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Fulham make a profit

last updated Tuesday 22nd March 2005, 11:59 AM
Fulham Chairman and Owner Mohamed Al Fayed
Fulham Chairman and Owner
Mohamed Al Fayed

Fulham have made their first profit since Mohamed Al Fayed bought the club in 1997.

The club are expected to show a £508,259 pre-tax profit on a turnover of £39.1million when, later this week, they reveal their financial results for the year ending June 30, 2004.

The main reason they sneaked into the black was because of the sale of striker Louis Saha to Manchester United for £12.8m in January 2004.

It helped turn around a loss of £20.8m in the 2002-03 season.

However, Fulham are not expected to make another profit this season because they are languishing fifth from bottom of the Premiership, hence a reduction in merit payments, and television revenue is likely to be about 20 per cent lower.

Fulham have some way to go to be self-financing. The operating loss last season was £8.8m, although it is a vast improvement on the 2002-3 season, when the club reported a £33.6m pre-tax loss and an operating deficit of £32.7m.

Ultimately, the club still benefit from the largesse of Harrods owner Fayed, whose investment in the club stands at £140m.

Although he is the 81st richest person in Britain with a personal fortune estimated at £470m, according to the recent Sunday Times rich list, Fayed long ago signalled the end of profligate spending at the club.

Yet the wage bill, which stands at £32m, 75 per cent of turnover, still needs to fall.

In a statement accompanying the account, Chairman Mohamed Al Fayed said: 'Our third season in the F.A Premier League began with much press speculation regarding Chris Coleman's first full season in charge, and we were tipped as one of the favourites for relegation. However, we started in the top half of the table and that is where we ended it finishing in 9th place and thus securing the Club's highest ever league position in history . We also progressed to an FA Cup quarter final being narrowly defeated by Manchester United at Old Trafford.

'Overall the Club posted a profit of £0.5m for the season 2003/2004, the first profit since I acquired the Club in 1997. Whilst this is encouraging there is still much to do. This was our second and final season ground sharing at Loftus Road and the location was not ideal for our supporters, which was reflected in disappointing attendances. The decision was made in late 2003 to return to Craven Cottage for the 2004/05 season and work began in January 2004 . A significant investment of over £8million was needed to complete the refurbishment.

'Financial stability has always been my aim and it is encouraging that the financial results have shown a significant improvement. We have reduced costs but are also steadily increasing revenues helped by the increased capacity and enhanced facilities at Craven Cottage and which I will continue to develop.

'I kept my promise to the fans and the supporters and made it possible for us to return to the Cottage at a huge cost. I will continue to invest to make the stadium one to be proud of; however, it is now that the commitment and solid support of the fans is even more vital to help the Club continue this success, by demonstrating their loyalty and filling the stadium to capacity at all games throughout the season.'

Source Evening Standard by Wayne Veysey
Since 1998
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