Fan owned club

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Comfortably_numb
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Fan owned club

Post by Comfortably_numb » Wed Sep 01, 2021 9:22 am

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/58385733

apol if already posted. Hearts now fully fan owned (but not run by fans - that's too mental)

Highlights the total mess bigger clubs can get into - £30m debt, the threat of first losing tynecastle then potential liquidation - mainly thanks to a bonkers millionaire backer who took them to the brink.

Darlo off to not such a great start, but off the field, I'm happy...

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beatroute66
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Re: Fan owned club

Post by beatroute66 » Wed Sep 01, 2021 12:02 pm

It's the de-risked nature of the model that I love. If a fan can't commit to ownership or BTB this season, another fan who couldn't the year before will. Previously we've been at the total will of one person's interest/intentions/behaviour. Right now, we're not.

The fan ownership model also sits nicely with my own personal principles, as well as facilitating us being able to say that we're a "community club" with 100% sincerity as, in essence, just shy of 1,000 members of the community are the majority shareholders.

I get why a defeat or losing out on a player provokes some into saying we need a major investor - and I'm not totally adverse to an investor, with the right intentions, plan, desire to work with the fans, etc, rocking up for a chat - but guess what, we lost games, had poor seasons and lost out on transfer deals under Reynolds, Brearley, Peden, Houghton, Singh, etc, etc, etc.

Whatever the make up of the DFCSG board at any given point, the club is in good hands, sustainable and ran by 100s and 100s of folk who really care for it. You couldn't say that at Newcastle, Arsenal or Hartlepool right now, could you.

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theoriginalfatcat
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Re: Fan owned club

Post by theoriginalfatcat » Wed Sep 01, 2021 12:12 pm

Or Barcelona :crazy:
Mr Singh said this " I'm not expecting to get back any of the money I've already put in, I'm prepared to write it off for the future of the club. I'm not hanging in to make any kind of financial gain in the short or long term - if someone was prepared to come in and take the club off my hands, I'd be more than willing to discuss it"

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onewayup
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Re: Fan owned club

Post by onewayup » Wed Sep 01, 2021 1:12 pm

beetroute66 totally agree with you on this post.

LoidLucan
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Re: Fan owned club

Post by LoidLucan » Wed Sep 01, 2021 1:23 pm

The problem is that for some we will only be a proper and worthwhile club if we return to our traditional place as a league club now. They are not willing to accept our position as a competitive, non-league club which strives to move forward and they seem to believe there is some sort of conspiracy among some to have us as some sort of little hobby club without ambitions to return to the league. Some seem to believe there is a resistance to anyone wanting to invest (even though there is actually no-one on the immediate horizon). It is true, of course, that these voices become that much louder when we have lost a couple of games or been knocked back in the transfer market.

You'll see exactly the same sort of "we've gone as far as we can with fan-owned" discussions among the Chester fans.

Personally I'm pleased to be involved with a club where we can all play a part and make a difference and a club that is determined to move forward. We have made tremendous strides since the dark days when we were hurled down the leagues when our owner pulled the plug on us. And it would be great if there were private investors wanting to get more involved and work in tandem with us. I don't see this perceived anti-investor sentiment at the club except perhaps in the case of one individual who very nearly destroyed us.

Darlobill
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Re: Fan owned club

Post by Darlobill » Wed Sep 01, 2021 2:37 pm

beatroute66 wrote:
Wed Sep 01, 2021 12:02 pm
It's the de-risked nature of the model that I love. If a fan can't commit to ownership or BTB this season, another fan who couldn't the year before will. Previously we've been at the total will of one person's interest/intentions/behaviour. Right now, we're not.

The fan ownership model also sits nicely with my own personal principles, as well as facilitating us being able to say that we're a "community club" with 100% sincerity as, in essence, just shy of 1,000 members of the community are the majority shareholders.

I get why a defeat or losing out on a player provokes some into saying we need a major investor - and I'm not totally adverse to an investor, with the right intentions, plan, desire to work with the fans, etc, rocking up for a chat - but guess what, we lost games, had poor seasons and lost out on transfer deals under Reynolds, Brearley, Peden, Houghton, Singh, etc, etc, etc.

Whatever the make up of the DFCSG board at any given point, the club is in good hands, sustainable and ran by 100s and 100s of folk who really care for it. You couldn't say that at Newcastle, Arsenal or Hartlepool right now, could you.
A fan owned model is great in theory and we all agree we have wonderful volunteers who go the extra mile.

However let’s be realistic with 1000 members it’s highly unlikely we can go to a higher level unless people are putting a lot more money in via subs or BTB. Some sort of quasi model with an investor could be possible, however is anyone from either board talking with potential investors DJ says he is well connected and I’m sure I read on this board a potential was at the first game.

It may be that investor might only be interested in the off the field side, stadium & commercial, Mowden have two separate companies one for the Development and one for Rugby. Having said that there’s little land suitable in and around Darlington and after the comments at the forum about Mowden Directors I doubt they would want us back at the Arena.

So we are still in the same place a well run fan owned club but what is our long term view, it’s difficult we all know but it would be great to see a 3,5 10 year plan so we could all buy into.

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theoriginalfatcat
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Re: Fan owned club

Post by theoriginalfatcat » Wed Sep 01, 2021 3:02 pm

LoidLucan wrote:
Wed Sep 01, 2021 1:23 pm
I don't see this perceived anti-investor sentiment at the club except perhaps in the case of one individual who very nearly destroyed us.
It hasn't been just one person though. There have been numerous administrations and numerous villains at Darlo and it's the same at other clubs too, take Bury for one. To me the one person owning a football club thing doesn't really work and in the case of most small clubs (of which we are one) a club owned and run in this way is living it's life in peril - ticking the months away until the owner gets sick/gets bored/gets broke/gets dead.

We may get promoted upwards at some point we may not, but the most important thing is that our club is run in a proper way - meaning we can survive.

But to get back to LoidLucan's mention of an investor. I'm not anti investor as such, it's just that investors require something back, such as power or a chance of financial gain otherwise what is the point? Is it an investment?

What would "an investor" gain by pumping money into Darlo?
Mr Singh said this " I'm not expecting to get back any of the money I've already put in, I'm prepared to write it off for the future of the club. I'm not hanging in to make any kind of financial gain in the short or long term - if someone was prepared to come in and take the club off my hands, I'd be more than willing to discuss it"

Tamworth matchday programme 26 Nov 2011

lo36789
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Re: Fan owned club

Post by lo36789 » Wed Sep 01, 2021 4:29 pm

Darlobill wrote:
Wed Sep 01, 2021 2:37 pm
So we are still in the same place a well run fan owned club but what is our long term view, it’s difficult we all know but it would be great to see a 3,5 10 year plan so we could all buy into.
Seems logical that we would have a plan to develop the girls teams now we have a senior womens team. It would make sense to have a youth set up which mirrors the boys set up for the provision of a service back to the community.

Are you suggesting that if a football club doesn't have a publicised 10 year plan then the fan base aren't bought into them? Isn't the idea of being a football supporter to support the club?

Darlobill
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Re: Fan owned club

Post by Darlobill » Wed Sep 01, 2021 5:15 pm

lo36789 wrote:
Wed Sep 01, 2021 4:29 pm
Darlobill wrote:
Wed Sep 01, 2021 2:37 pm
So we are still in the same place a well run fan owned club but what is our long term view, it’s difficult we all know but it would be great to see a 3,5 10 year plan so we could all buy into.
Seems logical that we would have a plan to develop the girls teams now we have a senior womens team. It would make sense to have a youth set up which mirrors the boys set up for the provision of a service back to the community.

Are you suggesting that if a football club doesn't have a publicised 10 year plan then the fan base aren't bought into them? Isn't the idea of being a football supporter to support the club?
I’ve supported the club in loads of ways with sponsorship hospitality at BM, Bishop and Arena so just looking for some type of plan whether that’s short term or long term more off the field than in teams, teams don’t make revenue commercial does.
I know it’s difficult at present but it doesn’t make me less of a fan to suggest we have one.

en passant
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Re: Fan owned club

Post by en passant » Wed Sep 01, 2021 5:37 pm

theoriginalfatcat wrote:
Wed Sep 01, 2021 3:02 pm
LoidLucan wrote:
Wed Sep 01, 2021 1:23 pm
I don't see this perceived anti-investor sentiment at the club except perhaps in the case of one individual who very nearly destroyed us.
It hasn't been just one person though. There have been numerous administrations and numerous villains at Darlo and it's the same at other clubs too, take Bury for one. To me the one person owning a football club thing doesn't really work and in the case of most small clubs (of which we are one) a club owned and run in this way is living it's life in peril - ticking the months away until the owner gets sick/gets bored/gets broke/gets dead.

We may get promoted upwards at some point we may not, but the most important thing is that our club is run in a proper way - meaning we can survive.
I think that this is the sort of territory that the Tracey Crouch review was supposed to be covering. How to bring sustainability into football at the grassroots level up to the lower Football League levels. Whilst Darlo and others have suffered at the hands of careless owners it has been by the grace of god or chance that many other clubs have been able to keep going against the odds. It seems clear that the balance of money in the game is weighted rather too heavily in favour of the premier and European leagues, and could be distributed in a more equitable fashion to provide for the continuance of football as a national game and not for the elite few. If this review does achieve some momentum in recognition of the farce of the last two seasons it may be that clubs such as ours may become the template for a different way to run football that will better suit all of football and not the well-off or fortunate few. If this fails to achieve any move in the way football business is done there will be few chances for clubs such as ours to do anything other than paddle along as we are and accept that we are where we are, or take the risk of adopting a rich benefactor and hoping they turn out to be Father Christmas and not Singh the Merciless.

lo36789
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Re: Fan owned club

Post by lo36789 » Wed Sep 01, 2021 5:46 pm

Darlobill wrote:
Wed Sep 01, 2021 5:15 pm
lo36789 wrote:
Wed Sep 01, 2021 4:29 pm
Darlobill wrote:
Wed Sep 01, 2021 2:37 pm
So we are still in the same place a well run fan owned club but what is our long term view, it’s difficult we all know but it would be great to see a 3,5 10 year plan so we could all buy into.
Seems logical that we would have a plan to develop the girls teams now we have a senior womens team. It would make sense to have a youth set up which mirrors the boys set up for the provision of a service back to the community.

Are you suggesting that if a football club doesn't have a publicised 10 year plan then the fan base aren't bought into them? Isn't the idea of being a football supporter to support the club?
I’ve supported the club in loads of ways with sponsorship hospitality at BM, Bishop and Arena so just looking for some type of plan whether that’s short term or long term more off the field than in teams, teams don’t make revenue commercial does.
I know it’s difficult at present but it doesn’t make me less of a fan to suggest we have one.
Teams embed you in the local community to a more diverse demographic within the local community.

You want a long term plan but you also couldn't join dots on how focussing on getting 50% of the population interested in football, and specifically Darlington FC from a young age wouldn't be beneficial to revenue...

I would also intrinsically challenge why revenue is a measure of success.

What if our KPI was the percentage of u16s in Darlington schools who declare that they support Darlington FC...

Darlobill
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Re: Fan owned club

Post by Darlobill » Wed Sep 01, 2021 5:55 pm

lo36789 wrote:
Wed Sep 01, 2021 5:46 pm
Darlobill wrote:
Wed Sep 01, 2021 5:15 pm
lo36789 wrote:
Wed Sep 01, 2021 4:29 pm
Darlobill wrote:
Wed Sep 01, 2021 2:37 pm
So we are still in the same place a well run fan owned club but what is our long term view, it’s difficult we all know but it would be great to see a 3,5 10 year plan so we could all buy into.
Seems logical that we would have a plan to develop the girls teams now we have a senior womens team. It would make sense to have a youth set up which mirrors the boys set up for the provision of a service back to the community.

Are you suggesting that if a football club doesn't have a publicised 10 year plan then the fan base aren't bought into them? Isn't the idea of being a football supporter to support the club?
I’ve supported the club in loads of ways with sponsorship hospitality at BM, Bishop and Arena so just looking for some type of plan whether that’s short term or long term more off the field than in teams, teams don’t make revenue commercial does.
I know it’s difficult at present but it doesn’t make me less of a fan to suggest we have one.
Teams embed you in the local community to a more diverse demographic within the local community.

You want a long term plan but you also couldn't join dots on how focussing on getting 50% of the population interested in football, and specifically Darlington FC from a young age wouldn't be beneficial to revenue...
The youth woman’s teams are great Academy makes money but Umm I’ll leave it there as I don’t think you get the point I was trying to make.

lo36789
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Re: Fan owned club

Post by lo36789 » Wed Sep 01, 2021 6:13 pm

I think we potentially have different views on what success for Darlington Football Club means...

jjljks
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Re: Fan owned club

Post by jjljks » Thu Sep 02, 2021 5:49 am

The fact that there were some people who were not prepared to see the club slip into oblivion, then did something to prevent it, was a success.

wizardofos
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Re: Fan owned club

Post by wizardofos » Thu Sep 02, 2021 6:13 am

For me, one of the main risks of our model is attracting the calibre of volunteers required to do a good job of running the Club.
Right now, we are in the fortunate position of having some exceptional people at the helm.
When, inevitably, they retire or decide that it's all too much hassle, there could be a problem.

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beatroute66
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Re: Fan owned club

Post by beatroute66 » Thu Sep 02, 2021 7:21 am

Some interesting posts on this.

Success definition is multi-faceted, isn't it.

Speaking purely personally (and not with my DFCSG hat on...), I'd say that success for DFC is a sustainable, well-run club, with lots of two-way engagement with the fan base, with the club sat at the heart of the community, ideally with it's own ground, with a team on the pitch that gives its all and is fun to watch (whether that is in the Northern League, National League North or L2).

Maybe I'd say that with my DFCSG hat on too!

Getting to the FL at all costs, especially where ownership and club integrity is concerned, isn't really a viable option for me. Those of us old enough to remember the 90s and 00s will recall how an 'investor', the promise of lots of cash knocking about and a sexy new stand doesn't always equate to a well-run ship, success on the pitch or any kind of future.

Again, speaking personally, I'd lost my way with the club a little around the early-2010s. I'd never liked The Arena, I was fed up with yet another owner who I knew didn't care for the club and even the Trophy win didn't detract from the fact that a lot of the football was average. I had no idea where we were going or how we were going to extract ourselves from a ground that was clearly killing us.

Starting again and rising up from the Northern League, with a club now owned by a collective who cared very deeply for it, got me seriously interested again. Again, speaking personally, it was the best thing that could have happened IMHO.

At this stage, sat in the league below the National League and renting a ground, we really are at an exciting crossroads. The club is in good fettle, with some fantastic folk running it, and we've come a heck of a long way in the last 9 years. The next 3/4/5 years will be really interesting and could well set the foundations for the future of the club for years to come.

Darlobill
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Re: Fan owned club

Post by Darlobill » Thu Sep 02, 2021 8:57 am

wizardofos wrote:
Thu Sep 02, 2021 6:13 am
For me, one of the main risks of our model is attracting the calibre of volunteers required to do a good job of running the Club.
Right now, we are in the fortunate position of having some exceptional people at the helm.
When, inevitably, they retire or decide that it's all too much hassle, there could be a problem.
They are looking for additional DFCSG Directors if anyone interested and Neil Raper is standing down but good he’s staying on as company secretary.

wizardofos
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Re: Fan owned club

Post by wizardofos » Thu Sep 02, 2021 9:04 am

beatroute66 wrote:
Thu Sep 02, 2021 7:21 am
Some interesting posts on this.

Success definition is multi-faceted, isn't it.

Speaking purely personally (and not with my DFCSG hat on...), I'd say that success for DFC is a sustainable, well-run club, with lots of two-way engagement with the fan base, with the club sat at the heart of the community, ideally with it's own ground, with a team on the pitch that gives its all and is fun to watch (whether that is in the Northern League, National League North or L2).

Maybe I'd say that with my DFCSG hat on too!

Getting to the FL at all costs, especially where ownership and club integrity is concerned, isn't really a viable option for me. Those of us old enough to remember the 90s and 00s will recall how an 'investor', the promise of lots of cash knocking about and a sexy new stand doesn't always equate to a well-run ship, success on the pitch or any kind of future.

Again, speaking personally, I'd lost my way with the club a little around the early-2010s. I'd never liked The Arena, I was fed up with yet another owner who I knew didn't care for the club and even the Trophy win didn't detract from the fact that a lot of the football was average. I had no idea where we were going or how we were going to extract ourselves from a ground that was clearly killing us.

Starting again and rising up from the Northern League, with a club now owned by a collective who cared very deeply for it, got me seriously interested again. Again, speaking personally, it was the best thing that could have happened IMHO.

At this stage, sat in the league below the National League and renting a ground, we really are at an exciting crossroads. The club is in good fettle, with some fantastic folk running it, and we've come a heck of a long way in the last 9 years. The next 3/4/5 years will be really interesting and could well set the foundations for the future of the club for years to come.
Well said.
At the time of the administration, I would have taken another investor (if one had emerged) to save the Club and maintain it's position in the pyramid.
On reflection, I now believe that the way things ended up was for the best.

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beatroute66
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Re: Fan owned club

Post by beatroute66 » Thu Sep 02, 2021 11:25 am

wizardofos wrote:
Thu Sep 02, 2021 9:04 am
Well said.
At the time of the administration, I would have taken another investor (if one had emerged) to save the Club and maintain it's position in the pyramid.
On reflection, I now believe that the way things ended up was for the best.
By 2012, anything that would have involved ploughing on at The Arena wouldn't have interested me - even in the Penney/Pawel era I hated the place and never got to grips with watching a side that could only really attract 3-4,000 fans in a stadium built for 20-25,000 people.

That, plus not being from Darlington (ie, I wasn't wedded to the idea that we had to be playing in the town) meant that Heritage Park was a breath of fresh air for me. Reminded me of first going in 89/90.

My only regret was that my dad, who had become too ill to go to games not long after our last ever game at The Arena, never made it down to HP. He was a huge lover of Feethams and, like me, thought that The Arena was just one man's ego trip and had zero use or a club like ours. He'd have loved HP and BM on that basis alone.

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beatroute66
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Re: Fan owned club

Post by beatroute66 » Thu Sep 02, 2021 11:34 am

Darlobill wrote:
Thu Sep 02, 2021 8:57 am
They are looking for additional DFCSG Directors if anyone interested and Neil Raper is standing down but good he’s staying on as company secretary.
It is great news as Neil does a lot of vital work for DFC - bright as a button, 110% committed and a total grafter. Lovely bloke, too.

I'm biased, of course, but both boards and the group of non-board volunteers are full of exceptional people, doing lots of works in the evenings and weekends for the love of the thing. No more than that.

If we were full-time and each of those individuals took even a modest salary for the work that they do, the wage bill would be off-the-scale.

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