Clubs in poverty street

June 15, 1931
The effect of the industrial depression on football is gradually being revealed in the balance sheets of the leading clubs.

In only two instances so far disclosed were the gate receipts in advance of the previous season, the happy clubs being Sunderland and Sheffield United.

The Arsenal are understood to have had the best year they have ever enjoyed. It is said they will probably show a profit of round about £30,000, but their report has not yet been issued, nor have those of the Cup Finalists – West Bromwich Albion and Birmingham, each of whom should have a pleasing statement to make with the £5,156 they received as their share of the “gate” at Wembley.

The best return so far is that of Aston Villa, who, although their takings at the receipt of custom dropped from £64,669 to £56,339, show an excess of income over expenditure of £10,131 as against £2,810 the previous year.

Newcastle United, on the other hand, have simultaneously disclosed the greatest loss.

They have announced an adverse balance of £9,878, which, with £6,251 in 1929-30 and £9,961 in 1928-29, makes a total deficit of £26,090 in the past three seasons! Their gate receipts were down to the extent of nearly £20,000.

With the exception of Everton’s loss of £12,560 twelve months ago, Newcastle’s unfavourable balance is the highest for the past two seasons.

By their grand march of triumph through the Second Division Everton transformed their adverse balance into a handsome profit of £9,755, though, like Aston Villa, they experienced a fall in gate receipts which, including the proceeds of away matches (£7,021) amounted to £50,950, as against £31,456 the previous year.

Their profit ranks second only to that of the Villa in the returns which have so far been issued, the principal gains and losses being: –

Aston Villa £10,131
Everton £9,775
Middlesbrough £4,145
Liverpool £2,723
Preston North End £1,720
Sheffield United £1,268
Sunderland £490
Newcastle United £9,878
Bolton Wanderers £5,156
Oldham Athletic £3,094
Blackburn Rovers £2,978
Burnley £2,035
Swindon Town £1,984
Accrington Stanley £1,430
Crewe Alexandra £1,367
Port Vale £826
Stoke City £793

(Source: Athletic News: June 15, 1931)

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