CLARETS co-chairman John Banaszkiewicz described the Championship’s £1billion debt as “scary”, but added that it served to highlight the value of Burnley’s promotion even more.
A club-by-club guide to Championship finances from 2012/13 figures, printed in The Guardian, has revealed the mounting costs of trying to be competitive, with combined debts of the 24 clubs reaching a 10-figure sum.
Burnley, who posted a pre-tax loss of £7.6m for and net debt of £12.2m for that year, were mid-table in the rankings with a turnover of £15.3million and wage bill of £15.4m – marking them 13th highest in the league in both categories just 12 months before a Premier League place was secured.
Bolton Wanderers topped the spending scale with a turnover of £35m and wage bill of £37.4m both highest in the division, accounting for a staggering pre-tax loss of £50.6m and net debt of £163.8m.
Leicester City, who went up as champions last season, spent significantly more than Burnley on wages (£26.1m), with a turnover of £19.6m.
Ambitious Brighton, who this year missed out on promotion after losing their play-off semi-final with Derby County, had a turnover of £23.4m, with a 90 per cent proportion of that.
In comparison to their peers, Banaszkiewicz believes Burnley’s promotion has taken on even greater significance given their lack of financial clout.
Under Sean Dyche, Burnley have spent just £450,000 up front on player trading, with Ashley Barnes bought from Brighton in January.
“It makes it an even bigger achievement,” said Banaszkiewicz.
“The figures are a year old but it’s quite a good summary and puts things into perspective.
“A one billion pound debt is scary. For us it shows the structure of the club. If we’ve not got lots of money we’re not going to spend it.
“But it also highlights the value of promotion.”
Burnley’s losses have ultimately been offset by the sales of Jay Rodriguez, to Southampton for £7m and Charlie Austin to QPR for £4m in subsequent summers.
After making a concerted attempt to fall in line with the Financial Fair Play ruling they were on course to break even this financial year, even before celebrating promotion.
FFP rules state that Championship clubs can make a maximum loss of £3m for the current 2013-14 campaign. That figure rises to £8m if a club’s owner is willing to convert the additional £5m into shares in the club.
Anything above £3m or £8m will result in a transfer embargo which would come into force on January 1, 2015. Championship clubs that fail to comply with FFP but are promoted to the Premier League this season will be required to pay a ‘Fair Play Tax’ penalty, which scales from one per cent on the first £100,000 overspent to 100 per cent on anything above £10m.