Subsequent to the club's well attended AGM last night Iron Chairman Peter Swann has released the following two statements which highlight the key issues that were discussed last night.
Who would be a Chairman?
With a new Manager at the helm it was crucial we maintained our League 1 status and I am delighted that Mark was able to do that for us, albeit a little too close for comfort at times.
Certainly our aim is to be placed as high as we can in League 1 and hopefully challenging for one of those play off places, but this game is never so straight forward, is it?
Good summer recruitment meant we have signed some very experienced players and also brought in youngsters who have huge potential and value. The likes of Laird, King and Wiseman from Preston, who have experienced the play offs, Dawson, Williams, Henderson, Ness, Goode, Hopper amongst others, gives us a good combination and investment in the squad. Unfortunately it is not as easy as that! We lost Niall and Luke in the first game and then Daniels gets sent off to compound matters. Our system did not seem to work without those players and it has been a really disappointing start to the season. Poor performances from too many individuals and mistakes costing us goals (5 penalties in 4 games) and a lack of confidence has seen us at the wrong end of the table, but I am certain Mark can turn it around, we must give him time.
Behind the scenes on the playing side we have improved all aspects of our backroom activity. A new medical team, better training sessions, better Liaison with the Boardroom from the Management team and a general step forward in professionalism has been a huge positive.
We can only hope that all these changes and a determined effort to keep a Manager through thick and thin will pay dividends, time will tell!
Our budget sits at just £600k or so above the previous Managers, around the £3M mark, so very competitive and there are considerations for new loan signings as the season goes on.
We are also starting to see improvements in other areas of the business and the appointment of Jim Rodwell, as CEO, has given us the opportunity to expand and improve our club on the inside. The recruitment of personnel in key areas will give us an advantage going forward and although it may not seem as though we are there yet, I am confident we will reap the benefits of these changes, in the coming years. Already we have increased sales in Restaurant, Catering and the Commercial departments which intimates we are going the right way. These changes are not easy and we thank the outgoing staff for their endeavours over the years, but now it is time for our new employees to step forward and deliver what the football club requires, to become a sustainable business.
The new stadium forms part of that strategy and I am pleased to say that we have made large strides forward on that front. We now have full planning and are in the process of completing our purchase of the land, unfortunately delays outside of our control have slowed us down, however we are pushing forward in a two phase plan so as to be playing football in our new home, in August 2016.
The continued work on acquiring tenants so we can finance the build is ongoing and commercially sensitive, so we cannot always keep the fans up to date, but it is going well. We envisage 2 thirds of the stadium built and ready to play in, with the remainder built over the following season as those tenants are confirmed. It may actually happen faster if we manage to sort those leases out earlier, but we will not risk the clubs ability to compete on the field for a rushed job!
We were delighted to be able to bring my eldest son Christopher onto the board of Directors at the age of 21 and anyone who has spoken to him can see his passion for football rates up there with mine!
He now has joined the 2 year graduate scheme at Deloitte, based in London and we wish him all the best for the future. He will be able to continue as a Director and most of you have seen his Tweets!
Jim Rodwell joins the board of Directors and we intend to build the board up over the coming years with our senior employees so they have even more of a vested interest in the football club.
We also say goodbye to two Directors, Jason and Keith, who have given huge amounts of time to this football club and to respect that commitment we have made them vice presidents. I would personally like to thank them for their support and courage, especially when appointing me at a very difficult time.
We as a family have committed our time and money to Scunthorpe United FC in the hope we can make this club sustainable and deliver a sporting legacy to North Lincolnshire. I know with your support we can make this a reality.
Business Review 2014/15
The results for the year are shown in the profit and loss account of the financial statements and are summarised below, along with information on where the club sees it’s self in the future.
The club continues to make losses as in previous years and 2014/15 sees an increase once again, yet there can be huge positives taken from these results in various areas of the business.
Our actual loss of £3,179,015, was an increase of just over £2M on the previous year, with the majority, £1.6M taken up in wages, salaries and pay offs.
Turnover has increased from £2.4M to £2.8M with some very pleasing results in Restaurant and Catering. These two areas were highlighted last year and have shown significant improvement.
The increase in player wages was inevitable as we struggled to consolidate our position in league 1, a huge injury list in the opening couple of months, coupled with the exit pay offs and the incoming salaries made this a very difficult time financially, but happily, survival was achieved. This also hit attendances and income throughout the season.
We purchased just under £1.5M in share capital during this period to steady the ship and this then made Scunthorpe United FC a subsidiary of Cool Silk Property and Investment, a company wholly owned and run by the Swann Family. I believe this has not only stabilised the future finances of the football club, but ensured a concrete interest to deliver a strong business base for SUFC. In fact the current shares owned by myself on behalf of Cool Silk now stand at around 77% of shares issued.
Also the bank overdraft of £400k was repaid in January of this year.
The stadium position has changed quite dramatically in the last year and that will affect the profit and loss, as we have spent over £500k on preliminary works in relation to our move to the new stadium and that exciting project is moving along nicely. We have now secured full planning on the site and hope to complete the purchase of the land via the option, in the New Year. Delay in the road structure has been the key hold up, but we hope that with continued dialogue we can continue to progress into the new stadium August 2016. Site investigation has begun and preliminary works have started, so we hope to be able to update fans in the coming months, of our progress. There will be a phasing of the works so as to ensure we can be in and playing whilst the remainder of the stadium is completed.
This phasing will help as we develop tenants and leases which will enable the club to deliver a superb sporting venue and legacy for North Lincolnshire.
Principal Risks and Uncertainties?
The Board constantly monitors new developments and assesses the threats to the business by close monitoring of the sectors in which it operates
Business Risks identified are potential reduced income from dwindling gates due to the performance of the team and local market forces.
The board ensures compliance with all relevant rules and regulations, in particular those laid down by the FA, Football League, UEFA and FIFA. Any change to the regulations of these bodies could have an impact on the company as they cover areas such as; Competition Format, Distribution of Media
Income, Player eligibility and operation of the Transfer Market. The board ensures compliance with all the relevant rules and regulations, thus monitoring the impact of any potential changes.
Financial Key Performance Indicators
The Directors consider the following to be the key performance indicators of the club:
Turnover - £2,771,629 (2014: £2,350,582)
Wage to Turnover % - 156.7% (2014: 115.9%)
League Finishing Position – 16th in Football League 1 (2014: 2nd in Football League 2)