Lincoln City Football Club’s annual accounts show positive results despite the financial strain of COVID-19, mainly thanks to Danny Cowley’s compensation package.
The club recorded a turnover of £6.55 million for the 2019/20 season, an increase of £1.16 million from the previous year, despite the impact of coronavirus.
It is estimated that the £1 million compensation received in Danny and Nicky Cowley’s departure to Huddersfield was a primary factor in the club’s improved financial performance, with numerous mentions of the duo in the report.
Season ticket numbers also increased from 6,200 to 6,400 from 2018/19 to 2019/20, but average attendances dropped from 9,006 and 8,986.
This is due to the early curtailing of the football season as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in March.
The club projects that due to the high-profile fixtures that were still left to play for the Imps, attendances would’ve increased to an average of 9,150 if the season was allowed to finish.
The Imps received an unspecified amount of government grants relating to COVID-19 after the season was cancelled, but the halt of play still resulted in a £495,000 loss for the football club.
The financial impact of the virus and a lack of ticket revenue on match days meant that Lincoln recorded a net loss of £0.89 million.
However, that is a marked improvement on the 2018/19 accounts, where the club’s net loss was £2.24 million, meaning the Imps saw a 60% decrease in their losses.
Within the report was also a section dedicated to the club’s “investment in people”, which looked at how the club recruited players, as well as the wage bill of the squad.
Danny Cowley’s exit from Sincil Bank brought about a change of identity to the club, with his successor Michael Appleton attempting to balance the books and lowering the average age of the squad.
Experienced fan favourites such as Michael Bostwick and Neal Eardley were released and replaced by younger, cheaper options like Tayo Edun and Anthony Scully.
Despite this, the Imps’ League Two promotion-winning season saw many players rewarded with wage increases, the primary factor in a rise in staff costs at the club.
All of these factors resulted in a £5.15 million investment in the first-team squad and staff, up 5% from 2018/19.
Lincoln City supporters were also awarded the Family Excellence Award for the second season running, after scoring a record high of 80%, as well as ranking 3rd out of all 72 EFL clubs for match day satisfaction at the LNER Stadium.
To read the full financial report, click here.