The audited financial statements released at the Estevan Bruins annual general meeting Thursday showed a difficult financial picture, but according to new president George Sereggela, the situation is improving.
The statements were for the 2019-20 fiscal year that ended April 30. They showed the team had $125,347 in assets, with $34,156 in cash and $29,692 in accounts receivable.
Liabilities, meanwhile, were at $222,554, with $30,928 in bank indebtedness because they were operating on the line of credit, but Sereggela pointed out they aren’t operating on the line of credit now. Also, they had $104,875 in accounts payable. The club also had $20,000 in long-term debt, the first time in several years there was such debt.
But as Sereggela pointed out, in addition to not dipping into the line of credit, they had paid off the accounts payable by August, the first time since he's been part of the team that there weren't any accounts payable.
The long-term debt stemmed from the team taking out a loan through the Canada Emergency Business Account, which is offered for non-profit organizations. The club won’t have to pay it back until 2022.
The Bruins suffered a $112,505 deficit in the 2019-20 season, which Sereggela said was due to lost revenues from the regular season and the playoffs. The regular season revenues dropped from $376,383 to $334,052, and playoff revenues declined from $241,416 in 2018-19 to $29,987 in 2019-20. Sereggela noted the club had five fewer playoff games in 2020 than 2019.
They have also sold more than 500 season tickets, which Sereggela said is more than they had for the same time a year ago, and a reflection of the team’s community support, since a start date for the season has yet to be established.
Sereggela said the club’s executive is also doing more to watch the finances of the club.
“We were largely an oversight board and we relied heavily on our GM to put together a budget and present it to us,” said Sereggela. “We’ve been hands on as far as budget creation this year to create a budget document we can live with.”
The club is trying to get to the point where they’re not reliant on playoff revenue to break even.
They’ve also engaged Lemon Wedge Marketing to assist with the club’s promotion.
Head coach and general manager Jason Tatarnic said at the meeting that a lot of work is happening behind the scenes to establish a start date for the season, and to establish the guidelines for the league to operate.
The next edition of the Mercury will have more on this story.