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Q&A Session 2022


Q: Replace the hob in the kitchen with an induction hob.
A: When the renovations started eight years ago, the equipment was in good condition and therefore there was no need to make the change. In terms of cost, induction hobs imply the replacement of all cooking items as the current ones are for vitro-ceramic hobs. Such an investment has therefore not been considered at this point, as the current hobs seem to be serving the purpose, being replaced any time that is needed.

Q: The stone garden benches on the terrace turn into benches that you can actually sit on.
A: The benches are sometimes used for other purposes than seating, such as providing a support area for apparel and other items. We can provide cushions when needed, although requests to do so are very rare.

Q: The Constitution states that the club is a non profit organisation for the benefit of the members. Profits are generated by various parts of the club, namely the Bar and two restaurants and these profits do get put back into the club.  I am concerned however as to how the prices of the Bar and restaurants are set. With Denis O Brien now owning many restaurants within close proximity of the club I have seen very similar prices at FSCC but I believe FSCC should be more competitive than other prices, as the members own the club and there is no mortgage to pay.  In addition Mr. O Brien operates on a substantial profit margin for his establishments, which FSCC should be able to undercut and still generate internal profit and still comply with our own Constitution.
Can the Management look into the pricing structures of food and beverages with some sort of regular check and formula being applied.
A: In managing the Bar and Restaurant we aim to broadly break even, indeed our 2022 budget assumes a loss of €95k. We keep a close track on our prices against other establishments in the area to ensure that we remain competitive. In recent months the costs of food etc have been rising and as a result we have made some small adjustments to our prices. Unfortunately this is affecting everyone and we are confident that we remain one of the best value for money propositions in the area. As an illustration below is a small comparison made last month against prices proposed at the Fairways for lunch, where it is also visible that we offer better value than they do, in most items.

Q: The legal professional and accountancy figure has increased by around €130,000.00 in one year. Why is that?
A: This has to do with the redomiciliation process and is a one-off cost. The Chairman explained there was the need to evaluate the possibility to redomicile FSCC Ltd, considering the maintaining of the present structure would mean an increase in council tax that by itself could lead to a potential membership fees increase of 30%.

Q: How big will the new pool be?
A: The planned size is 9m x 18m. Depth will be 1.50 mts in the middle and 1.20 mts at the ends.

Q: Will it be adults only?
A: It is thought to be an adult only pool.

Q: Will it be covered?
A: Yes, it will be covered at water level to allow for the pool to be heated through the winter months whilst minimising heat loss.

Q: Will it be heated with solar power?
A: Yes, it will be heated with solar power too

Q: What’s the cost of the entire project for offices, new pool and v.97?
A: We are looking at an investment between 1.7 and 2 million euros. Although it is a phased project, they are all linked as we need to create new offices to enable the construction of the pool. V.97, which accommodates disabled guests, does not fit into the modern building standards and needs to be dealt with in any event.

Q: What stops children accessing the pool?
A: We will just have to keep tight control.

Q: Will this take the outside dining area (the barbecue terrace)?
A: No it won’t. It will take out the putting and chipping green

Q: Has a cost/benefit analysis been done?
A formal analysis has not been done, but the Board have been looking at this for the last 4 or 5 years. Had it not been for Covid, the project would have been done by now. It is very difficult to have a return cost/benefit analysis, because it can’t realistically be done.

Q: How safe is the investment estimate?
A: It has quite a bit of contingency in it but it’s not completely safe. We are comfortable with the costs as they are, but if we got to the end of phase 1 (office building) and phase 2 and 3 became significantly more expensive, or if the Club is a different position by then, we could stop at the end of phase 1.

Q: How will it be financed?
A: The company already has the funds for that, not from the sinking fund. Despite all the challenges, we have done very well over the last two years, which allows enough cash and reserves to be able to fund the project without undue concern. It is also important to mention the level of interest from new members and our ability on resales, which generated around €900,000.00 over the last 5 years on weeks sold. The underlying demand is critical for us to finance the project and also to having the confidence to be able to do it.  It was also referred that it is important to continue to invest in the Club.

Q: Are the current offices being knocked down or will there be an alternative use of the space?
A: Those offices will be flattened to create the space for the pool.

Q: What happens to the minimarket during the construction?
A: We are considering having it by the tennis courts. Another option would be to have a marquee.

Q: What measures are being taken to reduce the rising costs of energy and how can members help?
A: Our energy costs are not rising. We have a 10-year fixed price contract that was set about 3 years ago. Besides that, since the beginning of this year, the Portuguese government is waiving the cost of the usage of the grid which makes us being in front of our energy costs for the first 5 months of this year. We keep close control on the pool heating, which is over 8K/month. We also try to create awareness on the A/C usage in the villas. It is easier though to control energy in the Clubhouse.  Another aspect is the replacement of air conditioning units, more effective and eco friendly. We also use a lot of solar panels, both in the villas and in the Clubhouse. 

Q: Are there any plans to buy a new bus?
A: Not at this point. It still has 3 years to go.

Q: Is the gym equipment being replaced?
A: It just has, with new dumbbells and electric equipment. There is also a new outdoor gym, by the bowling green.

Q: The bowling green is not being used very often?
A: This has been spoken about on numerous occasions in the past, and it was seen that it is in fact quite used, although perhaps this is not very visible. It also covers its own cost.

Q: Can we have some FSCC umbrellas because it is sometimes difficult to get to the villas when it’s raining?
A: It can be done.

Q: Is there any chance of reinstating the golf tournament?
A: There is no demand for that at this point.

Q: The quiz night stopped in Easter, which was disappointing. Is it because of children?
A: It can become very disruptive because there is high demand for the bar in that period and a lot of people don’t want to go to the quiz, which takes the entire area. Added to that, there are children that can be more vocal, which also made a lot of quizzers unhappy, and they required to be more silent and focused.

Q: Could the quiz be held in the library during that period?
A: It would only accommodate 2 or 3 teams.

Q: Have you reinstated Marianne, with the jewellery?
A: No. She left during the Covid period and never came back. Tania was in contact with her.

Q: Are there any plans for a boules/pétanque area?
A: It has not been considered previously, but it is something that can be looked at.


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