Sunderland debt falls by £23m despite £33m loss after tax in last financial year
Cash-strapped Sunderland's net debt fell by £23million despite recording a loss after tax of £33million during the last financial year, the club's latest annual accounts have revealed.
The Black Cats, who pulled off yet another Premier League great escape at the end of last season, made a small operating profit of £1.5million and reduced their debt burden from £133.2million to £110.4million during the year to July 31, 2016.
However, the figures do not include player amortisation and trading costs of £38.3million, which were incurred during the last summer transfer window.
They also pre-date the arrivals of manager David Moyes and chief executive Martin Bain, who have been charged with the task of revitalising the club on and off the pitch, and demonstrate the club's continuing reliance on the backing of owner Ellis Short.
Short said: "We acknowledge that our financial performance must improve significantly.
"It is not something that can be fixed overnight, however we have taken the first steps towards making the positive changes necessary by restructuring the club at senior level, including the appointment of CEO Martin Bain last summer.
"Implementing these changes was done with the aim of giving us the best platform from which to proactively address the issues we face, both on and off the field, and that will be our focus moving forward."
The club's turnover rose by £7million to £108million during the period, although wages accounted for 77.6 per cent of the total.
Sunderland currently sit at the foot of the Premier League and could be relegated this weekend, which would have a major impact on the club's income.