Hammers debt on the rise again!


Gold and sullivanExclusive

by Sean Whetstone

Back in 201 on taking over the Irons, David Sullivan famously revealed the club was over £100 million in debt!

And within a few weeks he and fellow co-chairman David Gold had made in clear there would be 25 per cent cuts across the board as they started their “good housekeeping”  measures to take the club towards solvency.

However, the publication of the club’s  annual accounts demonstrate that things are heading in the wrong direction again – debt is seems is going north!

Sullivan explained all on taking over : “We’ve paid down some of the debt and injected some working capital.

“But there’s still more than £100 million of debt. There’s £50 million owed to banks, there’s £40 million owed to other clubs.

“There’s not a penny to come in, they (the previous owners) have borrowed against the next two years of season-ticket money. ”

He pointed out too that the sponsors had paid 70% of their three-years up front and additionally the club had a settlement to (former manager) Alan Curbishley, thus making the real debt about £110 million.”

That’s the history but during last season net debt increased by nearly £7 million from £70.7m in 2012 to £77.4m in 2013.

Bank debt increased by over £14 million  from £30.5m in 2012 to £44.6m in 2013

Re-financing of the bank debt in July last year saw a new facility worth £26.7m which is repayable by 31st December 2016 and is secured against Upton Park as a mortgage .
Debt from loans from sharholders increased from £35.2m to £45.7m as Sullivan and  Gold injected a further £10.5m of cash last season.
Total borrowings including share holder loans have increased from £72.5m in 2012 to £90.9m in 2013.
Total creditors have risen from £125.7m in 2012 to £145.5m in 2013 and on top of that are the two short term loans from Vibrac Corporation to aid their cash flow secured against future TV income from the Premier League.

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Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!"

Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon


  • brian says:

    So where does this leave us with the o/s i believe we have to have no debts to move in what happens if we have?coyi

  • Plaistow says:

    It reads to me that the debt total may have gone up but the owners have converted bad debt into ‘friendly’ debt. It’s money owed to the owners instead of the Banks etc. Yes, they charge a minimum interest on the money owed to them and this has totalled £3.4m. They haven’t drawn on it as yet. I’m certain it would be a figure added to any potential sale. I also understand that they have to charge interest or it not only effects FFP rules but tax rules etc.
    The alledged Brady £1.6m salary seems to have got a lot of people going. Wasn’t there talk of her gaining a £1m bonus if she won the OS?

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