LEWES Community Football Club has announced its financial figures for the year.
In a statement released yesterday, a club spokesman said: “Lewes Football Club is making public its audited full year accounts for last season and will also be publishing the results of a detailed financial review of the club’s operations.
“Both moves are very uncommon in the usually clandestine world of football club finance and especially so in non-league football.
“The audited accounts for the club’s last tax year (ending May 31st 2011) have just been signed off and, in line with the club’s policy of openness and transparency, they are being published on the club’s website – www.Lewesfc.com
There are two sets of accounts – one is for Lewes (2000) FC Ltd which is the football club and the other is for Lewes Community Football Club Ltd, the Community Benefit Society that owns 100 per cent of Lewes (2000) FC Ltd and which has nearly 700 shareholders.”
Commenting for the club, Clive Burgess, Club Treasurer, said: “Not only are football clubs’ accounts rarely audited, but they are then squirreled away in Companies House.
“We feel it’s very important that a democratically run, member-owned club like ours give its owners and fans the fullest possible financial information. They will see that the club has made progress, but also that it has some way to go to hit its goal of being fully self-funding through recurring revenues.”
The statement went on: “And the club has also announced that it has embarked on a comprehensive financial review.
“This involves looking at all the club’s incomes and expenditures to analyse trends in areas such as commercial revenues, gate receipts and other traditional revenue streams as well as looking at all costs in relation to turnover.”
Recently-elected LCFC Board member Stuart Fuller said: “When the club converted to community ownership, we envisaged a three-year transition from the starting point of reliance on private donations to a fully self-financing club. We are halfway through that journey and we now have enough financial data to gauge what levels of revenue the club can make from traditional channels such as commercial, gate, bar and so on.
“The shareholding scheme has produced a new revenue stream and we are also looking at other areas where new monies can come in.
“This financial review will enable us to hone our plans going forwards: The trap that too many football clubs fall into is to set their ‘ambition’ first and their ‘budget’ second.
“This club is very ambitious, but after its near-death experience less than two years ago, hopefully every fan will agree that ambition must always be based on sound budgeting.”
Once the financial review is completed in early January, the club will publish the results to all its shareholders and fans