Home Park Sunset

20/21 Financial Statements Submitted

The club has today (Monday, 25 October) filed its financial statements for the year ended 30 June 2021 at Companies House.

The report outlines the club’s financial position as of June 30, 2021, and covers the 20/21 season – our first back in Sky Bet League One, played almost entirely without supporters inside the stadium.

In line with our club Value of Transparency, Argyle Head of Finance, David Ray, writes to members of the Green Army to provide context, and explain in short what it means about the overall financial health of Argyle.

You can also view the submitted report, in full, by clicking here.

Please note that the submission may take up to a couple of days to be processed and appear on the Companies House website.

In addition to David’s letter (found below), Argyle Ambassador Gordon Sparks will host a finance-specific Virtual Fans’ Forum on Wednesday, 3 November, 7pm, on pafc.co.uk and our official YouTube channel.

David will deliver a more detailed presentation on the club’s accounts during the Forum, while we encourage supporters to send in their finance-related questions for a panel also containing Argyle Chief Executive Officer Andrew Parkinson, Chairman Simon Hallett, and Director Paul Berne.

Please email your Fans’ Forum questions to
media@pafc.co.uk, with the subject line ‘Fans’ Forum’.

The year under review was one of the most unpredictable periods in the club’s modern history, with almost a whole season of Sky Bet League One football played behind closed doors – depriving the club of one of our most important sources of revenue - match day income.

Nevertheless, we have been able to make progress towards our well-known objective of becoming a sustainable Championship club. In a season shrouded in uncertainty, we consolidated our status back in Sky Bet League One, and continued to make strides in developing first-team players in our Academy.

The headline figure you will note is that, through generous backing from you, our supporters, alongside sponsors, stakeholders, and a cautious and diligent approach from the Board of Directors and senior management, the club is reporting a profit of £376,000 during the year under review.

While reporting a profit for this year is a considerable achievement, it may paint a somewhat misleading picture. When considering the two pandemic-affected financial years together (19/20 and 20/21), the club has still made an overall loss – and the profit reported in 20/21 can be attributed to several unique contributions which have helped protect the financial health of our club.

Firstly, our deep and sincere thanks must go to our supporters. 97% of you turned down your option to claim a refund on 19/20 season tickets, before purchasing nearly 5,000 season-tickets for 20/21 -despite knowing that the chances of setting foot inside Home Park for anything other than a vaccine were slim. Similarly, our commercial sponsors continued to support the club, despite the disruption they each faced in their own businesses. The generosity of our supporters and partners is not taken for granted.

Like the vast majority of organisations, the club made use of the Government’s furlough scheme. This, coupled with a difficult, but necessary, restructure within the organisation, enabled us to become more efficient and control expenditure on wages and salaries.

As alluded to above, the club was also able to make use of our refurbished Mayflower Grandstand conferencing facilities as a mass vaccination centre in partnership with the NHS. We are grateful to the NHS for the financial support that this opportunity gave us, and we are proud to have been able to support our community in return.

While these contributions were vital, the club received significant one-off support payments to help us deal with the effects of the pandemic. Those one-off payments helped turn losses into profits in the accounting year under review.

The club made a successful claim against its business interruption insurance policy, which secured the maximum claimable amount of around £2.5m. Without this claim, the success of which is rare among EFL member clubs, the club would have been facing seven-figure losses for the year under review. In addition, like all EFL member clubs, Argyle received a grant from the Premier League which was based on lost gate receipts and in our case, totalled nearly £1.2m. We are grateful to the Premier League clubs for this support.

As has been previously reported, in July 2020, our Chairman, Simon Hallett, injected £3.5m into the club to provide security against a worst-case outcome. This was initially delivered in the form of a loan, and very shortly afterwards converted into share equity. Simon has said that this will be his final cash injection into the club.

The result of Simon’s injection, as you will notice in the full accounts, is that the club has cash reserves in excess of those held in previous years. However, it is not there to be spent frivolously, and supporters can expect us to continue to operate with sustainability at the forefront of our actions – with responsible, long-term growth the aim.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues, and the future is unusually unclear, so these reserves provide us some vital security. It is important that we protect them and invest appropriately in assets that will serve our fans in the years ahead.

Given the well-documented challenges the football industry and our community have faced over the year under review, we are encouraged by the financial performance evidenced in these accounts. We are in a strong financial position; we own our stadium and have virtually no debt aside from an interest-free loan that will be repaid through deductions in the basic award payments we receive annually from the EFL.

I encourage you to join us for the Fans’ Forum in November, where I look forward to discussing our financial position with you in greater detail.

On behalf of everyone at the club, thank you once again for your continued support.

David

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