Buffaloes publish annual accounts: red figures but hopeful of a positive restart

Sam Baro and Ivan De Witte. — © BELGIUM

AA Gent made a cumulative loss of 19.2 million euros in the past financial year. No ‘financial report’ with which you as a student can look forward to the deliberation with peace of mind. Yet the Buffaloes are convinced that the turnaround has begun, partly thanks to the financial injection from savior Sam Baro.

The financial strength of number 7 has taken a big hit in recent years, first due to the corona crisis and then the sky-high inflation caused by the energy crisis. This can also be seen in the annual accounts that were recently published. In addition, the Ghent club management decided to keep the current group of players together as much as possible. This obviously results in a significant drop in transfer income.

As a result, trade receivables showed a decrease of more than five and a half million euros and due to ‘sporting corrections’ the value of the intangible fixed assets fell by around six million euros. Worrying? Not in itself, because with top prospects like Gift Orban and Hugo Cuypers, the Buffaloes can in principle still score big on the international transfer market. Not to mention youngster Malick Fofana who is also generating more and more interest with his strong performances.

In addition, the Buffaloes obviously could not escape some macro-economic factors that have plagued many Belgian companies in the past year. Inflation also played a major role in the Ghent club coffers. Energy costs increased by more than one million euros, but taxes and social security contributions also increased from 1.8 million to more than 4 million euros.

On the other hand, the club management also has positive news to report: turnover from ticketing, sponsorship and publicity increased by almost 1.7 million euros.

In short, the financial year ended with a negative result of more than 19 million euros and as a result the equity has completely melted away and now also shows a negative amount of more than 1.7 million euros. On the other hand, the club management also has positive news to report: turnover from ticketing, sponsorship and publicity increased by almost 1.7 million euros thanks to, among other things, an excellent European campaign. So you can bet that the Ghent treasurer will also enthusiastically encourage his team this season when the Buffaloes appear on the European stage.

Savings round

But the best news undoubtedly came from the boardroom: AA Gent looked for and found a new investor in the person of Sam Baro, who committed to a capital injection of no less than 21 million euros. As agreed, the Meetjesland entrepreneur has already neatly deposited eleven million euros into the club treasury. In principle, he will transfer the remaining ten million to the club’s account by the end of this season.

Baro next to Michel Louwagie. — © Isosport

Naturally, AA Gent is also aware that in the future they will have to continue to cut corners. In recent months, the new owner also carried out a thorough financial audit, which also included a major efficiency exercise, i.e. savings round, on the programme. For example, the sensitive limitation of the number of A-core players is not strange to this.

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