DONS STAY IN THE RED
By Phil Gordon
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The Dons announced on Wednesday that their losses had risen from £860,000 to £3. 3million, despite an increase in turnover from £6.38 million in the 1998-99 season to £7.13 million for the financial year ending June 30th this year.
The annual accounts show that the running costs at Pittodrie had climbed from £1.48 million to £8.58 million and even though the club's loyal fanbase helped to offset some of this rise with an increase in match receipts, chairman Stewart Milne admitted that the results where not what the club where looking for.
"We are very disappointed with the results which demonstrate the difficulties facing Scottish football at this time," said Milne.
He explained that the large increase in running costs was due to the re-structuring of the playing squad and win bonuses paid out to players for reaching both the Scottish Cup Final and CIS Cup Final plus the operating costs of playing extra home cup ties.
However, the cash deficit could have a silver lining for some of Aberdeen's younger players. Milne has pledged that promising Pittodrie kids - some of whom have already broken through this term such as Chris Clark, Darren Mackie, Philip McGuire and Kevin McNaughton - will get their chance to play for the Dons rather than spending money on more foreign imports.
"We have some exciting young talent which bodes well for years to come," said Milne.
"The board remains ambitious for success at Aberdeen Football Club. It is no secret that we do not have unlimited resources at our disposal and, in that respect, we are no different from the majority of other clubs in this country.
"Consequently, one of our objectives is to produce half of the first team squad through our youth policy that we have at the club and by bringing in experienced players who are better than those already on the books.
"It is imperative that anyone who is brought in is right for Aberdeen FC and that is why Ebbe Skovdahl will not rush into signing a player without being completely convinced that he will improve the overall quality."
The financial figures revealed that gate income rose from £2.08 million to £2.71 million reflecting the cup success, and that average league attendances rose slightly from 12,695 to 12,736, which "reflects the incredible loyalty shown to the team by supporters."
Commercial income was "fairly static" at £2.71 million and "acceptable given the team's poor performances."
The club will hold its annual general meeting on Thursday night in Pittodrie's Richard Donald Suite at 7pm.