The Chester City Supporters’ Society Limited Accounts have been released to City Fans United members this week, and we would like to give a Summary to go along with those figures to help members understand them further.
It is worth pointing out that the Club have included Year on Year comparisons as well as details of all areas of Expenditure and Income. This is not part of the statutory accounts and it should be noted that we are in a very small minority of clubs that make this information publicly available. Several supporter owned clubs are far less transparent.
The main figure that everyone will of course look at is whether the Club made a profit or a loss in the year ending 31st May 2012, and we report for this financial year that the Club made a small net loss of £2,970.
There have been a number of factors contributing to the small loss, and it should also be noted that in the previous financial year (ending 31st May 2011) the Club actually started with around £60,000 in the bank before season ticket sales commenced.
This last financial year has seen a number of areas of increased expenditure:
Repairs and Renewals -– a great deal of work was needed on the Exacta Stadium itself, with maintenance and repair costs going up £10,000. Years of neglect have resulted in a backlog in this area.
Match day Costs – – there has been a significant rise in Stewarding costs in the past year, partly due to the increase in stadium capacity and increased attendances.
Youth Development – – during the first financial year, the Club set out it’s plans to develop the Youth teams, and in Year 2, a figure of around £14,000 was put towards that development, compared to £0 in Year 1 The benefits are now apparent with the success that the Youth sides are experiencing, with five teams of differing age groups performing consistently, and it is part of the Club’s long term strategy to continue development of the Youth teams.
Staff Costs including Playing Budget – – last season the squad suffered a number of serious injuries, with Michael Wilde (shoulder), Ashley Williams (Shoulder), Levi Mackin (Shoulder), Matty McNeil (Knee), and John Danby (Hand) all being out of action for long periods. This added more pressure to the Playing Budget, particularly when the Club was challenging for Promotion. A number of crucial decisions had to be made including the purchase of Matty McGinn, who had done extremely well in his loan spell. The board shared the Managers’ ambition to get promoted last season and this signing helped to bolster those ambitions, which of course proved successful with the resulting promotion in April 2012. Matty playing a pivotal part in the success. The Board also backed the manager in planning for the future by signing Antoni Sarcevic and Marc Williams.
There was an extra member of staff taken on in the last financial year, which is part of the clubs’ development.
Utilities – – as you will see this is a figure over £48,000 which includes Business Rates. Whilst it should be noted that utility bills always increase, we have recently negotiated lower bills with the help of a third party, who is also a supporter of Chester FC. This will hopefully be apparent in the next set of accounts.
A number of costs in Year 1 were part year. These include the rent and staff costs. The Year 2 accounts reflect the full year costs in these areas.
Programme Sales. – As you will see from the figures, despite an excellent match day programme production with the purchase price remaining the same each season, sales have actually dropped by £10,000.
Depreciation and Amortisation. – This amounts to over £15k in the last financial year giving an operating surplus of £12k before these two factors are taken in to account.
As you will see from the Accounts, a large collective effort is needed to help guide the Club forward, and we are seeking ideas from all owners of Chester FC to help do just that. More fundraising is required, and of course we need to be looking at ways of bringing new money into the Club, and not just more from those who already contribute.
As a reminder, the City Fans United AGM takes place on Thursday 29th November, starting at 7.30pm in the Blues Bar at the Exacta Stadium.