Report of AFCB's AGM

Last updated : 05 January 2003 By Andy Burton
There was a good attendance of share holders at the meeting, which started at lunch time.

To open the AGM, Peter Phillips started with an update of the current position of the Club, outlining that Club made an Operating Loss of £700k for the 12 month period ending May 2002, and the Club is currently £5m in debt. Some of those we owe money to have the potential to close the Club.

The main creditors are:
1. Lloyds Bank.
An agreement has been reached where by repayments and interest charges of the £650k debt is frozen until 2004.
2. Northover & Gilbert.
The Club have been asked to make interest payments from the New Year.
3. Bristol & West.
A bridging loan was taken to help the Club through a difficult time when completing the original Stadium Project. The high interest short term loan has been converted to a longer term (& lower interest) loan.
4. Fitness First.
The sponsorship of the Club, was really a loan of £600k. Interst is now due on thisa loan, but Fitness First have been very understanding of our cash flow problems. There is a possibility that this debt will disappear if Fitness First decide to take up the option of planning permission for a fitness club behind the East Stand.
5. Tony Swaisland.
The loan will be revisited during the coming Summer once the Club has sorted out some of the other debts.
6. Barr.
This has been much publicised in the local Bournemouth press as to how much is owed. Through the Cherry Share scheme, Barr should paid a substantial amount in the New Year, and we'll have them back on site to complete the remaining jobs. This will enable the Club to run the stadium to capacity (currently 85% can be used - so real max crowd is 8160 - including 1500 for away fans), to start work on the conference and banqueting facilities and the Community facilities in the East Stand. This work cannot start until Barr have finished their part of the contract. It was noted that a booking for 250 has already been taken for the banqueting facility for April 4th. Thus adding much needed new revenue streams to the Dean Court finances.
7. PFA.
Currently owed £164k.
8. Inland Revenue/PAYE.
Payments now being made to both, and agreement reached on monies owed.

To illustrate the kind of year the Club is having at the moment, it was demonstrated that Club shop takings have almost doubled during the season so far, compared to the full season 2001-02, Exec suite take up will be close to being trebled, sponsorship will double, programme sales remain very strong and should beat last seasons total, advertising hoardings will be close to quadrupling compared to last season, even with part of the season in Dorchester. Thanks was given to Abdul Jaffa for his help and influence in this turn round.

New Opportunities for the Year?
Pub + Hospitality. Room Hire - JP Morgan, B&Q and Bournemouth Borough Council have expressed interest in hiring rooms at Dean Court. So the need to get Barr back to complete their work, so that these new revenue streams can take be developed is vital.
Stadium Hire - Summer concerts permitted. The Club is hopeful of the Council having outdoor events being incorporated in to their Summer programme.
Retail and Merchandising can be improved yet further.
Additional Sponsorship - for example the three existing stands have no sponsor. Targetted Fund Raising - for example, targeting the PFA debt Building the 4th stand - no date for completion and hopefully built using someone else's money A creche/nursery at Dean Court.

The meeting voted to increase the number of board places from 6 to 8.

A resolution to increase the maximum voting rights of any individual shareholder from 10% to 20% was rejected by the meeting.

Peter Phillips was confirmed as Chairman of the Football Club.
The appointment of Phil Hordle (and Exile Club Member) as a non-executive director was approved.
John Saunders was elected as an executive director.

It was nice to have a vote of thanks mooted by Tony Swaisland who acknowledged the work of Peter Phillips in defeating the need for a Sale and Lease of Dean Court had galvanised the Club.

Overall the tone of the meeting was very positive, although a note of caution was sounded with possible legal challenges to the Trust Fund still lurking in the background!!

PS Since the AGM, the Club have since added Community Mutual, and long standing AFC Bournemouth Dave Stone to the Board Of Directors - ed.