Cambridge United today held the annual Shareholders Meeting at the Abbey Stadium, with the Board of Directors delivering an overview of the Club’s accounts for 2017/18.
The meeting began with Director of Business Shaun Grady welcoming shareholders and introducing the Board of Directors, before Finance Director Duncan Foyle presented on the 2018 accounts which had been audited by Price Bailey.
Foyle confirmed to shareholders the reasons for the restated results for 2017 which saw the previous reported loss of £632,687 increase to £882,691, as well as the breakdown for the losses of 2018 (£834,830) which can be attributed to an underachievement of income in four areas. This was largely a result of forecasts that were significantly over-optimistic.
A recent review of headcount within the football and business operation at the club, has seen a number of positions eliminated to create more efficiency which will result in an overall reduction of £496,000 in salary costs for the current financial year.
Foyle finished by explaining the reorganisation of Cambridge United’s finance department, which included the appointment of a more experienced team, as well as improved business procedures and practices to ensure the Board of Directors receive more timely and accurate financial reports.
Shaun Grady later clarified a number of key points relating to the China Summer Schools, which included an agreement to transfer the summer school business to the University of Cambridge in return for a profit share/royalty.
Ian Mather presented further information relating to the new training ground plan in partnership with Hill/Marshalls and discussed the Club’s options on a new stadium with further details set to be announced in due course. Godric Smith also updated shareholders on the ongoing work to increase fan engagement through the introduction of CUSP and the reinstated Fans Forums, as well as acknowledging the positive impact made as a mentally healthy football club through the work of the Community Trust.
All Directors then took questions from shareholders, noting their concerns before Majority Shareholder Paul Barry closed the meeting by providing his perspective on the financial results and management of the Football Club in recent years.
Barry acknowledged the work undertaken during the last 12 months by the Board of Directors to implement improved financial procedures, reduce costs and develop new revenue streams for a more positive financial performance for 2018/19. He also confirmed his desire for the Board of Directors to seek new fresh investment in order to carry the Club forward longer term.
Interviews with Paul Barry, Shaun Grady and Ian Mather will follow in due course.