AGM discussion 17th July 2014
Follow Up Note from the AGM of ORFC regarding the new system for Fees
This note is to let everyone know the outcome of the AGM in respect of the new system for collection of fees for the Club for the coming 2014/15 season. The note covers (i) a summary of the key issues raised at the AGM (ii) the outcome in respect of the method for collecting fees in respect of both matches and training, (iii) the level of those fees, (iv) the gift aid element (v) and the management of non payment.
Issues at AGM
The AGM was well attended with good representation from team managers. There was an agreed collective view about the need to move to the system of standing orders as the means of collecting fees. The existing match day collection system had been inefficient and consequently unfair. One manager was concerned about the impact on players who got fewer games than others, but there was widespread support for the new process which, it was felt, was about players signing on to join a squad, and managers were confident that they would be able to ensure that their players would get worthwhile opportunities to play games. For those players who felt unhappy about the situation, it would always be open to them to cease future payments and leave the club, although this was clearly an outcome we did not want. Experience in other clubs running this system of payment showed that this was a very uncommon occurrence.
There was also discussion about the training charges. Some managers were looking for reductions if teams had more than the estimated number of players used to calculate the charges. However, all present recognized that this would be very difficult to implement. There would also be difficulties if numbers fell, with unexpected midseason increases to the standing orders. Training is not cheap because of the fees charged to the club by training pitch owners. The club does not make a “profit” on them, and in fact for many years the club has subsidised teams using them. This, in effect, meant that those who did not use those facilities subsidised those who did, which obviously can be seen as unfair. At the conclusion of the discussion, it was agreed to go ahead with the proposed charges. Clearly, with better information about player numbers, there will be opportunities in the future to revise charging.
The Agreed Method of Collecting Fees
This will be by 9 monthly standing orders, with the first in September being a larger sum than the subsequent 8 monthly payments. This is to help with cash flow to cover the many bills we get at the start of each season (as explained in the earlier note I sent out). Those wishing to sign on for the club have to complete a signing on form. A link will be sent to you by the team manager. Once you have signed up, you will receive a welcome email from the club, and attached to it will be a standing order mandate. This form is also available on the Club website . The mandate needs to be printed off and posted to Neil Barnes our Treasurer to deal with the banking issues. His address will be on the standing order mandate.
If your team has use of training facilities for which there is a charge, then a separate standing order form may be required. We are looking at ways of using a single form, and will let you know if this proves possible for us. At the moment it looks as though we will be able to deal with those who have already asked for midweek sessions at the Priory with a single form. For others, in the meantime please use 2 forms. As the charges vary according to what the training facilities are, please ask your manager to let you know what the charges are for training. For training on 3G pitches, the payments over the 9 monthly standing orders will be equal payments (ie the initial payment will not be higher as in the case of the general fee)
The Level of Charges (Squad Membership)
Colts £30 per year
U7 - U8 1st month £40 then £14 per month for 8 months
U9 - U10 1st month £50 then £18 per month for 8 months
U11 - U17 1st month £70 then £19 per month for 8 months
Seniors signing on £70 plus £7 match subs
Level of Charges (Training on 3G pitches such as the Priory Leisure Centre )
U7 - U10 £9 per month
U11 - U12 £7 per month
U13 - U17 £5.50 per month
U7 - U10 £21 per month
U11 - U12 £16 per month
U13 - U17 £12.50 per month
U7 - U10 £11.50 per month
U11 - U12 £8.50 per month
U13 - U17 £7.00 per month
U7 - U10 £23.50 per month
U11 - U12 £17.50 per month
U13 - U17 £14.00 per month
The fee for training at our ground has historically been £15 for the season. This charge was not discussed at the AGM, and may need to be revised. It will be decided at or before the August Club meeting.
If you are unable to provide a standing order as a means of payment, please let your team manager know asap, so that alternative means of fee collection (such as a single cash payment or post dated cheques) can be put in place.
The Gift Aid Element
While completing the membership form, there is a tick box to indicate your willingness to treat the monies you pay to us as a donation. It is very important to us that you tick this “gift aid” box, because this has the potential to give us an additional revenue stream worth 20% of the sum gift aided. You do not have to specify the level of the gift aid element in your standing order payments. We are going to reconsider the advice from our tax advisors on how much we will treat as a “donation”. For the coming season, it is likely to be around 50% of the overall fees, and rise to a higher level when we see how the system works. We will communicate this decision to managers for onward transmission to you, when we have made it. You do not need to delay anything pending this decision by the Club.
The management of Non Payment
The key message here is that we want you with team managers to start this process sooner rather than later. We require the Standing Order Mandate to be in place as soon as practicable, even though no monies will be paid until September in order to be able to release League Registration Cards .
So this year we will not release the players league registration to the team manager until we are in receipt of the relevant standing order forms. Unless we take this firm action, we run the risk of swapping one failed system of getting monies in, for another system which does not work through non compliance. Your help and cooperation on this is vital to our success.
Holidays are upon us now, but given good organization it should be easily possible to have all the paper work done by the first week in September. But the simple message is no standing order form means no football. Please help us to make the new arrangements work.
If standing orders fail during the season, the manager will ask you about it, and we would want to resolve the problem quickly. However, no action and no communication will eventually lead to no football. We have to do this to be fair to all those who do make their payments on time. We are always prepared to consider exceptional cases – but we need to know about them as soon as possible. If the Club incurs bank charges for failed Standing Orders, then we would normally look to the member to pay these, although obviously not, if it is the fault of the Club.
We are optimistic that the new charging regime will be more efficient and easier for everyone to manage, and will be a fairer way of charging, so that everyone contributes their agreed share, not just those who regularly pay. Greater efficiency in this area gives us many opportunities going forward - as I set out in my earlier note.
Although much of this message revolves around collection of appropriate payments, the simple fact is that the Club has to be able to pay its way. To achieve this, we have to cover our costs by setting the correct charges and by making sure that we collect them effectively.
Hopefully the new system will be a very successful part of a very successful football season for Orpington Rovers FC in 2014/15
Best wishes to you – and have a great new season