Rapid round off the 2016/17 season in profit!
SK Rapid's current business and activity report, which can be viewed within this 100 page business report, also provides information on the results of the individual business areas. International competition allowed SK Rapid to record a profit of around €4.1 million, thanks to the club's participation in the group stages of the UEFA Europa League. The results for domestic competition showed a loss of around €1.28 million. This can be explained by a range of factors: for example, when planning for the season, and following record investment in the transfer market and the squad, an assumption was made that SK Rapid would challenging for the title come the end of the season, and certainly not finishing in the lower half of the table. In addition, the wage budget for the professional branch was boosted by an unbudgeted figure of around €2 million, following the record profit recorded in 2015/16. Some player contracts were also renewed well ahead of the expiration of existing contracts, and unplanned changes in personnel on the sporting side (the position of Sporting Chief Executive once, head coach twice and the entire backroom staff/goalkeeper coaching team once) also caused considerable additional costs. However, these were covered by the club's stable economic foundations as well as income from the UEFA Europa League.
The figures recorded in sponsorship and hospitality are particularly pleasing - SK Rapid was able to turnover around €17 million from domestic competition alone, and when income from international competition is included in this figure, it comes to €17.9 million. For context, this figure is higher than that recorded by nineteen-time Swiss champions and Champions League regulars FC Basel in their current annual report. Furthermore, in the areas of ticketing for domestic competition and merchandising, new club records were set with revenues of €5.63 million (ticketing) and €3.33 million (merchandising).
The negative transfer figure of around €540,000 is unusual for SK Rapid. This can be attributed to the fact that major investment was also made in new players, following record profits in 2016/17. Despite this, SK Rapid was still able to end the year with a positive result for the ninth time in the last ten seasons.
Christoph Peschek, Chairman of the Board at SK Rapid GmbH: "The fact that we have achieved these figures despite a very ordinary year on the pitch inspires a lot of confidence for the future. Our growth strategy has continued to be effective, and despite a pre-season that was unique in many ways, taking the first Europa League group stage berth meant we could increase revenues significantly. It is of particular note that the new possibilities provided by the Allianz Stadium and a dedicated sales team allowed us to increase revenue in hospitality by almost 370 (!) percent. In general, we have now arrived at a level in many areas that we certainly want to continue to raise, and I would like to extend a warm thank you to our fans, colleagues and partners for their fantastic support. Initially - and this is already a great challenge - it will be crucial that we achieve the current figures in multiple areas once more, thus stabilising them. In addition, we are also committed to developing new areas of business. All activitives and efforts are solely aimed at celebrating our sporting competitiveness and joint successes, while remaining financially prudent at the same time. As is well-known, we do not play football to earn money, rather we earn money to play football as successfully as possible", stated the 34-year-old from Vienna.
Evaluation of the Allianz Stadium Business Plan
A particularly interesting chapter in this extensive annual report is the evaluation of the business plan for a new stadium on the Hütteldorf site, which was previously published in 2013. The assumptions and expectations made at that time were proven to be very realistic and were surpassed.
As was consistently stated, the target for the newly-constructed stadium was added value of between €3-3.5 million. This was exceeded in the first season with a figure of €3.7 million. Each individual business area recorded noticeably better revenues than planned - this despite modest results on the pitch.
It is also apparent that sales revenues for the club's own business areas (i.e. without TV rights) were well above expectations. In total, the figure for so-called "non-broadcasting revenues" ran to €34.7 million. When compared internationally, this represents an excellent result. "Within the business areas that we market ourselves, SK Rapid has moved into the top 50 of the European elite. We are very proud of this and it shows that the reinforced strategy was correct", Raphael Landthaler writes in his contribution to the annual report.
The annual report is a real treasure trove for fans of statistics. Not only does it contain plenty of facts about the sporting side of things, but also insight into the number of hits on the Rapid homepage and the various social media channels, as well as information about the new catering facilities in the Allianz Stadium. It is stated that during 2016/17, exactly 182,903 beers, 70,805 hot dogs and 38,365 half-litre wine spritzers were sold at kiosks in the green and whites' new home.
Leader in Transparency
In autumn 2013, SK Rapid became the first Austrian football club to publish a complete written annual report, which at that time covered the seasons 2010/11 to 2012/13. Since then, this has happened annually in the autumn following the respective season. The complete current annual report for the 2016/17 season is available to download from the SK Rapid homepage at the latest ten days ahead of the annual general meeting (which this year is taking place on 27th November at the Allianz Stadium). It is also available as a printed version during the annual general meeting.
Club members can send their questions about the annual report for the members' meeting up to 14:00 this coming Wednesday, via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. For this reason, it has been published these days.