Saints are bank­ing on sound fi­nan­cial fu­ture

Club chair­man de­lighted with lat­est prof­itable year

Perthshire Advertiser - - THURSDAY’S TV - Gor­don Ban­ner­man

Saints chair­man Steve Brown is happy with the fig­ures St John­stone chair­man Steve Brown is re­port­ing an­other prof­itable year for the Perth club.

Saints have en­hanced their rep­u­ta­tion as one of Scot­land’s best-run clubs by turn­ing in a near £50,000 an­nual profit on a £4.9mil­lion turnover.

It’s the fourth year in a row that Brown has kept the McDiarmid club in the black and the club has built up £2mil­lion-plus re­serves in the bank.

In a re­port which went be­fore share­hold­ers on Fri­day, Brown stressed that even af­ter nine suc­ces­sive sea­sons in the top flight, di­rec­tors refuse to take their sta­tus for granted.

“There can be lit­tle doubt that the past five years have been the most suc­cess­ful in the club’s his­tory and have far sur­passed our hopes and ex­pec­ta­tions,” said Brown.

“To have achieved six suc­ces­sive top six fin­ishes, reg­u­lar Euro­pean com­pe­ti­tion and, of course, the May 2014 Scot­tish Cup win speaks vol­umes for Tommy Wright, his staff and play­ers.

“Ev­ery­one at the club has worked hard to make us what we are to­day – a re­spected, well-run foot­ball team who have met the many chal­lenges which come with play­ing in Scot­land’s top league.

“Over­all our fi­nan­cial per­for­mance has been ex­cel­lent but we know it would be sub­stan­tially less im­pres­sive with­out the trans­fer in­come from Ste­vie May [to Sh­effield Wed­nes­day] and Michael O’Halloran [to Rangers].

“This year’s fi­nan­cial per­for­mance was fur­ther bol­stered by a sub­stan­tial amount as a re­sult of a dis­tri­bu­tion from UEFA. This in­come is never guar­an­teed and the board can­not pre­dict the re­ceipt of any such amounts.

“I took over the club in a fi­nan­cially sta­ble po­si­tion and I’m de­lighted that still re­mains the case to­day.”

Brown said the Perth board had given man­ager Wright “ev­ery sup­port” as he be­gan re­mould­ing the squad over the sum­mer.

Fi­nance was made avail­able for se­cur­ing high-cal­i­bre play­ers like Ste­fan Scougall, from Sh­effield United, and O’Halloran, brought back on loan from Ibrox.

But Brown could be tempted to sanc­tion fur­ther busi­ness in the trans­fer win­dow, with Saints cur­rently on a six-game goal­less run.

He said: “We will be as­sess­ing what fur­ther changes need to take place in Jan­uary and again, as al­ways, we will work within our means to try to pro­vide the man­ager with what he feels is re­quired to im­prove our team.

“I hope in the next five years that, de­spite the in­creased level of com­pe­ti­tion, we en­joy con­tin­ued suc­cess and I can as­sure you there is no lack of be­lief or desire on the part of my di­rec­tors and I or Tommy and the man­age­ment team to do just that.”

Brown wel­comed the emer­gence of teenage tal­ent from the academy struc­ture spear­headed by Alis­tair Steven­son, with sev­eral young­sters se­cur­ing Scot­land recog­ni­tion.

In his re­port, the Perth chair­man thanked shirt spon­sors Alan Stor­rar Cars and the Binn Group, adding: “We are for­tu­nate to have the back­ing of a solid, loyal busi­ness com­mu­nity.”

He flagged-up nearly £500,000 spent on McDiarmid Park, train­ing pitch and all-weather sur­face over the past few years.

Brown also noted that work on­go­ing by the lo­cal author­ity to cre­ate a link road to Bertha Park was hav­ing a dis­rup­tive ef­fect on match days and the club’s com­mer­cial ac­tiv­i­ties.

It is on course to be com­pleted by Septem­ber next year and he ad­mit­ted: “It will be a re­lief to us all when it is fin­ished.”

Brown high­lighted a suc­cess­ful first 12 months for the Saints in the Com­mu­nity char­i­ta­ble trust and its work with young­sters in the area, Foot­ball Mem­o­ries, Walk­ing Foot­ball and Fit Fans ini­tia­tives.

We have sur­passed our hopes and ex­pec­ta­tions

All smiles

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