A message to our supporters from our chairman, Roland Wycherley MBE.
First of all, I would like to reassure you that our club’s future is very safe.
But it has been a difficult few years.
It is a matter of record that Shrewsbury Town Football Club Ltd has, over the past three years to the end of June 2022, posted combined losses of £2.359m.
This was due almost entirely to the crippling financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
These losses are obviously unsustainable and have devastated the carefully accumulated reserves built up over many years.
Whilst we continue to monitor and analyse regularly, the early financial indications are a matter of concern.
Despite regular financial meetings and warnings that spending is greatly exceeding income and budgets, it continues unabated.
The current cost of living crisis is affecting all areas of personal and business life, lower league football in particular.
This malaise is exacerbated by the impasse between the Premier League and EFL meaning budgeted-for funds have not arrived.
Sky-high energy costs/recent high inflation/rising football costs including hotel/hospitality - none of these issues were known when budgets were agreed.
We are currently waiting on a payment from the Premier League that will allow our reserves to return to a sum near pre-pandemic levels.
An enormous amount of time has been spent studying the ever-changing nature of football which bears little resemblance to five or 10 years ago.
At least 12 League One clubs have overseas owners/investors.
Gates of ex-Premier League and Championship clubs are in the 20,000-30,000 bracket – with those sides having budgets we can only dream about.
We are Shrewsbury Town with average home gates of 6,000 but still, we are entering our 9th successive season – and our 11 out of the last 12 seasons - competing in League One.
That is something we are very proud of and remain dedicated to continuing by whatever means possible.
I am determined to maintain and progress our League One status.
The recent appointments of Duncan Montgomery (finance) and Peter Brophy (COO non-football activities) are part of the early restructuring strategy.
We are also delighted to announce that Jamie Edwards will be joining the new senior management team in preparing for the challenges that lie ahead.
STFC is recognised as one of the most financially secure clubs in the EFL pre-COVID and has been held up by independent analysts as the way a League One club should be run.
The club has over the years acquired considerable assets including a purpose-built stadium almost 16 years ago.
We have a superb training ground, 31 acres of freehold land and a brand new 4G foundation pitch just erected.
We also have impressive hospitality facilities, Smithy’s Bar, five-a-side pitches and a FanZone - all of which were built without debt or borrowing.
We have reverted to our sustainable model of working within our means whilst we await the expected Premier League funding and the resolution of a delay in a very substantial transaction which could ensure a return of reserves to near pre-pandemic levels.
As chairman, I want to assure you the senior management team is in place to guide us through any new challenges.
Please do not be concerned about our club’s future, it is safe and secure.
Roland Wycherley MBE