All good things come to an end. Or so they say. AFTN has been around since 1989, first as a fanzine and then making the jump to a website and forum in 2003. We've been through the many ups and down at East Fife in those 12 years but policing the forum has become a giant pain in the ass in recent years. As such, we made the decision not to renew it when it expired.
The forum is no more and will remain as a locked archive until it is eventually deleted by the host. We're looking in to try to save some of the content as an archive.
This is not the end of AFTN though. The site will continue and will be revamped and return in its full glory for the start of the 2016/17 season. Maybe even sooner. There will be a comment sections and possibly even a new, registered forum. Check our Twitter (@aftnwebsite) for all the latest info and we'll also post in on the EFFC memories Facebook page.
Until then, have a last browse here, thanks for all your support over the years, and 'Mon the Fife.
EFSS Newsletter 3
12 October 2014
Meeting Date for the Diary
Saturday 18th October 17.05 after the Annan match at FRIC (the green and yellow office block across from the ground)
Update and Questions
This meeting will give you the chance to be more informed and involved with what’s been happening. We’ll start with an update and the chance to ask questions from the floor. If you prefer you can let us know your question in advance. Either email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Allan Duthie on 07962 245388 or Eugene Clarke on 0779 088 1760
The next part of the meeting will be aimed at helping our supporters to be involved with our bid. We want to plan on the assumption than our fans will have some or complete control of the club for next season. This means we’ll need a huge amount of support in all aspects of running the club.
We believe that it is right that all our supporters can be involved - not just by giving money - so we’ll be discussing what kind of help we need, asking for ideas about how the club should be run and inviting as many as want to play an active part in the planning.
We know it’s a while away but we want to run the club in a well planned way so we need to start on that now. At the end of this newsletter there’s a list of ideas. We hope we’ll be able to add to it at the meeting.
The EFSS Working Group are planning the club finances on the basis that if we are in control for next season we want to ensure they are run properly.
We are creating a budget and for each major item of income and expenditure we are detailing clearly how we expect to arrive at each figure. Our basic principle will be to budget for a small surplus each year, with a view to building a “safety fund” for those times when income drops - bad weather postponements etc. Our playing budget will be determined by how much we have available after this process. Management accounts will be prepared regularly and will be used as the basis for informed decisions.
Once we have a first draft it will be checked and tested by our financial advisers.
We still require some more details from the club and will be receiving them as part of the due diligence process being carried out on our behalf by Begbies Traynor.
We know there have been some rumours circulating re the current financial situation at the club but we are not in a position to comment other than saying that the EFFC Board have been cooperative in our discussions.
Proposed East Fife Board Bid
Four existing directors, Jim Stevenson, John Donaldson, Dave Marshall and John Barclay have made a bid for the majority shareholding and have invited the EFSS to support them.
Their plan is to create a holding company to buy the majority shareholding and sell the shares in that. They have offered the EFSS the chance to buy an option to purchase the majority of the new holding company after five years but they would control matters until then.
The Working Group has considered their proposition and have a number of questions about some aspects of it. These include the proposed length of time before the EFSS would have any significant control over the club,the financial viability of the proposal and the actual level of their bid. We are continuing to discuss this with them as we believe a bid from one group would be better than bids from two competing groups.
Our next meeting with them is scheduled for next Monday so we can update on Saturday.
As previously mentioned we have started this process and have made arrangements to deal with the professional fees for Begbies Traynor. They have on our behalf contacted the club and requested detailed information which will allow us to come to a decision about the value of the club. Some of the information requested includes:
Full Financial Statements for the last 3 years, including detailed profit and loss analysis;
Details, per match, gate receipts for the last 3 seasons;
Details of season tickets sold over the last 3 seasons;
Details of any league payments received, or due;
Breakdown of all players and staff currently employed together with their terms of employment
Details of all loans made to the company and their respective terms;
Financial projections prepared for the next 3 years
Your Help Is Needed
We have had a very positive response to our request form financial aid to support our bid.
What we need as well is support in other ways. The Working Group and whoever is on the new club board alone will not be able to do all the things needed to run a senior football club as a business.
We want you to become involved by offering to help in whatever way you think you can.
If everyone who wants to see our club being owned by fans is also able to do something to help then we will succeed.
You may think it is a little premature to be asking this but we need to be starting to plan now. At this point we would ask anyone who’d like to be involved to come along to the meeting on the 18th October. As well as giving an update we’ll be be asking you to come up with ideas for helping us run the club.
You might think you’ve nothing to offer so here’s a wee list of the kind of things we’ll need to do that we think can be done by volunteers;
Club Ambassador - making sure your local area knows about EFFC, maybe by asking businesses to put up notices or just by talking about us
Phone Assistants - we’re going to be making lots of calls for hospitality, sponsorship enc......
General Maintenance/Cleaning up - both inside and outside the ground
Maintenance - using skills in electrics, plumbing enc
Meeting and Greeting - making supporters welcome at the matches
Database work - keeping our records up to date
Community links - helping spread the word to local schools and other groups
Event organising - raising funds or simply just keeping us in the public eye
Fund raising - creating ideas, selling tickets enc
Communication - newsletters, Twitter, Facebook, Website - both managing and creating material
And lots more - whatever else
You get the picture. The more people we can rely on the help with all these things, the better off the club will be.
If you can’t manage the meeting or if you’re living far away you can still help. Just email email@example.com and we’ll take it from there.
Or you can call Allan Duthie on 07962 245388 or Eugene Clarke on 0779 088 1760
Everyone else - get along on to the Fife Renewables Innovation Centre on Saturday 18th October at 5 past 5 just after the Annan game.
The "Proposed East Fife Board Bid" looks like an interesting one. Will the Board be available for Q&A at Saturday's meeting?
The holding company and 5 years thing begs one simple question - why?
I really don't see why this holding company idea helps EFSS achieve it's goals. Does the Trust's constitution even permit such a purchase?
What assets (if any) are likely to be in the holding company after 5 years. And why would EFSS pay the money but have no control?
The murky realms of holding companies might work for clubs like Livingston, but I really see no need for one here.
Messrs Stevenson, Donaldson, Marshall and Barclay have some explaining to do if they wish to convince supporters on the holding company idea.
Hiya Jocky, hiya pal.
As usual Interested you fly off the handle at the merest hint of anyone, anyone that raises points that make you feel uncomfortable. And nowhere in NC's post does he mention anyone investing unlimited funds.
You seem to have one stock answer to everything, regardless of what has actually been said or stated. Ever thought of becoming a politician?
It is questions being asked by an anonymous username on an open forum. Mr NC will be able to ask his questions face to face at the meeting, if he can be bothered to turn up and let everyone see who he is. I suggest you do the same Dude.
I am happy to leave the board and the trust, to go through the necessary procedure and wait until a decision has been made by them on how they want to proceed. The directors have made their position fairly clear from what I can make out and it is down to the trust and its members to decide what they want to do and I trust them to make the correct decision for them and East Fife football club.
I would guess the answer to his query about the directors being at the EFSS meeting very soon after a home league game will be - no they won't. The directors don't go home when the games are finished, if he knew anything about after match protocol, therefore unlikely to be at the EFSS meeting. They probably won't even be asked to attend.
Will the Directors once again stop the meeting being announced on the tannoy like they did the last time?