Bluebirds in the red despite promotion

by George Willoughby

Promotion in the 2017/18 campaign saw a return to the Premier League for the Bluebirds. There was joy for fans, players, staff but not for the financial records.

Despite promotion, Cardiff lost a staggering £34m. A culmination of bonuses, transfers and additional issued shareholder loans are the main cost increases in the report.

As well, it is believed that owner Vincent Tan is still owed roughly £70m by Cardiff (BBC Sport). Some slightly concerning figures for sure, especially given that the losses have occurred during the season in which Neil Warnock pioneered a promotion run to restore Cardiff’s top-flight status.

Cardiff fans might not be too disgruntled with the recent news, mainly because a large part of the cost increase is through player bonuses, which clearly translated into performances on the pitch.

So, without immediately dramatising over the undesirable figures, a significant point to also make is that by the end of the current season, the financial picture could look very different.

The Premier League’s new TV deal has been a talking point for years, and its impact on clubs has been unprecedented. The income that it provides has allowed for teams to advance net profit, and also provided access to a greater pool of players for transfers.

So, from Cardiff’s perspective, as to how concerned you are regarding the financial reports is entirely judgemental. As a club, they are not on their own when it comes to making losses after a financial year, the difference being that their revenue is significantly inferior.

This is why retaining Premier League status is of the utmost importance. Not just because of what it means to the fans, but also due to the money raised from staying in the league.

A great example of a club that has benefitted from this is Bournemouth. The Cherries are a much smaller club, yet they have established themselves year-on-year through regular TV payments and the overall increase in exposure that comes with playing against the best.

Cardiff’s financial picture after a few years of consolidation in the Premier League would improve drastically. It would combat their rising wage bill, help start reducing the money owed to owner Vincent Tan, and also maybe start making a profit establishing a sustainable business model for seasons to come.

Of course, that is much easier said than done, as Cardiff are currently battling it out to avoid relegation with the odds heavily stacked against them.

Losing money in a single season is not uncommon, but the Bluebirds need to keep an eye on the figures so that they don’t escalate into anything more severe.

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