Rovers’ parent company Venky’s London Limited (VLL) posted losses of £20.8m to the year to March 2020.

That is a rise of £1.3m on the 2019 figure of £19.5m and more than £5m on the £15.2m posted in 2018, with all losses attributed to the owners.

There was a rise in turnover to £15.8m from £14.9m, but that was offset by an increase in wages. They rose to £25.1m from £23m in the previous year. That meant a wage to turnover ratio of 158 per cent, a four per cent rise on the previous year.

There was a dip in average attendances, down to 13,835 from 14,506, despite a top half finish last season.

VLL own a 99.9 per stake in Rovers whose accounts for the year to June 2020 are yet to be published.

The VLL accounts state: “The focus of the company has been for the club to consolidate then progress, following promotion back to the Championship, whilst remaining compliant with Profit and Sustainability rules.

“Further significant changes were made to the playing squad to increase on field competitiveness in a higher league, while at the same time reducing the average age of the playing squad and increasing its potential sale value.”

The accounts say that brought about a profit of £1.3m on player sales, with David Raya and Joe Nuttall sold to Brentford and Blackpool respectively, while the fee spent on Sam Gallagher will be spread across the length of his four-year deal as part of player amortization. 

Under ‘principal risks and uncertainties’ it adds: “The Covid-19 outbreak has led to significant disruption and restrictions to professional football matches in the UK, reducing the income of football clubs.

“The resolution of the situation in relation to the Covid-19 outbreak is to secure a positive position and prospect for Blackburn Rovers is the top priority for the management of the group.”

The accounts also add that the company balance sheet of Venky's London Limited includes amounts invested in and loaned to its subsidiary, Blackburn Rovers Football and Athletic Limited, totalling £174,950,377.

The most recent club accounts, to June 2019, showed net liabilities of £112m.

The £15.8m turnover was split between matchday (£3.01m), media (£7.98m) and commercial (£4.8m). The matchday figure fell by £600,000 and the commercial by £300,000, but the new television broadcast deal for all clubs brought about a £1.8m rise in media revenue.

The number of staff employed by the club remained at 227.

The wages and salaries amounted to £21.8m, with social security and pension costs taking that figure to just over £25m, an increase of £2m on the previous year.