A LOOK BACK AT 2016:
When looking back at what we as a League accomplished in 2016, despite extraordinary headwinds, you can’t help but to feel proud. Although planning and execution of this year’s accomplishments were not always ideal or optimal, the important thing is where we ended the year—UCYSL/UCPremier is now in a significantly better and stronger position than it was at the start of 2016. None of this could have been done without the hard work and dedication of all our volunteers: Coaches, Managers, Parents, and Board Members.
As a Board, we set the stage for 2016 with three key priorities in mind: Financial Solvency, Strengthen the Board of Directors, and Implement Age Mandate & Small Sided Games. Below are some of the steps taken and accomplishments made in support of our three key priorities:
After reviewing the league’s financial statements, it was clear that the club was in severe financial trouble and the solvency of the league was as stake. At the start of January, the league had less than $3k in cash, was six months in arrears of field and li ght fees totaling $48k that had been due Mid-December 2015, and most team fund accounts were without secured funds. We needed to find ways to turn this ship around and fast. Some key actions taken to ensure financial solvency:
- Player registration fees increased to sufficiently cover a normal year’s operating expenditures.
- Successful negotiations with the City of Union City, enabled UCYSL to secure a repayment plan for past due invoice for 2015-Period 2 (July-Dec) field usage of $48k, and the provisional issuance of field use permits for 2016-Period 1 (Jan-Jun) on the condition that we met repayment terms and remained current on all current year field fees. This resulted in a total of THREE equivalent period field use permit payments (2015-Period 2, 2016-Period 1, 2016-Period 2) made in 2016, compared to the normal TWO annual invoices under normal operations.
- Planned and executed several league events to help raise additional funds required to help offset 2016 unplanned expense and replenish team accounts:
o Heat Wave Tournament (April)
o Norcal Playdate #10 (July)
o Fireworks Booth
o Soccer Palooza Tournament (September)
o Fundraising (chocolates, popcorn, & pizza cards)
- In late 2016, the league received an IRS invoice for $17k for 2012 back taxes. In an effort to retain cash on hand, we will begin the process of negotiating a lower payoff amount with the IRS–results still pending.
- Equipment and apparel purchase negotiations were made where possible, to ensure the league received the most value for its money.Strengthen Board of Directors:
From the start it was evident that there would be significant work ahead of us for 2016, and we needed to fortify our availableresources fast. Furthermore, only 9 of 15 board member positions were filled, and all but 4 members were new to the Board. After recruiting and appointing 3 additional members we now had 12 of 15 roles filled. We also realigned our members to the more critical roles, By-Laws permitting, to enable us to move forward in a more efficient manner. With the majority of our members being new to their roles, there certainly was a large learning curve in order to get up to speed on roles, responsibilities, and processes, and thus relied heavily on the incumbent 4 members for guidance when possible if and when available.Implement U.S Soccer Federation’s Age & Small Sided Games Mandates:As new Board members many of us were newly informed that in August of the prior year, NorCal had announced its plans to spearhead the implementation of the age & small-sided games mandates in two phases for 2016:
o Phase 1: Spring 2016, for age groups 2003 & younger o Phase 2: Fall 2016, for 2002 & older.
With only two and a half months left before the start of spring season, the league needed to act quickly, by creating communication forums and announcing the player assessment and identification process. Unfortunately, any way you looked at it, many if not all teams were going to be impacted one way or another, but the hope was that when all the teams were firmed up, the league would be left with stronger and more leveled skill set teams.
In an effort to help mitigate some of the anticipated player and coach probable attrition resulting from these impending changes, communication was deemed key. A series of communication forums were established: group coaches’ meetings, league townhall meetings, and individual meetings with coaches, teams, and parents alike. There-organization of our teams undoubtedly resulted in the first half of 2016 being turmoil filled. However, as teams re-adjusted and got re-acquainted throughout the remainder of the year, the league as a whole began to move in the right direction. As we exited the year, this was evident as several coaches and managers sent in a summary of their respective team and individual player accomplishments for public acknowledgment throughout our entire league community.
Other Noteworthy Accomplishments:
- Reinstated Spring and Fall Opening Ceremonies and were graced with the presence of our City Mayor, and the presentation of the American Flag by our local Boy Scouts Troops
- Began the process of merging both UCYSL and UC Premier websites into one platform
- Implemented player management system KORRIO for our UC Premier players’ registration & fee collections.
- Rebuilding our relationships with neighboring soccer leagues
As we embark into 2017, we are starting off the year on a stronger foundation, and we look forward to our league’s bright future, and continued success of our players, teams and coaches. In an effort to help facilitate this continued growth, the Board welcomes our members’ thoughts and suggestion on how we can better improve our league, and therefore a league-wide survey will be send out during the month of February to help gather your feedback. Thank you once again for helping us accomplish so much this year!! Best Regards,
UCYSL/ UC PREMIER BOARD OF DIRECTORS