CHAIRMAN'S MESSAGE - DECEMBER, 2015
On Monday, 14th December, the Club Directors and Management Committee meet to formally consider and approve the independently assessed Annual Accounts for the financial year from 1st June, 2014 to 31st May, 2015.
Observing on the outturn, I am disappointed to report an operating loss of some £6,100 which is the first loss we have experienced since 2010/11. Analysing the reason for the loss, it can be attributed to the imposition by the SHFL of introducing a series of midweek fixtures during the opening months of the playing season. Each of the selected home midweek fixtures were, by record, high revenue earners. Consequently, financial recovery over the remaining Saturday fixtures of the season proved impossible. The reason for the SHFL introducing such a policy lies solely at the door of the introduction of the SFA’s Pyramid System whereby the SHFL fixtures had to be completed by mid-April whereas it is normally over the history of the League to be mid-May!
Having addressed the operating revenue health of the Club, I wish to report the progress that we continue to make through our rolling Capital Investment Programme. During the close season of 2014, the Club undertook three separate projects namely (1) completion of the internal upgrade of the main stand, (2) creation of a new concrete access stairway to the public terraces and (3) completing phase 2 of the floodlight upgrade. This proved to be an extremely busy summer whilst at the same time planning and implementing our Centenary Season in the SHFL.
In spring of 2015, the refurbishment of the turnstile block was satisfactorily completed. At this juncture, I feel it important to comment on how, after a lengthy review and investigation by Narden, the Club’s Main Sponsor, a design and build solution, approved by the Club’s retained Consulting Engineers, allowed the contract for the replacement of the aging Cowshed enclosure by a state-of-the art modern steel structure befitting the ambitions of the Club at Station Park. During early summer, owing to a series of technical delays completely outwith the control of the Club and Contractors, the overall contract has taken longer than originally planned. The Club, hopefully, will take occupation of the new spectator enclosure in December after satisfying the Planning and Building Warrant requirements. The contribution by the Supporters’ Ground Improvements Fund has also proved vital to the Club in helping them maintain the pace of its overall redevelopment programme.
One must never forget the importance of Youth to the Club’s existence and future and this is where Gillian McWilliam and her volunteer Coaches come into their own. Gillian who has now headed up our Youth Development Programme for over 10 years can proudly be acknowledged as one who goes the extra mile for the Youth and Club equally. As with last season, this season the U15s and U17s are performing exceptionally well. Also, now forming part of the our Youth endeavours, the Club has entered an U20s team into the NOSFA League, which serves to fill the vacuum between finishing as a 17-year-old and joining the 1st Team Squad. I applaud Gillian and her Team of Coaches for all the effort and time they commit to such a worthwhile cause.
Concluding, I again wish to pay tribute, as I do each year, to all the unpaid volunteers who give willingly of their time to help Narden be it during the close season or in the lead up to match days and the post-match pitch repair duties.
Finally, to the Nairn and wider Business Community who sponsor matches, advertise at Station Park or provide product support for the Club, please accept one hundred thousand thank you’s for the ongoing annual commitment and support for the Wee County.
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Healthy New Year.
“County till I die”.