Scarborough Athletic FC is committed to open and responsive communications. Our special Question and Answer (Q&A) service allows all Joint Owners the opportunity to ask questions regarding the club and its operations, and to pass on ideas they may have and get feedback to those ideas

'How are we going to...?'

'I'm not happy with what the club has decided to do in this case, can you assure me that...?'

'This is brilliant news, had you thought how much better it would be if...?'

'I think you should know that I heard from a friend that...'

'I have a cunning plan...'

These are just a few ways in which you can now seek feedback from the club under the improved Q&A system. 

The club will answer all questions honestly and objectively, and will endeavour to provide as much feedback as possible to any ideas you put forward. We will try to answer questions as quickly as possible, but please be patient as immediate answers may not always be possible or appropriate. It may also be the case that your question, and our answer, would benefit or be of interest to a wider audience and we reserve the right to include them in our various club publications and fora; we will contact you directly for permission should this be the case.

You will appreciate that we must take care that the service is not abused. We will not, for example, disclose information that puts us at a competitive or commercial disadvantage, or which compromises the private and personal interests of individuals associated with the club. We also reserve the right to pass on any communications which may be defamatory, potentially criminal or any other malicious intent. In all instances, the Board reserves the right to to reject submissions at its absolute discretion. The Q&A has been running for some time now and these pages contain a lot of useful information; as such we will maintain all communication for as long as possible. However, the club never stands still and many of the questions and our answers may no longer be relevant and the club shall not be held liable for any information given out or for the technical or legal accuracy or otherwise of questions and answers contained within these pages.

All questions should be accompanied by your name and a contact number, this will be used to check your Ownership status and to contact you if needed.

Your other details will remain confidential. This will ensure the facility is run for the benefit of Joint Owners only, those who have the best interests of SAFC at heart.

The email to send your questions to is: info@scarboroughathletic.com with a title of "Q and A Request". 
Alternatively you can write to SAFC Q+A, 1 Red Scar Drive, Scarborough, North Yorkshire, YO12 5RQ.

Wednesday 6th July

Question received from Joint Owner Simon Boyes

Dear all,

Further to the statement at the most recent Fans' Forum by Trevor Bull, is it possible for Joint Owners to be provided with an update on the implementation of the improvement plan formulated by Trevor? In the statement there was an indication of the enrolment on committees of persons with relevant expertise, but no details of the compliance structures which were also agreed. I am sure that being provided with appropriate details, as well as a more general update would reassure many Joint Owners.

Best wishes,

Simon Boyes

Response:
 
Thank you for your question Simon. The Board forwarded your question to Trevor himself and we are happy to reproduce his response on our behalf.
 
Let me update you on the progress made on the recommendations I made to the board and spoke about at the fans forum...
 
1) The committee structure should encompass Society Business
 
I'm pleased to say that a strong Society Committee has been set up under the Chairmanship of Graham North. This committee also comprises of Steve Smith (Director), Russell Westwood and Daniel Gadd.
 
2) The committees need to be strengthened
 
Whilst we are always needing more people to come forward to assist us in running our club the immediate need to strengthen the areas of financial control and income generation are currently in a much stronger position. Fred Firman and myself are working with Nick Finch and Andy Troughton on the commercial committee. We are also getting a lot of ad-hoc support from fans in such areas as creating marketing material and obtaining sponsorship. The Board is pleased to have added another experienced sales and marketing member to its Commercial Committee, and a statement will follow shortly. As mentioned at the fans forum the addition of Brian Wilcox to the Finance Committee has been invaluable. He has been a key player in ensuring better visibility and understanding of the clubs finances. 
 
3) There needs to be a Strategic Calendar to ensure compliance
 
The Society Committee now has a strategic calendar for society business. I am now confident previous oversights such as late notification of our AGM should not be a problem going forward. 
 
I am continuing to work with the other Directors / Committee Chairman to help them create strategic calendars for their areas. This is not to say that improvements in these areas aren't already being made.
 
The area that was causing the most concern was the clubs control of its finances. I'm pleased to report that levels of Board control and Board visibility in this area have been much improved by the finance committee.
 
a) A more robust cash flow forecast is forming a basis for financial decisions. 
b) Financial reporting to the board has been simplified enabling our directors to make better informed decisions. 
c) The methodology for the payment of players wages has been completely overhauled and is now more professional. 
d) The new way of paying players wages will not only give real time visibility to the board of what is being spent verses the agreed budget, it will also enable an immediate budget reduction or other compensating measures to be implemented if the need arose (such as adjusting to the significant drop in income experienced during the second half of last season).
 
Regards,
 
Trevor Bull (on behalf of the Board of Directors of Scarborough Athletic)

 

Tuesday 19th April

Questions received from Joint Owner Gordon Pickering:

A lot has been said over the last few days regarding the position of Rory Skelton under 21 goalkeeper, the manager telling the FA that he is unavailable to play allowing us to sign a goalkeeper on loan, then the player coming out and saying he is fit not working and available to play. Lot of questions to be asked but I really want a statement from a member of the board to clarify what is happening. If the club has withheld the truth form the FA then I expect them to go back to the FA and tell them so as a mater of urgency to get some credibility back for the club. We seem to be going from 1 disaster to another when will this come to an end?

Response:

The recent spotlight on Rory Skelton cannot have been beneficial to the player himself, nor to the club which he had always held in such high esteem. We have no issue with Rory whatsoever and hold him in high regard. As a matter of policy, the club does not normally enter into or respond to speculation on Social Media, especially about matters between the club and individual players, so we are pleased to respond to you as a joint owner in response to your letter to the clubs official Q&A.

The first team suffered a goalkeeping crisis on the very last day of transfer deadline with the disclosure that Nick Draper would be out with injury virtually to the end of his loan spell with the club. With Matt Glennon abroad on holiday and also likely to be out of contention with a Hernia operation, and with Rory Skelton already ruling himself out of U21 action due to other commitments until the end of the season we had a serious problem. With several weekend and midweek games still to play, and no guaranteed regular keeper for all of these the club took the prudent decision to apply for dispensation to bring in longer term goalkeeping cover for the remainder of our games (although Rory agreed to stand in over the Bank Holiday weekend and he put in creditable performances on both occasions).

Throughout this period, the club was already attempting to meet the exacting criteria for an emergency keeper, and we finally secured the services of Max Dearnley, the U21 goalkeeper from FC Halifax Town who travelled to talk to us at training on the Thursday night and who was duly signed under the emergency rule on the Friday just in time for the game against Witton Albion on Saturday.

At no time has the club acted in a dishonest way, nor breached any rule in taking action to safeguard our goalkeeping provision for all the games through to the end of the season.

We hope this statement will end further speculation.

Thank you.

 

Monday 7th September

Questions received from Joint Owner Brian Wilcox:

Please can you advise when the Final Accounts for 2015 will be published to members and will you confirm that they will be in the same detailed format that was provided for the Audited Accounts for 2014.

Please can you explain why the Unaudited Accounts for 2015 will be published even later in time than when the Audited Accounts were published for last year,which was 22/08/2014?

Does the Board think it would be beneficial if the Trust had a Financial Calendar for the publication of Year End Accounts and Quarterly Reviews to Members, in order that members receive information in a timely manner in future?

Response:
 
Thank you for your questions Brian.
 
We have a statutory requirement to furnish the Final Accounts to Joint Owners at least 28 days prior to the Annual General Meeting which will be held in late November 2015 (announcement to be made soon).  We will comply with this requirement and I confirm that they will meet the same detailed format as 2014.

As you know, the Board has a Strategic Planning Cycle which identifies key internal and external dates which provides us with guidelines and milestones to manage and maintain the football club. The early release of the 2014 Accounts should not now become a precedent for future years.

However, we note your evident concerns regarding the availability of financial information and will review our Planning Cycle to see if we need to improve/tighten up our support to Joint Owners in this area.

Geoff Osguthorpe (on behalf of the Board of Directors)

 

Friday 24th July

Question received from Joint Owner Richard Oldale on 30th June:

"Further to the recent quarterly review what is the boards rationale for abandoning fully audited financial accounts?

What are the potential benefits and the disadvantages if this change is implemented?

Will members have an opportunity to vote on any proposed changes?"

 

Response from Geoff Osguthorpe (on behalf of the Board of Directors): 

Thank you for submitting your question to the clubs official Q&A facility on the 30th June.

At the clubs AGM held in November 2014 I had asked for a mandate to seek a better professional deal for the club in respect of its professional financial requirements and this was approved by the members.
 
Upon my review of our audit and accounting requirements with local accountancy firms in the area, it was suggested that we consider engaging an Independent Examiners Report rather than an audit based on the clubs current level of turnover, size and current financial results as current conditions would allow us to apply this. This was checked and clarified by our engaged accountants.
 
I had advised the board that the club is incurring a large amount of expenditure on a job that we felt is not currently required. This will of course be reviewed if our regulatory circumstances change and if the demands of our membership change and we would revert back to undertaking an audit when and if required. As a result of my recommendations and further research into compliance with the regulations the Board agreed to engage Lloyd Dowson Chartered Accountants to carry out an Independent Examiners Report for us. No accounting or financial documentation will be signed off by them unless they are completely satisfied with the validity and compliance of the figures presented by the Board which should put any trust members concerns at ease.
 
This Independent Examiners Report coupled with the fact that all members of our Finance Committee all hold professional roles  and have years of experience in the Finance Industry gives the Board confidence to alter its procedures which would not put the club at risk.. As this measure does not make any change to our adopted Society Rules and the mandate provided by the members the board consider that a vote is not required at the AGM. I will seek Board approval to make appropriate amendments to the Finance Manual for these improvements in due course.

Hoping this provides you with a suitable background to the matter you highlighted from the Quarterly review.

Geoff Osguthorpe