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Gloucestershire Business News

Collapse of transfer deal leads to losses of £785,000 at Forest Green Rovers

Forest Green Rovers made a loss of £785,167 last year due to the collapse of the sale of one of their star players, the club's latest financial statements show.

Bolton Wanderers' failure to follow through on the agreed transfer of striker Christian Doidge for a fee believed to be around £1million led to the losses being recorded, the club say.

Revenues rose to in excess of £5million for the first time at £5,052,878, with almost half of that amount coming through commercial revenue.

Commercial accounted for £2,499,988 of revenue, a figure that was reduced from the £2,562,869 in the previous year.

Media and Football Activity revenue was up by more than £200,000, from £1,343,844 in 2018 to £1,553,578 in 2019. While matchday revenue was down slightly to £999,312.

The wage bill grew to £3,311,504 from £3,080,685 as the average number of employees rose from 110 to 129.

The number of administration and support staff decreased by 10 to 60 while the number of football management and playing staff grew from 40 to 69.

Unlike in previous years, where equity purchases have been made to help keep the finances on track, there was no change to the number of allotted, called up and fully-paid shares.

Unlike many football clubs at League Two level, Rovers file full accounts to companies house so their full finances can be seen by supporters.

In notes accompanying the statements, the club explained that Dale Vince's increasingly-raised profile and that of the club's green ethos had led to revenues increasing.

The notes said: "Together with the enhanced global media coverage and a continued focus on the commercial operation of the club, turnover has increased slightly.

"The collapse of the sale of Christian Doidge to Bolton Wanderers during the financial year contributed to the loss.

"Ecotricity Group Limited remains fully committed to the club and its work to promote our shared sustainability agenda."

Since the end of the financial year, Christian Doidge did earn a move away from Forest Green and to a top division club.

The Welsh striker joined Scottish Premiership club Hibernian for a fee reported to be in excess of £250,000 in June - after the end of the financial year in April.

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