Cardiff City cut losses from £34m to £755,000 after Premier League relegation

By Dafydd PritchardBBC Sport Wales
Cardiff City Stadium hosts the south Wales derby in 2020
Cardiff City spent one season in the Premier League before dropping back down to the Championship in May 2019

Cardiff City cut their losses from £34m to £755,000 in the year they were relegated from the Premier League.

Accounts ending 31 May 2019 show the Bluebirds' turnover rose from £35m to £125m, primarily driven by the "significant increase in TV and league revenue" in the top flight.

Cardiff lasted only one season in the Premier League and, despite spending £38m on their squad, increased matchday and commercial revenues also helped them significantly reduce the £34m loss they recorded in 2018.

The 2019 figures take into account a provision of £19.5m regarding the club's dispute with Nantes about the Emiliano Sala transfer - but Cardiff believe they will not need to pay this sum.

The Welsh club are still fighting their case against payment of the £15m transfer fee agreed with Nantes, a year on from the deaths of the Argentine striker and pilot David Ibbotson.

"The 2018-19 season will always be remembered for the tragic death of the young and talented player Emiliano Sala," Cardiff chairman Mehmet Dalman said in a statement accompanying the accounts.

"His death has shaken the football world and has posed many questions around the safety aspects of the football industry.

"Our thoughts are with Emiliano's family and the unimaginable pain they must be suffering."

Cardiff announced in January they had set up a trust in Sala's name to support his family and fund footballing projects in his memory.

Their case with Nantes is set to for the Court of Arbitration for Sport, with Cardiff earlier submitting a file to French prosecutors they claim contained "sufficient evidence of wrongdoing" on Nantes' behalf regarding the transfer.

Based on legal advice, Cardiff insist that they remain confident they will not need to pay the fee, but have put £19.5m to one side as a contingency.

Cardiff's latest accounts also show the club's player wage bill was £42.5m for the 2018-19 season, an increase of £11.3m from the previous campaign.

Cardiff's debt now stands at £114m, of which roughly £40m is owed to owner Vincent Tan.

That means around £32m was repaid to the Malaysian businessman, who was shown to be owed £72m in 2018's accounts.

The reduction in debt due to Tan has been replaced by other loans of £39.5m from other unnamed parties, who are not shareholders or directors.

These loans are secured over future guaranteed income, likely to be some of the aforementioned Premier League broadcast fees earned but not yet paid.

Tan's remaining debt is split into two elements - £14.8m interest bearing at 7% a year and carrying the right to convert into shares, with the majority of the balance non-interest bearing and having no conversion rights.

A club statement said: "Whilst long term funding is not guaranteed, the ultimate owner has indicated that providing the business develops as planned, he will continue to support the group in the foreseeable future and provide additional finance in order that it can settle its liabilities as they fall due.

"In conclusion, in the opinion of the directors, there is sufficient funding available to meet the group's trading requirements for the foreseeable future."

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