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United predict £210,000 loss
OXFORD United are expecting to lose just over £210,000 in their latest set of accounts, according to forecasts announced to supporters at a forum last night
An unexpectedly high number of loan deals due to injuries to first-team players played a big role in the figure, along with moving training grounds and an increase in service charges
If the figures prove correct at the end of the club’s tax year, it marks a swing back into the red after posting a £45,000 profit for the year 2010/11.
But despite the headline figure, United owner Ian Lenagan told the audience there was no cause for alarm.
He said: “It looks as though 2011/12 is going to have been a difficult year but that’s what happens in a sports business.
“It’s come about because of various things – we’ve spent £140,000 more than expected on the playing budget because of injuries.
“You have to bring in players on loan if you have any ambition but it has an impact financially.”
He added: “We’re interested in the long term.
“We tried for a year or so to buy our way out of the Conference very quickly and it didn’t work – it was financially quite traumatic.
“We will never do that again, we have a nice steady ambition as far as the club is concerned.
”The projected losses could still be wiped out if the U’s reach the play-offs, netting a windfall with an extra home game, television money and the possibility of a Wembley final.
Lenagan also revealed he had invested £440,000 in November and another £350,000 last month to assist with cashflow due to factors like a lack of home games during the early winter – half of which should be repaid by June.
About 150 fans attended, which was lower than in previous years, but Thomas took it as a positive.
He said: “I think it’s testament to the fact we are going in the right direction as a club.
“I can assure you if the majority of people weren’t happy with what was happening this place would be packed.”