To read the full accounts, please click this link.
For the purpose of this article I’m using the exchange rate as given by google (HKD9.96 = £1). As always please remember I’m not an accountant and I’m working on my limited understanding of these accounts.
Once again, BSH made an overall loss for the year. However, the loss of HKD266.484M (approx. £26.75M) is much lower than last year’s loss of HKD364.690M.
Even with a portion of the year lost to the Coronavirus outbreak, revenues were 10% up from last year to HKD231.529M (approx. £23.241M), while operating expenses dropped by about 5% to HKD449.872M (approx. £45.158M).
It’s easy to see how coronavirus has affected Blues however, as match day receipts are down 10% on last year due to the number of games which were played behind closed doors. That will worsen still this year with no season tickets sold and no other match day revenue available.
In my last piece I asked the question if Blues had gone to Macquarie Bank to forward fund transfers because the well had gone dry in Hong Kong. Based on the borrowing figures in these accounts, that very well may be the case.
From the accounts, we can see that Blues received £17.312M from Macquarie Bank, which means they have been charged a fee of 4%. This is actually better than the rates that BSH have got from their lenders in Hong Kong, making the decision to factor the future transfer payments an even better one.
Total borrowings jumped from HKD214M to HK487M (nearly £49M) this year, including the maxing out of a loan facility from an unknown third party lender at HKD250M (approx. £25.09M). The interest payable has more than doubled to HKD17.855M (approx. £1.792M), up from HKD7.807M.
Part of the reason borrowing is up there are two new loans showing. One of them appears to be propping up the Chinese lottery company, which has maxed out its first loan facility of HKD4.382M (about £440K) and has had to borrow another HKD3.407M from a second loan facility (about £340K).
The other one is more pertinent to BCFC. There is an interest free loan showing from The Football League Ltd (ie the EFL) of £584,000, which is due to be paid back in six instalments commencing April 1, 2021.
There is also a note of a subsidy granted by the UK Government of HKD6.741M (approx. £675.6k).
Good news or bad news?
While it was expected that BSH would take a hit due to the coronavirus, I think that it’s worth noting that the holding company are not in great shape.
As a shareholder in the company, I’m concerned as to the amount borrowed in relation to how much the company turns over; with revenues going to be increasingly hit this year by the continuation of the coronavirus outbreak, these accounts say to me that it’s possible the club will need further bailouts from somewhere to keep going should fans not be allowed into the stadium for a prolonged period.
I’ll be preparing a new episode of the vlog explaining more about these accounts, which should be uploaded on Thursday 1 October.