Caley Thistle chairman Ross Morrison says Dundee’s recent promotion to the Premiership has left him wondering what could have been.
Inverness earlier this week released their financial results for the year ended May 2020, which included the 2019-20 campaign that was cut short due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Caley Jags had been second in the Championship at the time of the shutdown, and firmly on course for a shot at the play-offs before SPFL clubs voted to call an early halt to the season after 27 games.
Inverness’ accounts showed a drop in overall turnover of 11.4% from the previous year, while their league gate receipts were down by £309,000 from 2018-19.
Caley Jags’ total league attendance also dropped to 43,106 from a figure of 74,893 from the previous campaign, which was played to a full and also included an extra two play-off games.
Although Morrison did not feel the absence of the play-off games themselves was seismic, he feels missing out on the potential rewards of promotion remains difficult to take.
Morrison said: “I think the way the money is distributed in the play-offs, it isn’t huge.
“We were nicely second. Look what’s happened with Dundee and Kilmarnock – one is on an up, and one is on a down, and we were riding really high there.
“We could have done that. Financially, I’m not sure how much it meant in crowds building up to it but I’m not sure there’s a massive amount of money in the play-offs themselves.
“If you’ve got a team that’s second and pushing, you get bigger crowds.
“The big money then is if we could have got into the Premiership at the time, and that was taken away from us.
“It sticks in the craw I’ve got to say, but what can you do? Nothing.”
Morrison feels big progress has been made in tightening up the club’s spending whilst retaining a competitive side on the park, with Billy Dodds’ men top of the Championship at present.
He added: “It was tightening up while keeping the quality all the time, keeping the boys on the park.
“Ideally you’re looking at putting more money into the playing squad if you can, but you can’t do that if you’re still running at a loss.
“You’ve got to cut your cloth as best you can, and when you make some money then you can spend some money.
“It’s got to be sustainable money, not just money that’s there and then it’s gone. It can’t happen that way.”
Morrison feels maximising the use of Caledonian Stadium for events such as next summer’s Andrea Bocelli concert will go a long towards the club enjoying a self-sustaining future.
He added: “What we’ve got here is a massive asset on a fantastic site, so you’ve got to make the most of that.
“Billy Dodds and John Robertson deal with football, Scot Gardiner deals with a bit more football than I do. I don’t really deal with football, I try to make money for the club on other things.
“I still see that as the foundation. This is a brilliant hub and a brilliant city, so what we’ve got to do is maximise that – for money, and for the city as well.
“The money that we will take in for the Andrea Bocelli concert that weekend next summer, and hotels will be absolutely full. The pubs are going to make loads of money, and if we get into the Premiership again that’s massive, so we’ve got to try and do everything we can.
“We have sweated the asset more, we have rented out car parking when lockdown was there – although that has gone over because the contractors were late.
“We rented out some of the building, we announced Bocelli, we’re going to announce another concert on Saturday July 2, 2022.
“It’s all little bits we divide and conquer.”