Our apologies as we are a little late with our update to you all, so it is a little longer than usual.
It’s a belated welcome to the club Assistant coach John Dreyer and player Chris McCann. Additionally, congratulations to academy players Reece Gaskell, Lewis McKinney who is now out on loan and Zac Emmerson on their professional debuts. Especially, Zac who became the clubs youngest player at 15 years old, wow.
October 14th Trust meeting.
Firstly, we accepted the last Trust meeting notes from August. There was no meeting in September as we met with the FSA instead and secondly, we welcomed new Trust co-optees Kevin Boden and Trevor Dunkerley to the board.
We reviewed the key marker questions agree in September and our progress against them. Critically, they form part of the legal entitlement the Trust rep (Darren) has to know as a director of the club, and part of the six fan expectations. Please find our meeting notes and the timescales we set at the time. Some of these have now been updated and revised lower down the page.
Launch of Push the Boundary during October
There are many different types of supporters organisations that each club has, from Trusts, to independent supporters groups, to supporters boards and supporters parliaments. All want a meaningful dialogue with their respective clubs.
We understand that for a long time the Trust has been the umbrella group that tried to meet and manage all fans expectations and this model has not come without its challenges. Our fan base is diverse and we acknowledge there is a split in support for the club in its current guise, some are happy to wait to see how the season develops and others want more immediate action.
Crucially, your Trust has a legal entitlement at Club board level which gives us insight to how our club is ran, and we have been building a professional relationship with the owners, his advisors’ and fellow board of directors. At this time, we are focusing on being an independent overseer of the way our football club is ran, and whist we assess the situation as a board we will listen to fans and each other about the changes that we may want to make to Trust Oldham to bring it’s values and aims in line and to bring things more up to date.
Whilst some fans have the belief that Push the Boundary and Trust Oldham can’t co-exist, we don’t believe this is the case – both have different working practices and we hope there is some mutual respect between both parties.
As always, with views so polarised by some, we ask all fans to be respectful of each others views.
November 11th Trust meeting
Specifically in our November meeting, we allocated time for Philippa to brief us on the accounts and provide some insights on her review of the accounts. This helped the “non-accountancy” people on the Trust board. Details further in this article.
We were advised that the club had proposed to increase the club’s share capital, and that the club would make sure (and pay) for an increase in the Trust shares to keep our 3% shareholding. Darren did point out that 75% of the shareholders were required to vote to pass this through and ultimately our view would not have a huge influence on the decision – but the Trust ought to have a view on this matter.
Darren went on to highlight the fact that Abdallah has mentioned in the past the significant sums of money he contributes to the club each month. Issuing these shares frees the club of a significant debt burden in this respect, which is good for the long-term health of the club
Summarily, the Trust board felt we had not been given enough time nor enough information to make an informed decision and decided not to vote and that we should seek further advice.
Lastly, we finalised our agenda and questions for the EFL meeting on the 14th November. Primarily, this was to learn lesson from the demise of Bury FC and the recent DCMS report. We felt this meeting deserved a statement of its own and we published that earlier this week.
Summary of the three accountancy periods:
Fans have posed many questions recently with regards to the club’s finances. We do discuss them at our monthly meetings too and we have summarised the three key financial periods below. Now with revised targets and updates from today:
- Up to date management accounts information with cash flow statement.
Again, we will request access as per the promises made to the Trust in May. Minimum, Trust representative as a club board director should receive regular updates of financials in the Club board meetings. This is now expected from the club in January. This is a change to the date in our meeting notes from October, although Darren has had discussions with the club regarding Cashflow and the financial health of the club.
- Full accounts from June 2018 to June 2019.
These are practically prepared but not yet complete. As shareholders we expect to review and approve them before submission to Companies house in March 2020.
- Full accounts from June 2017 to June 2018.
As mentioned above, during October Trust directors viewed additional accounts information for 2017/18 year. However, delays on the day meant that not all the tasks were completed satisfactorily. In our opinion and based on the information seen so far, the abridged accounts 2017/18 do NOT comply with Schedule 1A of FRS 102 (Requirements for Small Company Accounts) despite Darren providing further information to support the validity of the accounts. Already, we have responded to requests from the FSA and EFL to set out out what we think good practice looks like in our EFL meeting last week. The reason why the EFL/FSA were briefed first is that that meeting was set and within three days of the Trust meeting. We will be address this directly with the club and a separate Trust statement will be issues once this has been done to reflect the level of detail.
In the meantime, additional date(s) and information are needed for points 1 and 3 before we can make an informed decision on the financial heath of our club and we will press forward with this.
During October and November we experienced some delays ourselves. A director with a broken foot did not help especially as they had the accounts knowledge. Subsequently, to get us back on track we have reviewed, prioritised and set December/January targets below.
- Key marker financial questions
Crucially, full up to date full management accounts and cash flow of the club as mentioned above. There is a Club board December meeting and we expect an update by January.
- A meeting with club:
As fans we are all concerned with on and off the field issues. The Trust board was promised in the May meeting, seasonal meetings. Therefore, we will be requesting one to be arranged as soon as possible to review the Chairman’s vision.
- Shareholder information as per the Companies Act 2006.
As shareholders, we will be requesting information from the club with regards to:A) That the Trust has been entered in the company’s Register of Members (section 113).
B) To inspect the Register of Members (shareholders) (section 116).
C) To be notified of any shareholders’ meeting (Annual General Meetings) (section 310).
Additionally, we will be suggesting to the club that they consider developing a joint code of conduct with us. We feel recent hurdles will be resolved quicker, if we agree to have some basic guidelines put in place. The Trust have made a start and drafted one based on an FSA template that Darren will work through with Natalie and the board of the club.