This football club can only succeed in the long term if everyone buys into the idea that it is a three-way partnership between the directors, the fans and the team. We cannot continue in the old way with the club only surviving because of the money loaned to it by its directors. We still have the legacy of indebtedness from that kind of management hanging over us. It is only thanks to the great generosity of the late Roley Tong who wrote off over £200,000 of loans that the club did not face the risk of extinction when he died.

 

This board of directors agreed many months ago that there will be no more director’s loan accounts. That doesn’t mean that the directors won’t put money into the club, but it does mean that their contributions will be gifts not loans and will be modest and infrequent. BUT no healthy football club can or should need to survive just on the generosity of the directors. Long term security can only be achieved if the community really wants and really supports the football club.
Our medium-term strategy for the club is based on this principle and has three main parts:

  1. To secure the future of the club by ensuring that the business is self-sustaining i.e. that it does no worse than break even each year without additional borrowing or by spending capital.
  2. To substantially reduce the historical debt burden and eliminate the threatening debt.
  3. To make ground improvements year by year to the point where Marston Road is ready for National League football.

 

Steps have already been taken towards the first and third goals and we will build on those steps in the coming months.
Financial sustainability.

Success on the pitch is the key to any football club’s survival. At the start of the 2019 season we will be opening the Stafford Rangers Academy in conjunction with the Northern Premier League Football Academy and their sole providers, Eliteform Ltd In addition to making a modest annual contribution to total income, the Academy will provide locally grown talent for the first team in years to come.

Whether we can achieve financial stability is strongly influenced by the number of supporters coming through the turnstiles on match days which itself is directly related to how well the team is doing but we will not jeopardise the club’s future by increasing the playing budget beyond what we can afford – that lesson has been learned. If gates do improve we can consider giving the manger more to spend on the team. That means that we need all true Rangers fans to support the lads through thick and thin. We will continue to make reductions in costs wherever possible and will build on the cost cutting measures already made as outlined in the Chairman’s report.

The social club keeps the football club alive and our commercial team will continue to explore every possible way of raising money by exploiting its facilities. In particular, we will be looking to greatly increase the use of the club as a meeting venue during working hours.

Debt reduction

We have delegated this task to John Macmillan. Item 7 on the agenda is a key part of this strategy and we urge shareholders to support it. John will answer any questions on this topic.

Ground improvements

In the next 18 months we will build on the work which has already been done as outlined in the Chairman’s report. As with the playing budget, we will not attempt ground improvement projects that expose the club to financial risk. Wherever possible we will obtain grant aid from the Football Stadium Improvement Foundation, but they will only fund projects necessary to retain ground grading or which support the first team. For this reason, the football club is unable to offer any financial support to the Shed End project. It is not eligible for FSIF funding and we have no spare money to put into the project. So far as possible, the football club’s money for ground improvements will come from the Boost the Boro Lottery, from the sale of shares and from external third parties other than FSIF. We have three important projects earmarked for the next 18 months. The first is the resurfacing of the car park for which a FSIF grant application will be made in the next few days. We are certain that the improvement to the look of the social club this will make will increase income from room hire which will directly support the first team. Resurfacing the car park will also greatly improve ground safety. The second project is the replacement of the now near derelict away turnstiles which we hope to be able to achieve at no cost to the club. The third project is a major refurbishment of the office and changing room block – including the mandatory provision of changing facilities for female match officials – which is likely to take about 18 months to complete and will probably have to be done in stages as finances allow. The more support that fans give to the Lottery, the more we can do to improve the ground. The work will include major improvements to the insulation and the heating system will in turn reduce running costs.

John Bromley – Chairman
Carol Bailey – Vice-chair
Reg Bates – Director

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