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Ski Club of GB makes loss of £841,589 in 2018-19

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Sometimes in these contexts I think the word 'profit' can cause some misunderstanding. I think the word 'surplus' is a better description of what a membership-driven organisation is aiming for. It should be clear what that surplus is for, especially if a large surplus is being generated on activities, year after year.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
We have a chat about The Ski Club's travails in Episode 44 of The Ski Podcast (50mins in)
https://theskipodcast.com/podcast/episode-44-gstaad-verbier-and-your-dream-ski-job/
ski holidays     
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Don't get me wrong, I'm not being critical of Membership and volunteer-reliant organisations etc. Or charities who are organised on a business structure and who employ permanent professional staff and managers. But from time to time I meet a certain sort of business person who seems to use the term 'not for profit' to explain-away what is basically an unsuccessful business and/or poor management i.e. they set up or run a business to be a big success and find themselves just breaking-even or, if they priced their time realistically, not even that. Again, nothing wrong in trying to make a go of an original idea that just doesn't take off and deciding to fold a business. But it's just that, as I said, I sometime feel that "not for profit" gets used to obscure poor performance, rather than reflect a long-term strategy.
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@rob@rar, fair comment.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
LaForet wrote:
...it's just that, as I said, I sometime feel that "not for profit" gets used to obscure poor performance, rather than reflect a long-term strategy.
A "not for profit" company is very likely to make a profit, despite that not being the purpose of such an organisation. What it's not going to do is distribute that profit to shareholders.
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Not for profit companies are similar to mutual companies. They are supposed to be run for the main benefit of the members. Over time, this becomes distorted into the main beneficiaries are the staff and directors and the members are generally not engaged in the company activities. Often they arrange AGMs in the Orkney Islands, and find ways of ensuring that the board always has the casting vote. (for example employing a lot of staff who vote in the interest of staff and not members)

Such a company if it is to take on the risk of the activities it takes on, has to have an asset buffer in order to still be solvent when bad times come. This asset buffer, generally comes out of profits in the good times.

So sometimes it will make profits and sometimes it will make losses. Sometimes it needs to make large investments, which are then written off. Mistakes are made, and those who make them are normally held accountable and responsible by the membership. Sometimes those mistakes are forgiven, as an accepted risk of being an active company, and sometimes those mistakes are not forgiven. That is when members need to use their vote, just like a general election.

It is for the board to explain clearly to members why mistakes have been made in the past, and what is being done to rectify this. Members then decide whether to forgive, or not with their votes.

Being a member means using your vote. (I am not a member)
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Quote:

Over time, this becomes distorted into the main beneficiaries are the staff and directors and the members are generally not engaged in the company activities.


This is so true, seen this in practice it's utterly insane.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I posted this (on previous page) on 9 December ...

Davina Goldballs wrote:
GoneSkiing wrote:
... a total of 23 small companies (SKI CLUB WINTER ARRANGEMENTS LIMITED, SKI CLUB SERVICES LIMITED, FRESHTRACKS LIMITED, MOUNTAIN SPIRIT LIMITED...who have ALL filed for tax exemption for 2018 are linked directly or indirectly through a) officers or b) directors to the Ski Club of Great Britain Ltd. All linked companies have been granted tax exemption due to a) dormancy or b) small business reasons.
All linked companies have one or more executives in common.


You've not taken us very far there (4 of 23 companies named, 3 of which are openly known about). I must confesss I'm no expert on forensic study of the links between companies (perhaps other readers share this disadvantage) ... so it would be interesting for you to name the 19 others that have blipped your radar.

Let's begin with Mountain Spirit Ltd ...
https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=443966612967842
What is the point of interest there?


Anything further to say on this, at this stage?
Also ...

GoneSkiing wrote:

... all of the very limited information above (nick the surface and the "nasty" starts pouring out) is the result of a graduate student research project at the LSOE in cooperation with the LLM at the University of Fribourg and will be made available to the public in its rather extensive and well-researched entirety on January 28th, 2020.


So that's in about 5-6 weeks time.
Are you at liberty to say anything further about this? Does "LSOE" mean LSE - London School of Economics?

GoneSkiing wrote:
This entire charade has been going on for the past 8 years ...

In terms of expenditure on the website specifically?

GoneSkiing wrote:

Said project and the resulting report were initiated in late 2017/early 2018 after the Insolvency Service responded to an inquiry with the statement, and here I quote, "Following up on your inquiry regarding possible fraudulent business practices with the intent of concealing irregular cash-flow activities involving the Ski Club of Great Britain Limited and businesses seemingly linked through shared appointed officers, we would like to inform you that our research into the matter has not been able to solidify the claims you have raised."


I'm no expert in the process of academic research of this nature. Are you saying that the project and report were commissioned by a third party, or that the student(s) concerned took their own initiative to research and write this?

I think that's enough questions, just for the moment.
You can message me on Facebook, if preferred:
https://www.facebook.com/david.goldsmith.58

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in relation to the NY resolution above.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Ski Club chairman resigns

SCGB statement: “Members will be aware that the Club has encountered a number of challenges in the last year and Council and management have been re-assessing the strategy to restore the financial position and give a sustainable future.”

“A number of decisions have been made with much work still to be done but now is a good time to have an interim chairman as these decisions are implemented.”

“It also allows Council plenty of time to consider the options for a permanent chairman, who would normally be proposed to members at the AGM in November.”
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
How entwined is Freshtracks' admin staff and finances with the rest of SCGB admin, staff and finances? Is there a risk of one bringing the other down? Could they separate cleanly if necessary?
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Well according to this just received https://www.skiclub.co.uk/about-the-ski-club/press-centre/press-releases/2020/01/ski-club-of-great-britain---finance-update things are getting worse Shocked

It's what I would call a pre-shock statement. ie warming the members up for the bad news.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@Pruman, Reading between the lines that's saying "we're f*cked". They might have big enough reserves to limp on (and they ought to surely they trousered a bunch from the primo Wimbledon real estate) but no-ones actually been clever enough to make them fit for purpose in the 21st century.

I wonder what this means?

Quote:

In addition, we will be asking from further support from Reps, Ian will be communicating about this shortly.


Asking reps to pay their own way a bit more for the love of the club?
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
GoneSkiing wrote:
@GeorgeVII what can I say, I am a genius... Cool
No, actually, all of the very limited information above (nick the surface and the "nasty" starts pouring out) is the result of a graduate student research project at the LSOE in cooperation with the LLM at the University of Fribourg and will be made available to the public in its rather extensive and well-researched entirety on January 28th, 2020. It's been fun, kids...NOT!


7 days to go. Any other titillating titillations of what we can expect?

GoneSkiing wrote:

And the moral of the story: even your long-time ski buddy is nothing but a crook who is looking for a money-laundering scheme that is not as dirty as, say, selling drugs. wink


Eh?
Any relation to The Third Man?


http://youtube.com/v/21h0G_gU9Tw
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I personally think it is a very very bad idea to have an accountant as a chairman. Particularly a qualified accountant, who retains practicing status. There is a conflict of interest with a chairman who has to remove accountants who are incompetant, if the chairman/woman is a member of the same regulatory and disicplinary body.

However, as I said before, I am not a member.
snow conditions     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I think it sounds like more than anything else they need someone financially literate rather than a " big vision" guy at the helm. And the firing auditors is by the by. The first culpability is those presenting the numbers to the auditors and the explanations they gave.

It strikes me, if I was a member I'd be very interested in a full and complete explanation of how they got to where they are and the downside risks of their future path. Because they shouldn't be counting on an uptick in membership numbers with their reduced offering and general social interweb ineptness.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Pruman wrote:
Well according to this just received https://www.skiclub.co.uk/about-the-ski-club/press-centre/press-releases/2020/01/ski-club-of-great-britain---finance-update things are getting worse Shocked

It's what I would call a pre-shock statement. ie warming the members up for the bad news.


It is all a bit AF447 from the sound of things... more frozen pitot tubes than a bit of mid air turbulence.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Dave of the Marmottes, the financial literacy of a chairman is less relevant than those who do the running of the business. The chairman is the main members representitive. What is important for a chairman, is their integrity and experience.

Combining the role of chairman and chief executive has a major conflict of interest, and is only really viable where large cost savings need to be made and the company is small where the salaries at the top are too big.

In the extreme, a company can have all the board members in one person. (excepting the company secretary) The bigger a board gets, the harder it is to make quick effective decisions, as there are too many conflicting opinions and vested interests.

Allocating roles in the board is only really relevant when there is a public company, as all directors are equally and severally liable.

The auditors can be complicit, or too cosy I agree. Changing auditors every now and then removes the familiarity, and complacency. It also stops upscaling consulting fees for non audit business.
ski holidays     
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Ski club reps are being asked to pay for their own flights in future to help out.......
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Another point - the generally not stellar conditions across Europe are likely to reflect in all TO numbers this season. So if Freshtracks was making a loss in a good snow year....

CST made out like a bandit clearly...
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
When CST was in charge, pretty much everyone was happy........
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KenX wrote:
Ski club reps are being asked to pay for their own flights in future to help out.......


Ooooh that won't go down well - half term anyone? But then I guess it makes them closer to being truly unremunerated volunteers so would that make them compliant with French law and allow them to legally lead? Can o'worms there just for a larf.

I don't think the snow biz is doing too well. A Crystal rep in Austria told me numbers were well down and that everyone "was on a cheap deal", and then add in irrational uncertainties surrounding 31st Jan, average snow conditions etc and you can imagine that the SCGB is suffering from a trading downturn and the fact it is so easy now to view and cancel DDs via banking apps. The days of leaving DDs running because of inertia are behind us. The Club has fewer than ever reasons to become or remain a member after the demise of leaders. And now asking reps to pay for the privileged will scare many away reducing the offering further. Perfect storm.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
KenX wrote:
Ski club reps are being asked to pay for their own flights in future to help out.......


do they have to pay their training?

French ski clubs pay the training of their "leaders" or "instructors" but, AFAIK, they won't pay expenses beyond say organizing a leader's kick off meeting at the start of the season. Of course they live in the mountains so there is little need for accommodation and transport costs will be mutualized. There may also be lift ticket deals.

The model of InsideOut skiing seems to be more in tune with the times. There appears (to me) to be a disconnect between the scgb's direction and what people want out of a ski club but while they are in their death throws they seem to be an impediment to innovation.

UberSki anyone?
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
davidof wrote:
KenX wrote:
Ski club reps are being asked to pay for their own flights in future to help out.......


do they have to pay their training?



Yes, in full, unrefundable if they don't make the grade (most do)
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
GoneSkiing wrote:

And the moral of the story: even your long-time ski buddy is nothing but a crook who is looking for a money-laundering scheme that is not as dirty as, say, selling drugs. wink


This seems a weird thing to say ... since the "story" (according to "GoneSkiing") concerns something different. His/her key comments/allegations from the run of 5 postings on Saturday 7 December (7 weeks ago) don't make pretty reading ...

https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=149442&start=80#3488078
https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=149442&start=80#3488084
https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=149442&start=80#3488089
https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=149442&start=80#3488100
https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=149442&start=80#3488147

GoneSkiing wrote:
In addition, a total of 23 small companies (SKI CLUB WINTER ARRANGEMENTS LIMITED, SKI CLUB SERVICES LIMITED, FRESHTRACKS LIMITED, MOUNTAIN SPIRIT LIMITED, SOURCE: COMPANIES HOUSE to name a few) who have ALL filed for tax exemption for 2018 are linked directly or indirectly through a) officers or b) directors to the Ski Club of Great Britain Ltd. All linked companies have been granted tax exemption due to a) dormancy or b) small business reasons.
All linked companies have one or more executives in common.


GoneSkiing wrote:
You will find that due to the Resolution and the resulting changes to Member Policy, Honorary Members etc, those who profited most over the last 8 years were, in fact, the members of the "Inner Circle". The benefits range from tax exemption to major tax write-offs for the "Directors" and officers. And that is just the "legal" way of doing it.


GoneSkiing wrote:
... all of the very limited information above (nick the surface and the "nasty" starts pouring out) is the result of a graduate student research project at the LSOE in cooperation with the LLM at the University of Fribourg and will be made available to the public in its rather extensive and well-researched entirety on January 28th, 2020.


GoneSkiing wrote:
"Expense it!", they said.
"We got away with embezzling 40 x that amount over the course of the last 10 years.", they said.
"Who is going to notice?", they said.
"Our members are not holding us accountable as would be their right.", they said.


GoneSkiing wrote:
Said project and the resulting report were initiated in late 2017/early 2018 after the Insolvency Service responded to an inquiry with the statement, and here I quote, "Following up on your inquiry regarding possible fraudulent business practices with the intent of concealing irregular cash-flow activities involving the Ski Club of Great Britain Limited and businesses seemingly linked through shared appointed officers, we would like to inform you that our research into the matter has not been able to solidify the claims you have raised."


[quote="GoneSkiing"]This entire charade has been going on for the past 8 years, it did not suddenly and magically appear with the official refusal of the auditors to sign the initial version of the accounts.

So, if 'GoneSkiing' is good to his/her word, we can expect some significant revelations next Tuesday. But they still don't explain the "moral of the story" relating to "your long-time ski buddy" being "nothing but a crook who is looking for a money-laundering scheme that is not as dirty as, say, selling drugs."

What is he getting at, exactly?

[end of questions]
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