Imps post £2m loss despite matchday turnover boost

Lincoln City FC has reported losses of £2m in its accounts for the year to 30 June 2022 – despite enjoying a sizeable increase in turnover driven by the return of fans to the LNER Stadium post-pandemic.

The Sky Bet League One club saw turnover increase from £5.6m to £6.9m as fans wholeheartedly launched themselves back into the live matchday experience, but at the same time the Imps’ operating losses leapt from £1.4m to £2m due to an increase in “administrative expenses” and staff costs.

While fan engagement and attendance “exceeded all expectations”, the club endured a disappointing season on the pitch hampered in part by its inability to pay the same wages as “bigger and well-backed clubs” in the division.

The club’s wage bill still increased despite this, but chairman Clive Nates said “the demise of the salary cap [for players’ wages]” had had a significant impact on the side’s ability to compete.

He said: “Although 21/22 was the first full season in League One with fans in attendance, turnover was £300k above the 19/20 season where the comparative figures are boosted by £1m receipts from manager compensation. Overall turnover in 21/22 was at its peak over the past four years.

“Revenue continues to grow, due in most part to the growing and supportive relationships with partners. When comparing the 18/19 (League Two promotion season), and the 21/22 (League One), this equates to a 36.5% uplift in commercial revenue. Through LCFC’s strong support base, the fan engagement and attendance exceeded all expectations. To put into perspective, 21/22’s £2.290m revenue was only £43k below the 18/19 League Two promotion-winning season.”

Nates added: “The costs rose significantly due to the increased playing budget, while also improving the structure for future growth in backroom and operational staff. There was also an increase in stadium running costs on a day-to-day basis.”

As we went to press, Lincoln City FC sat in 16th place in the League One table.

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