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Gloucestershire Business News

Gloucester Rugby report £2million loss

Gloucester Rugby made a loss of more than £2million for the 2017/18 financial year, the club's accounts have revealed.

One-off costs associated with infrastructure projects at the club's Kingsholm Stadium led to an increase spend while income fell due to fewer home games and the loss of concert revenue.

The total loss for the year was £2,182,745 and increase of more than a million pounds on the 2016/7 results which saw losses of £1,109,251.

Gloucester chief executive Stephen Vaughan told Punchline the decision to invest in a new pitch, stadium WiFi and a complete club re-brand were "one-off hits" that will be of long-term benefit.

The decision to cancel the summer concerts for a season while the new hybrid pitch was installed hit both revenue and costs.

Total revenue came in at £15.7million for the year, down from £16.3million in 2016/17 with the club taking a £1.1million hit in their hospitality, conference and events takings.

Ticket revenue was also down from £4million to £3.85 million, with Vaughan saying both decreases affected the bottom line.

"It was a year of some big hits in revenue as well as big investments infrastructure," Vaughan said.

"In terms of revenue, we didn't have as many games at Kingsholm as in previous years.

"Second, we didn't have the concert revenues that we had in the past and conferencing was down for the year as well.

"But perhaps most significant was the cost side and the decision we made to invest in infrastructure projects that will make us a club that every fan and stakeholder will be proud of.

"We did a number of things to improve the club, like install a new pitch and costs have increased around that with the grow lights and improved upkeep.

"We also invested in stadium WiFi and a supporter app that improves the experience for everyone at the ground. That is all free to the user, but has costs associated with it.

"And we also made a decision to invest in a rebrand of the club and that has been something that has been well-received, both by fans and other stakeholders."

Vaughan confirmed that Gloucester are at the max in terms of their salary-cap spend, including paying two outside-of-the-cap marquee players and taking up all 'international credits.'

The total wage bill for the year rose around nine per cent, increasing from £9,688,277 to £10,524,049 after what the annual report called a "record investment" in the squad and support staff.

Gloucester finished seventh in the Premiership last season and reached the final of the second-tier European Challenge Cup, losing to Cardiff in the final in Bilbao.

This term they were back in the top-tier European Champions Cup and are currently riding high in third spot in the Premiership table, following yesterday's win at Northampton Saints.

Vaughan added: "It was a year of investment, both on and off the pitch, and I am sure that all of our fans will admit that the changes have been clear to see.

"We are not the finished article, irrespective of where we finish in the League that infrastructure - both on and off the pitch - is there now for the future.

"It doesn't come for free but I am confident that we are seeing the benefits."

Kingsholm will stage two concerts this summer with Olly Murs and Nile Rodgers & CHIC set to play the venue over two nights in June.

Gloucester face Bath in their big West Country derby on Saturday, with the Kingsholm clash a complete sell out.

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