FIVE NEW members were elected onto the Finn Harps Board of Directors tonight.
At the Annual General Meeting of the Finn Harps Co-Operative Society Ltd, in the Villa Rose Hotel, the existing seven directors were joined by five new people.
They include Kathy Taafe who has taken over from John Campbell as the club secretary.
Trevor Gordon returns to the Board, while Ivan Harvey, Joe Boland and Aidan McNelis were all elected.
A motion was tabled, and passed, to extend the Board to 12 – meaning there was no need for a contest.
Board of Directors
SEAN Quinn will continue as the chairperson, Lorna McHugh remains as treasurer, with vice chairperson Derek Wikinson, Aidan Campbell (marketing officer), Paul McLoone (stadium development) and James Rogers (youth development) all staying on as directors.
John Campbell will also retain a seat on the Board with the exact roles to be determined at the first meeting of the new committee.
“There is still a good interest in Finn Harps and that has been proven,” Quinn told an attendance of around 40 shareholders.
“I’m delighted with the turn out.”
With Harps, who battle financial and geographical constraints against their top flight peers, back in the Premier Division for 2020, Mr Quinn warned that the club has a ‘huge job’ ahead next year.
He said: “It is important that we all come together under the Finn Harps banner. We will need a lot of money to stay in the Premier Division again.”
Mr Quinn described 2019 as ‘a hard year and there was discontent here and there’.
He said: “We struggled on and patched things up. It was a year of more downs than ups.”
However, Mr Quinn hailed the club’s volunteers, his fellow Board members and the sponsors, adding: “It was a fantastic achievement to stay in the Premier Division.”
SHAREHOLDERS heard that in the year ending November 30, 2018, Finn Harps Co-Operative Society Ltd recorded a trading profit of €16,767, against a loss of €32,609 in 2017.
Harps were in the Premier Division in 2017 and relegated with income and expenditure both dropping for the 2018 First Division campaign.
Income went from €464,736 in 2017 to €419,176 in 2017. Gate receipts plummeted from around €140,000 to €118,000, with sponsorship dropping to €39,000 from €60,000 the previous year. Season tickets was down by €7,000 to €17,000 and money from fundraising draws lowered to €32,000 from €47,000.
Expenditure dropped to €432,240 in 2018 from €536,047 in 2017, a decrease of around €93,000.
Wages went down by €58,000 (to €170,783), accommodation for players dropped by €16,000, training facilities cost just over €4,000 in 2018 from around €18,000 the previous year.
In 2018, Harps had 22 players and eight members of the management and coaching staff on the payroll.
2018 saw an increase of around €28,000 in academy expenses to just over €50,000 while the cost of running underage teams went from €13,543 to €44,425 in 2018.
The balance sheet shows current liabilities of €258,916 with accumulated operating losses of €610,179.
Mr Quinn told shareholders that a special general meeting would be held in spring 2020 at which the 2019 accounts would be presented.
JAMES Rodgers, the club’s Youth Officer, told the meeting that the academy had proved to be ‘a tremendous success’.
“There is huge work going on behind the scenes,” added Rodgers, who said that the appointment of a new Under-17 team manager was imminent, hailing the recent selection of Tommy Canning to take over as Under-19 manager.
He presented a document explaining the workings of the Harps Academy.
Coaches had been put through in-house work shops and FAI courses; new academy structures were put in place alongside clubs in Donegal; while players and coaches take part in several off-field courses.
THE meeting heard that the club remains hopeful of getting an announcement from the Department of Sport regarding the work to the new stadium.
Funding from the Department has been frozen in light of recent scandals that have engulfed the Football Association of Ireland (FAI).
Development of the new stadium in Stranorlar has been at an impasse for some time now with work long since stalled. The matter has been a source of frustration for the club, but outgoing Commercial Officer Aidan Campbell said that the club had now done all they could and were now essentially at the mercy of the Department.Tags: