U.C.L. Academicals Football Club

(The Accies)

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2001 UCL ACADEMICALS AGM

Held at 7.30pm on Tuesday 19th June at the University College London Medical Society (UCLMS) Clubhouse, Huntley Street, WC1

Present: Danny McConnell, Adrian Haysome, Steve Nash, Spencer Gore, Jamie Pearson.

Apologies: Mark Dawson, Rick Hirst, Bobby Butlin, Charlie Robinson, Dan Chantler, Stuart Bannister.

1.   REPORT – Reports on the 2000-2001 season.

2.   FINANCIAL STATEMENT - To agree on subscriptions for the 2001-02 season

3.   SUBSCRIPTION ARREARS - To consider how to prevent subs getting in arrears

4.   ELECTION OF OFFICERS - To elect the Honorary Secretary, Fixture Secretary, Treasurer,

Referees Secretary, Statistician, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th and Veterans team captains

5.   CONTACTS WITH UCL

6.   TRAINING

7.   ANY OTHER BUSINESS

 

1. 2000-01 REPORT

The 2000-2001 season was the most successful in the club’s history, with the 1st XI retaining the AFA Senior Cup and winning the Southern Olympian League. The 2nd and 6th XI’s finished runners-up in their leagues and the veterans won the SOL Veterans Cup. A necessary influx of youth in the 2nd, 4th and 6th XI’s was very evident.

Something we need to continue to do in the future is ensuring that players are playing at the right level for their abilities, particularly as certain players tend to get older. However painful it may be, it has to be accepted that as we get older we may not be able to continue playing at as high a level as we used to, and may need to move down sides to continue enjoying a competitive game. This season saw a number of players moving down to lower sides, and I think all would admit that while the initial shock wasn’t pleasant, in the end their seasons were far more enjoyable.

Last season saw the continuation of more new members joining the club, particularly with graduates from UCL.

And for those who’ve already forgotten it rained all season, more games were postponed (18 home games to the weather, 28 away games to the weather, 2 games to lack of opposition and 1 game because the referee failed to turn up) than anyone can remember and getting through the season as comfortably as we did was a major success. The SOL Cups were abandoned.

The season also saw the launch of the Accies website.

1st XI – The 1st XI continued from last season’s success. The AFA Senior Cup was retained, and the SOL Title won for the first time in the club’s history. The side lost only one game all season. Steve Nash stands down as captain having won Senior Two, Senior One and two AFA Senior Cups in his three years as skipper. The side should continue to challenge for all competitions in the next few years.

2nd XI – The 2nd XI also had a strong season, with only one losing Saturday all season (alas both games of a title-deciding double-header). Under new skipper Stuart Bannister they finished second in Intermediate Two and were unfortunate not to win the title, coming across a Pegasus side who swept all before them. The squad has become more consistent, though slightly lacking in attacking options. Next season will be a major challenge in Intermediate One, and the gap between the 1st and 2nd XI’s is still probably the greatest in the club.

3rd XI – The 3rd XI finished mid-table in Intermediate Three. Injuries deprived them of a number of regulars for the whole season, and inconsistency was the pattern for the season. The biggest difficulty was captains getting confirmation of availability from players, rarely knowing until late in the week who could play, and therefore unable to dovetail with other sides. A slightly harder approach (or more consideration from players) next season would be a good idea – there’s no reason in these days of email why those organising sides should waste so much time chasing people, when we have an excess of people wanting to play.

4th XI – The 4th XI enjoyed a renaissance, built on an influx of new players. The season was more successful than expected, albeit eventually frustrating, falling away to a 3rd place finish and elimination at the last 16 stage of the AFA Cup. Some rebuilding work is still required, with a core of half-a-dozen wrinklies still performing, though not showing any signs yet of not holding their places.

5th XI – A season in contrast to the 4ths, looking very ordinary and mid-table pre-Christmas, then making a late run which almost won them a title, but ultimately finishing third. A side with the right age profile, who given a little more consistency can challenge for trophies again next season.

6th XI – Finally emerged into the sunlight. The side has now been entirely rebuilt over the last couple of seasons, and should have won the league title. Inexperience and inconsistency gave a league title away, which a predominantly young side should learn from for future seasons.

Optimists – 2000-2001 saw a dozen fixtures played and the SOL Veterans Cup won, though overall commitment was rather patchy. Carl Kemp spent rather more time chasing bodies than he should have done and the non-appearance of the Vets at the SOL Dinner for the presentation of the trophy was both symptomatic and also the most disappointing club aspect of the whole season.

Golden Boot – The Golden Boot competition continued to be a big success, deservedly retained by Scott Atkinson from the 3rds. Jon Houghton (1sts) finished runner-up and promisingly for the club a whole host of other strikers were in the hunt.

 

2. FINANCIAL STATEMENT

At the start of the season our account stood at around £3500.00, with the objective for this season was to continue to build up the club’s resources as well as starting to build up a reserve for the next set of kits when required (still 3-4 seasons away, but around £500 per season needs to be set aside for this). We were able to pre-pay for pitches this season, two batches of around £3200.00, but the start of season finances were still quite tight.

We ended the season with £4150.00 in credit (£3450.00 in the bank plus £640.00 worth of pitches pre-paid) , having also purchased a kit for the veterans (cost of about £400), so our surplus was around £1000.00 before kit purchasing.

The requirement of pre-paying for pitches is so that we avoid payment of VAT, whereas in the past we’d always (by necessity) paid in arrears. It’s also becoming increasingly important given the changing circumstances at Shenley, with higher usage (from Watford, and UCL Students).

Season Summary

For 2000-2001 our total income was £11918.04 (down from £12757.31 in 1999-2000), comprised of £1847.50 in annual subs (£1804.50 in 1999-2000), £9460.00 in match subs (£10667.00 in 1999-2000), £368.00 in preseason match subs (£80.00 in 1999-2000), £12.54 in bank interest (£10.81 in 1999-2000), £48.00 in AFA fines collected (£58.00 in 1999-2000), and £142.50 subs in arrears from previous seasons (£137.00 in 1999-2000). We are still owed around £480.00 in subs.

We spent £6355.00 on pitches (£6000.00 in 1999-2000), though £640.00 of this is still in credit, £318.00 on training facilities (subsidising Swiss Cottage to the tune of around £15.00 to £20.00 per week, paying £40.00 overall but collecting £2.00 from each participant, £333.00 in 1999-2000), £1310.00 on referees (£1263.00 in 1999-2000), £1897.30 on teas (£2256.30 in 1999-2000) and hospitality, £688.00 on league fees (£634.00 in 1999-2000), £257.00 on fines and miscellaneous costs (£150.00 on a digital camera, £159.00 in 1999-2000) and £1032.68 on kit and equipment (mostly balls, £280.75 in 1999-2000).

Annual Subs

Annual subs were on a par with 1999-2000. The “£25.00 annual subs, but £20.00 if paid before 1st November” offer” was as successful as before. 81 annual subs were collected (1sts 15, 2nds 14, 3rds 10, 4ths 12, 5ths 15, 6ths 18, Vets 7), raising £1847.50.

Veterans Subs

The only concern was the structure for collecting annual subs from the Veterans, of whom none played enough games to reach the £20.00/£25.00 threshold, and many struggled even to reach the £10 threshold. Given the infrequency of Veterans games and the (much) larger squad that operates it was agreed to be easier to not collect annual subs from the Veterans, but have a Veterans match fee of £10.00. If a (full) annual sub has been paid then the £7.00 match fee is payable instead. The Vets have already indicated this will not be a problem.

Match Subs

Match subs in general were down on 1999-2000, simply because we played fewer games (149 in 1999-2000) and more double-headers (for which we simply charge one match fee). In addition we played more home fixtures than away fixtures (because of the better pitches at Shenley surviving the weather) which further reduced our “profit” (we roughly make £70.00 for each away game, and lose £55.00 for a home game).

The breakdown for matches played and subs collected by team (shown as a total and also as an amount per “fixture”, so double-headers only counted once) was as follows:

1sts:      11 home (1 DH), 12 away (1 DH), 2 neutral (1 with no subs due). £1772.50 collected (£73.85 per fixture),

2nds:     8 home (1 DH), 10 away (2 DH, 1 played at Shenley, 1 unplayed). £1274.00 collected (£70.78 per fixture).

3rds:     12 home (2 DH), 8 away (1 DH). £1444.00 collected (£72.20 per fixture).

4ths:     10 home (2 DH), 10 away (1 DH). £1539.00 collected (£76.95 per fixture).

5ths:     9 home (1 unplayed), 10 away (2 played at Shenley, 1 unplayed). £1396.00 collected (£73.47 per fixture).

6ths:     10 home (1 DH), 9 away (1 played at Shenley). £1388.50 collected (£73.08 per fixture).

Vets:    4 home, 2 away, 1 neutral. 2 shared neutral. £646.00 collected (£71.77 per fixture).

Overall we played 130 games (12 double headers), down from 149 in 1999-2000 (due to SOL Cups being cancelled, three unplayed league games and double headers). The overall match fee income was £9460.00, or £72.77 per match played (compares to £69.94 in 1998-99 and £71.59 in 1999-2000).

Of the 130 games; 64 were played at home (2 not at Shenley), 2 at neutral grounds with shared costs (Vets games), 3 at neutral grounds with no costs (Cup Semis and Finals) and 61 away (4 at Shenley, with us bearing some of the cost).

At the end of the season we had £3500.00 in the bank, £650 in pitch credits, so our surplus for the season was effectively around £600.00 (though including £400.00 spent on a veterans kit).

Projection for 2001-02

Given all of the above we should start 2001-02 with around £3500.00 in the bank. £800.00 is to be spent on league fees and about £2800.00 on pre-paid pitch costs at Shenley, which we pay for in advance twice a season to avoid payment of VAT (in fact £2400.00 will be OK as we have eight pitches in credit at the moment).

This illustrates quite clearly that we need to have a reasonably significant reserve of funds in our account at the start of the season. Whereas in the past the Accies have always run on the bread-line (start the season with nothing, end the season with nothing) we actually need to lay our hands on £2800.00 for pitches, £800.00 for league fees. Plus any money for kit replacement and other equipment (balls, etc) before the season starts. At last year’s AGM  we agreed that £4000.00 was the minimum target and £5000.00 more realistic. That allows us to comfortably pay for everything up front and still have around £1000.00 in the bank.

In addition we need to consider kit in the future. Whilst currently are kits are all relatively new and need little repairing or replacement by 2004 or 2005 we will probably need to replace all of our kits. To this end we should aim to “set aside” £500.00 each season for kits, so that come 2004 or whenever we already have £2500.00 in the bank allocated to “kit purchasing”. Ideally we’d be looking to replace one kit every season, but given that all existing kits were purchased at the same time this isn’t practical. Therefore we should consider £500.00 each season as being set aside for kit.

Bearing these factors in mind our effective current balance is around £3000.00 (with £1000.00 set aside for future kits from the past two seasons), whereas £5000.00 ought to be a longer term target. We should therefore aim to maintain the current financial regime for next season:- £7.00 match fees, halved for students, annual subs £25.00 if playing ten or more games (£20.00 if paid by 1st November) and £10.00 “social subs” if playing four or more games, with a £100.00 team annual subs for the vets (essentially paying for membership for ten players at social subs rates).

Annual subs for students and unemployed to be waived. This should then hopefully make a surplus of around £1000.00 to increase the effective float, and set aside a further £500.00 for future kit purchases. Allocations of money for training (around £300.00), hospitality (£300.00) and kit (£300.00) should remain unchanged.

Increasing Costs

We need to be aware that costs are gradually increasing. Thus far we aren’t aware of increases in referees’ fees, teas costs or pitch costs for next season (all three rose last season, so may well be unchanged) but slowly our costs will increase. At some point it will become necessary to raise subs again.

Given the general grumbling that any rise in subs causes, and the difficulty of collecting annual subs anyway, we are probably better waiting a season or two until £8.00 match fees have to be charged (increasing match fees by £1.00 yields an extra £1200 or so in income, whereas a £5.00 rise in annual subs only yields £400.00). One big hike is better than three or four smaller ones, and if it can be timed to coincide with the purchase of new kits so much the better.

 

3. SUBSCRIPTION ARREARS

One continuing problem, albeit much less dramatic than in the past, is that of subscription arrears. The early payment discount and thresholds for annual subs have made collection of match subs much more efficient and much less hassle for captains.

This season we experimented with the system of: match fees will be £7.00 on the day but £8.00 if paid in arrears. The admin proved a little cumbersome but the system ought to be continued. The occasional offenders were generally let off the surcharge, but the persistent offenders should be charged more readily in future.

Ian Black, Jamie Abela and Saj Malik are all currently suspended from selection, because of outstanding subs.

 

4. ELECTION OF OFFICERS

Mark Dawson, Adrian Haysome, Bobby Butlin and Danny McConnell were elected to continue in their roles as Fixture Secretary, Treasurer, Statistican and Hon.Sec./Chairman/Referees Secretary.

Dan Chantler (1sts), Stuart Bannister (2nds), Jamie Pearson (3rds), Dan Willoughby (4ths), Bobby Butlin (5ths), Danny McConnell (6ths) and Carl Kemp (Vets) were elected to captain the various sides.

 

5. CONTACTS WITH UCL

The influx of ex-UCL players this year was good, but needs to be continued. This isn’t a slight on “outsiders”, but we do get our pitches because we’re a UCL Alumni club, and we ought to do our best to maximise the number of UCL Alumni. This year we did manage, probably for the first time in many years, to field a side entirely comprised of UCL Alumni (Veterans Cup semi-final).

 

6. TRAINING

Training hasn’t really worked yet, with 5-6 the typical turnout at Swiss Cottage, losing us £30.00 a time. The problem is basically Catch 22. We don’t have a regular slot, so we don’t get a regular turnout from people. And without a regular turnout we don’t know what commitment there is, so don’t have the financial muscle to try and book something else.

If anyone can find a regular slot on an astro around central London then we could look at it, or even entering a team in a midweek Astroturf league is an option, although more than half the club already do so, and getting people to play three competitive games a week might be difficult.

It was decided to stop training at Swiss Cottage next season, unless we can get a more regular slot, and ensure that training will pay for itself. Subsidising it to the tune of £30.00 a week for the benefit of half a dozen people simply isn’t viable.

There will be summer training in Regents Park from mid-July onwards. We should ensure recent ex-UCL students are invited along to integrate them into the club before the season starts.

 

7. ANY OTHER BUSINESS

We’ve investigated club ties, and received a lukewarm response, so the project will be shelved.

We also have a few trophies to buy – a shield for the Golden Boot and trophies for the last couple of seasons, as well as a few winners medals for the SOL Premier title. These will cost around £100.00 to £150.00.

We also need to get a new set of “change” shirts. Jamie Pearson will be able to provide his old work’s team shirts. These are white, numbered and in decent nick, so ideal.