I just want to clear up a misconception that’s doing the rounds about the membership. I have been asked by numerous people how would we expect €90 for membership if people have 3/4/5 kids.
This is fundamentally not the case. There is a family membership of €250 for anyone with 3 or more kids. Let me also acknowledge that we offer the option to spread that payment over 3 monthly payments.
Let me explain why the membership has risen this year. This isn’t for anyone to feel sorry for us by the way but to explain why us in the committee make these decisions. Our underage membership has been €60 for the last 10 years. Over the last 20+ months like everyone else we have had massive increases in insurance premiums, electricity, gas, equipment charges etc. What a lot of people seem to forget is that the facilities don’t run themselves and need to be paid for. So instead of your child being out in the cold in the middle of December training they have access to our floodlight indoor arena, instead of getting changed on the side of the pitch in the wind, cold and rain, they have a warm secure dressing room, they can play their matches on state of the art grass pitches, they have access to the equipment they need to strive and succeed at soccer and our top quality coaches. Lastly, they are insured, this is the biggest thing and I don’t think many realise the cost of what we pay to insure your child. If they fall, break a leg or anything while playing for the club they are insured because you have paid your membership. The same applies for the academy. It used to be €40 membership and then €2 per night. Which was equivalent to paying about €100 per year. Last year we got rid of the €2 per night because of the shortened year with Covid etc. This year it’s €60 and they are getting a training kit, there won’t be a €2 per night either so it’s the equivalent of last year.
When we decided that it wasn’t feasible to continue to make a loss due to rising charges we decided that membership needed to increase. We also are well aware of the current financial situation many family’s are in within our community so we wanted to give something back also. I know from my child as soon as they see their friends with something new such as club gear they want it, so we made a decision to give a training kit to every child that has their membership paid. This is valued at €20-30 depending on the size.
We have never and will never use membership as a fundraising exercise. The membership covers the cost of what it takes to run the club for the year, and to run your child’s team. Our fundraising through our bingo and other avenues is what we make the money to put back into the club, such as the tarmac. We don’t get funding from the FAI and have to apply through grants, loans etc for funding if we want to do something major. We are also in the process of trying to get this Astro moving but has stalled because of a lack of current funds.
Lastly, Bunclody AFC has never and will never turn a child away for not being able to pay membership. The most important thing for a child is to have fun, be inclusive and be around his or her friends. That’s fundamental to what we as a club are about. Anyone that is having issues please talk to Jamie Farrell or another committee member in confidence.