BURTON Albion have recorded another excellent year of profits – despite their appearance at Wembley failing to live up to financial expectations.
The Brewers made a profit of £94,824 in 2013-14 to follow up a record £101,940 they made in the preceding 12 months.
It is a far cry from two years ago when they suffered a £300,000 loss as they fought to stay in the Football League.
Chairman Ben Robinson is delighted to again be well in the black – before depreciation is subtracted – despite the club's League Two play-off final failing to add to the coffers.
"We're delighted we made a profit and continue to make a profit," said the chairman, whose well-run club is still debt-free.
"We're a little bit disappointed that the trip to Wembley, although a great experience for everyone at the club – fans, players and staff – wasn't the money-spinner we had hoped for."
Although profit fell a little, turnover at the Pirelli Stadium rose £59,913 – or 2.3 per cent – from £2,589,224 to £2,649,137.
Gate receipts, though, fell nine per cent from £745,029 to £699,200, despite Albion again pushing for automatic promotion before finishing in the play-offs for the second season running.
The chairman partly puts it down to the competition Albion face from other clubs within an hour of the town.
Income from pre-season games also fell by £42,000 and from cup matches by £26,000 as the Brewers missed out on a big draw in the FA Cup, travelling to Bournemouth instead of Leicester in the third round.
They also faced Hereford and Fleetwood at home in rounds one and two compared to better-attended trips to Altrincham and Crewe a year earlier.
On a positive note, shop turnover went up by 49 per cent, while bar revenue rose by five per cent and executive box matchday income by 17 per cent.
The tribunal case for constructive dismissal, sexual discrimination and harassment brought by former employee Kerry Miller cost the club £17,000 in legal fees – even though they won the case back in February.
"That's the law," said Robinson.
"We knew we would have significant legal fees but we decided that was what we were going to do. We knew as a club we had done nothing wrong."
As for Wembley, the club had hoped to make a decent profit from the play-off final against Fleetwood Town.
But a gate of just 14,007 at Wembley in May – no doubt affected by Derby's appearance there two days previously – meant the outing did not prove profitable once travel, hotel bills and player bonuses were factored in.
And on the playing side, wages rose compared to the previous year.
Overall wages and costs – which also includes non-playing staff at the club – went up from £2,229,516 to £2,299,899.