Sean Lawlor, Club President - Spring 2021
As our 2021 spring season is well underway, I wanted to share an up-to-date assessment of the state of our soccer club.
As all of you are aware, the circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic created a lot of challenges and uncertainties over the course of the last year. It was challenging for many of our families as well as the club’s finances. Your board of directors and staff began working to mitigate these financial impacts in early March of last year. In my letter to the club membership last spring, I explained how our club was the leader in the state, spearheading the effort to salvage a spring/summer soccer season for our members and the rest of the state. This effort was largely driven by our club director, Phil McGovern. Many of you may wonder how the club’s finances fared through this pandemic and what we did to offset those impacts.
Due to the risk of contracting COVID-19 and the potential outcomes, many of our families chose to forego the spring season. This was an understandable decision. Fortunately, using the guidelines we established before resuming any training or return to play, we experienced no cases known to be associated with our activities. However, the loss of revenue due to lower participation by our members directly impacted our club fees. In addition, we were unable to host any of our tournaments and held no summer camps. This also impacted our income. Combined, this amounted to approximately $135,000 in lost revenue compared to the year prior.
HYSA worked to reduce that impact in many ways. First, we reduced our expenditures wherever we could. This included spending a lot less on grounds care such as mowing and fertilizer, and we reduced normal equipment replacement expenditures and coaching expenses. MYSA helped by reducing state dues. We still had some unforeseen capital expenditures, like our well pump failure. Our reduction in expenses saved us nearly $50,000 for the year.
At the board's direction, Phil also applied for the federal and state grants available to help offset some of these impacts. Our savings, combined with the grants we received, reduced our net loss from $135,000 to $30,000. With uncertainty around the duration of the pandemic, the board of directors directed Phil to apply for a federal loan to help offset the financial loss from last year and provide some help if the situation were to stretch into a prolonged and unknown time frame. Consequently, we have a low-interest loan in place to help us weather these losses and any potential losses in the near future. This spring, the number of players participating in our programs is nearly at pre-COVID levels, so we are optimistic about the state of the club.
With this in mind, the board is evaluating a capital campaign to continue the development of our soccer complex. You will soon receive a survey regarding fields and facilities expansion and your preferences for outdoor space, indoor space, and other expansions. Please complete that survey and let your voice be heard.
As this season continues, your club is looking to the future. We hope to be back in nearly full swing by the end of this spring season with all our players back on the pitch. Thank you to our members for sticking with us and for the board members and staff guidance in reducing expenses. We look forward to seeing you out on the pitch.
Sean Lawlor, Club President