BAIRNS LOST £1M IN SPL

Falkirk made a loss of almost £1m in the club’s final season in the SPL.

Club accounts, obtained from Companies House and due to be discussed at a shareholders’ meeting later this month, show the deficit and that supporters and shareholders made a critical input to the running of the club.

The papers also cite a warning that there is a “going concern” and that the finances “indicate the existence of a material uncertainty which may cast significant doubt about the group’s ability to continue as a going concern.”

Chairman Martin Ritchie describes “a thoroughly miserable year” ending May 2010 in his year-end report.

The period in question saw the club move through three managers - John Hughes, Eddie May and Steven Pressley - as well as covering the European adventure in Vaduz and the collapse of broadcaster Setanta.

During the time, turnover fell by 28 per cent and an operating loss of £917,133 was reported. That turnover was £3.83m, down from £5.36m the previous year and also less than the 2008 turnover figure of £4.55m.

The wage bill, which was trimmed even further this summer following relegation, was slashed between 2009 and 2010 figures - falling to £2,630,149 from £3,038,165 in 2009. The club’s workforce was also reduced from 125 to 111 in the same period.

Fans digging deep in the club’s share issue helped raise £333,202 - a figure described as “critical in the running of the club” by the chairman.

And in his end of year report, Martin Ritchie indicates that despite the losses there is cause for optimism in the future in light of Henry McLeish’s reports and a “strong flow of talented young players” coming through the club Academy.

One of the talented Academy players, Scott Arfield, netted the Bairns a windfall last summer with a club-record transfer to Huddersfield Town which will be included in the next set of figures.

Heraldsport approached Mr Ritchie about the accounts this week, but he postponed discussion until after the meeting - which will no longer be a formal AGM. He said: “We’d like to discuss the figures with shareholders first at our meeting on March 28 before passing comment.”

Since the accounting period ended, the Bairns have been relegated to the Scottish Football League, a fact included in the accounts stating the club “must adapt to the risks that this brings”.

Accounts lost in post P37