Statement by Darlington Football Club Supporters Group

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Statement by Darlington Football Club Supporters Group

Post by poppyfield » Fri Apr 14, 2017 10:50 am

Statement by Darlington Football Club Supporters Group

Statement by Darlington Football Club Supporters Group (DFCSG) about participation in 2016/17 National League North Play-Offs

Today the National League confirmed to Darlington Football Club that we will not be eligible to participate in the promotion play-offs. This is due to having an insufficient number of permanent covered seating at Blackwell Meadows. Further to the statement issued by Darlington Football Club, DFCSG have issued the following;

Thanks to your investment as fans, the foundations are now in place for us to build a Football Club that is financially stable and playing football at the highest sustainable level. And, even more importantly, to safeguard the future of Darlington Football Club for generations to come.

We share the disappointment of the fans who we represent, and the frustration that Martin and coaching team, playing staff and everyone connected with the club are feeling. The DFCSG board works closely with the board of Darlington Football Club and both sets of directors are ultimately accountable to the fans who own the club.

The DFCSG board continues to have full faith and confidence in the current directors of Darlington Football Club and wishes to publicly acknowledge the outstanding contribution they have made to the continued progress of the club. Part of their job is to make difficult and sensitive decisions in the long term interest of the club.

As a collective, we need to remember how far this club has progressed since 2012. To even be in contention for a play-off position in Step 2 is a huge achievement. Martin and the team deserve enormous credit for punching above their weight on the pitch.

The current Football Club directors deserve equal credit for managing to balance the books, complete the initial development of Blackwell Meadows to Category B standard and provide a competitive playing budget.

We ask fans to consider;
•Every effort was made by the directors to explore alternative options and the club have been in discussion with the league for some time
•The move to Blackwell Meadows cost considerably more than originally budgeted for and required additional Football Stadia Improvement Funding grants. The current directors inherited this situation
•In general to date, every possible penny of the operating income has been provided to support the playing budget. If funds were to be diverted to employ full time directors or club secretary, e.g. a secretary would be in the region of £30k, this would restrict the playing budget significantly.
•Provision of the additional 200 seats will cost in the region of £150k
•The impractical time-scales, to raise funds for, procure and construct a stand extension
•Taking the club to Step 1 and developing the physical infrastructure to remain there without being relegated by the league, is likely to require in total c. £500k.

Now is the time to stabilise and build the infrastructure that will allow us to be competitive when we achieve promotion. One reason this situation has come about is a result of constant turnover of the club directors with little handover. DFCSG are working with the current board to create support roles and mitigate the chance of circumstances such as this occurring in future.

As per our recent email to members, the next Community Share Offer will be announced shortly. This will raise funds for us to develop Blackwell Meadows to satisfy additional ground grading requirements, whilst detailing the overall strategy and rolling 5 year plan.
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