"This is not just about first XV rugby but about being a community club. We have survived but now we need to build. However, we do need to reduce costs so we will need more volunteers to help with many jobs that need doing around the club."
Martin Davis then went through the financial position.
HMRC are still hassling us for PAYE every month, literally coming and demanding payment. They will not give us any leeway - we must do everything by the book from now on.
However, other areas of HMRC have been more helpful - they want us to continue paying tax. We have five quarters of missing VAT receipts, but have managed to negotiate an agreed position with HMRC based on the most likely figures for those quarters - and the good news is that this is lower than we had budgeted.
There is also good news on corporation tax. HMRC pointed out that as we are a non-profit making body we can get dispensation from making Corporation tax returns and even returned money from our initial payment.
We also had failed to file accounts with the FSA - the governing body for Industrial and Provident Societies which is the legal status of the club. The form to file ongoing accounts is straightforward and as long as we have the records we can ensure we can file. However, we are missing the information to recreate the old filings. If any member has a copy of the signed accounts please let the club know. We do not know what punishment will be levied, we hope it will only be a warning.
We are slightly behind closing agreements on key sponsorships. We have the main ground sponsor, but are still looking to replace Camstead who have indicated they no longer want to sponsor the upstairs suite. We are hopeful we will close deals before the start of next season but revenue will not be in this years accounts.
The agreement with Cambridge Water Company for them to put a pumping unit in the far corner of the ground has been delayed, but is going ahead. Not only will they pay us for the land put they will pave the track from the emergency exit hopefully banishing the worst of the puddles.
Martin pointed out that the first team through the sponsorships and advertising they bring in makes a profit for the rest of the club. We are not a club that is here to support a first XV, they are the key that lets us be the club we want to be - they enable us to run the rest of the club, the social sides and the mini and youth and the community outreach.
The Community coaching scheme is now reaching over a thousand children in local secondary schools and this generates income for the club as schools pay us.
The bottom line is a loss of £85,000 since 1st December. Slightly behind budget. However this does not include the sponsorship and advertising revenue which comes in at the start of the season and had already been spent. Overall our cash position is around £15k behind the plan.
We are not back in the hole again - but it does put more pressure on us to improve income and cut costs. We are working to put the detail on next year's budget. Headline numbers will not change but there are many details to fill in. We know we have another very hard season - probably the critical season. However, if we work hard and get through it, life should get easier after that.
The 09/10 accounts are patchy but they are the best we will have. There are a few holes in the 10/11 accounts from the early months - but it is in reasonable shape. So both will be presented as qualified accounts at this years AGM.
Martin confirmed will not be standing as treasurer - mainly as even though he does run his own business he is not a trained accountant, and he feels that we really need a treasurer who is more familiar with accountancy language and law. We are also looking for a new auditor.
The chairman then introduced Matt Harrison, who joined the club as a parent coming along on Sundays. Matt works as a marketing manager for major newspapers and has volunteered to help with marketing. His first tasks has been to look at the various different revenue streams and their associated costs to help the committee understand how we can make more money.
As we do not have the manpower to do everything, we need to concentrate on a small number of areas that can make the most difference. He looked at five areas.
We need to increase the gate. Match tickets are the main source of revenue. Every extra person we can get through the gate is money in the bank - and may bring other benefit to the club though their skills. The committee will do what it can - but we can all help.
We need to look carefully at the way we run the bar to ensure we get better margins.
We need to rebuild lunches. Lunches are 15% of our revenue, not counting tables set aside for sponsors. Numbers are down this season though we are getting 85% of capacity. We may also add informal lunches downstairs alongside the formal catering upstairs.
We need to look at our sponsors. We are doing well with a small loyal group of sponsors - but there are many more opportunities out there. Cambridge is a bustling city. We need to work with potential sponsors to ensure we meet their needs. The more we help them the more they will support us.
We need to rebuild events - but these cannot get in the way of us being a rugby club. Weddings are a good money spinner but people want to get married on Saturdays and of course many Saturdays we have rugby. But we must get value from the buildings throughout the week and throughout the year.
Finally the Chairman reminded everyone about the AGM - when further reports will be presented. All the committee is up for re-election. Fresh blood is welcomed with open arms. If you feel you can make a contribution please stand.