Sefton Park Cricket Club
(Croxteth Drive, Sefton Park, Liverpool L17 3AD)
Annual General Meeting, 24 February 2005
After last year’s problems it is a great pleasure to report a much more successful year, both on and off the field. I believe that the Club is moving forward with optimism and that the atmosphere is more positive than for many years.
2004 saw extraordinary success by our various teams. The 1st XI established themselves again in the Premier League with 7 wins and a high position throughout most of the season, although ending with a poorer last few games to cause us all a few tremors. Vin Mane again proved a popular overseas professional and the Board has decided to offer him a contract again for 2005. Our very own Paul Horton took his chance with Lancashire to impress their supporters and I congratulate him on behalf of all of you. We are still hoping to see Paul turn out for Sefton again in the new season. I should also mention Chris Whelan’s success down at Middlesex. Finally our best wishes to our new Club Captain, Howard Parker.
Meanwhile our 2nd XI roared to their Championship and promotion back to their own Premier League where they really belong. Our 3rd XI almost matched this by their runners-up position in the top division – and added another Embee KO Cup win as a bonus ! Not to be outdone both our 4th and Sunday 3rd XIs gained promotion from their respective divisions too. No Club is the district can match this across the board success story.
Off the field our finances had a dramatic recovery, as you can see from the Accounts. Our overall business turnover rose by over 10% to about £160k, mainly from 20% increased bar sales. Our Steward, Dave Cunningham, has had a great impact on this business success. As a result our net Club income held up well despite having the benefit of much reduced donations this year. Last year I promised you we would exert strict control over expenditure and you will see that this was achieved, with a reduction of nearly 10% despite a large increase needed to fund the professionals. As a result we even posted a small overall trading profit for the year. However I must warn members that this has not enabled the reserves yet to be rebuilt to the level your Board believes would be prudent – we need to make sufficient future ‘profits’ to enable this to happen.
During the year the Board welcomed Raz Salim who took up the reins as Treasurer and I think we are very lucky to have him in this exacting post. I thank Jean Wharton for all her efforts as temporary stand-in. I am sorry that Tom Hughes has continued to suffer ill health and now has to stand down – I send him all our best wishes and thanks for his past efforts.
As you will be aware, I have decided to step down after 11 years as your Chairman, mainly due to business pressures. However I also think that it is healthy to have such changes and I wish every success to Stuart Wade, whom I know you will all support. I want to thank all the Board members, both present and past, for their advice and support to me, and all of you for your ongoing trust throughout this period. I would urge members, especially the younger ones, to join in the running of your Club, either on the Board or just as volunteers elsewhere.