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Chairman Ross Morrison says Inverness Caledonian Thistle will have to restructure from June

By Will Clark

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Caley Thistle chairman Ross Morrison. Picture: Callum Mackay.
Caley Thistle chairman Ross Morrison. Picture: Callum Mackay.

CHAIRMAN Ross Morrison says Inverness Caledonian Thistle have to restructure its finances this summer as the club is losing too much money at present to be viable.

He has confirmed as part of the club’s new budget which will start on June 1, it will be looking at how the club can operate in the future.

He says they are looking at all aspects of the club, including its youth academy, as part of the restructuring process. He says the club are looking at ways of bringing in new investment and ensuring that is able to continue as a full time club.

Caley Thistle were dealt a financial blow last month when their planning application to build a battery energy storage facility at Fairways, which would have brought £3.4 million to the club, was rejected by Highland Council.

Last year, it was revealed the club made a loss of £835,751 for the 12-month period ending May 31, 2022.

The club have still to release their figures for the last financial year.

Speaking at the Inverness Caledonian Thistle Supporters Trust meeting on Saturday, Morrison says while they are confident they will win their appeal with the Scottish Government to get their battery farm built, a decision may take six months.

He says the club can’t afford to stay still and have to start restructuring from June.

He said: “We have a new budget which will start on June 1 and we need to restructure because we are losing too much money and aren't viable.

“What the battery farm was going to do was to give us plenty of money where we could restructure and pay off a lot of debt. We can't sit still, we have to restructure. We have to keep it going.

“We have been in the Championship and it has cost us too much money to keep a full time team. Caley Thistle have only made a profit three times in their 30-year history. Being in the Championship kills us.

“We are paying over £1 million in players’ wages, we need to get that down and get costs down.”

Morrison says its academy is something which they are looking at generating new income to keep going, saying it is something they can’t currently afford.

He said: “We can't afford the academy, we have to look at everything because we have to cut the budget from June 1. The academy has cost us £100,000 and we are looking for someone to sponsor the academy so we can keep it going.

“Money comes from European football that goes to the SFA, they give 83 per cent of it to the SPL.

“We only get £20,000 and are striving to get a fairer spread of that money. We have a high grade of academy and we get £20,000 and SPL clubs get £500,000. We have to have a fairer spread of the money for the academies that generate young players.

“If we got £200,000 that would be fantastic for us. It would be cost neutral and we would make some money and develop it into other coaches.”

Morrison says it is looking at other ways to make money including using the land around the ground which it purchased last year and getting stands sponsored. He says the club don’t want to go part time, but can’t rule it out being a possibility in the future.

He said: “We bought the ground around us, we didn't own the ground until last year then we leased a bit of the ground out and money goes into the club. We have promises, one deal has been done and another has been proposed that we would get £450,000 a year.

“That is restructuring to keep it afloat, either that or we go part time. We would be a wealthy part time club, but we don't want to go part time. “If we have to, we would have to, but we are trying everything not to.

“We have the potential around the ground to make money. Caley Thistle should be a commercial property company with a football club hanging off it. The football club doesn't make money, full time.”

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