In 2010/11 the club had an operating profit, after depreciation, of £105,365. For 2011/12 we have an operating loss of £124,329. With interest payable (£9,653) and depreciation (£173,573) that gives a total loss for the year of £307,555.
The board made a conscious decision to carry on last season and invest in the playing side with a view to getting a play-off place. Had we achieved the semi-final stages then it was assessed that we would have achieved at least break even. Obviously success in the play-offs would have brought even more favourable figures.
These figures are disappointing but a reflection of the current local economic climate. The board of directors have continually assessed the situation and have put into place a cost reduction programme to enable the club to achieve break even figures once again.
It is sometimes necessary to use agents to secure transfers even though we are aware that this is money which is going directly out of football.
The total agent costs in the Championship for the last reporting period were £18,704,976. Highest club costs at that level were £1,182,371 with the lowest costs at £124,898. The average cost for agents was £779,374. 34% of all transactions at this level involved an agent.
In League One the total cost was £1,779,636. The highest club cost is £332,620 with the lowest club cost at £0. The average is £80,452. Carlisle United paid £19,000. 19% of all transactions at this level involved an agent.
In League Two the total cost was £971,365. The highest club cost was £448,506 with the lowest at £0. Their average was £43,175. 12% of all transactions at this level involved an agent.
The club is still trying to find a way to make the project come to fruition. There is no intention at all to destroy the town centre but we do need to go forward as part of enabling development.
That would mean that a new stadium would need retail units in the area, but our developers continue to look at the types of shop and business which would not ever consider a move into the centre of Carlisle as an option for them anyway.
Hopefully, if we get that, then we will find that it enhances what we already have in the city, and that people will want to do their shopping here rather than travel further afield.
Meetings with the developer, the council and council officials will continue as we try to agree a way forward.
The driving force is that the club genuinely wants to take a place in the Championship. To develop the current stadium on all four sides with seating, catering, media needs, car parking and everything required to make it a modern facility, it will cost somewhere in the region of £18m. That money would have to be generated by the club.
An enabling development for a 12,000 all-seater stadium, with facilities built in-place and the room and ability to increase capacity, will effectively cost the club nothing.
In terms of costs, to date we have spent a total of £13,385 on Project Blue Yonder. We initially looked at it back in 2008 and decided that a full assessment of the ground was too expensive for us to complete.
Having been to Wembley twice we felt that we were then in a position to commission the study to help us to come to a decision on what we should do next. The cost of that review was in the region of £12,500 and was paid during the 2010/11 period.
We spent £1,845 on the project during our last financial year, which was the cost of putting together the exhibition held in the Sunset Suite as part of the Blue Yonder project announcement.