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Friday 27 February 2009
From the Worcester City programme

Good evening and welcome to the fans, players and officials of Worcester City.

Later this week the Dons Trust board meets for the first time since the election of seven board members. Last weekend I sent the board members the accounts for the six months to 31 December 2008. These accounts show that we are having a good season off the pitch as well as on it. The budgeted profit before depreciation for the six month period was £87,588; our actual profit for the period was £223,460, over £135,000 better than budget.

The accounts that went to the DT board include a detailed commentary, but the main reasons we are ahead of budget are, not surprisingly, the profits from the FA Cup run, especially the £75,000 for the televised game, plus strong results from the merchandise team and the bar. Of course these areas are inter-related, as good results in league and cup games encourage more purchases of replica kits etc, and more celebrations in the bars.

The financial results are extraordinarily good and we canít reasonably expect them to continue in the light of the current state of the economy. We are certainly not planning as if they will continue indefinitely. As Iíve said before, the first step of our planning is to see how we think the rest of this season will turn out.

The budget for the second half of the year shows us making a loss of just under £100,000 in the six month period. The reason we budget for a loss in the six months to 30 June 2009 is because of the prolonged period where we have no income from matches but still have substantial expenses to pay. So, taking the year as a whole we have budgeted for a loss of £11,000.

OK, thatís the budget, but what do we think will actually happen in the second half of the financial year (i.e. the six months to 30 June)? Well a big part of that depends on what assumptions we make. At this stage last season we assumed (to be prudent) that we would reach the play offs but lose in the semi-finals. That was one forecast we were delighted to get wrong.

At this stage all I will say about the second half of the financial year is that Iíll be disappointed if we fail to do better than budget. One reason for this, as I understand it, is a special pool for all 32 non league clubs which reached the first round proper of the FA Cup. This pool is raised via a levy of 5% of all the receipts of replays, net of expenses, from the first to the sixth rounds inclusive. Since we always assume we will lose all our cup games, we havenít budgeted for reaching the first round or for any money from this source. The more replays there are, the better things are for us, so letís hope that every sixth round game ends in a draw!

Iíve talked before about the general subject of budgets for next season so, for now, all Iíll say is to repeat that we need two rather different budgets Ė one for each of the leagues we might be in. And weíll set about preparing those as soon as the forecast is complete.

Finally, and still on the subject of finance, I am pleased to say that we have agreed terms for a facility to accept credit cards at the club. It will be a while yet before we can take credit card payments, since it can take six weeks, or more, to install the terminals etc. But we are nearly there Ė at last. Iím sorry for the delay.

Enjoy the game.