While the team brought home the Aviva Premiership and Amlin Challenge Cup trophies, off the field Northampton Saints plc was equally successful, declaring a pre-tax profit of £356,329 on a turnover of £14.897 million.
The record financial results were underpinned by an impressive £1.5 million rise in turnover, with commercial and rugby-related income such as ticket and merchandise sales both increasing dramatically on 2013.
This rise in turnover allowed the Northampton Saints board of directors to increase investment in the club’s playing squad by £550,000 and spend an additional six-figure sum supporting the Saints Academy.
The club also wrote down £290,258 of the net book value (NBV) of the Sturtridge Pavilion – representing 50 percent of the total NBV – in preparation for the building of the new Barwell Stand in the summer of 2015.
Although all the investment was represented by a first ever double-winning season in the top flight, record numbers of players representing the club for various national teams, and a continuation of the Saints’ unparalleled commercial successes, chief executive Allan Robson insisted that the club was not resting on its laurels, not least because the past year also saw planning permission be granted for the new Barwell Stand at Franklin’s Gardens ahead of its development in 2015.
“We have had an unforgettable year, both on and off the pitch,” he said. “Seeing the team lift two trophies in the space of eight days will live forever in the minds of players, coaches, staff, sponsors and supporters alike. And financially we have had an unprecedented 12 months, growing commercial and rugby income by 11.6 percent.
“In professional sport success on the field is dependent on strong levels of financial input, and at a self-sustaining club like the Saints bringing home trophies in turn has a positive impact on the commercial side of the organisation. This additional income can then be re-invested in the playing effort, which can then yield continued good results.
“On the field the first team has reached nine cup finals in seven years, winning half of them. Meanwhile the Wanderers reached the Aviva ‘A’ League final last year and the Under-18s won the Premiership Rugby Academies League. We are also producing more age group internationals than any other Aviva Premiership club and have record numbers of players representing us with their countries.
“Meanwhile we have a stable group of Elite Sponsors, and have excellent relationships with all of them. A record number of supporters have signed up as Season Ticket Holders for the coming year, and next year’s Rugby World Cup will have a massive impact on the growth of club rugby in this country.
“Long-term success takes time to build, and we believe that we’re in a virtuous cycle that will keep us at the top of English rugby.”
Saints chairman Tony Hewitt praised the commitment of everyone associated with the club.
“Success does not come from one or two individuals,” he said. “A squad of players wins matches, especially when they are supported by a strong group of coaches and support staff like we have here at Franklin’s Gardens. Meanwhile the commercial team contributes at all levels, from community and marketing to merchandising, ticketing and corporate.
“And more importantly of all, the income which enables us to invest in this success comes from sponsors and supporters, a large number of whom have been associated with the Saints for many years.
“We can all take pride in the outstanding results we have achieved, both on and off the pitch.
“We are already surpassing many of the objectives set out in our Strategic Plan just 12 months ago, something which all of the directors are delighted about.
“But there is more to come in the future. The Academy system is producing some of the most talented young players in the country, while the new Barwell Stand will increase our capacity by approximately 2,000 seats in a year’s time, ready to capitalise on the growth of interest in the sport that will come from the next Rugby World Cup.
“Northampton Saints is certainly well placed for the future.”