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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:19 pm 
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Spyman wrote:
A Direct Debit can be cancelled by the supporter at any time - you're only committing a month at a time effectively. So the supporter gets a discounted price but the club doesn't get money up front or a guaranteed commitment.


If I am not mistaken though you can still be liable if you cancel. I am not sure if we are strictly asking folk to 'pay for the season ticket by direct debit' more than we are asking people to pay for their season ticket in instalments (via direct debit). There is still a commitment on behalf of the customer to pay in full.

You make a big purchase on credit with regular instalments just because you cancel the DD doesn't mean that you are no longer liable for the product you now have (in this case it would be a season ticket).

As Divas says beyond flattening out our revenue over the year so we don't have such a cash flow problem in the winter months there is a benefit to those fans who perhaps can't afford the upfront cost of the season ticket and by spreading it out over a year it becomes more affordable. You are going to be looking at what £20 per month for a ticket that just 'sounds' like good value to me.

It also perhaps stops that issue we also have when games come thick and fast "3 home games in a week that is £36..." and there are potential dips in attendance for those games.

jjljks wrote:
Agreed that the 500 club put their money where their mouths were when there was only hot air and a burning sense of injustice to get the club back together. OK it was a good deal at the time, but we shouldn't keep extending it and drawing on goodwill to fund our future. The idea of 1200 people putting £40 per month into the coffers without getting anything in return is a non starter in these times of austerity.


The 500 club was a deliberate strategic act with a view that returning home would generate greater incomes than the lost annual revenue from the club itself. I am not sure it was quite as emotionally driven as you are suggesting.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:47 pm 
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Darlogramps wrote:
theoriginalfatcat wrote:
The thing about our predicament that bugs me is that we get little media coverage.

And before someone fires up and says 'we can't have more coverage than Gateshead/Spennymoor/and others' I would say why not ?

Firstly, in the North East area we are different to other clubs because we have no money men backing us up! We (the fans) rescued DFC from extinction and we now own the club ....... our club!

This makes our story an interesting one and it makes us special - so we should use it more to encourage stay away fans and potential new fans to get involved and take in a game. But the media don't help us here, we get little coverage and if you want any Darlo related info you have to go hunting for it, which brings me on to my second point.

If I owned or ran a newspaper/magazine/radio or TV station surely I could go with stories and programmes of my choosing? As said above - our story is a good one, and to me it is more interesting than the happenings at Salford, and they've had loads of exposure. (hmmmmm I wonder what's going to happen with them ??)

We need to push the fact that we're fan owned out there more, use it to our advantage. I had a little try last year by writing to 442 magazine, they said they were keeping "an eye on us" - or something like that.


With respect, you're speaking as if we're entitled to receive a high level of media coverage. We're not entitled to anything at all. It's not the media's job to provide us with free PR. In the eyes of the media, they cover stories which serve and interest their audience. That's the reason we only get the Northern Echo and occasionally something on BBC Tees (which is more than a lot of clubs at our level get).

Is the fact we're fan-owned interesting? To us, yes. But there are quite a few clubs who are a) fan-owned and b) have come back from financial calamity. It's not a "new" story. To the regular football fan who's not a Darlington supporter, why are we any different to for example, Hereford, Chester or Telford? Or even Portsmouth or Wrexham?

Like it or not, the Salford story IS different because of who is involved. Recognisable, renowned stars building up a non-league club is, to the wider public, much more interesting. This is the reason it gets loads of coverage.

If Alan Shearer, David Ginola, Paul Gascoigne and Chris Waddle rocked up at Blackwell Meadows, took over the club and started throwing money at it, we'd get loads of media interest because of who was involved. It sounds callous, but no one beyond Darlington FC knows who David Johnston or Chris Stockdale. They can instantly recognise a Shearer or a Gascoigne.

It's not a case of people ignoring us because they're not aware of our story. It's more that our story isn't that different to anything that's gone before. Clubs have had financial meltdowns and been reborn or reconstructed as fan-owned entities plenty of times. It's nothing new.

Our best chance of generating more media interest would be a run in the FA Cup. A home tie in the first round against a league club would get the cameras in for at the very least the Final Score live highlights programme on the Sunday afternoon. If it's a decent enough tie, the game would be televised.

Sadly we've bombed season after season in the Cup.

On the point about pushing ourselves out there more - again like the idea of a commercial figure, we could do with an employed PR person, to deal with contacting media outlets etc. But again, this would be an additional cost and right now, it would be a luxury we cannot afford. We have a media team at the moment, who are volunteers which is great. But of course that brings it's own limitations, which have been done to death on here already.


Hmmmm - I see the points you're making, especially re the lack of Cup action, but the media thing ... I just find it annoying. If that's the way it is then so be it, but it's still irritates me.

They were quick enough to buzz around when we were owned by the barkingly troublesome George Reynolds who they painted as a lovable rogue/Robin Hood type figure and always good for a quick quote - and they were quick enough to temporarily jump onto our success after the Wembley win, but now? When so much effort has been put in!

We can all chuck ideas in I suppose - some clever people visit this site, perhaps there are other ways of getting a higher profile?

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 5:01 pm 
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divas wrote:
To be honest the budget needs to be done way in advance of knowing what the total amount of season ticket revenue will be and also there are so many additional variables such as ongoing gate receipts that mean it's not really that helpful.

You do need some people to pay upfront as there is expenditure such as signing on fees before the start of the season.

The monthly DD would be seen as guaranteed revenue so although you wouldn't physically have the cash. Yes there's a hurdle to overcome in terms of people defaulting - it's easy to stop them attending but it is still lost revenue however you'd set aside a margin for that - I can't see it being heavily abused

Why you wouldn't do away with ST and why a monthly DD is better than gate receipts is because it comes in on the same day regardless if there's a match or not and whether there are 1 or 3 games a month. It's a much more reliable method of sustained cash flow. Plus I think it would appeal to fans who are used to paying for services monthly



Am I missing something but a business that brings in the bulk of its revenue (season tickets) at the start of its financial cycle (season) is not one that should have a cashflow problems. Unless of course it it’s overspending.

Why would a business stop customers paying up front. They wouldn’t. Companies that allow you to pay by DD are simple selling the DD to a finace company so they can get the cash up front, think how your insurance works. You can pay by DD but the finace company charges you 28% interest for the pleasure.

The argument that a DD is better for the club than season ticket upfront is nonsense.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 5:28 pm 
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It's not just about getting season ticket revenue across the season rather than up front. It's also about tempting more pay on the day fans to make a commitment but still be able to spread the payments so we don't suffer when there's a glut of games in a short space of time that some may not be able to afford. It also makes it easier for the club come renewal time if fans DD's roll over and allows fans to spread payments across the off season


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 6:47 pm 
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A good write up on the official site:

http://darlingtonfootballclub.co.uk/the ... sentation/

A few interesting comments in there.

I have to say, what with the pushing of the mini-season tickets, the thanks to all sponsors this season and, most importantly, the advertising of the discounted sponsorship boards at BM, the official twitter account has been very good today :clap:

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 6:50 pm 
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Pay on the day fans pay on the day for good reason so don’t get why they would start setting up a DD. Anyway I’ll stay confused on this one !


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:20 pm 
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Darlo-and-Back wrote:
Pay on the day fans pay on the day for good reason so don’t get why they would start setting up a DD. Anyway I’ll stay confused on this one !


I don't think you can categorise them all the same. We all walked before cars were invented


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:53 pm 
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When Direct Debit is mentioned as a payment method, is that what is meant or is it really a Standing Order they're talking about?


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:03 pm 
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With the DD / SO scheme (whichever method it is), is the club asking everyone to pay for their season tickets this way or is it just to encourage new fans to season tickets? I understand the need for continuous cash flow, but not sure what the club is aiming for here. I know that a monthly contribution / donation scheme which was one of the meeting's proposals would assist in providing a regular income, but that was separate to the season tickets


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:18 pm 
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Way i see it. It's just another option for those who may struggle with the one off payment of a season ticket, or may also struggle in a congested month where we might have 3 or 4 home games in fairly short succession. What we want to do is attract as many fans as possible. At the moment if said example person is a pay on the day fan they have no obligation to attend, if something comes up then we lose the revenue of them attending. If they have a season ticket which they can now buy through various payment options, then they are more likely to attend the game because they've already paid for it. it may even encourage them to bring others with them who themselves will pay on the gate.

As you say the option to add a monthly SO as a donation is a separate thing and would be a great way to supplement monthly income. Especially as such donations are not subject to VAT so the Football Club with realise all of this income.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:23 pm 
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JE93 wrote:
Way i see it. It's just another option for those who may struggle with the one off payment of a season ticket, or may also struggle in a congested month where we might have 3 or 4 home games in fairly short succession. What we want to do is attract as many fans as possible. At the moment if said example person is a pay on the day fan they have no obligation to attend, if something comes up then we lose the revenue of them attending. If they have a season ticket which they can now buy through various payment options, then they are more likely to attend the game because they've already paid for it. it may even encourage them to bring others with them who themselves will pay on the gate.

As you say the option to add a monthly SO as a donation is a separate thing and would be a great way to supplement monthly income. Especially as such donations are not subject to VAT so the Football Club with realise all of this income.
This for me, we have a lot of fans who attend every game but can't afford the season ticket upfront. It's just another way to get fans on board with more flexible options.

We are fan owned and so we should have more fan friendly options :)

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:27 pm 
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Good to explore these options but also we should be conscious that our cash flow projections for this financial year include the early bird season tickets in April so we’d presumably sacrifice this year’s financial performance and break even in return for smoother cash flow next season. There’ll have to be a season where we take the short term hit if we’re going to do this.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:41 am 
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Leaving aside the season ticket DD the most important statement to my mind was the following ... "We would however like to commence the infra-structure fund via a direct debit scheme (or one-off donations) so can we start to develop funds to immediately prime the pump in order to fund income-generating assets such as the clubhouse and the 4G pitch proposals when our future location is confirmed. The funds would be held in a ringfenced account by DFCSG until such a position is reached." ...To me this signals the end to BM improvement spending immediately the current improvements are concluded. Implies that we are intent on creating a "war chest" ready for investment in new facilities ..not necessarily at BM .. I think the Board & DFCSG are thinking strategically


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 7:22 pm 
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tezza wrote:
Leaving aside the season ticket DD the most important statement to my mind was the following ... "We would however like to commence the infra-structure fund via a direct debit scheme (or one-off donations) so can we start to develop funds to immediately prime the pump in order to fund income-generating assets such as the clubhouse and the 4G pitch proposals when our future location is confirmed. The funds would be held in a ringfenced account by DFCSG until such a position is reached." ...To me this signals the end to BM improvement spending immediately the current improvements are concluded. Implies that we are intent on creating a "war chest" ready for investment in new facilities ..not necessarily at BM .. I think the Board & DFCSG are thinking strategically



Agree with you Tezza. The kicker is “ not necessarily at BM”... which is either posturing to the rugby club as a means to gain a negotiating position or a genuine intent to move away from BM. Either way it raises some serious questions which need to be explained as it isn’t for one or two individuals to influence the club’s key strategy.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:48 am 
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shawry wrote:
This for me, we have a lot of fans who attend every game but can't afford the season ticket upfront. It's just another way to get fans on board with more flexible options.

We are fan owned and so we should have more fan friendly options :)

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We did try this a couple of seasons ago (2013?) at HP and a leaflet went out with every application form etc. We spent a lot of time and effort getting the necessary licence and joining up with a finance company to facilitate it but off the top of my head we only sold 5/6 tickets that way (certainly less than 10!) so quietly dropped it the following year.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:04 am 
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herts_darlo wrote:
shawry wrote:
This for me, we have a lot of fans who attend every game but can't afford the season ticket upfront. It's just another way to get fans on board with more flexible options.

We are fan owned and so we should have more fan friendly options :)

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We did try this a couple of seasons ago (2013?) at HP and a leaflet went out with every application form etc. We spent a lot of time and effort getting the necessary licence and joining up with a finance company to facilitate it but off the top of my head we only sold 5/6 tickets that way (certainly less than 10!) so quietly dropped it the following year.
surely better than losing them


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:24 am 
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This answer from DJ when asked about 3G/4G pitch during last night NETCAFE is very interesting.
"Naturally we would have to get planning and there is also the issue regarding supply/demand in relation to pitch supply in the Darlington area. This will also affect profitability so we would need to produce a detailed business plan and get approval once our preferred location is known."
He even expanded to include other facilities, however the interesting part is "preferred location" it could even be that the board are thinking of a 2 centre operation? 1 for playing & 1 for the other facilities, including academy. .... that is an idea mooted around the time the unholy alliance of MG/RS was in full flow.


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