The Football Manc Cave

Focusing on the football news in Greater Manchester

What other clubs can learn from Rochdale’s Chairman approach

Spotlands during the Sky Bet League 1 match between Rochdale and Scunthorpe United at Spotland, Rochdale, England on 21 March 2015. Photo by Mark Pollitt.

Rochdale’s chairman, Andrew Kilpatrick, has released a club update to the ‘Dale Family’.

The brutally honest statement highlights the effects that CV-19 has had on the club. It is one that is probably reflective of the financial struggles felt by many clubs up and down the country.  

The level of transparency shown in the update is one that fans of most clubs have been asking about for years.

Mr Kilpatrick details the following:

“It has been fantastic to continue our long-term partnerships with these sponsors and it is brilliant that they have shown their support for the Club during these difficult times, however the income raised from these deals only brings in one third of a month’s normal outgoings.”

“We have not received any extra monies from the EFL during the lockdown period, nor have we received any contributions from the Premier League.”

“I can tell you that we are currently operating with a deficit of £625k since March alone.”

“Our wage bill is around 250k per month and the furlough scheme has brought in £125k per month, so over the last five months, we have a deficit of around £625k.”

“…the stark reality of the Covid-related hole in not just the Club’s, but football in general’s, finances mean that, of necessity, we are going to have to operate on a significantly reduced Playing Budget than in previous seasons.”

“We know that the 2020/21 campaign will kick-off behind-closed-doors before moving to a reduced capacity inside the stadium from October 1st onwards.”

“We will be limited to just 2170 fans inside the Crown Oil Arena and if that limit is to be in place for the entire season, then we face a loss of revenue of £650k, as well as a loss of £450k from Executive Boxes and hospitality, resulting in a further £1m hole in our finances.”

So what can other clubs learn?

Fans Reactions

Responses from fans have been on the whole positive, many appreciating the honesty of their chairman. Whilst there will always remain a fickle few who see this as an attempt to keep expectations low.

Surely it’s best to keep expectations low than to make promises regarding investments, that the club will never be able to uphold.

There have been plenty of clubs through the years that have seen mismanagement result in administration. Now, more than ever, fans need to realise there is a distinct possibility that clubs could start to disappear if not managed correctly   

Other Clubs Reactions

Statements like this can potentially open the club up to their players being targeted by rival teams in their league.

Knowing that Rochdale might be struggling financially can start to paint targets on players back.

Dale has already seen the loss of veteran striker Ian Henderson to Salford. Henderson dropping down a league to play for the Ammies would look to suggest they were offering him a more favourable financial deal.

Only time will tell as to how effective Kilpatrick’s honest approach has been.

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