Castleford Tigers accounts reveal financial progress

Castleford Tigers have lodged their abbreviated accounts with Companies House for the year ended 30 November 2020.

And the accounts show that Castleford RLFC Limited, the company that operates the club, improved its liquidity significantly during the year, despite the impact of the Covid pandemic on its income.

As a small company, the Tigers lodge abbreviated accounts without income statements, making it difficult to accurately judge the impact of Covid on the club’s trading performance.

But the accounts appear to show that the club took out a medium-term loan of around £700,000 as part of the government’s £16 million loan to the RFL in 2020. That figure is implied by the rise in the figure for loans falling due for repayment between one- and five-years’ time, which rose from £46,783 in 2019 to £765,028 in 2020.

That loan contributed to the fact that the club had £1,505,577 cash in the bank on 30 November last year, as opposed to a figure of £337,560 the previous year. The club’s liquidity is also likely to have been helped by the government furlough scheme, although the accounts give no details of monies that the scheme enabled the club to save.

The company’s profit and loss reserve on 30 November 2020 was a negative figure of £1,632,272, implying an annual gross profit of £475,428 when compared to the previous year’s figure of £2,107,700.

At the balance sheet date, the total amount owed to directors for their loans to the company was £120,000, with those loans repayable on demand and interest paid at 2% above the base rate (currently 0.1%). The figure is unchanged from 2019.

Last week the Tigers confirmed that they have formally appeared to abandon plans to move into a new stadium in Glasshoughton, near to Junction 32 of the M62 motorway, instead opting to improve their longstanding home at Wheldon Road.

That will be helped by Wakefield Council’s announcement that it will give up to £2 million to the Tigers as part of its Rugby League Resilience Fund to invest in their current stadium and improve community use. The Axiom scheme at Junction 32 would then refocused away from retail and leisure uses, with employment and commercial development being proposed in its place but with the potential for a Section 106 planning agreement to also help fund improvements to the Mend-a-Hose Jungle.

Key elements of those improvements would be the demolition of the existing main stand and the building of a modern replacement with hospitality and conference facilities, as well as the modernisation of the existing Princess Street Stand, the Railway End and the Wheldon Road End.

“There is already an urgent need to invest significant sums to keep Wheldon Road functioning as a Super League ground,” said Tigers Managing Director Mark Grattan.

“Being realistic about the timeframes to deliver the retail and leisure development with the new stadium following the COVID-19 pandemic, from the club’s perspective we believe that the time is right to explore the option of staying at our historic home. We believe that, although major new investment is needed to improve the existing stadium, this would now be in the best long-term interests of Castleford Tigers.”

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