AGM 2022: Proposal for the different committees of the club to contribute to a long-term business plan by 03/23

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AGM 2022: Proposal for the different committees of the club to contribute to a long-term business plan by 03/23

Post by ClaptonCFC »

Clapton Community Football Club has grown rapidly since we became member-owned. In November 2017 we had just £3,522 in the bank – now we have assets of £409,258 that include the Old Spotted Dog Ground (now valued at a quarter of a million pounds) and will soon grow further to include the warehouse next door.

We have reached the stage where, to remain sustainable, we need to know with far greater certainty how much we hope the club will have grown further in the next five years and what resources we need to get there. Otherwise, we run the risk of facing an unexpected crisis that we do not know how to manage.
The Finance Committee is therefore recommending CCFC adopts a long-term business plan, that sets out where we would like to have reached by the end of the 2027-28 season and what resources (financial and otherwise) we need to get there.

This proposal will mandate each of the club’s committees to carefully consider how they see the club expanding in their area of activity and to assist with working out how this is achievable. We will also ask the Old Spotted Dog Ground Trust to contribute to this process.
Why is this important?

The club’s accelerated development has undoubtedly made an enormous difference to our long-term stability, but has been achieved with next to no advanced planning. We have, in short, been winging it for the last five years.
We were, for example, able to navigate the problems facing football clubs during the coronavirus lockdown in 2020-21 because we could keep our expenditure low and we had the cushion of generous reserves. This was, however, an entirely accidental outcome of our unexpected windfall in shirt sales and our expansion of membership.

Our situation has now changed with the purchase of the warehouse. We have new debts of £175,000 plus interest to repay over the next 25 years, alongside our outstanding current loans of £135,000. Our reserves are now gone and we need to consider how we rebuild them. We will need to raise funds to invest in the Old Spotted Dog Ground if all our teams want to progress to higher leagues. If this happens – and our rules say we aim to play at the highest level possible – then we are likely to face a multitude of new thorny issues in the future like how to entice and retain players.

A properly thought out business plan will demonstrate we are serious about the club’s long-term stability to our members, to potential grant givers and to ground and match sponsors. As a community benefit society, we are also uniquely placed to issue Community Shares, but a business plan is, however, a prerequisite for doing so properly.
What are the risks?

The Finance Committee’s view is that failing to embrace a long-term plan carries far greater risks than the work needed to create one.

PROPOSED BY: the Finance Committee

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Re: AGM 2022: Proposal for the different committees of the club to contribute to a long-term business plan by 03/23

Post by TonyR »

I support this proposal wholeheartedly - my concern is how to implement it. In my view, in order to integrate all the different Committee's proposals (and priorities), there will need to be a standard format and some significant guidance on what should, and should not, be included. Additionally, the final document will, inevitably, be a trade off between the priorities of different committees, and the different focus they will bring to the task. Who will a) agree, produce and distribute the guidance, b) make judgements between the various Committee priorities concerning what will, and will not, go into the Plan, and c) have final approval for the adoption of the Plan on behalf of the club? Finally, who will be responsible for the monitoring of the Committees to ensure that they are undertaking the tasks which are required of them by the Business Plan.
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Re: AGM 2022: Proposal for the different committees of the club to contribute to a long-term business plan by 03/23

Post by Copwatcher »

These are all good points. The Finance Committee was reluctant to prescribe the process in advance but it will need a template and probably one-to-one discussions. It is a big job and we may also need to look for outside help if we need to.

Although developing a long-term Business Plan may become a trade-off between the priorities of different committees, it will more likely mean a trade-off between what we would like to do and what we can afford year on year and how quickly and sustainably the club is able to grow.

The intention is to present a draft Business Plan to a future members' meeting for discussion, amendment if necessary and endorsement. Once it is agreed upon, the job of overseeing its implementation lies with the General Organising Committee (or the Board if the GOC proposal is not passed) and financially, oversight would still lie with the Finance Committee.
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