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Aberdeen chief Dave Cormack says club is facing ‘collapse of income’ due to coronavirus shutdown which will be ‘impossible to sustain’

Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack.
Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack.

Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack has revealed the club are facing £5 million in outgoings during Scottish football’s coronavirus shutdown with no expected income.

The Dons chief – in a message to staff and fans laying bare the “unsustainable” financial implications of the shutdown – explained the club’s board are attempting to put “in place measures to secure its future” including seeking new investment, but must await clarity from the likes of Government and football’s governing bodies on how long the game will be on hold, before asking investors to support their plan.

Cormack revealed the club will be “facing some tough decisions”.

His statement in full said: “It is hard to comprehend the extent of the unprecedented circumstances we are facing. In these worrying times, what happens in football needs to be put into context. However, we recognise that many, particularly those who depend on the club for their livelihoods and our fans, are looking to us for some answers.

“Our priority has, and will continue to be, the health and well-being of all our employees, including football management and players, our fans and sponsors as well as our suppliers and contractors. We are acutely aware of the anxiety they will be feeling, which is exacerbated by everyone working from home.

“The over-riding aim of the board is to provide clear and transparent leadership in this unparalleled period of uncertainty. But, as Scottish clubs await the decisions on what happens next, there are so many moving parts, largely outwith our control, that it’s impossible to provide any degree of clarity or certainty at this time.

“What we do know is that we are facing a collapse of income that is going to be almost impossible to sustain for a prolonged period.

“Three weeks ago we were in a healthy financial position; free of external debt, with £1.5 million in the bank. We had expected income of about £1m from four home league games and the Scottish Cup semi-final and, potentially, £5m in season ticket sales, seasonal hospitality and new shirt sales coming in through mid-July. Our monthly running costs are about £1.2m and it’s only prudent to assume that, realistically, there will be no football until July perhaps, at the earliest.

“During this period, we are therefore facing £5m in outgoings with no expected income. No matches are planned and we have no idea when a new season starts, never mind the current season ending, and it is highly unlikely there will be any player sales in the summer.

“This situation is clearly unsustainable. No club, whatever their size, scale or level of investment, can withstand a total lack of income over a period of anything between three to six months.

“We are doing everything we can to mitigate this over the next few months and protect our hard-working, dedicated and loyal workforce and all those who depend on the club.

“Once we have answers to these questions, the board will recommend a course of action to ensure the club’s future. This will include asking investors, including myself, to support the plan. We will be facing some tough decisions and we will need everyone to come together and play their part in efforts to make sure the club get through this period.

“We will be issuing regular updates as the situation becomes clearer and the Club has explored all its options. In the meantime, the club, along with the AFC Community Trust, remains committed to our #StillStandingFree campaign which is providing valuable, practical support to those in need among our fanbase and the wider community.”

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