Steve Waggott says a rise in wages, offsetting the increased revenues generated by promotion, were behind Rovers posting losses of £18.2m.

Losses rose by £1.4m in the financial year to June 2019, despite Rovers having secured promotion back to the Championship, having recorded losses of £330,000 a week during their season in League One.

Income was up by 86 per cent for the 2018/19 campaign, aided by the rise in television revenue, with the chief executive also pointing to rises in matchday income, as well as the ticketing, retail and commercial arms of the club.

That meant for a substantial rise in turnover, up by to £7.7m to £16.7m, following promotion. That was largely owed to the increased television broadcast deal, with Rovers pocketing £7.4m compared with £1.9m in the year to June 2018 when they were in League One.

There was an increase in commercial revenue of £1.2m to £5.5m, and a seven-figure increase in matchday revenue, from £2.7m to £3.7m.

Those increases were offset by a substantial rise in wages, up by £5.6m to £22.4m, though the wage to turnover ratio did fall to 134 per cent from 187 per cent.

And the club’s chief executive explained: “The loss for the year increased by £1.4m from the previous year.

“This was due mainly to an increase from Sky/broadcasting fees along with commercial growth following promotion being offset by an increase in the first-team playing, management and operating costs.

“The club remained compliant with the Championship’s profit and sustainability rules in this period.

“Following promotion to the Championship, overall revenue receipts increased back to the levels the last time the club was in the Championship in 2016/17.

“Ticket revenue increased by 50 per cent, retail increased by just under 25 per cent, TV income increased by just under £5.4m to £7.4m with a real surge coming in sponsorship and advertising which nearly doubled to £1m. Catering also saw an increase of £0.1m.

“These improved figures were also due to the hard work of the commercial team.”

Current net liabilities stand at £146.3m, but the accounts state that ‘the club remained compliant with the Championship’s profit and sustainability rules during this period’.

Wages and salaries at the club stand at £22.3m, up from £16.7m in League One, while the club spent £8.9m on transfer fees.

There has been a rise in the number of staff, from 217 to 226, largely on the playing side.

The number of senior players and management rose from 70 to 81, though there was a drop in Academy players and staff on the payroll, down to 50 from 57. Other areas of the club largely remained the same.

The salaries of the club’s three executive directors rose by £282,000 to £570,000, though the accounts do state that in 2018 two directors were members of a money purchase pension scheme.

Waggott also explained that evolving the club’s recruitment department, which was expanded last summer, had also seen significant investment following promotion.

He added: “Promotion back in to the Championship required the company to invest in the squad in order to be competitive, which is reflected in the increase of wages and salaries.

"In the May 2019 meeting with the owners in India a decision was taken to increase the recruitment budget to allow the head of recruitment and talent identification to put together a more robust recruitment structure and expand our reach across Europe.

“The aim is to identify and recruit players from the UK and Europe who meet the criteria of the first-team manager and who can play a part in the future success of the football club.”