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CLUB CHRISTMAS CLOSURE

As happens every year, the Club will be closed over the holiday period while our staff take a vacation and we complete the end-of-year audit of bar stocks, with the Club Censor, our internal auditor.

The Bar and Restaurant will therefore be closed for the end-of-year audit and holidays from 7:45 pm on Sunday, December 18th, reopening on Monday, January 2nd. During this time there will be no access to the Club interior upper level and the Queen’s Room.

External facilities, the gym, and the changing rooms will be accessible from 9 am to 3 pm on the weekdays before Christmas (Monday 19th to Friday 23rd).  Members will be able to play tennis, use the gym and use the Club grounds as well as the changing rooms and showers. External cleaners will come in once while our in-house team are on holiday – please, as always, leave the changing rooms as you would like to find them.

The Club will be completely closed from 3 pm on Friday, December 23rd until 9 am on  Monday, January 2nd, 2023.

Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season, and hoping to see many of us at our Christmas Black Tie Dinner on Saturday, December 10th.
https://www.helloasso.com/associations/standard-athletic-club/evenements/black-tie-christmas-dinner

Tuesday 6 December 2022

President’s Update (1/12/2022)

Today is an opportune time to give a “longer view” and more comprehensive update, together with the decisions from recent MC meetings.  Opportune for 2 reasons:

  • This week marked the second anniversary of our AGM following the first difficult Covid period (November 2020)
  • We now have visibility into approximately where we will land as a Club (Members, spend) by the end of 2022, and are able to begin prioritising for 2023. Hence the fact-base that allowed us to take some decisions at this week’s MC (of which more below). 

This note is therefore a little longer than usual, but I hope is short enough and comprehensive enough to give transparency into all the good things that are happening.

First, a little history. In the run-up to 2022, the Club faced a set of pressures, including the need for a substantial Clubhouse renovation (over €1 million spent to comply with asbestos rules, access, rules, etc.) and then with the impact of Covid on membership and events revenues. If we think of “paradise” for the Club as being:

  • No debt
  • No “off-balance sheet” liabilities, such as labour litigation
  • No urgent deferred maintenance
  • Enough cash in the bank to run the day-to-day

… then the Club was about €1.35 million “away from paradise” in November 2020. Moreover, this number was growing every day we lost Members in August/September 2020.  We, therefore, had a deep and growing hole.

Actions taken since November 2020 have been around maintaining and strengthening everything that is so wonderful about our Club …

  • History
  • Incredible setting
  • Paris’s only truly international Club
  • Inform, “shared second home”

… while stopping digging the hole and indeed filling it in as fast as possible. Moreover, this “hole” would have been far larger but for the cost reduction actions taken by Roger Porsolt and the MC at the beginning of the lockdown.

So what has been achieved, and what remains to be done.  The €1.35 million hole is now just over half that size (€750K).  In essence, the Club has been reconfigured to attract more Members, and to target our spending on addressing “the hole”.  For the finance folks among us, we have been generating “Free Cash Flow From Operations” (an average of around €300K a year) and using it to pay off the old debts (bank, and others), and to complete the “deferred maintenance” in the Club.  The results to date:

  • Mortgage debt is down from €1 million to €700K. These will all be paid off by 2027
  • 2 out of 3 labour issues have been definitively settled, with very low remaining risk for the Club
  • The Club has invested in an unprecedented way (over €250K) in our facilities  (Clubhouse interior renovation, Courts 3, 1 and 2, with 4 and 5 scheduled for this winter, new ground care equipment, over 20 skips of debris removed from our grounds, new balcony blind, new pool heating system, old (cricket) pavilion exterior renovation, meeting legacy compliance issues, electrical work, etc.
  • While less visible, our volunteer team has also led the deployment of a new software system, which will progressively give us all a better experience as Members, and Management the visibility we need to manage. We realise some of this change has been painful.  As they say, “no pain, no gain”.

So what is next:

  • Membership is up on 2020, though still not quite where we want or hoped to be.  We expect to be 800 Members at the end of this year, versus 745 in 2020.  Bringing in another 200 Members remains the priority
  • Looking out a couple of years we aim for 1000 Members, the debts repaid, and all our facilities fixed.  As we get nearer to completing addressing the challenges from 2020, the Club will move resources to give us all more services. The money that was used for a “once in 40-year” rebuild of Courts 1 and 2 this year can in the future give us more bar staff, for example.
  • Based on the numbers for 2023, we will generate over €250K Free Cash Flow from operations in 2023.  So the €750K “hole” will be reduced to under €500K a year from now, and well on the way to being gone.  We will see that in a couple of ways
    • We continue to pay down the debt from the 2015 renovation works, and the government Covid loan.  We are paying these debts down at the rate of around €15K a month at the moment.  In May, this will drop to around €11K as one of the mortgages is paid off.  “Peak debt repayment” is almost done, freeing up €4K a month for other things.
    • We will invest the rest, and some of our cash cushion, in the Club
      • Courts 4 and 5 will be completely excavated and rebuilt in January-March 2023 (€47K)
      • We have engaged a project management company, for a management fee of €7K, to plan the next phase of our €150-200K pool renovation
      • And, at this Tuesday’s MC, we approved a further set of investments in the Club for this year
        • €16K for the total renovation of the Children’s Playground (new major climbing frame, new sandpit, removal of structures past their best, repair of others (new wood, etc.)
        • €7K for individual regulators on our 20+ radiators.  We expect this investment to pay for itself within 1-2 years via lower energy bills
        • €5K to repair the downspout and roof issues which are affecting the squash courts

There are, of course, additional needs to be addressed … and they will be.

  • Upgrading our 1960s pool for the 2020s and beyond (see above)
  • The access road to the Club, in cooperation with the ONF and the Mairie – as the numbers for 2023 come in we hope to be able to address this
  • Renovation of the basketball court
  • Court 6

Thanks for your loyalty to the Club.  On an individual level, as President, may I also take this opportunity to express my thanks to the elected Management Committees since 2020 (Emile, Gerald, Raphael, Roland T, Georgina, Roxane, Tarja, Gigi, Didrik, Vincent, Victor, Roland D) who have done so much, the other volunteers (particularly Astrid, Andrew J (our carpenter supreme), the entire Clubhouse renovation team (James and Naomi M, Dee Dee, James S, David F, Francois |G) , Elisabeth, David S, Philippe A-J, Caroline R, the Sections Heads, …) and our staff, without whom none of the above would have been possible.

Rich, for the Management Team

CLUB CHRISTMAS CLOSURE

As happens every year, the Club will be closed over the holiday period while our staff take a vacation and we complete the end-of-year audit of bar stocks, with the Club Censor, our internal auditor.

The Bar and Restaurant will therefore be closed for the end-of-year audit and holidays from 7:45 pm on Sunday, December 18th, reopening on Monday, January 2nd. During this time there will be no access to the Club interior upper level and the Queen’s Room.

External facilities, the gym, and the changing rooms will be accessible from 9 am to 3 pm on the weekdays before Christmas (Monday 19th to Friday 23rd).  Members will be able to play tennis, use the gym and use the Club grounds as well as the changing rooms and showers. External cleaners will come in once while our in-house team are on holiday – please, as always, leave the changing rooms as you would like to find them.

The Club will be completely closed from 3 pm on Friday, December 23rd until 9 am on  Monday, January 2nd, 2023.

Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season, and hoping to see many of us at our Christmas Black Tie Dinner on Saturday, December 10th.
https://www.helloasso.com/associations/standard-athletic-club/evenements/black-tie-christmas-dinner

Anke Caseley, RIP

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of long-term SAC member, Anke Caseley. Anke passed away on 21st November 2022 at the age of 82.
She is survived by her husband, Ron, and their daughters, Caroline and Annette, their husbands, and her five grandchildren. All will miss her dearly.
Anke was an active member of the SAC from the sixties onwards. An avid bridge player, she was part of the Children’s committee in the ’70s and ’80s, and could often be found chatting to everyone with a glass in one hand and a set of knitting needles in the other. Her funeral will take place at the Crématorium du Parc in Clamart on Friday, the 2nd of December 2022 at 2 pm.

Lockers and Bikes

We have a small number of lockers available: one in the ladies' and three in the men's changing rooms if members are interested (135€ per year)
Please also note that you can have a space to leave your bike at the club (30 € per year).
Please write to  if you're interested.

SAC AGM - 12 June 2022

Our AGM will be held on the 12th of June 2022.  We look forward to welcoming as many Members as possible.
A draft agenda including 2 proposed Rule changes (which are being shared in advance of the required 30 day advance period) is attached. Also attached is the Financial Statement for 2021.
Should you have proposed Motions, please send them to Georgina as Club Secretary, on .
There will also be elections for every MC role except President (which has a 3-year term running to June 2024).  If you are interested in joining the MC, please reach for an existing (or past) MC member to understand what it involves.

Cleaning up the grounds

Members who walk the grounds or watch football and cricket will know that the far corner of the grounds had been used to store debris for many years, with the addition of garden waste.
Coupled with some sick trees, the whole area was in poor shape. Over the past year, our staff and volunteers have removed countless skips of debris. 
The ground has now been levelled and reseeded. Thanks to all who have helped with this. See the main article for a picture of the cleaned-up corner.

Eric Lacey (83), RIP

We are sad to announce that Eric Lacey (12/10/1938-12/01/2022) died on Wednesday morning after a long illness. Eric was a long-time member of the Club and participated in many activities, including lots of football, tennis, golf, and bridge. Eric really cherished his membership of the Club and the many dear friendships he made there. He was on the Golf committee for several years and also captained one of the Bridge section's Interclub teams.
Eric is survived by his wife Elisabeth, to whom we offer our sincere condolences.
His cremation will take place at 10h30 on Wednesday, January the 19th at the Crematorium de Joigny, boulevard Lesire Lacam, 89300 Joigny. (No flowers, please.)

David Gertler (1934-2022), RIP

We are sad to announce that David Gertler (1934-8/5//2022) passed away last Sunday. David was a long-time member of the Club and participated in many activities, including using his financial skill in the past as Club Treasurer. Our deepest sympathy goes to his beloved wife Dominique and to his two sons, Anthony and Jerome.
Please read the main article for a tribute to David by Ian Cully. 

Renewal of wooden benches

The Club has 6 wonderful red cedar benches (by the sports field and in the pool area) — time had not been kind, and they were worn and, in the case of 10 of the 30 boards, rotten.
The old benches have now been restored to give us:
* 4 spectacular red cedar benches
* 2 oak benches from the 10 new boards (since red cedar wood can no longer be bought in France)
Thanks to the team who have worked on this for the past 5 months, particularly to Andrew Jackson and John Hardy as well as Caroline and Patrick.
Read on to see some before and after pictures. 

Renewal of wooden benches

We have 6 wooden benches around the Club (by the sports field and in the pool area). They were beginning to suffer a little. The most heavily damaged wood is being replaced with new oak. Thanks to Andrew Jackson for the great carpentry work. Read on to see the before and after pictures. 

Help Wanted for the Front Desk at Weekends!

Thanks to the members who volunteered for the front desk duties! More volunteers would be appreciated to help look after the front desk on Saturdays and Sundays!
Hours are between 10 am and 5 pm, for at least one hour, please. The duties are principally checking in members and guests. 
Please contact  if you can possibly help and we'll add you to our WhatsApp helpers group. Thank you!