Panthers respond to leaked financial data

The Carolina Panthers have responded to the Deadspin report earlier today that the club made profit of $112 million in 2010 and 2011.

The Web site received financial data linked to the Panthers and shared it publicly, a move that could hinder the club’s push for public aid in renovations for Bank of America Stadium.

Here is the response from the team on its Web site:

The Deadspin story presents an incomplete picture of the Carolina Panthers profitability. The figures offer an isolated snapshot of the team’s financial situation during an unusual time as the NFL lockout loomed.

At the time, the team had strategically reduced its spending because of the uncertainty and as part of a long-term plan to secure the team's best talent once a collective bargaining agreement had been reached.

The team's actual operating cash flow, even before federal and state tax payments were made, was significantly less than the accounting income reported in the story. The most meaningful reflection of a company's profitability is cash flow, and the team's operating cash flow fluctuated between pre-tax figures of $26.7M in fiscal year 2011 and $39.8M in fiscal year 2012.

A detailed review of the financial statements demonstrates the difficulty of being competitive in the NFL, paying players to the cap, and trying to add the financing of a major stadium renovation.

Certainly the numbers can have a lot of different meanings for a lot of different parties. The bottom line is this isn’t good publicity for owner Jerry Richardson and the team at this point.

Follow me on Twitter: @BradBiggs

Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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