Bolton cuts losses and refinances debt

BOLTON Wanderers trimmed its financial losses in the year to the end of June.

Sales of players such as England defender Gary Cahill helped the now-relegated club cut its losses from £26m to £22.1m, accounts for parent company Burnden Leisure reveal.

Turnover in the year was down from £67.7m at £64.9m due to weaker broadcast income related to the previous year’s FA Cup run to the semi-final.

Despite the fall, in what the club said was “difficult economic conditions”, sponsorship and advertising revenue increased 11% from £3.8m to £4.3m.

During the year Burnden’s debt’s rose to £136.5m, but £125m of this is owed to owner Eddie Davies the Isle of Man-based businessman, which has been refinanced into a long-term loan.

Chairman Phil Gartside said the refinancing, through Mr Davies’ Moonshift Investments was a “huge vote of confidence and underlines the on-going support and commitment he has for our club.”

Mr Gartside told the club website:  “We continue to face a tough economic climate, but we have continued to invest across the business, and for the second year we have reduced our losses.

“Key to this set of figures is the fact Eddie Davies has converted his investment in our club from short-term to long-term debt.

“To lose our place in the Barclays Premier League was hugely disappointing for all of us – fans, staff and players, and our aim is to return at the first opportunity.”

Burnden’s joint venture with De Vere Hotels at the De Vere Whites Hotel encountered another tough year as revenues fell from £7.8m to £7.3m, amid reduced demand for conference and meeting facilities.