Championship football club Barnsley FC, which are this year celebrating their 125th anniversary, have managed to post a small pre-tax profit despite a falling turnover.
The club, currently the subject of renewed takeover speculation, were boosted by a number of player sales and a reduction of more than £1m in their wage bill.
Accounts for Barnsley Football Club (2002) Ltd have revealed the club made a pre-tax profit of £30,246 in the 12 months to 31 May 2012, compared with a loss of £257,296 a year earlier. However, turnover dropped from £11m to £8.6m for the same periods.
The accounts cover the 2011/12 season when the Tykes retained their Championship status by finishing in 21st place.
During the period, Barnsley FC made an operating loss of £409,035 but moved into profit at a pre-tax level after exceptional items, including transfer fees, were taken into account.
The club received almost £1.3m in transfer fees while £653,513 was spent on signing new players. Wages reduced from £7.5m in 2011 to £6.2m at the end of May last year.
Writing in the annual report, Barnsley FC's directors said: "A number of players left the club during the season, either being released or transferred to other clubs.
"The club reduced the annual wage bill significantly compared to the previous season, and ensured the financial stability of the club despite a reduction in turnover derived from ticket sales and donations from the beneficial owner.
"The improved financial results should ensure that the club is prepared for the full implementation of the financial fair play regulations in the 2014/15 season."
Loan notes from owner Patrick Cryne amounted to £3.2m in 2011/12, compared with £2.7m for the 2010/11 financial year. Overall net debt grew from £3.8m to £4.5m for the same reporting periods.
The Tykes are currently bottom of the Championship and last week sacked manager Keith Hill following a string of poor results.
In December, it was reported that there has been "renewed interest" from potential buyers after rumours of a deal with a Spanish and Middle East consortium first started to circulate in September.
Barnsley FC director Don Rowing told the Press Association: "A Spanish consortium had shown initial interest. They have gone very quiet since November, but there has been renewed interest from a couple of other parties without anything concrete.
"We don't know yet whether they are time-wasters. Barnsley is an attractive proposition because the club is debt-free, but it’s like people coming to look round your house.
"They can come and have a look and then say no it’s not for me. But we're going through the proper protocol in terms of confidentiality agreements and will wait and see if anything develops."