Sheffield Wednesday: Milan warns that Owls still face financial task

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MILAN Mandaric is determined to lead the Owls on a path of financial prudence to repair what he describes as damage caused by mismanagement on and off the field over the last decade.

He rescued the club from administration when he took over but warns in his report accompanying the annual accounts that there is a still a task to be faced.

“Now I have been at the club for almost two years, the true enormity of the task that lies before us has become apparent,” he says.

“The decline of this great club can be traced back over the past decade, both on and off the field mismanagement has seen a true football institution teeter on the brink of the financial abyss. Be under no illusion about the task that lies ahead to repair the damage that years of decline have inflicted.

“Financial prudence must be instilled throughout the football industry, and no clearer example of the need for this principle can be seen than at Hillsborough.

“The financial fair play regulations that come into force for the 2013-14 season will help this process but I will continue to make the difficult decisions that undoubtedly lie ahead and I ask [fans] for your continued support and patience as we go forward.”

Promotion bonuses and the cost of changing the management team cost a total of £1.4m, the accounts reveal.

Key financial elements of the 2011-12 season and Mandaric’s first full year in charge include an £1.5m increase in turnover, to £10,9m, and a rise in gate receipts from £4.6m to £6m.

There was a reduction in the year’s operating loss, from the 2011 figure of £6.8m to £4.9m, an amount that represents 45 per cent of turnover, compared to 73 per cent for 2011, and a £500,000 rise in operating expenses, to £14.4m, which includes the £1.4m for the promotion pay-outs and staff changes.