Belfast Telegraph

Sunderland losses slashed

Sunderland have recorded an overall loss of £7.8million as they prepare for the implementation of UEFA's financial fair play rules.

The loss for the year ended July 31, 2011 represented a 72% reduction (£20.1million) on the figure of £27.9million 12 months earlier, the club has confirmed.

However, an increase in operating expenses, largely the result of the addition of 14 new players to the first-team squad, contributed to a net operating loss of £31.2million.

Chief executive Margaret Byrne said: "We have to make sure that we are financially sound and prepare the club for the implementation of Financial Fair Play rules. Our financial results show that we are heading in the right direction on both fronts.

"We have seen significant strengthening of our playing squad with the acquisition of 14 players during the period, culminating in a 10th place finish in the Barclays Premier League, which was always our aim.

"We have also seen a growth in our commercial revenue, from areas such as concerts and sponsorship, which is something that is key to us achieving our aims."

Turnover for the period increased by 21% to £79.4million, a rise of £14million. However, operating expenses, which include player wages, rose to £110.7million, including player amortisation costs - which reflect the book value of the playing staff - of £29.1million.

Of the 14 players arriving at the Stadium of Light during the reporting period, 10 of them, including Asamoah Gyan, Connor Wickham and John O'Shea, were permanent signings and four on loan.

Finance director Angela Lowes said: "Our financial results reflect a period of development for the business as a whole, both on and off the field. It is pleasing to see growth in some areas and the figures certainly give us a platform to build on for the future."

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