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FC United Board report 19 March 2012

The latest meeting of the FC United Board took place on the evening of Monday 19 March 2012. Alan Hargrave reports.

Given that the meeting was the first since we announced that we’d hit the community shares target, the meeting had a lot to discuss and was a long one.

Apart from the community shares, preparations for our forthcoming general meeting were high on the agenda. There were a couple of resolutions that have been submitted for the meeting and the board needed to discuss those and take a view to be included in the information that gets sent out to members ahead of the meeting. We also needed to look at the budget and how we were going to present that at the general meeting and also took some time to cover the Development Fund.

The board also discussed ticket prices for next season. We decided to recommend that fans will once again be able to pay what they can afford for their season ticket. Given the economic situation affecting many of our supporters, we also decided to recommend to the general meeting that we should not increase match-day ticket prices.

We also reviewed other club’s ticket prices to ensure that we stick to our aim of being amongst the lowest prices in the league. Having reviewed the prices at clubs in our current league and in the one above, we can report that we are indeed still amongst the lowest priced. Maintaining low prices is always a balancing act, as we recognise that we can’t run the club on fresh air, but we have pledged to provide affordable football and that’s what we are doing.

Turning to the budget, the board looked at two different financial scenarios. One for if we stay in the division we are in and the other based on us getting promoted. Discussions have taken place with Margy on the playing budget as to what we require to be competitive next season. Again, it was reported that we are not amongst the highest payers, in whatever league we end up in. Obviously, we won’t know which league we will be playing in next season by the time of the general meeting, so those two budget options will be presented for members’ approval at the meeting on 19 April 2012.

Board members also received a report on the community shares. It looks likely that we will hit the £1.7m mark some time later this year, which is a fantastic achievement. The board decided to keep the scheme open for those who wish to invest as we believe it would be crazy to stop people putting in.

We discussed a ’spade in the ground’ date for work to start on the new ground, we still have a number of hurdles to overcome but we’ve identified late spring as a target. An April 2013 completion date, if all goes to plan, will give us the time we need to hold the required start up events at the new ground. The board heard that we need to hold test events for licensing purposes, one of which must include a full evacuation of the facility. It’s exciting that we are discussing these details now and makes our plans all the more real.

Board member Rob Nugent gave the meeting a finance report and told the board that we had a healthy balance sheet. It was stressed though that we still needed to keep up the fundraising to ensure that the position remained healthy going forward. Looking ahead to next season, we agreed that we would be at Bury again, for what we expect to be a final year before we move to a home of our own.

We also looked at the community work being done by the club and were pleased to see that this area of our activity is expanding. We are getting repeat offers of work which is a great sign that partners like what we are doing and believe that we are doing them well.

Hopefully my report gives you a flavour of the meeting. There was a good mood amongst board members, given the community shares success and the success on the field, where we are really pleased with the playing staff, especially in the light of our recent League Fair Play Award.

Alan Hargrave is an FC United Board member.

News ID ~ 4128 First Posted ~ 14:46 Mon 26 Mar 2012 Last Updated ~ 14:46 Mon 26 Mar 2012

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