Bristol City announce club record £14.4m losses

Ashton Gate

Bristol City have announced a club record loss of £14.4m for the year ending May 2012.

It compares to a loss of £11.45m for the previous financial year.

Turnover at Ashton Gate dropped slightly from £11.9m to £11.8m, but wages rose from £15.9m to £18.6m.

Chairman Keith Dawe described the figures as "disappointing" but said they reflected a "difficult year" for the club, who are currently two points off the bottom of the Championship.

The losses will leave City struggling to meet with Financial Fair Play regulations, with sanctions for non-compliance expected to come in to force at the start of the 2014-15 season.

The aim of the new regulations is to prevent clubs from over-spending on wages and transfer fees and accruing debts.

By the 2015-16 season, losses at a Championship club can be no more than £5m, with a maximum of £3m funded by shareholders and clubs.

Clubs not meeting the detailed criteria face a transfer embargo.

"The loss illustrates how much work is required to reduce costs and grow our income in order to comply with the new FFP regulations, brought in by the Football League," Dawe added.

"Manager Derek McInnes has a firm focus on results on the pitch but is equally aware of the financial demands of FFP on the club, and this rounded understanding and determination can only help us in our ultimate aims."

The deficit recorded in 2011 was put down to rising player wages and severe delays in the development of their new 30,000 stadium at Ashton Vale.

City sacked and subsequently paid off manager Keith Millen, his assistant Steve Wigley and coaches Alan Walsh and Stuart Naylor in October 2011.

They also had to pay compensation to St Johnstone for the appointment of McInnes and assistant Tony Docherty.

McInnes opted to release 11 players in the summer, including David James and Kalifa Cisse, two of the club's highest earners. Midfielder Lee Johnson and defender Nicky Hunt both had their contracts terminated and paid up in January.

Meanwhile, the recent accounts show the stadium project cost City £148,696, compared to £0.6m in 2011 and £1.9m in 2010.