Bristol Rovers announce debts of £24m

Bristol Rovers president Wael Al-Qadi
Bristol Rovers president Wael Al-Qadi

Bristol Rovers president Wael Al-Qadi has told fans he will protect the club and its staff after the League One outfit announced debts of over £24m.

Rovers made a loss of £3.4m for the year to June 2019, with their financial position also set to be impacted by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Their accounts show the club owe £16.2m to Dwane Sports, an offshore company owned by the Al-Qadi family.

“We are continuing to work to ensure that the club comes out of these tough times in a strong position,” Al-Qadi said in a statement on the club website.

"I understand that many supporters may be concerned about the increasing level of debt.

“However, I want to reassure them that this position in the current football climate is not unusual.

“The debt amounting is internal debt so doesn't affect the day-to-day running of the club, and my commitment to the club and its long-term aims remains as strong as ever.

“Over the course of the 2019-20 season, a series of actions have been taken to substantially reduce the deficit, although the financial implications of the current pandemic will no doubt have an effect on this.”

Bristol Rovers are 14th in the League One table, but the season has been postponed until at least 30 April because of the pandemic.

"The impacts of this virus will hit all areas of the economy hard and football clubs are no different,” Al-Qadi added.

"However, along with our executive team, I am doing all I can to ensure that everyone within the Bristol Rovers family is as secure as possible.”