our benefactors, enabled us to cope well during one of our most difficult periods in recent times.
COVID-19 brought the 2019/20 football season to an abrupt halt early in March, 2020. With no match-day income from that point and the subsequent lock-down of all other business activities, the year’s accounts effectively cover 8 months of trading and 12 months of costs. Our Turnover is down against last year by approximately £2.5million, coming in at just over £12 million. With a further quarter of trading still to come, we were well on course to achieve the £15 million turnover we had budgeted. Despite losing nearly 4 months of income, we still managed to return a small profit, thanks in large part to donations received.
Financial year 2019/20 saw us cope not just with the direct impact of the pandemic, but also with the consequences of the “end the season” decisions taken by the SPFL Board and its Members, which endorsed the relegation of clubs, despite the season not having been completed. This placed further financial burdens on all clubs so affected, including ourselves. Faced with enforced expulsion from the Premiership and the consequential on-going financial implications, the Board sought, unsuccessfully, to challenge the decisions taken, on the grounds of unfair and prejudicial treatment. The Board raised this action, knowing it would come at a cost and knowing that the chance of success was slim. However, in the interests of openness, fairness and integrity, simply to accept this decision, was never an option. The legal costs have been carried in full in the 2019/20 accounts. Further financial implications of relegation will require to be borne both in this current year and beyond.
The Board would like to express its thanks to all of our employees, players, supporters, shareholders and other associates, including sponsors, commercial and community partners, and benefactors for their continued support. Notwithstanding the uncertainty and individual hardships facing us all, they have once again backed the Club unreservedly. We cannot thank them enough. The certainty of this level of support is what makes it possible for us to continue to invest confidently in the future.
We have come through a very difficult period by standing together and by continuing to do so, we will emerge stronger than ever.
On behalf of the Board
Dr A Budge
Key points to note:
· Turnover in excess of £12m
· Net profit of £473k
· Strong balance sheet with net assets of approximately £18m
· Over £340k gain on sale of players
· Exceptional legal fees of £646k
To read the full 2020 Annual Report and Financial Statements please click here.
Due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions on public gatherings, the 114th Annual General Meeting of Heart of Midlothian plc will be a closed meeting to be held on Thursday 17th December at 11am. Full details are included here.