How Football League progress can affect Pompey finances

League One football will produce a marginal increase in Fratton Park attendances '“ but a leap in the wage bill.

Tuesday, 28th March 2017, 4:07 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:53 pm
Pompey can expect an increase in their wage bill next season if promotion is achieved

That will be the outcome should Pompey capitalise on their advantageous position to secure promotion.

The Deloitte Annual Review of Football Finance 2016 emphasises the differing financial landscape outside League Two.

For the 2015-16 campaign, League Two attendances increased four per cent to an average of 4,904.

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That is compared to a Fratton Park average of 16,391 over the same period.

However, League One crowds are not significantly better, weighing in at an average of 7,166 last season.

The division is also set to lose current leaders Sheffield United next term, with a home average of 21,079. In addition, second-placed Bolton average 14,264.

Attendances in the Championship actually fell last season, by two per cent, to an average of 17,852.

Regardless, away crowds at Fratton Park will not necessarily increase significantly if promotion is achieved.

Elsewhere, the Deloitte figures show average League Two wages rose from £2.4m to £2.5m in 2014-15.

However, the division’s wage/cost ratio remained below 75 per cent for the 14th consecutive season.

In comparison, League One fell from £5.1m to £4.5m, representing a 12 per cent fall.

Pompey’s present wage bill is approaching £2.5m – and would require increasing significantly to even reach the League One average.

As for the Championship, their average wage bill was £23m, with those three clubs relegated from the Premier League the previous season – Cardiff, Norwich and Fulham – the highest spenders.

With an increase in parachute payments and Football League payments, that should help clubs meet such financial demands.

Incidentally, two of the Championship’s eight highest wage payers finished in the top third, with four taking places in the bottom third, demonstrating there is not necessarily a correlation.

Meanwhile, average pre-tax losses per club across League One and League Two was £1.7m and £0.5m respectively in 2014-15.

In the Championship, eight clubs had pre-tax losses of £10m or more, accounting for 82 per cent of division’s overall losses.

On average, Championship losses averaged £8m – although five clubs did generate operating profit/pre-tax profit.