The FA Group has announced its results for the year ended 31 July 2015 recognising an underlying profit after tax of £3m, after making record investments into the game of £117m during the season.
2014-15 in short
• Record investments into the game of £117m
• England Women finish third in the world at the FIFA Women’s World Cup
• England’s men unbeaten in qualification to secure Euro 2016 place
• Wembley Stadium hosts the SSE Women’s FA Cup Final
Chairman of the Finance Committee, Roger Devlin, said: “The FA’s financial position is extremely strong, allowing us to increase our investments in the game to record levels which will be evidenced in the years to come, particular in grassroots facilities and coach education.
“The future outlook is positive as a result of cost reductions achieved through the restructuring and the debt refinancing which has realised a total of £30m of future annual savings. This is reflected in our improved cash position, lower running costs and the prospect of enhanced future revenues.”
It was a season that concluded with England taking a historic bronze medal in the FIFA Women’s World Cup, leading to record attendances in the two-tier FA WSL and a marked increase in participation.
Wembley also hosted the SSE Women’s FA Cup Final for the first time in its history as Chelsea lifted the prestigious trophy, while Arsenal secured a second FA Cup title in a row beating Aston Villa in the men’s Final. England’s senior men were unbeaten during their Euro 2016 campaign.
The results are comprised of a consolidation of The FA Limited, Wembley National Stadium Limited and the National Football Centre Limited.
The FA – which is a not-for-profit organisation that funds football at every level of the game – remains in a strong financial position and The FA Board is pleased with another positive set of results meaning the Group is well placed to continue to deliver significant investments into football in future years.
Investments into the game increased to £117m [2013-14: £115m] and are divided between grassroots football, the professional game and some central FA investments.
In the 2014-15 season the most significant areas of investment were contributions to County FAs, Football Foundation funding, coaching and participation, investment in the Elite Player Performance Plan and FA Cup distributions.
The Group recognised turnover in the 2014-15 season of £318m, down from £332m in 2013-14. The decrease was due to 2015 being a non-tournament year for the men’s senior team, with no associated tournament income being received, along with fewer international matches in the lead up to the summer period.
The absence of a lead FA Cup sponsor in the season was a further contributing factor, however, ahead of the 2015 Final a new three-year contract was announced with Emirates, who have become the lead partner of The FA Cup until 2018.
The 2014-15 season was the first year of BT Sport and BBC as broadcast partners for The FA Cup, contributing to an increase in the Group’s broadcasting revenues, to £124m, up from £111m in 2013-14.
Broadcasting income remains The FA’s largest revenue stream and both domestic and international broadcasting rights have been sold through to July 2018 for England fixtures and The FA Cup, which means the Group is well positioned to continue to generate the revenues necessary to continue with its significant investment back into the game at all levels.
In July 2015 the Group announced plans to carry out a significant organisational restructure, in order to deliver considerable cost savings to invest in elite England teams, facilities and grassroots coaching. As a result, restructuring and reorganisation costs of £10m have also been included in the 2014-15 results. The one-off reorganisation costs will realise ongoing savings for the Group, which will be reinvested in a combination of new facilities, coaching and further supporting England teams.
After the financial year end, the Group completed the refinancing of its borrowings, which were originally taken out to finance the construction of Wembley Stadium.
The old debt was repaid in full and new borrowings taken out with Barclays, HSBC and Santander.
The total facility of £300m is split between a £200m Revolving Credit Facility, repayable over seven years, and a £100m Term Loan, repayable over three years. At 31 July 2015 the Group had £252m [2013-14: £263m] of bank debt. Following the completion of the refinancing this is currently £222m.
Looking ahead the Group’s focus will be on delivering its new strategic objectives through to 2020. The new organisational structure is now substantially in place and over the coming months will become fully embedded.
The savings made through the refinancing and reorganisation will achieve significant annualised savings, which positions the Group well to maximise its investments into the game and achieve its strategic objectives.