David Turnbull’s Celtic transfer tips the scales for record Motherwell profits

David Turnbull’s move to Celtic contributed to record profits for his former club Motherwell. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The Lanarkshire club posted a record profit of £3,575,615 in the year ending 31 May 2021.

Motherwell noted that the figure is a significant lift on the £435,970 profit revealed in 2020, with a total increase of £3,139,645.

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Included in the figure is a £1,518,471 accounting profit attributed to a Scottish Government interest-free loan.

A general view during a Scottish Premiership match between Motherwell and Aberdeen at Fir Park on December 23, 2020, in Motherwell, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Scates/SNS Group)

Scotland midfielder Turnbull was bought by Celtic in August 2020 for a reported fee of £3million.

In a statement on Motherwell’s official website, chairman Jim McMahon explained the intricacies of the finances, the “challenges created by Covid-19” and the importance of Turnbull’s move.

He said: “The biggest factor in the profit for the financial year is generated in player registration gains, made up almost entirely of our initial fee from Celtic for David Turnbull – a total that will most probably end up at least double our previous record sale , contains several add-ons, one of which has already been achieved during 2021/22.

“It also includes the opportunity to retain future economic rights, should the player’s career continue to blossom.

“Over the last five financial years, player registration gains generated by the club have been £6.2m.

“While player registration gains are not incorporated within the club’s operating revenue, they form an integral part of the financial results and strategy, and influence budget decisions such as setting the staff budget.

“The two-pronged approach of generating income through player recruitment and development, together with academy promotion, will continue to form the spine of our model for the future.

“At the end of the financial year at 31 May 2021, despite all the challenges created by the pandemic, the balance sheet shows we are in a strong financial position with significant net assets and over £4m of bank funds.”

McMahon revealed the benefits of such strong numbers, saying: “This backdrop enabled us to reward and acknowledge the loyalty and support of our fans throughout the pandemic.

“We were able to renew season tickets to existing season ticket holders free of charge.

“We froze gate prices at pre-pandemic levels, including juveniles at £3.

“And in conjunction with our fans, we provided free gate entry to those otherwise unable to afford to attend games due to unemployment and/or low income.

“As a result, our season ticket numbers sit at nearly 5,600, our highest ever total, and an improvement of 50 per cent on the Covid-19 impacted 2020/21 total.

“The club’s financial position is healthy in the short to medium term. But we are acutely aware of the potential threats we face.

“We hope that this is the final spin of the Covid-19 roulette wheel, but it would be imprudent to plan solely on that basis.

“We continue to examine new ways of generating additional revenue streams and look at ways to streamline costs and make the club more efficient.

“This needs to be done whilst remaining competitive in what is probably the most challenging top league in Scotland for 20 years.

“The club only works properly and with a chance of success when all the component parts – fans, owners, playing and coaching staff, management team and board – work in unison. They have, and I give my thanks to everyone during 2020/21 .”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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