Liddles Plea To Business

by Scott Thornberry - 28th April 2010

liddles plea to business

Former Darlington star Craig Liddle is pleading for local companies to come forward and help save jobs in the club’s youth set-up. Liddle has been charged with merging Darlington’s Centre of Excellence together with the Football in the Community scheme, currently being managed by another former player, Kevin Stonehouse.

 

The merger is intended to safeguard seven full-time and 20-plus part-time jobs that both departments currently employ between them, but Liddle insists more public backing is needed to maintain the funding required.

 

More than £200,000 a year is needed to run the club’s youth set-up alone, with teams ranging from Under-9s through to Under-18s, while a large slice of funding through grants is likely to be cut this summer.

“It’s a precarious situation for us right now,” says Liddle, currently the club’s Head of Youth who played more than 300 games for Darlington between 1998 and 2005 and has had three spells in caretaker charge at the club.

 

“The bottom line is if we don’t get sponsorship and advertising money in from the local business community, jobs will have to go.

 

“There’s only so much money the football club can plough into the youth set-up and funding for us and the Football in the Community is set to be cut this summer, which will make life even more difficult for us next season.

 

“Businesses large and small can all play their part in helping us, with a variety of advertising and sponsorship options available, while donations of any kind are always very gratefully received.

 

“The Darlington Supporters Trust sponsored two of our teams last season and it’s that kind of support which has kept us going. But we need a big push now just to keep everyone in jobs and to maintain the development of our younger players.”

 

Darlington’s first team have benefited from the club’s youth set-up this season, with Jordan Marshall, John McReady, Michael Smith, Dan Byrne, Corey Barnes, Josh Gray, Dan Groves and Curtis Main all featuring in the senior side.

 

Liddle has also set up new development centres in Newcastle and Peterlee, with another to follow in Darlington to run alongside the current Centre of Excellence.

 

The merger will mean the club’s youth coaches will also be helping the Football in the Community scheme deliver their projects in Darlington and surrounding areas. 

“It will be all hands to the pump as it is,” says Liddle. “Our staff have been working flat-out but their workload will have to increase and the demands on them will be even greater.

 

“They’re a dedicated bunch of hard-working people who love working for Darlington FC and it would be a crying shame for anyone to lose their job.

 

“Any job losses would also have a detrimental effect on the service that we can afford. The youth coaching set-up and the Football in the Community isn’t just about football. Yes it’s important for us to develop our best young players, but our Centre of Excellence and Football in the Community departments both cater for hundreds of children and gives them something to enjoy.

 

“This is about community involvement as well as football development and I’d like to think we have a social responsibility to maintain the best possible service, for the benefit of the football club as well as the children who enjoy it.”

 

Firms or individuals who’d like to contribute towards the running costs of both schemes, large or small, can contact Craig Liddle at the club on 01325 387000 or email craig@darlington-fc.net

Comments

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leedscol - 28th April 2010 15:40:18

Speaking as a Life member,I hope the Trust will be able to continue to help,

1Superlidds - 28th April 2010 15:57:55

The Trust provides substantial support to the Youth system, am sure that is something that will not only continue but be more prominent.

If the Trust is guilty of one thing it is that it understates its achievements. Having seen the youth team play I can honestly say its crucial investment is continued in YD, this season we have regularly played kids 2 years junior to the opposition due to First squad call ups of the senior youths - despite that we have continue to produce some good results and finished at the right end of the table.

Outside financially assisting the YD I hope the Trust can also look to encourage local businesses to join them in investing their support of what is potentially the future of DFC.

rj50 - 28th April 2010 19:40:26

How much did the Trust put in this season?

1Superlidds - 28th April 2010 20:55:52

the Trust has financially supported the club and youth development something around £3.5k (give or take some loose change!)
I think around half of that has gone directly towards youth development. Given the Trust is a NFP organisation thats a considerable amount raised by the Trust through the supporters and this is a year on year financial support not just a one off. It has previously sponsored such things as the YD mini-bus and on top of those contributions it has financed DFC FitC coaching schemes around the area.
Am sure you will second the comments of Craig Liddle in acknowledging the Trusts significant support for YD

hodgie1 - 28th April 2010 21:05:29

i can concur what ian has said, a lot of the trusts work goes unnoticed - i know craig liddle really appreciated our support last august, which like ian sai was mentioned recently in the press

isitouryear - 29th April 2010 21:14:15

i bet the youth and community schemes could run on the interest alone of the wad of money the supporters trust have in that bank account

Jazz Maverick - 29th April 2010 21:16:30

isitouryear wrote:i bet the youth and community schemes could run on the interest alone of the wad of money the supporters trust have in that bank account
What a stupid comment :?

isitouryear - 29th April 2010 21:32:11

why? When I put my money into the trust, i didnt expect it to be held by tony taylor and co when i was told it was for DFC. if the trust wanted to raise money for themselves so that they can choose what to do with it, they shouldnt have done it under false pretences. they colected over 60k, and they want us to do a song and dance over 3.5k they put in this season

1Superlidds - 29th April 2010 22:13:51

isit - I don't ask anybody to do a song and dance over anything I only mentioned it as the question was asked (had it not been answered there would have been a clown...probably you...saying the Trust was dodging the answer).

You know perfectly well the funds were ring fenced at the bequest of the members - though you have regularly bored the tits off posters on here with your constant ramblings making it clear you would have been quite happy to have sank it into Administrator's black hole on 2 occasions now which would have been of no benefit to the club long term.

The money has not been raised for the Trust's benefit (unless you can demonstrate where the Trust have benefitted from it then I suggest you retract that comment as its small minded planks like you making comments like that, that cause unrest among supporters of our club) it was raised to ensure a continuation of a football club to represent the town, had it been of sufficient funds to save the club during Administration then it may well have been used but 50k was not a sufficiently significant figure to offer anything but perhaps a weeks stay of execution, certainly not a continuation of a major football club representing the town.

The Trust has contributed significant funds year on year to the club at all levels of it, the club is grateful with the Trusts backing of it as Craig, Neil and Kevin have often been quoted as saying now deal with it and stop boring the crap out of people on here.

Whilst I am no longer a Board member I remain supportive of the hard work they put in and grateful that its run by people like them that do rather than people like you that talk

comeondarlo - 29th April 2010 22:25:12

As always 1SL, spot on

Jazz Maverick - 30th April 2010 06:56:22

Well said bloke, this isit fella doesn't seem to have a clue how trusts work.

fergies50yarder - 30th April 2010 09:16:11

isitouryear wrote:i bet the youth and community schemes could run on the interest alone of the wad of money the supporters trust have in that bank account
Do you actually have any idea how much interest £50k or whatever it was is attracting right now? Am no finance expert but I bet its hard pushed to earn £20 a month right now (I know my bank account aint exactly growing fast!!). Perhaps somebody in that line of business can perhaps tell us?
I admit at the time I was thinking maybe the Trust should give give Davis the money but if we had then he would still have sold the club to GH and we would still have gotten ourselves into Administration, had we used it to buy a player then that player would have been on a £50k players wages increasing our debt and yet he would have walked away for free once we went into Administration. Looking back am glad now that the Trust didn't waste the funds in the way you (and admittedly me for a while) wanted.

Am thinking you are just a bairn, either that or a very naive individual to consider that £50k would have transformed this club or stopped it going into administration

isitouryear - 30th April 2010 14:06:48

the original comment about the interest was said tongue in cheek. You have contradicted yourself there in saying the money was raised for the continuation of the club but the money the trust has isn't enough to continue the life of the club rightly stating that mone would be gone in no time. So what is it for then if it aint going to keep the club going?All of the money the trust has was raised for the club and just 3.5 k put in last season. Maybe that 50k could be given to Raj so he can decide the best way to use it that will ensure the future of the club. Why not just raise it again?

1Superlidds - 30th April 2010 15:20:43

isitouryear wrote:the original comment about the interest was said tongue in cheek. You have contradicted yourself there in saying the money was raised for the continuation of the club but the money the trust has isn't enough to continue the life of the club rightly stating that mone would be gone in no time. So what is it for then if it aint going to keep the club going?All of the money the trust has was raised for the club and just 3.5 k put in last season. Maybe that 50k could be given to Raj so he can decide the best way to use it that will ensure the future of the club. Why not just raise it again?
There is no contradiction at all, the hope was to raise sufficient funds to save the club, £50k was never sufficient funds and would have been swallowed up and totally lost.
We then had £50k, it does not belong to the Trust, and it will never be the intention of the Trust to spend it for their own means or for any purpose other than to secure a Darlington football club in the town. The funds belong to all those up and down the country that contributed and as such the Trust took a vote from members who agreed it be ring fenced. The second time we went into Administration it was for a significantly higher debt than previously and £50k was even less significant.
That money would have just disappeared on both occassions but its still there in its own account making its own interest - albeit as was said earlier the interest rate is incredibly low at the moment but its still there all the same.
You suggested we give it to Davies, you suggested we give it to Houghton, you suggested we buy Kandol or else give it to DH for signing players - all those options would have equated to just throwing it down the drain.
I would personally prefer that the fund is continually built on with additional fund raising so that should things go wrong in the future the funds are in place to act, thats just my personal opinion - that has been hampered by comments made by a tiny minority, including yourself who want to see the money spent and wasted simply because you have a personal grouch with those within the Trust.
You want to hand it over to Raj where it will 'ensure the future of the Football club'?....how will 50k ensure the club's future and for how long?
As for raising it again should the need arise? a lot of that money came from various Trusts around the country holding bucket collections at their home games, through away supporters visiting the stadium putting into the bucket and also from people in our community who while not being football fans recognise the importance of the town having a football club.
They would all rightly question why we squandered the money they gave previously....money certainly not given so that we spend it on buying players - these people will think twice before donating again.
Also you have no idea just what a considerable amount of time, effort and organisation it takes to run an appeal like that, those on the committee at the time (I only joined late on so it was all underway pre-me) worked long and hard to raise funds, organise events, attend rallies and meetings, met other Trusts etc and, once raised, every penny had to be accounted for and audited through an independant auditor based in Leeds.
Some decisions may not seem fair, even when chosen by vote, but they are done for the best reasons and hand on heart I believe the funds are in the best place possible.

1Superlidds - 30th April 2010 15:38:54

isitouryear wrote:All of the money the trust has was raised for the club and just 3.5 k put in last season.
The Trust is not a cash cow for the club, it is an independant organisation. It invests in areas of the club like the youth development and FitC because it recognises the importance of these areas both within the community and for the long term future of the club.
The Trust contributes financially year on year - not as you suggest just one season. Finances are tight in everyones pocket, yet through the generosity of members and non members of the Trust supporting our events we still managed to raise that amount of money over the year. You may see it as a paltry figure to give the club but I wonder how easy you would find it to go out on an evening after work and run sufficient events to raise such funds? If you feel you can actually achieve more then I implore you to come on board and prove it.