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Dave Cormack warns Scottish football needs urgent plan of action as Aberdeen figures lay bare £2.92 million operating loss

Dons chairman Dave Cormack.
Dons chairman Dave Cormack.

Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack has warned Scottish football is facing a tsunami of financial turmoil unless the Scottish Government helps develop a plan for the national game.

Cormack has warned clubs will be forced to restructure if they are to survive unless a realistic pathway which leads to fans returning to matches on a regular basis is put in place.

Only clubs in tier 1 or below can allow supporters into their grounds, but the numbers allowed to attend has been capped at 300.

The Dons chairman’s call for action comes after the club announced an operating loss of £2.92 million for the year ended June 30, 2020.

With turnover expected to drop from £14.335 million to £10 million, Aberdeen are projecting an operating loss of £5 million next year, with the wages to turnover ratio increasing from 68% to 90%.

Cormack fears Scottish football will be altered drastically unless the Scottish Government can give clubs the opportunity to welcome fans back to grounds on a regular basis.

He said: ‘This is real for Scottish football and our societies. This is so important right now that this tsunami for Scottish football could really result in the mass reconstruction of clubs.

“Our normal turnover is about £16 million. About £2.2 million of that is season ticket holders. All the other revenue streams that come into play.

“We’re in a fortunate position where commercially we do really well as a club.

“But that also now is hammering us because of the lack of hospitality and commercial income.

“The message is this: with no plan there will be significant, significant cuts in Scottish clubs starting at the end of the first quarter of 2021.

“I certainly wouldn’t be budgeting for 8,000 Aberdeen fans to buy a season ticket again if there is no plan. There comes a point where I can’t keep asking friends of mine and investors to throw money in to cover losses.”

The Aberdeen chairman has assured Dons fans the club will survive the financial crisis which has gripped the game due to Covid-19 and he believes his club has already shown it can safely accommodate supporters following a successful trial event in September.

Supporters were permitted back to Pittodrie for a test event in September.

When asked if the Scottish Government had taken on board his fears for the game, Cormack said: “Have we had a response from the Government? No, it’s disappointing.

“There has been dialogue with various people at the JRG level, but it’s three or four levels removed from decision making.

“When you try to put your case and it’s someone three or four levels removed from the First Minister, who knows where that goes? I don’t know.

“We’re not looking for handouts. We’re looking for a plan. We’re looking to get together with the Scottish Government and get a plan in place.

“My appeal to the authorities and government is for us to sit down and have a conversation about what makes sense.

“As far as I’m aware, those conversations haven’t yet taken place.”

Shareholders will get the chance to question the board at the club’s annual meeting on December 14.

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