In a recent interview, Shaun Grady, the Director appointed to oversee non football activities, referred to the CFU letter and undertook to ensure that detailed accounts would be provided, prior to the annual meeting.
The CFU letter is reproduced here for supporters information:
Cambridge United FC
14th December 2017
Annual Shareholders Meeting – Financial Statements
Cambridge Fans United has previously mentioned to the Football Club its view that the annual report and financial statements provided to shareholders have, of late, been insufficient in detail to allow a reasonable level of scrutiny. This view is, we know, also shared, and regarded as a concern, by other shareholders, some of whom have contacted CFU.
Many shareholders, CFU included, recall the helpful additional level of detail included in the annual reports and financial statements provided to shareholders in earlier years. These reports included:
- Details of net operating expenses (such as playing, matchday, ground, administration, commercial and rent costs);
- Numbers of staff and associated payroll costs (including separate figures for admin and commercial staff, first team squad, playing management, coaching and support staff, and youth development personnel);
- Details of turnover (including net gate receipts, Football League and other similar payments received, transfer fees received and paid, commercial and catering revenues, media income and grants).
For each of the above it was usual also to include the equivalent figures for the previous accounting year. I’m sure you have copies of these earlier reports available, but if not we would be happy to provide examples.
I am sure you can understand the importance of such detail in allowing shareholders to properly assess the health of the Football Club, and to ask the Board relevant questions, where appropriate. Given the significant growth in the Club's turnover enjoyed over the last few years, to the Board’s great credit, CFU believes that the ability of shareholders to understand trends and performance in key areas of the business is more vital than ever. I am confident that the information described above is readily available to the Board, and that to incorporate it into the next report and financial statement to shareholders would not represent a major inconvenience or cost.
CFU, therefore, formally asks that the 2016-17 Directors report and financial statement provided to shareholders includes, as a minimum, the additional business information listed above. Clearly, any further data that can also be included to assist shareholders in their responsibilities would also be greatly appreciated.
We were grateful that, in line with Dave Matthews-Jones’s request, copies of the last report and financial statement were distributed to shareholders in advance of the Club's 2017 Annual Meeting, rather than on the night of the meeting. I trust that the Club will be able to do likewise for the 2018 Annual Meeting.
I appreciate that you may need to refer this request to others for a decision and I look forward to hearing from you, in due course. I would, of course, be happy to discuss any part of this correspondence.
Chair, CFU Trust Board