BRADFORD (Park Avenue) fans may have been shocked to see their club make losses in excess of £1.6 million in the last year.

But fear not - the money is internal debt.

It has come out of the pockets of chairman Gareth Roberts and director Dr John Dean.

In 2020 the club has secured a 35-year lease on Horsfall Stadium, rebranded their academy and installed a new 3G pitch and security fence.

They have also created The Horsfall Community Trust as a full charity, which in turn has created the Horsfall Community Stadium CIC (HCS).

HCS is managed by a board which includes representatives from BPA and partners, West Bowling ARLFC and Bradford Airedale Athletics Club.

Roberts letter read: "Our club is now managed as a Community Interest Company and I am lucky to be supported by my co-directors John Dean and David Little. Keith Bonney continues to do an outstanding job as our accountant.

"We began trading on November 1, 2019, as the new Bradford (Park Avenue) AFC CIC and we have just completed our May 31, 2020, annual accounts.

"These accounts have been audited by Armstrong Watson and will be published shortly. The accounts show a loss of £1,678,179.

"Do not be alarmed as this figure is mostly a non-recurring loss related to the assumption of past deficits from our predecessor companies. The money is not owed externally but to John and myself as directors.

"Although we expect to have losses in our 2020/21 fiscal year accounts, after the pandemic, we expect our company revenues to grow over the next few years to eventually develop surpluses and guarantee future sustainability, which is our ultimate goal as a club.

"We feel that our business plan is robust, but it has been badly affected by the pandemic and we have been grateful for government support and that of the various sporting authorities.

"Despite that support there are still major financial challenges potentially ahead of us, which of course is not unique to our club."

A major plus of having the stadium lease is the ability to rent the new excellent surface out on weeknights, something that has been incredibly successful.

Roberts added: "On August 6 2020 we transferred the stadium operations to the newly formed company, HCS.

"That company now operates the stadium including the bar and cafe. Its main activity is the hiring out of the stadium to third party users which brings in new revenue.

"Our club will be working closely with HCS as anything which helps stadium economics helps our economics."

The club's development fund have also put in a superb effort to generate £11,500 from November 2019 to May 2020 which went towards away travel and the new GPS training trackers.

Roberts ended by saying: "Contrary to popular belief, I do not have bottomless pockets. The Horsfall project is stretching me to the limit but I am determined to succeed.

"I appreciate these are difficult times for all of us. If you can find it in your budget to make a one-off or regular donation to the CIC that would be brilliant. We have a donate button on the website.

"Over the last twelve months we have become a better football club both on and off the field. Like any business, football is about getting the right people in the right roles.

"We are getting there. Please keep supporting us. Encourage others to join. We are Bradford."