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Dundee figures show effects of Setanta collapse

Dundee United's financial results for the period to June 2009 reflect the first effects on Scottish football of the collapse of Setanta. The club's annual accounts record an underlying net profit of £120,000 turned into a net loss of £137,000 "due to an exceptional bad debt caused by the failure of the broadcaster's existing contract with the SPL."

Turnover for the year was £5.792million, a reduction of just £50,000 on the previous year, with a profit of £221,000 before interest and taxation.

Wages rose to £3.60million, up from £3.34million in 2008, due to the renewal and extension of various contracts.

Bank borrowing at the end of the year stood at £5.996million. United chairman Stephen Thompson said: "At the beginning of the year we forecasted a modest net profit based on various factors, including finishing no higher than sixth in the SPL.

"We actually finished in fifth place, but did not receive the expected, or budgeted, payment from the SPL due to Setanta failing to meet their contractual obligations.

"This resulted in an exceptional bad debt and a modest net loss for the financial year.

"Had it not been for this event, which was totally outwith our control, the club would have posted a net profit for the second successive year.

"While undoubted progress has been made in the club's underlying financial position over the last few years, the collapse of Setanta will continue to have an impact on the club, and indeed the whole of the SPL, in the current year to June 2010 and also into the following year.

"While major expenditure decisions were taken during the year to June 2009 based on the assumption that existing contractual obligations would continue to be met, as the replacement TV contract is considerably less than the previous one, we have faced certain challenges.

"We have tackled these quietly and diligently, with the full support and confidence of the bank, and while cost-saving measures have been and will continue to be pursued, we have also successfully secured additional funding to cover any shortfall.

"Some of this funding has come from the Thompson family, in line with previous pledges made.

"In summary, in a difficult financial climate generally, the financial results for 2009 are largely in line with what was forecasted last year, were it not for the exceptional bad debt incurred at the end of the year.

"The reduced level of TV income has however presented challenges in the current financial year and will continue to do so in the next year, but I am confident that the measures which have been put in place to compensate for this will ensure that the club continues to thrive."

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