Saints post pre-tax loss of £2.8m

There have been plenty of changes at Franklin's Gardens in recent times
There have been plenty of changes at Franklin's Gardens in recent times

Saints have posted a pre-tax loss of £2.8m for the year ended May 21, 2018.

The club grew revenue but reported a big loss after a year of restructuring and continued investment at Franklin's Gardens.

The 2017/18 season was a turbulent time at Saints with the club taking the decision to make a number of changes, most notably the dismissal of long-serving director of rugby Jim Mallinder.

The arrival of new CEO Mark Darbon also saw alterations in the club offices with improvements made to the commercial set up.

On the field, Saints have brought in the likes of Dan Biggar and Taqele Naiyaravoro to work under new boss Chris Boyd, who has arrived from the Hurricanes.

In all, there were £0.5m in exceptional restructuring costs, but a 2.3 per cent growth in turnover, which is now at £17.1m.

And chairman John White is remaining hugely upbeat despite the sizeable loss Saints have endured.

“The results reflect a challenging year for the club, but we can look forward with optimism,” White said.

“We are operating in very difficult financial conditions and it is not just Northampton Saints who face this challenge, but many other Premiership Rugby clubs.

“And while we are disappointed to report a loss, the club is confident that it will return to profitability and is focused on executing a four-year plan which aims to deliver sustainable success both on and off the pitch.

“The 2017/18 accounts include a number of one-off costs in part due to a restructuring of the playing and commercial departments.

“During the last 12 months we have addressed a number of issues and are now led by a strong executive team.

"We now have the right people, a robust strategic plan, and supportive shareholders, to work through this challenging financial period and return the club to profitability.

“We continue to maximise our existing revenue streams and look for new and innovative ways of generating additional revenue. The highly successful Lionel Richie concert this summer – which saw over 17,000 people pass through the gates – is a key example of this.

“The team have renewed a number of key commercial partnerships with Carlsberg, Church’s Shoes and GRS, as well as securing new deals, for example with Redrow Homes and Mirus, while match ticket and hospitality sales are encouraging.

“The accounts show a strong balance sheet with £17m of net assets. An additional £3m loan from a key group of shareholders has contributed to consolidate and strengthen the Club’s financial position which ultimately serves to support the club’s rugby ambitions

“On the pitch we welcome the club’s new director of rugby, Chris Boyd – the outstanding candidate in our recruitment process.

"We have continued to invest in the playing squad with eight additional players being added to the first team, including British & Irish Lions, Dan Biggar and James Haskell, Australian international Taqele Naiyaravoro and World Cup winner Ben Franks.

“Young player development also continues to be an important part of the club’s rugby strategy, with six players from the squad consistently playing international rugby at Under-20s level during the Six Nations.

“As we continue to address the challenges ahead, I firmly believe that we can look forward positively to a successful and sustainable future."