Extraordinary General Meeting – Background

An Extraordinary General Meeting of the Club will be held on Wednesday 15th July 2020 at 6.30pm via Zoom.

The FP Club Council through a special sub committee has been discussing with the school the management of the clubhouse at Inverleith for about six months or so since the FP Club failed to appoint a new President in succession to Charles Wilson last Autumn.   The imposition of effectively becoming head of an increasingly busy hospitality and catering organisation on top of the traditional ceremonial duties had made the job of President unattractive.

The school also determined in the Autumn that they wished to defer collecting FP Club subscriptions from parents of S1, S2 and S3 pupils until the point of leaving school potentially resulting in a loss of income to the FP Club. However the effect of this is compensated by the school agreeing to meet the almost comparable annual cost of clubhouse overheads at Inverleith hitherto paid for by the FP Club in the event of the management of the clubhouse passing to the school.

The discussions on the above were still ongoing when the coronavirus pandemic hit resulting in a record number of school parents advising the school that they could not continue with their boys education at SMC as a consequence of family income being severely affected.

These discussions have now reached something of a conclusion subject to an EGM of the Club.  The FP Council have been guided in their deliberations by the objects of the club, the first line of which reads “The objects of the Club shall be to promote the interests of Daniel Stewart’s and Melville College … “.

Proposed – FP Club

Going forward all those former pupils of the school having paid life memberships will be members of the FP Club without any further cost to them unless they want hard copies of the FP News and correspondence for which, as at present, there will be a fee.

The FP club will no longer have a role in managing operations of the clubhouse. This will pass to the school’s Bursars Office.

The FP Club Council will continue with a President, Vice-President, Hon Secretary and Hon Treasurer.   It is understood that there are willing persons to serve as President and Hon Secretary.

The bulk of the FP Club’s administration going forward will be carried out by the school’s Development Office. Presently the Development Office maintain the Club’s membership database.

The club has accumulated funds of close to £240k.  Investments thro’ Brewin Dolphin had a market value of £218k on 30 June 2020 (cost £200k).  At 31.08.19 the market value was £234k.  The value has fallen significantly and recovered somewhat since coronavirus arrived.

Due to the school being faced with a situation where many boys might have to be withdrawn as their parents could no longer afford the fees it has been suggested that the bulk of the funds in the hands of the FP Club should be made over to the school’s hardship fund so that as many boys as possible be able to continue their education at SMC. The funds transferred would be fully utilised in the next school session, 2020-21.   Until now the FP Club has simply utilised the income arising from investments in the general running costs of club.   The proposal is that the club transfer up to £215k to the school and retain the balance of circa £25k for its own future purposes. It should be noted that the School’s Access to Excellence Bursary Fund is legally prohibited by charity law to access its capital for this purpose.  The income it generates is used already for bursary awards to a limited number of pupils to mitigate their school fees.

Clubhouse

That the management of the clubhouse should transfer to the school and be run out of the bursar’s office retaining (hopefully) the services of key employees who would transfer to the school’s employment should they choose.  Joyce Waterston, t/a AJ Catering is self employed and holds franchise rights from the school to provide catering services to the club and school.

It is proposed that the school meet all the costs of running Inverleith.  Presently the FP Club reimburses the school with a proportion of Inverleith annual overheads relating to the clubhouse.   This is close to the sum presently accruing annually from early payment life subscriptions.

With regard to the user clubs, rugby, cricket and hockey it is intended that the change in management of the clubhouse should appear seamless. It is likely that the Bursar’s Office will confer with a small group formed from the clubhouse user clubs to monitor the workings of the clubhouse and that there has been indeed a seamless transition

A distribution based on bar profits would continue to be made to the user clubs with additionally a small percentage to the FP Club.

All of the above is completely separate from the arrangements each user club has with the school for the use of playing pitches at Inverleith.

All the sports and branch clubs are being advised at this time.   Branch clubs are expected to continue as at present.

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