The Winnipeg Blue Bombers posted a $1.2-million loss in 2009, the community-owned CFL team revealed in its annual report Wednesday.
The financial loss comes after the club registered a profit of $761,000 in 2008.
According to the annual report, the Bombers experienced declines in game revenue (including season-ticket sales and game-day ticket sales), CFL revenue ($1,828,350 in '09 compared to 1,978,986 in '08) as well as club sponsorships, concessions, merchandise sales and interest income.
But a major factor that contributed to the loss was the $981,950 in severance costs it paid out.
However, the Bombers are still in good shape financially with a surplus of almost $3.9 million. That’s a far cry from the $5.5-million deficit the faced following the 2000 season.
Still, the 2009 season was a difficult one for Winnipeg, on and off the field.
The Blue Bombers posted a 7-11 record to finish third in the East Division and miss the CFL playoffs.
On Tuesday, the CFL announced Winnipeg had violated the league-mandated $4.2-million salary cap in 2009, the only team to do so.
Subsequently, the CFL fined the Bombers $44,687, which was the amount they had gone over the cap.
Traditionally, teams exceeding the cap have cited excessive injuries as the main reason why. But Bombers president Jim Bell said Tuesday his club simply paid too much guaranteed money to players who were either traded or released prior to the start of the '09 season.
Either way, Winnipeg still had to count the bonus money against its cap. Two such examples were offensive lineman Dan Goodspeed – given an $88,000 bonus prior to being dealt to Hamilton – and tailback Joe Smith, who received $40,000 before being cut prior to the start of the regular season.
Bell also said having a new head coach in Mike Kelly who tweaked the club’s roster and opted against going with players who had been paid upfront money also played a role in Winnipeg exceeding the cap.
well, you can pretty much blame Mike Kelly for this ( and the idiot who hired him )!