Lincoln City FC

Robbie Gotts’ loan spell at Lincoln City has come to an end, as parent club Leeds have recalled the young midfielder and sent him to Salford.

Gotts, 21, made a total of 12 appearances in all competitions for the Imps, scoring one goal in the 4-0 victory over Accrington Stanley in the Papa John’s Trophy.

He also won two man of the match awards while at the LNER Stadium, in a 1-0 league win away at Swindon Town, and a 2-0 FA Cup defeat to Plymouth Argyle.

The versatile central midfield player, who also played as a right back for the Imps, has now moved to League Two and joined Salford City until the end of the season.

Robbie Gotts. | Photo: Lincoln City FC

Lincoln City thanked Robbie for his contributions during his time at the LNER Stadium, saying: “We wish him well in his career.”

The loss of Gotts has freed up space in the Lincoln squad as Michael Appleton looks to strengthen his team ahead of a promotion run this season.

The Imps are currently sat four points clear of second placed Hull City at the top of the League One table, having played 21 of the scheduled 46 league games.

Fans will hope this is the only loan player to go back to his parent club from Lincoln in the January transfer window, as rumours surrounding star man Brennan Johnson’s future remain rife.

Chris Hughton, manager of Johnson’s parent club Nottingham Forest, told local media that he is better off at Lincoln due to his regular playing time, which will ease some Imps fans’ fears.

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.

The club more than held their own financially despite the pandemic. | Photo: Lincoln City Football Club

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 LNER Stadium on Sincil Bank. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

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.

Danny Cowley, the legendary former Imps manager. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

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.

Lincoln City’s League One fixture against Shrewsbury Town on Saturday, January 16 has been suspended after an outbreak of COVID-19.

The Imps’ opponents informed the EFL that the club would be unable to take part in the fixture due to recent positive coronavirus tests.

The club has said that the requirement for players and staff to self-isolate in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 has resulted in Shrewsbury not having enough players to field a team.

An investigation will be launched into the circumstances surrounding the postponement, as per EFL regulations.

A rearranged date for the fixture is yet to be confirmed, but will be in due course.

Despite the weekend game being postponed, Lincoln’s Papa John’s Trophy third round tie with Accrington Stanley is still scheduled to go ahead as planned on Tuesday at the LNER Stadium.

It comes after Lincoln’s first team manager Michael Appleton and goalkeeping coach Steve Croudson tested positive for the virus on New Year’s Day, missing the Imps’ game at AFC Wimbledon.

More cases were then reported before Lincoln’s game with Peterborough United on Saturday, January 9, but that fixture managed to go ahead.

The likes of Harry Anderson, Tom Hopper, Conor McGrandles and Theo Archibald were absent from the squad for the game, suggesting that they were all self-isolating after the recent cases.

This postponement happens on the same day that the EFL has launched its new testing programme for all clubs in the Championship, League One and Two.

Players and staff at all 72 EFL clubs will be tested for coronavirus twice a week, starting from Monday, January 11.

The Imps currently sit four points clear at the top of the League One table after their 1-1 draw with Peterborough at the LNER Stadium.

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