By Tom Kural
Crewe Alex have posted losses of £614,131 for the 13 months between June 2019 to July 2020 in the clubs first accounts since the Covid-19 pandemic rocked English football.
The Alex have now made a loss in 10 of the last 11 seasons and have lost £4.9m since 2014.
The club’s turnover during the year increased from £3.1m to £4.1m, although expenditure also rose by £500k and totalled £4.8m. Spend on wages remained exactly the same at £3.2m which equates to about £57k p/w in total on players and staff.
This means that about 66% of all money into the club was paid back out in wages.
The club now has a debt pile of £4.4m and the money owed is as below:
- Director loans (unsecured & interest free) £1.246m – up by £94,000
- Bank loans & other borrowings (secured against club premises) £1,009,481
- Trade creditors £522,946 – up from £246,040
- Accruals and deferred income £1,145,511 – up from £420,525
- Taxation & Social Security costs £317,851 – up from £87,029
To put those losses into context: you will not find many clubs in the football league who are turning a profit – just ask Bury or Macclesfield. Late payment of wages is almost commonplace, and it is a miracle more teams have not folded.
In comparison to many, Crewe are in a good place.
This year also saw Crewe Alexandra Group Limited published their first results as the club’s new parent company, replacing Commercial Enterprises (Crewe) Limited following the buyout of Norman Hassall. The group now holds the ground, car park, and football club, which are all in separate companies and are wholly owned subsidiaries.
And despite the losses, the club are owed £454,285 by trade debtors, had £782,951 showing as cash in the bank and recently received transfer fees for Harry Pickering and Perry Ng totalling over £1m.
It is also worth noting that the club stand to make up to £600,000 extra cash in basic awards and solidarity payments this season above what they would have received if they were in League Two.
Meanwhile, on the pitch, there is a feeling the Alex are riding the crest of a wave under an excellent management team and new board of directors.
Changes have been small, but noticeable: TV’s replaced in the main stand, new measures to reduce queuing at half time, the newly set up Red Lion lottery and the possibility of a scoreboard being in place in time for next season.
There is no doubt it has been an incredible two years as the club continue the upward trajectory that saw them clinch promotion in 2020. The challenge now will be to consolidate as a League One club following the likely departure of key personnel in the summer.
Manager Dave Artell hinted at the fans forum that the close season could see a larger than normal turnover of players: Kirk has attracted suitors, Wintle is expected to leave and a raft of first team players are also out of contract (Beckles, Powell, Lancashire, Johnson, Porter, Ainley and Sass-Davies).
Yet this time feels different to our last campaign in League One. The path from academy to first team has been re-established and there is a clear philosophy to how we play. Recruitment has been excellent and Championship teams are noticing our players once again. There may still be some rocky times ahead, but as a Crewe Alex fan, would we have it any other way?
I, like many others, will be counting down the days until we can return to Gresty Road in August, knowing just how good it will feel when we do.