Celtic Club Annual Report shows a million dollar loss

Now that the silly season’s well and truly over, it’s time to settle in and study the Celtic Club’s 2018 Annual Report with care and attention.

Pretty, isn’t it? It should be – most of it is a tribute to Irish Australia and very little has anything to do with the Club itself. The few photos inside the Club show little clumps of embarrassed people in lovely rooms. No life, no music, no fun and hardly any members. The last bit isn’t surprising, you couldn’t fit more than 50 people comfortably on the one floor that you can use.

That’s just the surface, let’s have a closer look at all those inconvenient details.  There’s been quite a lot of turnover in the Committee – the elected Secretary (Peter Donnellan) resigned from the Committee after only two meetings, hence Conrad Corry is now the distinctly underperforming Secretary (come on Conrad, send out a Newsletter, you can do it). The elected Treasurer (Sean McKeon) resigned his post after three meetings, hence Robert Clifford. Even with two new Committee members – Claire Murphy and Sinead Cullen – about whom we know nothing at all, the Committee is still one member short. Why is there all this turnover at the executive officer level – conflict with the President? Need to spend more time with their families?

The President’s report alludes darkly to ‘malicious challenges’ but doesn’t tell us any more.  Who are the evil forces? What did the defence cost?  It’s certainly not there in the Financials.  There is a very clear reference to a second contract of sale, though.  What a pity the members have never seen it, let alone voted on it.

The Secretary also alludes to ‘legal action’; these people are positively beset by enemies. Who will they blame in the next report? Or won’t there be one? Why moving from Queen St. should automatically reduce the membership is completely unclear, but that doesn’t matter because they’re only ‘older’ members and we can do without them, obviously.  Mr. Corry tells us that there are 896 total members. 896, eh? In 2016, there were 1104 total members, so the current Committee has presided over a drop of -18.4% in membership. You’d think a bit of a recruitment drive might help here, but no plans are described.

Clearly a busy man, Mr. Clifford has just lifted large parts of his Treasurer’s report from the Financials section, but he admits that the Metropolitan site is not doing well.  He could hardly deny it because he is responsible for the Financial Report showing that the Club has lost -$1.2 million.  Yes. You read that right. The Club has lost over a million dollars under the current management.

What could the problem be? How is it that the Celtic Club went from -$24,000 in 2015 to -$1,200,000 in 2018? Is it because the current site has only one functioning floor, no rental income, one TV screen, no 24 hour liquor licence, is far from public transport and draws very little custom?  Perhaps you attract a more punters if you had more events of the sort that ordinary people like. Putting on events about Ulysses is going to attract about 15 Joyce wonks, you need to run the sports programs as before!