Shareholders AGM feedbackThe Shareholders annual meeting was held on December 11, 2016 at St James Park. Details of the financial directors' report, chairman’s update and accounts are detailed below.
Finance director’s report: Keith Mason, reminded shareholders that the annual accounts this year were for a 13-month (1 June 2015 to 30 June 2016). By extending the reporting period by an extra month would ensure that financial year ends going forward coincided with the termination of player contracts at the end of June. The benefit to shareholders would be that each financial year would be less ambiguous and contain all the expenses of the associated season. As such the approved accounts for 15-16 detail roughly the normal 12 months income but 13 months' expenditure.
Again the club was in receipt of a transfer fee in respect of one of its home produced players. The proceeds are again being received on a phase basis straddling two financial years. The finances were also boosted by an FA Cup receipts from the two televised games with Liverpool.
Additional spending during the year has been enabled and planned on the back of the previous year’s transfer of Matt Grimes.
Club chair's report: In his address, Julian Tagg gave due recognition to Keith for the admirable way he had transformed the financial reporting and systems. He also recognised the often unnoticed work ethic, dedication and extra hours performed by all back-office staff and volunteers.
He also praised the 4/4 split relationship within the club board that had functioned extremely well with each director attacking one or more aspects of club business, bringing much value and commitment. All directors see and oversee a every detail, nothing is hidden. Special mention was saved for David Lee who has done so much to deliver a new stand at no cost to the club. Finally the recent addition of Terry Falco as a non-Executive director had injected pace and certainty into the recent staff review.
Better communication is always required. The “State of the Nation” and 3G updates acknowledge this requirement.
The academy continues to excel and have ensured immense financial value and player quality. Although a separate company Football in the Community charity is a rock bed of what the club is about. Turnover has increased exponentially from £335k 2 years ago to projecting £1.2m next year. The work it does underpinning the immense amount of goodwill from the four local councils, business and local people. A name change is planned to reflect the enormous range of activities, capture imagination and defining what this community club “really” contributes and delivers for greater Exeter.
Three recent board away days have focused on the variety of issues that need to be faced head-on. This includes a business plan born out of budget projections for the next five years. The elephant in the room is collectively (club, shareholders and supporters) deciding what our long-term vision is. The club board’s ambition is now being crystallised for the Trust to address.
Those decisions will guide our final plan:
1…revisit appropriateness of Deloitte Drivas Jonas recommendation from 10 years ago to stay at SJP;
2…change the model is an option to attract investment but is unacceptable to the club board;
3…keep the status quo and risk falling behind.
The club chair recommitted himself and the board to continuing tasks of developing the academy, community involvement and the club as a whole. Acknowledging that we were light years from where we started 14 years ago.
Summarising the chair’s report:
Back office and board are working well;
Academy is really flying;
FITC is really really flying;
Replacement stand and changing rooms were being developed at the Trust challenge of being at no cost or risk to club;
State of the art 3G development is immense;
Volunteers keep coming back and stick together;
Grecian Groups are daily growing stronger (especially Junior and Senior Reds);
Current finances say simply we are performing in every sphere but due to external factors, primarily philanthropy, starting to lose ground.
The club is in great shape with the caveat that there is much to do to adapt to the reality, remain steadfast in devotion to duty and resolute to find solutions.
For a short period the annual accounts for the period 30 June 2016 are detailed in this link