Dear fellow Seftonites,
CHAIRMANS INTERIM ANNUAL REPORT
As I hope you will understand it has not been possible to hold the normal AGM at the club premises this summer and a virtual (Zoom/Teams etc) meeting was considered impractical. Despite the welcome news this week that an effective vaccine is in the pipeline we realize, that in all probability, it will not be possible to meet in large groups for quite a few months and with the Accounts now delivered and published I thought we would just provide written reports in lieu of the usual AGM format in these extraordinary times. Note that an AGM will take place, sometime, with current directors and other volunteers continuing to carry out their responsibilities, in the meentime.
Since the initial lockdown in March the board of directors has met regularly, albeit virtually and all the directors and post-holders, inc our President, have agreed to continue until a formal session is possible and considered necessary. However, absence of face-to-face meetings has not prevented the Board from appointing a new director – Chris McCleary – who enjoys special responsibility for communications, which the board considered vital in these unusual times – congratulations Chris. We hope the regular newsletters are providing an adequate update as to the Club’s situation but if there are any issues you would seek clarification please feel free to contact any of the directors.
The abrupt end to last season now seems a lifetime ago and the relegation of the men’s 1st XV a distant cloud and sadly too, promotion of the highly successful Sefton Ladies, a distant uncelebrated milestone. Happily, this week’s news of an effective vaccine (and hopefully another one to follow next week) could potentially lead to competitive games early next year although now all, save elite, league competitions have been cancelled. There is however, already a framework in place for ‘friendly’ should playing restrictions be lifted before the end of the current season.
Roy has provided his own Financial report which I would not wish to plagiarize but can’t miss the opportunity to thank all the Members who have continued to pay their membership which has significantly helped keep the Club financially afloat.
Lockdowns permitting we have continued to hold training sessions and run inter-club tag games which I know has provided a much needed distraction and benefit for those participants. We are indebted to those coaches/captains/players who have made these sessions possible, maintaining a link with the playing membership and providing some justification for the vital membership payments.
Sadly I have to record the death of two of our number. Ged Scully who joined the club in the 70s but had to retire through injury but who was a regular spectator and Club supporter despite serious illness and chronic pain. Also Allan Bonner, a big character back in the day, who few of you will know, who played for the first team in the 60s and who attended many of our reunions.
We are optimistic that come the end of this current lockdown (2nd December) we will be able to resume our training sessions and then crucially playing games before the season officially ends. Hopefully, with two vaccines almost ready to roll out, the reintroduction of competitive games will not be too much of a stretch. As you can imagine recovering our players and rugby club culture will present a major challenge for the future which will require all your support.
Bill Jones, 10 Nov. 2020
Financial Statement Annual Accounts 2019/20
In ‘normal circumstances’ it would be July, and I’d be standing up in front of you at the AGM to present the annual accounts for the financial year 2019 to 2020, which ended on the 30th April.
The production of the annual Accounts has obviously been delayed by events surrounding the Corona Virus ‘lockdown’ and we had originally hoped that we would be able to present the accounts at a delayed AGM. The latest measures have made it harder for us to say when such a gathering may be possible, so a decision was made to distribute the Accounts to the membership ‘electronically’.
Click to access the Sefton Website for the “Accounts 2019-20”.
Please take the time to read through the accounts, and if you should have specific questions you can email them to me at email@example.com . I will either be able to answer them myself, or may have to refer them to our Accountant, John Harrild, for any more ‘technical’ questions.
As always I will start with the explanation that the accounts have to be produced in this format for a ‘company’ like ours. The first 5 pages contain the necessary accountancy details. Pages 6,7,8 & 9 explain where our funds came from, and where the money was spent.
It should be remembered that the financial effects of the pandemic were not felt until the second week of March 2020, when we had to close the Club completely, including our bar operation.
You will see on page 6 that we made a surplus, or profit for the year of £9791.00. This is obviously very welcome, but it has also to be considered that included in this financial year is the £10,000 Business Support Grant (Government/Local Grant Aid) that was paid to all Business Rate payers in early April. I am however, confident that we would still have made a surplus as were denied at least six weeks’ turnover from the bar, at what is always one of our busiest periods. The Board of Directors also made the decision not to collect the final direct debit payments of the season, at what was a very uncertain time for our members.
When I present the accounts for the financial year 2020/21 to you all next season it may show a more ‘challenging’ situation as we have been denied much of our regular income by the various Corona Virus restrictions that have been put in place. We are now very much relying on the payment of membership fees as our only regular source of income. Despite the numerous cost cutting measures that we have taken, and you will see on page 9 many of the administrative expenses that still have to be paid for whether we’re open or not.
We are still planning for a return to training after this latest lockdown, and are hopeful of some meaningful sporting activity after Christmas. Whatever happens, the Directors are confident, with careful management of the limited income we do have, and use of the financial reserves we were able to build up in previous years, that the Club will be financially ready to start the 2021/22 season.
Sefton Director of Finance