Finance Update

Whilst the end of the season did not work out as hoped, the work on the stadium, wider club and the new pitch is progressing well.

We made no secret of our ambitions for promotion and a thorough review of why we fell short commenced soon after the end of the season. There is a clear plan to address this and you will see player announcements over the the next few days and weeks. We have a number of commitments from players already, but there are some specific dates we need to be mindful of before making formal announcements.

We posted a £25.6k profit in April, boosted by completion of fixtures which had been postponed from previous months. This does not include the play-off final which was in May. We are now at £66k profit for the year-to-date.

Membership numbers have remained steady with members slowly moving across to the new payment system. The new society owns and is in control of all membership payments including those to Shakers Community and Bury FC SS, so the move to the system is more for administrative convenience but there is an ongoing push to keep moving people across in a phased manner.

Total cash reserves as of the start of June stand at £425k. This is after paying £750k inclusive of VAT (£625k exclusive of VAT) for the 3G pitch with around £20k plus VAT left to pay for the pitch plus some additional payments to other parties for pitch maintenance equipment, goalposts etc. It has been funded to date by the Society reserves with matched funding from the Community Ownership Fund and Bury Council’s contribution which allows us to compete the project and maintain healthy cash reserves, which can be deployed in future.

We will receive more cash from kit and stadium sponsorship and season ticket sales throughout the summer. This will be spread out throughout the next financial year's P&L, which starts from 1st July, so will not show as profit for this financial year.

Despite some month-to-month turbulence from postponements and games played behind closed doors, we shall start the new season with greater funds than last season, and with a 3G pitch which will yield more revenue and deliver on our community objectives. It will offer a genuine home for the wider club community, a consistent playing surface and perfect training venue for players. Supporters will be delighted to hear that there is far less risk of home game postponements with an artificial surface in place. This could not have been achieved without those £5 per month membership subscriptions which make a huge difference to our finances as they build up each month.

We are also in discussions with the Premier League Stadium Fund about a bid for funding through them. Early conversations have been positive with £100k available and it is apparent that there is the potential for more via other funding pots.

The search for a Community Officer has commenced, and will involve input from Bury Council as the role will deliver a large part of the Community Development Plan we are finalising which was a condition of their funding. The role will involve applying for further funding to expand our Community Development Plan in future.

We will add a further 11 teams to the club for the new season, predominantly through the creation of a junior division. We already had a large number of women’s teams, and added a successful under 23 men’s team last season. This will be expanded with an under 21 men's team and boys' teams ranging from under 10 to under 16 plus two men's recreational teams. Our already sizeable women's teams will be supplemented with under 10, under 12 under 16 and under 18 girls' teams. They will train and play out of Gigg Lane where possible, and they will pay for pitch hire through subscriptions, but we shall leave some pitch availability for commercial and other teams to hire also.

The Main Stand required an additional piece of work to obtain the stadium certificate for full opening. This is emergency lighting at a cost of just over £20k. Whilst it has not been required previously the use of the stadium throughout the week means that it is a more justifiable cost. We also have an issue with trees overhanging both the Cemetery End and the Manchester Road End which need cutting back as they will damage the roofs over time and are in contact with Bury Council about how best to do this.

One recurring issue in the P&L, which we are asked about regularly, is the loss showing on food and beverages. We have stated previously that this is most likely due to an anomaly in how this has been historically recorded given the numerous systems used to collect and record income for this specific line. We have now identified the problem and next season it will be fixed. Not all income which could be credited to food and beverages sales is currently showing, for example any hospitality ticket sales which include food and beverages as part of the ticket prices show all income under 'Tickets' and do not allocate any percentage of that to Food and Beverage. It would show a small profit if we adjusted it. It is not a great margin but much better than it looks on the P&L. We have ended our contract with last season's catering supplier and will have a new supplier in place for the start of the season who will be announced soon. This is not simply an exercise in improving margins. We are well aware of the need to keep quality and service as high as possible as this will ultimately improve the all-round experience for supporters.

We also invited fan-experience expert Mark Bradley to mystery shop us towards the end of the season and look forward to implementing his thoughts and ideas during next season.

Join the Society today