WEYMOUTH Football Club today announced a massive annual loss of nearly £900,000.

The figure of £886,277, for the year ending May 2005, is more than three times the previous year’s deficit of £252,678.

But despite the setback, Terras chairman and major shareholder Martyn Harrison insists he is `not worried’.

Harrison, who funds the Wessex Stadium outfit through his Hollybush Hotels firm, said: “I appreciate the overall loss for the financial year does not look particularly good but I’m not overly concerned.

“There are quite a few reasons why the loss occurred in the period up to the end of May this year and they centre on us rebuilding every area of the football club.

“When I took over as chairman back in 2004 and became the club’s major shareholder we found ourselves in a Catch 22 situation.

“Money needed to be spent on the football side of the club to improve performances and results.

“If that hadn’t happened crowds would inevitably have dropped which in turn would have affected income and the knock-on effect from that may have been disastrous.

“In many ways the £886,277 figure is the cost of rebuilding the club and it has allowed us to get into the positive position we’re in now.

“If that money hadn’t been invested I doubt very much we would now be third in Conference South and celebrating a money-spinning FA Cup run worth well over £200,000 which will be included in next year’s accounts.”

The bulk of the expenditure is believed to have been taken up offloading a host of players last season.

Steve Claridge received an estimated £200,000 pay-off following his sacking as player-manager in October 2004.

Harrison said at least half-a-dozen other former players also received financial settlements upon leaving the club including Robbie Pethick, Paul Buckle, Paul Gibbs, Nathan Bunce, Lee Philpott and Lee Charles.

He said: “We paid out somewhere in the region of £300,000 to pay off the contracts of a number of players during last season.

“But their departures, coupled with the arrival of manager Garry Hill, chief executive Gary Calder and coach Kevin Hales have allowed us to move forward.”

The club’s accounts reveal turnover at the Wessex Stadium reduced to £561,871 to the end of May 2005, from £574,130 the previous 12 months.

Total outgoings, which includes players and manager wages, rose from £781,320 to £1.29 million.

Administrative costs, covering office expenses, was also up at £141,310, against £126,798 in 2004.

The club’s assets, comprising mainly the Wessex Stadium site which is earmarked for development, has increased slightly to £2.07 million.

The accounts reveal the club also received a £300,000 bank loan last year, secured by a personal guarantee from Harrison.

The figures will be discussed at the club’s annual general meeting at the Riviera Hotel on December 18 at 7pm.

Shareholders will vote on re-electing three directors – Martyn Harrison, Faye Harrison and Chris Pugsley.

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