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By ESPN Staff
Apr 25, 2008

FA expecting more debt after Wembley losses

Football Association chiefs anticipate Wembley being in the red again next year after the national stadium reported a £22million loss for its first 12 months.

However, the FA are confident Wembley will generate large profits for the organisation in the future.

Heavy start-up and security costs plus extra staffing levels all contributed to the loss. Taking into account interest payments on the £346million loan outstanding as well, the next Wembley board meeting on Tuesday is set to be presented with figures of a pre-tax deficit of around £40million.

One FA board member said: 'We expected a loss in the first year at Wembley and it will probably return a loss next year too but in the long run it will provide us with a steady revenue stream.'

FA chairman Lord Triesman yesterday outlined to the FA board his plans for refinancing the outstanding loan that was taken out to build the £800million stadium. Negotiations with the banks are now expected to start in earnest.

Another FA source added: 'This is not a huge surprise to us - we were always prepared we would have some losses in the early years because of significant start-up costs.

'There are also issues around security and counter-terrorism and we had extra staffing levels because we wanted to ensure it opened properly.

'Staffing costs will be lower in the future and we will claw all that money back anyway.'

The FA do have the record £425million television contract with ITV and Setanta, which comes on stream next season, to fall back on and so will be able to accommodate the losses fairly comfortably.