Financial figures 2020 - 04 Questions for Christina Rühl-Hamers
FC Schalke 04 announced its financial figures for 2020 on Tuesday (06/04). Christina Rühl-Hamers, Board Member for Finance, Personnel and Legal Matters, explains the background behind the figures in an interview.
Mrs. Rühl-Hamers, what do the financial figures look like?
The 2020 fiscal year was heavily impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic, which also hit the whole football industry hard. We managed our business responsibly last year, but we lost out on around €70 million in revenue due to the pandemic. We were able to lessen the effect on earnings by introducing comprehensive cost-cutting measures. In addition, we were able to count on the support of our partners, sponsors and fans and reached an agreement with our professional players and managers to waive their salaries temporarily. All of our employees were also very supportive – but in the end, the Coronavirus unfortunately hindered our goal of breaking even. Therefore, we have to report a consolidated net loss of €50 million for the fiscal year 2020.
What is the situation regarding liabilities?
Unfortunately, the Coronavirus pandemic has also had an impact on our debts. Had it not been for the pandemic, we would have been able to reduce our debts to well below €200 million as of December 31, 2020. As a result of taking out a Corona loan of €35 million, total liabilities increased by €19 million to €217 million.
Our goal for the current year and beyond is to create a solid medium- to long-term perspective for Schalke 04 by returning the club to stability on the basis of economic common sense and by making it fully functional.
From a sporting perspective, the 2. Bundesliga is very likely – what are the plans for the current fiscal year?
Of course, we hope that the vaccinations will help us return to normality step by step over the coming months – at the same time, we are planning conservatively and have multi-year plans for various scenarios. We are prepared for everything. Our goal for the current year and beyond is to create a solid medium- to long-term perspective for Schalke 04 by returning the club to stability on the basis of commercial common sense and by making it fully functional.
Today, the club also announced that the Berger Feld construction project will be stopped. What is the reasoning behind this?
This is a decision we’ve made based on economic common sense. The Coronavirus pandemic and the sporting situation have fundamentally changed our general set-up over the last 12 months. Therefore, stopping construction is the only sensible decision. With the subprojects that we have already been able to implement, we have already created excellent infrastructural training conditions, especially for the youth academy. In addition to the parking spaces, the completion of the Parkstadion was also a milestone, so that the U23 and U19 teams can once again play their games here on club premises.