Posted January 15, 2020
Thank you for the honour of becoming Chairman of Naomh Mearnog. I wanted to take the opportunity to set out what I think our priorities are next year.
This is a time of great opportunity for the club but also one of significant challenges. There is a great sense of optimism in all sections, numbers are growing and the work done at underage for the last number of years is starting to translate into adult success on the field. However, we are also under pressure, costs are rising, our facilities in some areas are aging and we are reaching over capacity. Managing the club is also becoming more complex.
The work done by the Black and Amber Plan recognised these challenges and has set out a framework of how we can manage these areas. You will see below, under the Strands identified in the plan, that we have selected key items in each that we wish to focus on this year.
Our facilities are the envy of the county and the country, they are unique, however they are also unique in that we maintain them, largely on a voluntary basis. I of course mean Groundforce without whom the club would simply grind to a halt. In addition, our Mens’ Senior teams are coached by club Members on a volunteer basis, many clubs in Dublin are not as lucky. We are unusual as a club in having both of these advantages. I think we can reasonably put a value well in excess of €100k on them, imagine they were not here and look again at our accounts. We would have a very significant shortfall and it highlights to me the importance of increasing our revenues and of not being afraid to charge those who make use of our facilities.
We must also continue to invest in and maintain our infrastructure. Our generation is so lucky that our predecessors created this amazing facility, they had vision, they took on borrowings and they passed on what we have today. We must both maintain and develop it, not simply take it for granted and wear it out.
I have set out below a number of areas of expenditure that I believe will be required over the next two years, the list is not exhaustive nor is there a detailed costing done, but you can see that we must either through increasing income, obtaining grants or indeed by borrowing, source the money for these projects.
- Stop Nets, 1, 7, 8
- Flat Roof
- Pitch 6 Drainage
- Club House Entrances & Windows
- Pitch Surface Improvements
- Boiler Replacement
- Small Mower Replacement
- CCTV & Alarm
- Car Park Marking
- Hall Flooring
- Gym – Basic
- Gym Advanced
- Pitch Lighting
- Dressing Rooms
- Dressing Room Shutters
- All – Weather Replacement
- Pitch 1 Maintenance
Before ever addressing these issues we have an annual cost base that is increasing, Player Registration Fees and Referees Fees were circa €62k last year and are likely to be €70k this year. We must ensure that our fixed income base in terms of subscriptions etc cover the running cost of the club and that we have an excess to contribute towards the items above.
I mentioned earlier specific focus areas under the 6 strands of the Black and Amber Plan, these are listed below and may well be subject to change by the incoming executive.
Communication with Members, Volunteer Recruitment
2 Corporate Governance
Repository for all legal agreements etc, Child Protection Processes
Pitch 1 Advertising Project, Co-ordinated Approach to Sponsorship
Pitch Improvements, Green Initiatives, and the previous list
5 Games Development
Adoption of Club Policy, Integration
Review of Subscriptions and of Costs, Revenue Opportunities
While In all of this we must not lose sight of the fact that we are here to play games and to be a positive in the community.
Of the Members I ask three things to support the Executive,
- Respect the Club and its facilities, you own it.
- Understand that we are all volunteers and that none of us are perfect
- Put the club first in everything we do.