BARNSLEY recorded a comparatively modest loss of £280,000 in the 2019/20 season, and claim they would have broken even if not for the coronavirus crisis.

The annual accounts, which were released this week, include the period early last year when the football season was suspended due to Covid-19 before matches resumed behind-closed-doors. Some other Championship clubs have posted losses in the tens of millions.

A statement read: “The board believe that, without the impact of the lost matchday revenue, the annual results would have achieved breakeven and satisfied the strategic objective of a operating a balanced, self-sustainable budget’.

The Reds made an operating loss of £3m but recouped £2.8m of that through player trading, with the money generated through the sales of Kieffer Moore, Ethan Pinnock and Liam Lindsay outweighing fees paid for new players.

Revenue rose from £7.8m the previous season to £14.2m, mainly due to promotion to the Championship.

The wage bill rose by £3m to £11.1m but remains among the lowest in the Championship.

The Reds used the government’s furlough scheme and deferrals to HMRC but ‘it was the support of over 7,500 Reds fans who purchased season tickets who truly kept the club alive’. A statement added: “The board would like to place on record its thanks to each and every fan who supported the club through this period, which was undoubtedly the most challenging time for the club in generations.”

Under ‘principle risks and uncertainties’, the club lists the ongoing impact of Covid-19 and says Brexit will have an ‘uncertain impact on the domestic and international transfer market.’ The Reds will not be able to sign players with equivalent CVs of this season’s stars Mads Andersen and Michal Helik in the new points-based system which only allows English clubs to sign players from EU countries if they have played a certain number of games.

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Payments to directors fell by six per cent while £750,000 was paid from the club to former majority owners the Cryne family as part of the 2017 sale deal.

Financial expert Keiran Maguire described them as an ‘amazing set of results’ and praised the Reds for living within their means in a ‘car crash of a division.’