Warriors report £600k loss for title-winning year

Wigan reported an operating loss of more than £600,000 last year '“ £420,000 more than in 2015.

Wednesday, 20th September 2017, 7:33 am
Updated Wednesday, 27th September 2017, 12:02 pm
Ian Lenagan took control of Wigan nearly 10 years ago

Accounts filed with Companies House this month revealed they lost £605,286 in their Grand Final-winning campaign, a rise on the £184,422 lost the previous year.

A drop in sponsorship income, from £1.2m to £833,000, and a rise in wage costs were among factors blamed for the increased loss.

But the board of directors, headed by chairman Ian Lenagan, predict improved fortunes for this current year.

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The report said a “revamped commercial approach” had seen the Warriors link-up with several national and international brands.

“The new partnership deals, together with the club’s performance in the World Club Challenge and Challenge Cup during 2017, will lead to a significant improvement in the operation results of the company for the year ended November 30,” said a statement in the report.

Deals with nPower and Shearings, and a renewal shirt sponsorship with 188 Bet, have recently been announced on the back of their bold decision to stage a home Super League game in Australia next February.

The accounts showed Wigan’s turnover dropped around £100,000 to £7,041,033 last year.

During that time, wages (including social security costs) went up by around £200,000 to £4,666,337 – a figure which includes nearly £165,000 in contract termination payments to former players and coaches.

Wigan’s staff numbers swelled from 84 to 89 last year, but they also took advantage of several salary cap dispensations allowing them to spend more on players’ wages than the baseline limit of £1.825m – including bringing Sam Tomkins back to the club as a marquee player.

A second marquee player – George Williams – has been added to the squad this year.

Lenagan has previously blamed the uncertainly of the Super-8s structure for a fall in revenue from ticket sales.

Wigan’s average gates have been around the 13,500 mark over the three years under this current league format; the previous two years were 14,000-plus and the two years before that both topped a 16,000 average.

The report also shows stadium rental costs went up from £322,824 to £378,750 last yea. The valuation of their training ground at Edge Hall Road, Orrell has risen to £3.6m.

The club is 89 per cent owned by Lenagan Investment Limited, which is controlled by the club chairman and his close family. Next month marks a decade since Lenagan took control of Wigan.