Thomas reveals scale of Cobblers' revenue losses due to pandemic

Kelvin Thomas.Kelvin Thomas.
Kelvin Thomas.
Bailout from Premier League will only partially cover club's income shortfall

Cobblers chairman Kelvin Thomas has revealed the club stand to lose 'about £3million' in revenue due to the impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Supporters have only been allowed into two home games since March - the visits of Doncaster Rovers and Lincoln City before Christmas - and a return to full grounds any time soon looks highly unlikely due to the latest lockdown.

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Northampton are unable to generate any income whilst games continue to be played behind closed doors, placing significant strain on the club's financial resources despite the recently announced bailout package from the Premier League.

Speaking to the It's All Cobblers To Me podcast earlier this week, Thomas explained: "To give supporters an idea of where we are at, all clubs had to show the EFL the potential losses, and since March 2020 our ticket income loss is around £1.75 million.

"What we expect from the bailout is just over £500,000 so we are talking of about a 30 per cent recovery of our lost ticket income. Then you add all the other loss revenue we have suffered, we think that is about £1.3 million, so we are talking of lost revenues of about £3 million.

"We are only recovering a fraction of that so we must be clear, the bailout, while appreciated, isn’t anywhere near replacing all what we have lost."

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Thomas also stressed the club want to show their appreciation to season ticket holders for their loyalty and patience but that will be difficult while the situations remains volatile.

He added: "It is a challenging situation and to come up with a simple plan on how to thank season ticket holders is not easy. I said a month ago that once we knew all of the information we could start to make decisions and that remains the case but we are not at that point yet.

"In the media it looks like the bail out from the Premier League has been completed but that isn’t the case. We have had an interim payment from the Premier League which we really appreciate but we are awaiting formal ratification of the second payment.

"The overriding feedback we have had from supporters is that we trust what you are doing, focus on looking after the club and we will be right behind you.

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"On top of that, we are trying to do what we can in terms of supporting Keith to retain League One status. Things have changed very dramatically in just a couple of weeks, we went from 2,000 fans attending to a total lockdown in the space of a few weeks and no one could have predicted that.

"As owners, we recognise we will be covering some pretty big losses and it remains a challenging time financially. The position remains ever changing and we can look to put information out in the coming months as we receive more information and as things become clearer. Supporters have been very patient and we appreciate that."

CEO James Whiting added: "When we were not able to complete the final four games last season and we announced refund details, only between 5 per cent and 8 per cent of season ticket holders wanted refunds.

"We are mindful that we need to show our appreciation but we still don't know how many games season ticket holders will get to see this season and how much we will receive from other sources so there are still a lot of unknowns and ideally we need clarity to base decisions on.

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"We are mindful of the issue and we are having conversations internally, it is important thing to get right and the clarity we are looking for will help that."

You can listen to the full podcast by clicking on the link above.

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