County report loss of £900,000 in final accounts before the Jenkins takeover

Rodney Parade, home of Newport County <i>(Image: Huw Evans Agency)</i>
Rodney Parade, home of Newport County (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

NEWPORT County AFC reported a loss of £913,306 for the last full financial year as a Trust-owned club before the takeover by Huw Jenkins.

The Exiles have issued a statement after filing their accounts for the year ending June 30, 2023.

The full details are not yet listed on Companies House but County state that they have the loss of just over £900,000 after reporting a loss of £1.2million for the year ending June 30, 2022.

The club’s financial plight was laid bare by the board of the Supporters Trust when stressing the need for investment, and ultimately a change of ownership model.

The green light was given for ex-Swansea chairman Jenkins to take over the club last September, then the deal was completed after EFL approval in January.

County state that turnover went up marginally - £3.4million from £3.28million – but that operating costs are greater than turnover.

The statement said that was “due to a number of factors, including a 39 per cent increase in matchday staging fees and the overall costs of playing at Rodney Parade”.

A one-year lease was agreed for the current campaign and Jenkins needs to thrash out a new agreement – a rolling 10-year lease under new EFL rules – with the Dragons, who are their main creditors and now own the ground after themselves completing a takeover.

Chairman David Buttress, David Wright and Hoyoung Huh, who is represented on the Dragons board through Graeme Bradbury, secured a deal with the Welsh Rugby Union that included the Rodney Parade site.

Jenkins has vowed to work closely with the professional rugby club as well as other partners given that County are a club whose only assets are the players.

The current squad did go on a lucrative FA Cup run that will help the figures for the next financial year.

The latest accounts are for the season when County sacked James Rowberry and his staff and appointed current boss Graham Coughlan, operating with one of the Football League’s smallest playing budgets.

The directors’ report, from the outgoing board, said: “While some improvements were seen, trading performance for the year continued to prove challenging but in line with expectations.

“As with the previous year the board continued to employ a senior industry professional to support and advise.

"During this financial year the board also began the process of discussion and engagement in respect of attracting new investment to the club. This saw extensive due diligence undertaken on the club.

“The board was delighted that following completion of this due diligence, together with an extensive EFL process, and formal approval of Supporters’ Trust members at a special general meeting, Mr Huw Jenkins purchased 52 per cent of the club in January 2024 - outside this (2022-23) accounting period.

“The board would like to place on record its thanks for the ongoing support it continues to receive from its supporters and commercial partners.”