Déjà Vu By Wandering
We’ve been in this dark place many times before, but this is the first time that it has been with a fan elected Board!
Are we experiencing a ‘Ground Hog Day’ existence once again? This isn’t what a supporter run club should aspire to. However, there are reassuring indications that it appears the current financial situation is manageable if handled carefully with no further debt being incurred.
Perhaps we all need a First Class honours degree in ‘Hindsight’ to fully comprehend why we face this predicament once again. It is a credit to the Board for holding their hands up, admitting their mistake and taking positive action to deal with the situation.
The business case for the immediate future,identifying operational costs, with targets and objectives clearly specified, must be published soon (1st September was promised!) in the new emerging Business Plan. This will allow the owners to monitor carefully whether the Board are moving in the right direction to safeguard the future heritage of the Martyrs.
The new facilities were opened in April 2016, so there has been a full year to project the historical figures to prepare the estimated budget. During the last twelve months we have seen the successful FanZones for Euro 2016 and Wales international games, the pre-gig party before the Madness concert, well supported Christmas functions, a sell out Craig Bellamy Gentleman’s evening, various conferences, some weddings and a few shows. So what’s gone wrong?
Was it a major own goal by the Board? It is now the collective responsibility of the Board that will be needed to protect the Club and to act in the best interests of the owners and fans.
Well the extremely good news is that there are no immediate VAT problems but there were issues with the way that the projections were analysed. Rather than disrupt the amazing efforts that Gavin’s squad were producing on the pitch the Board decided that an overdraft facility would be the best way to handle any possible overspend at the end of last season.After making essential savings the projected deficit is now estimated to be approximately £10k or will be possibly lower over the next 12 months.
An above average crowd for the Boxing Day local derby with Hereford FC will help to considerably reduce the manageable overdraft figure further provided that prudent steps are taken to curb any further problem areas.
The elephant in the room is still the lack of any capital reserve to replace the 3G carpet that will be needed in a few years time and the significant increase in rent that the Club will have to pay for the ground in 2020. It is essential that a plan is put in place now to deal with the increased income and future expenditure and the business case is strictly kept under control and monitoring is reported back frequently to the fans.
Hopefully, this will be the starting point for future transparent dialogue with the fans.