Let's look at some numbers for Franchise FC, going back several years. All figures taken from the annual accounts of the Milton Keynes club:
Operating loss (excludes player sales)
(NB the club has never made an operating profit.)
That means that over 6 years, Franchise FC has made a loss on its operating activities of a staggering £13m. Some of this has been offset by player sales and compensation received for manager moves, but for a club that has spent all that time in the bottom two divisions of the Football League, it is a staggering level of loss, most certainly not indicative of a club being run well or within its means.
Some have claimed that the losses are at least getting smaller, but that is precisely the sort of thinking that has got every other financially troubled football club into deep water. A loss is a loss, and when the smallest ever loss is nearly £1.5m, the business clearly has a fundamental problem of unsustainability.
To highlight the problem, in the last ever set of audited accounts submitted by Wimbledon Football Club Limited (year 2000-1), the club posted a staggering operating loss of £7,069,128. Now, you might think that shows Franchise isn't so badly off, but look a little deeper and the picture is very different. In those same WFC accounts it says, "Post year end sales of player registrations amounted to £5,540,000". In other words, the actual loss for the year was under £1.5m, a far cry from the horrendous figures used in public and to the FA Commission to justify the move. (More of that another time.)
So, what are Franchise FC's actual losses since 2004? Even after player sales and manager compensation, the football club has lost a toe-curling £10,011,865. £10m in six years. Does that sound like a sustainable, well run football club to you? No, of course it doesn't, it sounds like a football club being run either as a rich man's plaything or a football club that is inevitably going to end up the way all other clubs that live beyond their means do.