Portsmouth tipped for 'multi-million pound' losses this season as full impact of coronavirus felt

Pompey can expect ‘multi-million pound’ losses this season as coronavirus’ full impact on football emerges.

Friday, 2nd April 2021, 6:00 am
Trust chairman Simon Colebrook estimates Pompey will report 'multi-million pound' losses next year. Picture: Warren Little/Getty Images

That’s the verdict of Pompey Supporters’ Trust chairman Simon Colebrook, who has analysed the Blues’ recent financial returns.

That reflects three-and-a-half months spent under the first lockdown, a period which included the furloughing of staff and no matches held from March 10.

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Regardless, £2.23m received through transfer fees enabled Pompey to register a profit.

Yet the 2020-21 season is anticipated to yield Blues losses of at least £3m.

It’s an estimate Colebrook, a chartered accountant, agrees on, while he has also published a Trust review of Pompey’s financial statements.

Colebrook told The News: ‘I can’t see any possibility of any League One club getting through the current season without multi-million pound losses.

‘All clubs have had their incomes frozen significantly, with the likes of Pompey and Sunderland, those with high attendances, probably having the biggest falls in income.

‘So when the club is saying they estimate £700,000 has been lost income per month, I think that is a reasonable estimate.

‘Football clubs only get income for nine months of the year, so nine x 700 is £6.3m, which is more or less what ticket sales are in a normal season. You take that off the top line and it ripples all the way down the profit/loss accounts.

‘Although some of it is mitigated by the Premier League bail-out and government support, a multi-million pound loss this year would not surprise me in the slightest.

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‘Clearly ticket income will have been absolutely decimated, hospitality income will be pretty much zero, while we don’t have a highly marketable player that’s in strong demand from Championship clubs.

‘The £4m that’s left from Tornante’s investment fund will, by the end of this season, be all but gone. And it will be all but gone having supported the club through covid.

‘In the pre-covid world, we knew there was a need for significant improvements to be made to Fratton Park with some urgency and that £10m was, certainly in part, to pay for those improvements to happen.

‘Then along comes covid, which swallows up the rest of the money.’

Despite concerns on the horizon, Colebrook remains optimistic over Pompey’s future.

He added: ‘I don’t have concerns about the future.

‘After Danny and Nicky were appointed, there was a statement by the club including the commitment from Michael Eisner that, despite local rumours, the Eisners are definitely still in it for the long term and committed to the club.

‘For me, Tornante are committed to the long term.’

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