2018/19 AGM

2018/19 AGM

AGENDA – 21st February 2019  

  1. Chairman open meeting.
  2.  Secretary’s Report
  3.  Treasurer’s Report
  4.  Chairman Address
  5.  Motions/Proposals
  6.  Chairman Dissolves Elected Committee
  7.  Election of Officers & Committee Members


I would like to welcome everybody here to the 49th Annual General Meeting and my last as secretary as per my decision last year’s AGM to step down from this role.

I would like to begin my report by extending my gratitude to the following members of the outgoing committee for whose work within and on behalf of Ratoath Harps has proved invaluable; Damien Ward (Chairman), Michael Connolly(Treasurer), Mark Flood,  Dave Moore, Mark Hennessy Mark McNally, Kieran Kelly, Phil Doran

This season which began in March 2018 for schoolboys/ Girls and august 2018 for our senior/u19s made up of 26 teams  consisting of  2 senior men’s teams , an under 19s,  and the balance being made up of our schoolboys /girls  involved  in small side games , 11-a-side  football and also our Academy on Saturday mornings which has now reverted to Friday evenings for the start of the new 2019 season and in  conjunction with the FAI we have Saturday morning Football For all programme coordinated by Ray Hoare & Keith Webster to cater for players with various disabilities to play football in a structured environment.

On 29th May 2018, we turned the sod on the start of the clubhouse and to date we have spent € 267,521 (incl architect fees) and our clubhouse is 3 quarters of the way completed and with a final push on fundraising we will get it over the line. Current estimates are we require an additional €80,000 to complete the building having trimmed back in some areas from original specifications.

A special word of thanks is due to the ground staff with regard to the upkeep and maintenance of the playing areas and training facilities.

I would also like to congratulate all of our teams that participated in cups or leagues during the season, whether successful or not, and all players that made it on to the representative panel.

The logistics of allocating pitches, making sure referees allocated are contacted, insuring fixtures are fulfilled, and affiliated leagues are informed of results whether home or away are the responsibility of the individual league secretaries. I would like to offer a special word of thanks to NDSL secretary Susan Ward who after 12 years of dedicated service to the harps is stepping away from looking after all of our teams within the schoolboy/girl leagues which was one of her many hats within our club and Susan  will be sorely missed.

On behalf of Ratoath Harps a special word of thanks to all our Managers, Assistant Managers, Academy Coaches and adhoc volunteers, for their time and hard work which is all given up on a voluntary basis, without this involvement the success of our club could not be achieved and your contribution week in week out is invaluable

I would like to like to remind all members that this is your club and if you want your say then get involved on the various committees because like any organization we require new blood and  please do not hesitate to contact us and attached is a current list of positions which we have currently to fill for the forthcoming season and if you would like to be Chairman, treasurer or secretary there is a club requirement that you have to sit on the  on the executive committee for a minimum of 6 Months

In relation to senior section since our last AGM Roy O’Sullivan was appointed head of senior soccer and we are currently  challenging for get back into Intermediate Football and we wish Roy and his Team of Darren Clarke ,Damien Deasy & Mick McCarthy the best of luck for the rest of season

Before I conclude I would also like to say thank you to the following committee members who have stepped down during the past year, Fiona Harris who was our child welfare officer, Dave Moore, Mark Mc Nally and Mark Hennessey from the executive Committee.

Please note a special mention goes to Damien Ward who also at last year’s AGM advised this would be his last of 13 years as an executive committee member of which 9 he served as Chairman, Director to name a few roles he has overseen and he has been very instrumental in progressing our club including overseen the all-weather/clubhouse development.

Finally as many of our members have lost close family and friends over the course of the season I would like to conclude my report by asking everybody to stand and take a moment of reflection in remembering these absent families, friends and members.

Yours in Sport

Gerry Doody


Ratoath Harps AFC

Treasurers Report, Ratoath Harps AFC – AGM Thursday 21st February 2019.

The financial year for Ratoath Harps AFC currently runs from 1st July to 30th June annually. The trading year was structured to run parallel with the traditional football playing season of September to May allowing the club to have a definitive end to the season for all teams and activities.

The last set of accounts for financial year July 2017 to June 2018 were audited by our accountants HSM Ashbourne and signed off by the current directors of the club, Philip Doran and Damien Ward at the end of January. The club is fully up to date and compliant with requirements from the Sports Capital Grant, CRO and Revenue. As treasurer, I would once again like to thank Brian, Regina and Liz from HSM Ashbourne for their services.

In comparison to other football clubs, Ratoath Harps does not have a benefactor injecting cash annually into our club. The lead income of note is generated from membership fees.

For sake of good order and transparency, we have attached an overview of our profit and loss accounts from the past three audited seasons and estimates year to date to give a gauge to the membership of the annual running costs. The following are key points of note focusing on the last set of audited figures (2018):

Operating costs:

  • Playing and coaching costs increased by €11,662 from previous year. The key driver behind this increase are the payments to 3rd party organisations Coever Coaching and EI Sports contracted to come on board to provide services in coaching workshops and academies as we could not get volunteers internally to run.
  • Light and Heat costs increased by €2,601 as we now train full time on the all-weather surfaces under floodlights as opposed to part time previously.
  • Legal fees were a once off payment of €4,679. These fees are related to the €115k loan (mortgage) taken by the club toward the current capital expenditure program.
  • Bank charges reduced by circa €1,400 as we did not use any overdraft facilities.
  • Repairs and Maintenance down by circa €2,350 due to reduced expenditure on our grass pitches. This needs to change in 2019 to get the Codliss back to the standard required.
  • Bank interest paid €4,518 relates to the interest on the €115k loan.
  • Computer costs and telephone cost up by combined amount of approx €600 due to increased use of data required for running the club.


  • Funding from the FAI for summer soccer camps remains as per previous year.
  • Income from pitch hire remains as per previous year.
  • Income from fundraising was cost neutral against fundraising expenses as these were only active towards the end of the financial year. The expenses related to once off printing, art work and signage. The upswing from the expenses will show through in the 2018/2019 financial year.
  • Income from membership fees down €31,609 compared to previous financial year and €13,821 vs financial year ending 30th June 2016.

Loan commitments:

  • The club took out a €115k loan drawn down in September 2017 towards the Capital Expenditure project.
  • Loan is based on repayments over 10 years.
  • As at todays date, the balance outstanding on loan is €102k with annual repayments including interest of €15,130 to Bank of Ireland.


  • Due to the nature of our facilities, under correct accountancy procedures plus the terms and conditions tagged to the Sports Capital Grant we will see heavy figures on this front in the coming ten years of annual reports.
  • It is expected that the lifespan of the current main pitch playing surface is 10-12 years hence one key reason for above.

Membership fees:

All membership fees are now collected via our on line portal in conjunction with our service provider Easy Payment Plus (Payzone). The electronic data base allows us better management of our finances and gives our membership 24/7 access to make payments.

The challenge for Ratoath Harps in the past three years has been the change by the leagues running the underage section from traditional football season to calendar year football resulting in football activities in the club running all year round with no common end of season date. The NDSL currently runs March to November with the MGL and LSL running September to May. The transition period seen constant changes with a settled pattern now developing. This evolution from traditional to current structure took some time to adapt as it created difficulty in the past two seasons in setting registration fees.

To give an example, during the financial year 2016/2017 the NDSL changed to calendar year football. The club ended up collecting 1.5 years fees during this period covering NDSL participation from July 2016 to December 2017. The correction back to a normal season is partially reflected in the change from income of €93k to €62k.

At the AGM on 22nd March 2018, the membership requested a relaxing of the no pay no play policy within the club. This had an impact on income as players participated for a period then left without paying and some managed to slip through the net altogether.

The stance of the club for 2019 is that all players must be paid in full or part paid to take part in games from 2nd March onwards. Anyone with financial challenges are requested to contact the treasurer and will get help. We do not want to turn anyone away from playing football.

For those who do not pay, avoid contact and will not engage, they are not allowed participate in Ratoath Harps.

Current “state of the nation”:

The expected day to day running costs of Ratoath Harps excluding depreciation and once offs but including loan repayments come in at approx €83k per annum. Bearing this in mind, excluding fund raising aspirations and looking at the expected playing membership for the season ahead, the fee structure was changed in January 2019 to the new advertised tariffs. The fees were benchmarked against four other clubs.

We acknowledge that any increase in costs are never welcome and will work tirelessly in the year ahead for better compliance on membership fee collection and cutting operational costs. The request for the incoming committee is to have the next AGM as the end of November 2019 as the 20 NDSL teams and academies will be at season end with our MGL and LSL team mid-season thus allowing the 2020 committee set fees before January.

As treasurer, I welcome the newly formed fundraising committee. The task of this committee is to raise the funds to finish the current capital expenditure program and look to new projects such as car parking upgrades, improvements to the Codliss, security and upgrades to small all-weather pitch. The fundraising committee are adamant that their efforts are not toward the day-to-day running of the club. The executive committee agrees with this stance.

The finances of Ratoath Harps AFC are in a healthy & manageable state. Decisions will not always be popular however they are made with the long-term best interest of our membership.

Full copies of our annual audited accounts are available on-line through the CRO website. The treasurer has hard copies if any of the members would like to read in-depth.

If you would like to individually meet to go over any aspect of the club finances, please contact me for an appointment.

Capital Expenditure Project:

As you are aware we are currently coming towards the end of our capital expenditure program with an estimated spend in the region of €765k. We are close to the finishing line with an already stated requirement that we need at least €80k to complete the current works. We are calling upon our membership to get behind this last push.

As mentioned earlier, the money spent to date on this project came from a loan from BOI of €115k plus two Sports Capital Grants of €240k & €150k. Had we not turned the sod last May, we would have lost the €150k hence reason we forged on.

The past and current committees have done extremely well in providing funding of approx €144k so far towards the project coming from war chests and previous fund-raising events such as the two Strictly events.

Upon completion our membership will have best in class facilities setting solid foundations for our current and future members. We look forward to moving on from focus on assets to focus on developing coaching and football.

Final word:

The memorandum and articles of association for the club state that the role of treasurer, secretary and chairman can only be filled by committee members who served the club in the outgoing season. I have put myself forward to continue in the role of treasurer for the coming season however as I intend this to be my last year (subject to re-appointment at tonight AGM), I am calling out now to anyone interested in putting their name forward for this role in 2020 to join the committee now to allow them fulfil the basic required criteria in advance of election in November 2019.


Michael Connolly,

Treasurer – Ratoath Harps AFC.



Welcome this evening in which we Celebrate our 51st Year

I can once again only applaud the tremendous committee, managers & coaches we have in this club.

Gerry Doody as our club secretary & Leinster Senior League secretary. Michael Connolly as Treasurer and who put tremendous time and effort into funding for the Club House & bringing our registrations online. I would like to thank Gerry for all the work and time he has committed to the club over the last 16 years as club secretary and other various roles.

I must include the other committee members whose roles, although diverse, are vital to the club function. Dave Moore, Mark Flood, Mark Hennessy, Phil Doran & Mark McNally who all work hard on our executive committee and sub committees. I would also like to thank Susan Ward our schoolboy/girl fixture secretary who week in week out makes sure visiting teams and referees turn up. Fiona Harris our child welfare officer & Imelda Gorman for organising the FAI summer soccer camps.

As stated every year at our AGM our club cannot run without the commitment from volunteers who give their time up free of charge to the club. We reached out at the last AGM for more members to get involved in the club and once again I am pleading for more volunteers to get involved in the running of this great club. Over the last few months we have established a fundraising committee and I would like to thank them for their commitment to raise funds to complete the clubhouse and would hope all our members would support every event.

Again I thank all our managers for their efforts in achieving the most difficult yet most rewarding of any activity in youth football, that of taking the boys and girls out in all weathers and instilling into them their own expertise and enthusiasm.

I would like to thank Roy Sullivan, Damien Deacy, Mick McCarty & Darren Clarke for their role as senior team managers.

I would also like to congratulate all of our teams that participated in cups or leagues during the season, whether successful or not, and this year all the players that made it on to the representative panels.

The club, supports and funds FAI accredited courses for our managers & coaches and we hope many more can be supported in this way. Participation is everything in youth football.

I would like to thank Mark McNally along with Michael Connolly who ran our junior academy & also run schoolboy/girl academies in the club last season.

The club in conjunction with the FAI runs a Football for All programme which is a huge success and we will be running the programme again next season and a special thanks goes to Ray Hoare, Keith Webster & all the coaches. I would also like to thank Ratoath Scout Group for the free use of their hall.

I would like to thank our Development committee for their hard work in delivering first class facilities in our club.

I would like to thank our NDSL/MGL fixture secretary Susan Ward whom is stepping away from the role as a volunteer in the club in which she has done for the last 12 years. Our house won’t know what hits it next week with the phones not ringing every evening & all weekend organising fixtures, referees, pitch allocations and all the other roles Susan has carried out during her role as a committed volunteer.

Lastly and as always, I conclude by thanking everyone involved in the club, committee, managers, coaches, parents and most of all our players. Without them and without you there wouldn’t be a club. No club of this size can go through a season unscathed or without problems, but our strength is our ability to do what we do, the best we can. As I clearly stated at the last AGM that I would not continue the role as Chairman in the club after tonight’s AGM. I would like to thank everybody for their support to me and the club over the last 9 years as Chairman and it’s now time for me to spend more time with my family who have supported me especially over the last few years.

Damien Ward