Fiscal questions surround operation of largest soccer club in N.S.

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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DARTMOUTH, N.S. - Nova Scotia's largest soccer club is airing its dirty laundry in public.
According to the Dartmouth United Soccer Club's website, a fiscal mess helped motivate the board of directors this month to sack its president.
The internal trouble includes heavy financial losses, ''stolen money,'' specific funds depleted of cash and an ''untouchable'' guaranteed investment certificate that's been redeemed and spent, club records say.
Minutes from a Feb. 10 board meeting show the club's cash reserves over a two-year period have been eaten away to ''a dangerously low level.'' The minutes say Dartmouth United had $182,000 in November 2005, but less than $40,000 in November 2007.
''The board expressed their concern that past financial management had resulted in the club being put in an extremely precarious financial situation,'' say the minutes, which are available on the organization's website under the heading ''new openness, transparency and accountability.''
An open letter to members from the board acknowledged the last few years ''have been challenging for the club.''
It said ''expenditure has significantly exceeded revenue'' and noted many club members have been dissatisfied ''leading to an unprecedented turnout at the (annual general meeting) in November . . . when nine new board members were elected.''
New board member Don Chard said Thursday he doesn't speak for the board - there's no interim president - but feels weak money management, not financial improprieties, have dogged his club.
Part of the club's cash crunch, minutes from a December 2007 board meeting say, stems from money that went missing in 2006 and is the subject of a police probe.
Chard said the $10,500 disappeared from a locked vehicle used by the club member responsible for paying game officials at a tournament. He said the man told the club's board of directors about the circumstances of the theft.
''There certainly were a lot of questions,'' said Chard. Board meeting minutes say ''the investigation included a polygraph test.''

Organizations: Dartmouth United Soccer Club

Geographic location: DARTMOUTH, Nova Scotia

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