Public Meeting - 11/12/2017

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poppyfield
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Re: Public Meeting - 11/12/2017

Post by poppyfield » Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:46 am

en passant wrote:
al_quaker wrote:I couldn't make it last night, so my opinions are based purely on what I've read. So I may have got the wrong end of the stick on some parts.

It sounds like we now are realising that we need to reign in the playing budget to stabilise. The change of manager in that respect is exactly what we needed, and I really hope it works out for Wright on the pitch to go with his refreshing attitude off it. Hopefully this time next year we will be much stronger financially.

Interesting to hear talk about wanting our own assets to make money. It's been something I've wondered recently - outside of increasing links with businesses, we appear limited by ground sharing as to the off pitch revenue we can generate. I'd be very interested to see if this develops. I'm half wondering if we need to have (very) long term plan to build our own stadium (we of course already own 2 suitable stands). I'm struggling to see how we can ever get to where we want to be at BM, in terms of both infrastructure and revenue generating capabilities (was anything re BM's development discussed?). I imagine we'll be keeping a close eye on potential developments at Mowden Park's proposed sports hub.

The monthly contribution to the club isn't a bad idea - Wimbledon do something similar I believe. But it would need to be pitched right. The club is developing a reputation for constant cash calls, and if we do launch a formal monthly donation scheme I believe it needs to move away from that if it was to be successful.

It is sobering reading how far off we are from being a FT side in the conference again. A bit depressing in fact. But I could take bumbling along in the conference north for a while if long term plans were being put in place to increase revenue to the point where that becomes a realistic ambition again.
Re the development of BM DJ was suggesting that it would be desirable to not only build a 4G pitch but also to have our own club facilities alongside this to allow further revenue to be generated. Whilst an eye was to be kept on the possible development of the sporting hub over at the arena, should this come to nothing then it was considered that having such facilities at BM would, in the long term, be the source of regular income that would replace the need for fans to dip into their pockets and provide a more sustainable future for the club. How the building of such facilities would go down with the rugby club and where the cash for building them would come from was unclear.
4G pitch sounds like a great idea to generate income and improve facility's, but where would the land come from? I assumed DFRC owned the land around BM.
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Maurice_Peddelty
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Re: Public Meeting - 11/12/2017

Post by Maurice_Peddelty » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:05 am

en passant wrote:
AndyPark wrote:Major points from the Darlo meeting tonight.

- Club only made a loss of 10k this financial year; our best since we "reformed".
- To be competitive at this level and level above, we need to boost budget somehow to an extra 450k per year.
- Club looking at an investor coming onboard but after 20 years of mis-management - The current board are apprehensive of this.
- Looking to get more the commercial side of it to generate funds, but the rugby club being awkward with advertising.
- Sustainable income could be an option. Develop Blackwell meadows or potential opportunities with Mowden Parks future ‘Sporting Village’
- Proposal. 1200 fans give £40 per month would generate £480 per person per annum. £576,000 per year. This could fund commercial assets (Similar to the shares we already owe - But not a chance will fans do this, we already stick in a load).
- Construction of second section of stand will be complete by end of February in time for the Kidderminster home game, therefore will be eligible for promotion to Conference Premier should we find ourselves in that position.
- CEO seems very passionate about Darlington building a 4G pitch. This would be used for 6-A-Side leagues etc. Also for training, but not to play first team matches on. These are a sustainable way of generating money.
- Tommy Wright is still confident of pushing for the playoffs, despite being 1 game from the bottom 3 and relegation. Interesting....
A very good summary. One thing that caught my attention that might be worth adding to this was a suggestion made from the audience in the Q and A session concerning the on-going "loss" on current gate receipts caused by the 500 club, which will continue for another 3 years. If I heard it correctly there was said to be over 300 such members. The idea was that 500 club members might choose to give up their rights to entry and instead pay on the day. Such an act may, for the rest of this season, yield additional revenue of £30-40K, and make it possible to break even this year, assist with cash flow and perhaps create the start of a slush fund.

I am a 500 club member myself and I'm sure that the idea of effectively paying twice for entry to a match may seem an ask that goes too far. But since it was mentioned maybe it is worth putting out there and see what my fellow 500 clubbers think.
Quite a few I have spoken to have contributed to boost the budget either with savings made (£100 this season) & even the amount of a ST as they realised that there is no VAT to pay on a donation. The target for BTB was £80k and if that had been reached presumably cash flow would not now be a problem

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Re: Public Meeting - 11/12/2017

Post by LoidLucan » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:25 am

I think divas has pulled out the major themes that came out of the meeting. The number one thing is that we can't continue to run at a loss with debt carried over and we need to find more regular, reliable income streams going forward. Given that a takeover of the club is not on the agenda and not wanted, given the very high chance of going to the wall if history is anything to go by, we've got to look elsewhere moving forward.

That includes possibilities like a 4G pitch, which by all accounts, would be a great way of bringing reliable and regular income but with an initial outlay cost of around £400,000. It wouldn't be used for first team games but as an income generator.

It was also stated that we need a commercial officer in place, either full or part-time because not enough has been done in that area, which was admitted last night. There just isn't the time for that to be done properly and effectively with the current set-up. And the importance of not constantly running at a loss was stressed in that regard. DJ said that in the businesses he was involved with, when a sporting club was asking for backing the first thing you would do is look at the figures and hence the stability of the club. Because the last thing you want to do as a business is get involved in a loss-making club that could go pop with all the bad publicity and ill feeling surrounding that. So, profit, loss etc are very important in getting good commercial backing.

Obviously we as fans can play our part in making sure we don't lurch from one season of debt to another. Hence the direct debit idea, which would wipe out any such concerns, if enough people came forward.

DJ also said that we also would be involved in the discussions about the Arena sporting hub but at present it is just a concept. He also expected Darlington Rugby Club would also be involved in talks, given that it is a sporting hub for the town. But we would only go down such a route if it was right for us in moving forward. As an aside, I don't think anything was said last night about the "rugby club being awkward with advertising" as stated above. I have no idea where that came from.

Now the scary bit. DJ said a playing budget of £700,000 would be required to be competitive in the National League. And York last season were relegated with a budget of £1.2m.

So you can see why he says people need to decide what they want. We can kick around National North and be competitive with probably a top 8 budget but if the fans seriously want to be a National League force then we have to look at some of the above (and other things) to make it happen.

On a cheery note, DJ says he would like to be involved in the club for perhaps the next ten years. But he did say, and it's fair enough really, that if he or his family were subjected to outright abuse, he would just walk away, no question. Can't argue with that. But we need people like him involved with our club, no doubt about that.

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Re: Public Meeting - 11/12/2017

Post by dfc4me » Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:07 am

Without mentioning exact figures on here DJ also said that the transfer fees & salary loss from the 4 players we sold has not only allowed us to bring in replacements but has significantly reduced both the existing debt and the playing budget.

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theoriginalfatcat
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Re: Public Meeting - 11/12/2017

Post by theoriginalfatcat » Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:25 am

al_quaker wrote:It is sobering reading how far off we are from being a FT side in the conference again. A bit depressing in fact. But I could take bumbling along in the conference north for a while if long term plans were being put in place to increase revenue to the point where that becomes a realistic ambition again.
Yes, I agree.

A while ago a friend/Darlo fan said to me at a match that he would be happy to stay in this league for quite a while as he enjoyed the football - and at the time I remember disagreeing with him, thinking we had to get back ASAP to (what I then saw) our rightful place, in the Conference or higher. I have now changed my mind completely.

Personally I'm happy to stay here as a self sufficient club. Where we can stabilise and rebuild and compete. Not indefinitely - but for a couple of seasons at least until we are ready to make a proper push. To me, this day will come and we just have to be patient.
en passant wrote:A very good summary. One thing that caught my attention that might be worth adding to this was a suggestion made from the audience in the Q and A session concerning the on-going "loss" on current gate receipts caused by the 500 club, which will continue for another 3 years. If I heard it correctly there was said to be over 300 such members. The idea was that 500 club members might choose to give up their rights to entry and instead pay on the day. Such an act may, for the rest of this season, yield additional revenue of £30-40K, and make it possible to break even this year, assist with cash flow and perhaps create the start of a slush fund.

I am a 500 club member myself and I'm sure that the idea of effectively paying twice for entry to a match may seem an ask that goes too far. But since it was mentioned maybe it is worth putting out there and see what my fellow 500 clubbers think.

The 500 club members.

They seem to get mentioned every now and again as if they are a hindrance, but to me they made a great effort to commit and pay up front. I feel that if the idea is mooted for them to possibly pay on the gate (as written above, effectively paying twice) then this idea should be put to everyone, season ticket holders and turnstile payments alike, which seems unreasonable, for want of a better word.

But the thing is ..... we can all give extra if we wish to on any given match day, either by dropping into a bucket or by doubling up on our 50/50 tickets. These methods have shown to work well.
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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shawry
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Re: Public Meeting - 11/12/2017

Post by shawry » Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:33 am

theoriginalfatcat wrote:
al_quaker wrote:It is sobering reading how far off we are from being a FT side in the conference again. A bit depressing in fact. But I could take bumbling along in the conference north for a while if long term plans were being put in place to increase revenue to the point where that becomes a realistic ambition again.
Yes, I agree.

A while ago a friend/Darlo fan said to me at a match that he would be happy to stay in this league for quite a while as he enjoyed the football - and at the time I remember disagreeing with him, thinking we had to get back ASAP to (what I then saw) our rightful place, in the Conference or higher. I have now changed my mind completely.

Personally I'm happy to stay here as a self sufficient club. Where we can stabilise and rebuild and compete. Not indefinitely - but for a couple of seasons at least until we are ready to make a proper push. To me, this day will come and we just have to be patient.
en passant wrote:A very good summary. One thing that caught my attention that might be worth adding to this was a suggestion made from the audience in the Q and A session concerning the on-going "loss" on current gate receipts caused by the 500 club, which will continue for another 3 years. If I heard it correctly there was said to be over 300 such members. The idea was that 500 club members might choose to give up their rights to entry and instead pay on the day. Such an act may, for the rest of this season, yield additional revenue of £30-40K, and make it possible to break even this year, assist with cash flow and perhaps create the start of a slush fund.

I am a 500 club member myself and I'm sure that the idea of effectively paying twice for entry to a match may seem an ask that goes too far. But since it was mentioned maybe it is worth putting out there and see what my fellow 500 clubbers think.

The 500 club members.

They seem to get mentioned every now and again as if they are a hindrance, but to me they made a great effort to commit and pay up front. I feel that if the idea is mooted for them to possibly pay on the gate (as written above, effectively paying twice) then this idea should be put to everyone, season ticket holders and turnstile payments alike, which seems unreasonable, for want of a better word.

But the thing is ..... we can all give extra if we wish to on any given match day, either by dropping into a bucket or by doubling up on our 50/50 tickets. These methods have shown to work well.
With regards to 500club members paying on the gate, it doesn't need to be formalised, they could just pay, but surely donating in the buckets would be better anyway?

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Re: Public Meeting - 11/12/2017

Post by H1987 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:44 am

Thanks all for the updates.

The 4G idea is, I think, a great idea. I'd also assume we pay to use Eastbourne, so we would save money from there, as well as generate income if it is used for 5/6 a side. Of course where that money comes from.... well, it's the fans - i'm assuming the 400k estimated cost is also purchasing some land from the rugby club. I wonder if council funding might be available to assist with such a project. Seems like a great money spinner for the club to have down the line though.

I think realistically a few years at this level would be no bad thing, and it's great to know the ground is no immediate barrier to our footballing aspirations after February. Hiring a commercial officer seems like a good idea as well. Even if it eats some budget, we need to get our house in order. The last few years, Martin Gray was allowed to overspend far too often, and fans were expected to find the short fall every time. Having someone overseeing it all, and having a management team on board who understand the constraints has to be a positive move.

Here's just hoping we pick things up on the field, starting from Sunday. UTQ. :thumbup:

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theoriginalfatcat
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Re: Public Meeting - 11/12/2017

Post by theoriginalfatcat » Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:50 am

shawry wrote:With regards to 500club members paying on the gate, it doesn't need to be formalised, they could just pay, but surely donating in the buckets would be better anyway?
Well yes, it would and that's what I mean - but it applies to everyone though - give what your happy to give.

By chance I bumped into a 500 club member yesterday, he seemed to be just a normal person, definitely not part of a super rich elite :D
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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en passant
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Re: Public Meeting - 11/12/2017

Post by en passant » Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:35 pm

theoriginalfatcat wrote:
al_quaker wrote:It is sobering reading how far off we are from being a FT side in the conference again. A bit depressing in fact. But I could take bumbling along in the conference north for a while if long term plans were being put in place to increase revenue to the point where that becomes a realistic ambition again.
Yes, I agree.

A while ago a friend/Darlo fan said to me at a match that he would be happy to stay in this league for quite a while as he enjoyed the football - and at the time I remember disagreeing with him, thinking we had to get back ASAP to (what I then saw) our rightful place, in the Conference or higher. I have now changed my mind completely.

Personally I'm happy to stay here as a self sufficient club. Where we can stabilise and rebuild and compete. Not indefinitely - but for a couple of seasons at least until we are ready to make a proper push. To me, this day will come and we just have to be patient.
en passant wrote:A very good summary. One thing that caught my attention that might be worth adding to this was a suggestion made from the audience in the Q and A session concerning the on-going "loss" on current gate receipts caused by the 500 club, which will continue for another 3 years. If I heard it correctly there was said to be over 300 such members. The idea was that 500 club members might choose to give up their rights to entry and instead pay on the day. Such an act may, for the rest of this season, yield additional revenue of £30-40K, and make it possible to break even this year, assist with cash flow and perhaps create the start of a slush fund.

I am a 500 club member myself and I'm sure that the idea of effectively paying twice for entry to a match may seem an ask that goes too far. But since it was mentioned maybe it is worth putting out there and see what my fellow 500 clubbers think.

The 500 club members.

They seem to get mentioned every now and again as if they are a hindrance, but to me they made a great effort to commit and pay up front. I feel that if the idea is mooted for them to possibly pay on the gate (as written above, effectively paying twice) then this idea should be put to everyone, season ticket holders and turnstile payments alike, which seems unreasonable, for want of a better word.

But the thing is ..... we can all give extra if we wish to on any given match day, either by dropping into a bucket or by doubling up on our 50/50 tickets. These methods have shown to work well.
Although I was just reporting what was said at the meeting when talking about the suggestion mentioned, when I came to writing about it in this thread I realised that some of what had said by Divas on the thread about getting past the existing legacy debt and providing a better cashflow would possibly apply to such a scheme if it were agreed by all the 500 club members. I know that many many people have already made major contributions and that the 500 club may feel that their upfront payment is not being given the consideration it deserves. However, one point that DJ was very strong on was on the subject of having a regular and more predictable flow of cash into the club to reduce the existing debt and forestall digging ourselves into a further debt by creating a fund to call on if there were to be a cash crisis. The idea of getting some reliable and consistent additional income is not really answered by bucket contributions and 50-50 tickets, or by unilateral decisions by individual 500 club members paying on the gate.

I am not advocating the idea, nor, I'm certain, does anyone wish to slight or rubbish the contribution of 500 club members, as I say I am one myself, but having had the idea put out there it did seem to be worthwhile letting those who were not there last night what had been suggested and see if there was any consensus. I do agree that this seems to put the onus, somewhat unfairly, on the 500 club members, but they may feel with another 3 years of benefit still to come that giving up on a half season of entry may be worth considering.

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Re: Public Meeting - 11/12/2017

Post by Comfortably_numb » Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:55 pm

AndyPark wrote:Major points from the Darlo meeting tonight.


- Proposal. 1200 fans give £40 per month would generate £480 per person per annum. £576,000 per year. This could fund commercial assets (Similar to the shares we already owe - But not a chance will fans do this, we already stick in a load).
thanks for the updates Andy.

the monthly contribution....I wonder if this has come from Martin Jesper - a sizeable number (8,000 I think) of Hearts fans are contributing monthly direct debits into the foundation of Hearts - such that when Anne Budge finally leaves, the club can sustain itself through fan contribution as well as the usual revenue streams.

Anne Budge and the hearts fans up here realising that even the third biggest club in Scotland needs additional funds from fans...

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Re: Public Meeting - 11/12/2017

Post by theoriginalfatcat » Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:19 pm

Comfortably_numb wrote:
AndyPark wrote:Major points from the Darlo meeting tonight.


- Proposal. 1200 fans give £40 per month would generate £480 per person per annum. £576,000 per year. This could fund commercial assets (Similar to the shares we already owe - But not a chance will fans do this, we already stick in a load).
thanks for the updates Andy.

the monthly contribution....I wonder if this has come from Martin Jesper - a sizeable number (8,000 I think) of Hearts fans are contributing monthly direct debits into the foundation of Hearts - such that when Anne Budge finally leaves, the club can sustain itself through fan contribution as well as the usual revenue streams.

Anne Budge and the hearts fans up here realising that even the third biggest club in Scotland needs additional funds from fans...

Was that the figure mentioned? £40 per month?

I mean --- WOW! Surely not realistic.
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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Re: Public Meeting - 11/12/2017

Post by Allan Quatermain » Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:40 pm

theoriginalfatcat wrote:
Comfortably_numb wrote:
AndyPark wrote:Major points from the Darlo meeting tonight.


- Proposal. 1200 fans give £40 per month would generate £480 per person per annum. £576,000 per year. This could fund commercial assets (Similar to the shares we already owe - But not a chance will fans do this, we already stick in a load).
thanks for the updates Andy.

the monthly contribution....I wonder if this has come from Martin Jesper - a sizeable number (8,000 I think) of Hearts fans are contributing monthly direct debits into the foundation of Hearts - such that when Anne Budge finally leaves, the club can sustain itself through fan contribution as well as the usual revenue streams.

Anne Budge and the hearts fans up here realising that even the third biggest club in Scotland needs additional funds from fans...

Was that the figure mentioned? £40 per month?

I mean --- WOW! Surely not realistic.
The £40 was used mainly for illustrative purposes (but it would be great to get 1200 people paying £40 each per month). DJ said at the same time (and depicted on the same slide) that people could donate any amount they wished into the scheme.
Alun's promise to the fans: “I’ll make sure I’ll bring players in that are value for money and I want players that want to play for Darlington Football Club, want to progress and move up the league and show the fans that passion.”

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Re: Public Meeting - 11/12/2017

Post by Gazzadfc » Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:20 pm

In terms of a 4g pitch and clubhouse at BM it was mentioned that DBC own some of the spare land.
Last edited by Gazzadfc on Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Public Meeting - 11/12/2017

Post by H1987 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 3:43 pm

Gazzadfc wrote:In terms of a 4g pitch and clubhouse at BM it was mentioned that DBC own so of the spare land.
Interesting and good to know. Could be a good match day money spinner as well as used for social purposes. In terms of the long term viability of the club, this seems like a great idea, and good to know the board are thinking in this way :thumbup:

I wonder if in the short term, whether we could do some very cheap work to improve sight lines (like some simple concrete steps at the undeveloped end) done in the cheapest (and obviously up to code) way possible, and instead put our money towards funding this venture (rather than funding a more elaborate stand). BM does still need something extra to take the pressure off when we have a large crowd, in order to improve the viewing experience for anyone who can't cram into the tinshed.

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Re: Public Meeting - 11/12/2017

Post by Darlo_Pete » Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:06 pm

I've stood on that bank and the problem is that you are so far away from the pitch, it's not the best view from back there.

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Re: Public Meeting - 11/12/2017

Post by jjljks » Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:58 am

Darlo_Pete wrote:I've stood on that bank and the problem is that you are so far away from the pitch, it's not the best view from back there.
Yep, bit like Wembley then? :lol:

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Re: Public Meeting - 11/12/2017

Post by don'tbuythesun » Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:14 am

It seems a sensible idea but is it possible to just put concrete steps in? I'm sure the safety at sports grounds advice would insist on crush barriers-looks pretty complicated to me! I gave up reading when it became mathematical.

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Re: Public Meeting - 11/12/2017

Post by lo36789 » Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:26 am

jjljks wrote:
Darlo_Pete wrote:I've stood on that bank and the problem is that you are so far away from the pitch, it's not the best view from back there.
Yep, bit like Wembley then? :lol:
Was going to say wonder what distance it is from back of that bank compared to the majority of viewing positions at grounds from FL upwards.

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Re: Public Meeting - 11/12/2017

Post by jjljks » Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:41 am

theoriginalfatcat wrote:
al_quaker wrote:It is sobering reading how far off we are from being a FT side in the conference again. A bit depressing in fact. But I could take bumbling along in the conference north for a while if long term plans were being put in place to increase revenue to the point where that becomes a realistic ambition again.
Yes, I agree.

A while ago a friend/Darlo fan said to me at a match that he would be happy to stay in this league for quite a while as he enjoyed the football - and at the time I remember disagreeing with him, thinking we had to get back ASAP to (what I then saw) our rightful place, in the Conference or higher. I have now changed my mind completely.

Personally I'm happy to stay here as a self sufficient club. Where we can stabilise and rebuild and compete. Not indefinitely - but for a couple of seasons at least until we are ready to make a proper push. To me, this day will come and we just have to be patient.
en passant wrote:A very good summary. One thing that caught my attention that might be worth adding to this was a suggestion made from the audience in the Q and A session concerning the on-going "loss" on current gate receipts caused by the 500 club, which will continue for another 3 years. If I heard it correctly there was said to be over 300 such members. The idea was that 500 club members might choose to give up their rights to entry and instead pay on the day. Such an act may, for the rest of this season, yield additional revenue of £30-40K, and make it possible to break even this year, assist with cash flow and perhaps create the start of a slush fund.

I am a 500 club member myself and I'm sure that the idea of effectively paying twice for entry to a match may seem an ask that goes too far. But since it was mentioned maybe it is worth putting out there and see what my fellow 500 clubbers think.

The 500 club members.

They seem to get mentioned every now and again as if they are a hindrance, but to me they made a great effort to commit and pay up front. I feel that if the idea is mooted for them to possibly pay on the gate (as written above, effectively paying twice) then this idea should be put to everyone, season ticket holders and turnstile payments alike, which seems unreasonable, for want of a better word.

But the thing is ..... we can all give extra if we wish to on any given match day, either by dropping into a bucket or by doubling up on our 50/50 tickets. These methods have shown to work well.
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. We do need to employ an experienced commercial manager to develop a spread of revenue streams to secure the club finances and also as point of liaison between the DFCSG, DJ & the Board. Let TW take care of the footballing side and start putting some results together, scoring some goals & developing a more attractive style than the MG legacy of hoofball

It is an individual's responsibility to make their own contribution to the club which suits their circumstances, from the folk who put up posters, the raffles, bucket collections, 500 club, season ticket holders, exiles, sponsors, DFCSG, bus organisers, turnstile operatives, programme creators + sellers, to the players and management. If we want the club to continue, then we all have to pull together. The football club is more than just a business, it is part of our lives. C' Mon Darlo!

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Re: Public Meeting - 11/12/2017

Post by JE93 » Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:48 am

Think most of the things that seem to have been said on the night were very sensible. As always the typical knee jerkers were out on force on twitter and other social media's claiming we cant afford anything and we have a budget for the glue league etc. I would say, I bet Blyth budget isn't 284k and they look the real deal this season. I would like to keep the budget somewhere around there as this seems very competitive for the league we're in. But there is still room to reduce our spend by being a bit ruthless with the squad and moving on the likes of Burgess and Marrs permanently as they seem unlikely to feature.

Elsewhere I don't like to knock the 500 club as I think most will have put more than a season tickets worth of money into the club this season through various projects; whether this be boost the budget or capital expenditure. As with any club at this level we do always need to look at ways of stablising our revenue and it seems to me that season tickets by direct debit on monthly payments, and the option to add a monthly top up donation is a sensible way to do this.

The big question for me is what comes next. By the end of February we will have a ground that is capable of getting us promoted no matter where the team is. DJ has talked about building a pot of money to invest in assets that will generate cash for the football club. But what if we build a sizeable warchest and get promoted. We would need to invest large sums in ground improvements and thus would be in a chicken and the egg situation. You can't stay up without the ground improvements but wouldn't have a competitive budget anyway without the capital assets.

The other things around investors seems a moot point at the minute based on the fact that no matter how hard I try. I can't see anyway in which a person can make money from taking the club on at this present time.

Other important points for me are that the Virgin Trains sponsorship deal is ready for renegotiation next summer. Can we hold on to a great title sponsor and can we encourage them to do even more?

Further more on the sponsorship front have we got presales going for the boards at the back of the rest of the seated stand? Are we in conversations to get a back of shirt sponsor or a training kit sponsor?

One thing I did really like is DJ saying he could be here for 10 years. It's exactly what we need. A very steady and experienced hand on the rudder with the longevity to build a plan and see it through. In addition its nice to see Tommy Wright accepting the current position we're in in terms of budget and development and being willing to work with that. One thing I'm sure of is that if we had continued under Gray he would of taken down a path of no return where we would either die as a club or where external investment no matter who it came from was the only option.

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Re: Public Meeting - 11/12/2017

Post by al_quaker » Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:23 am

It's pretty clear we need someone employed full time - to meet with local businesses, engage with local schools, maybe even run social media. But of course this comes at an extra cost, and thus risk, to the football club, which is struggling with cash flow as it is. But that person should of course, given time, create value to the football club in terms of increased revenue from sponsorship and hopefully increased crowds with better community engagement.

So, just an idea I had this morning, would it be feasible for the fans (i.e. the owners), via the SG, to raise the first year wages (no idea how much that would be) for such an individual? It would take the initial risk away from the football club. Then, hopefully by the end of the first year that person would have proved the added value of a full time employee. Thus the risk to the club when it takes over the future funding of the contract would be much lower as the increases in revenue would be much less of an unknown.

Just an idea, feel free to shoot it down :lol:

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Re: Public Meeting - 11/12/2017

Post by Quakerz » Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:30 am

JE93 wrote:Think most of the things that seem to have been said on the night were very sensible. As always the typical knee jerkers were out on force on twitter and other social media's claiming we cant afford anything and we have a budget for the glue league etc. I would say, I bet Blyth budget isn't 284k and they look the real deal this season.
At the time we were interviewing for a manager I was told that our total budget at the time was 400k, and Blyth's was 200k. If those figures are true, then that puts it in perspective.

Turns out what I was told about our budget was true if the playing budget was originally 334k because the Gray entourage was at least 70k - add them together and you get 400k.

Anyone who doubts the figure for the Gray entourage only needs to looks at the accounts for the Evostik season 15/16 where it was 70k, and the playing budget was just under 200k IIRC. So when Gray got the playing budget up to 334k earlier in the season - thanks to the fans digging deep to support his unrealistic ambition - it had nearly doubled in the space of a season and a bit. And still he wanted more, more, more.
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Re: Public Meeting - 11/12/2017

Post by spen666 » Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:56 am

JE93 wrote:... As with any club at this level we do always need to look at ways of stablising our revenue and it seems to me that season tickets by direct debit on monthly payments, and the option to add a monthly top up donation is a sensible way to do this. ...

The payment of season tickets by direct debit would require either:

1. the club to obtain a credit licence OR
2. to partner with a financial institute who have such a licence.

Such a deal ( DD for season tickets) is a consumer credit act transaction in the eyes of the law and therefore is not as simple to set up as you may at first glance think.

It may also have cashflow implications for the club if existing season ticket holders who pay up front switch to monthly payments. The club lose the benefit of having the lump sum at the start of the season and the interest they can earn (however small) on that lump sum. Unless people are effectively paying all the dd for the season tickets up front or the club have some deal with a finance company ( at a cost to either club or fans or both) to get monies upfront, the club may be in a worse position than now as its cash income could be delayed.

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theoriginalfatcat
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Re: Public Meeting - 11/12/2017

Post by theoriginalfatcat » Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:15 pm

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.
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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Re: Public Meeting - 11/12/2017

Post by jjljks » Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:46 pm

al_quaker wrote:It's pretty clear we need someone employed full time - to meet with local businesses, engage with local schools, maybe even run social media. But of course this comes at an extra cost, and thus risk, to the football club, which is struggling with cash flow as it is. But that person should of course, given time, create value to the football club in terms of increased revenue from sponsorship and hopefully increased crowds with better community engagement.

So, just an idea I had this morning, would it be feasible for the fans (i.e. the owners), via the SG, to raise the first year wages (no idea how much that would be) for such an individual? It would take the initial risk away from the football club. Then, hopefully by the end of the first year that person would have proved the added value of a full time employee. Thus the risk to the club when it takes over the future funding of the contract would be much lower as the increases in revenue would be much less of an unknown.

Just an idea, feel free to shoot it down :lol:
Sounds like a good one to me, although would suggest a fixed term 1 year contract with a basic salary, car allowance and bonus scheme based on performance / targets set by the board. Just a suggestion, this would be around £20k basic + car + smart phone + pension and up to £20k in bonuses or even a % of what they bring in new to the coffers. Not an easy job as candidate would have to have contacts in & around local firms, decent computer and communication skills, lot of diplomacy, innovative, preferably a Darlo fan (not sure if this is PC / racist etc) and good commercial brain.

Probably easier to be a Brexit negotiator, so if anyone knows of anyone prepared to take on such a massive task .....

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Re: Public Meeting - 11/12/2017

Post by lo36789 » Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:52 pm

spen666 wrote:It may also have cashflow implications for the club if existing season ticket holders who pay up front switch to monthly payments. The club lose the benefit of having the lump sum at the start of the season and the interest they can earn (however small) on that lump sum. Unless people are effectively paying all the dd for the season tickets up front or the club have some deal with a finance company ( at a cost to either club or fans or both) to get monies upfront, the club may be in a worse position than now as its cash income could be delayed.
Yes there are pro's and con's each way. It is clearly articulated that our problem at the moment is the level of funding throughout the year that is the big problem and this is a resolution to that.

If it's about to rain and you don't have a roof on your house you prioritise that before putting sandbags in front of the doors in case that rain turns into a flood...to do anything else would be pure stupidity.

I already pay my boost the budget via Direct Debit. I assume the credit licence is therefore a protection for us rather than anything else - it basically means that you have strictly speaking been given that product 'on credit' and that balance is coming down over the year.

Do you need to have a credit licence or do you need a credit licence to be afforded the protections of being able to claim the full amount if the customer defaults on payment?

There is a really easy way round it - but it comes with some risk. Basically offer the product but ask individuals to set up a monthly standing order. Worst case scenario is that someone buys a season ticket only makes one standing order payment and then stops. Two way around that...

1. Keep good records of who has the season tickets and reconcile payments. Confiscating STs at the turnstile if payment hasn't been made when due (reference numbers on STs will enable that - we only sell 600 if every turnstile operator was asked to look for 'Number 231' I'm sure it's only a matter of time).
2. Issue monthly season tickets once payments have cleared. Colour code them basically.

I'd like to think that the supporters of the club wouldn't try to swindle the club to be honest but if there are prohibitive costs in offering a direct debit service which limits it's benefit then there are controls which can be put in place to limit the risk from the alternatives.

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Re: Public Meeting - 11/12/2017

Post by Spyman » Wed Dec 13, 2017 2:37 pm

divas wrote:
Personally I believe we've got to look at selling at least a couple of hundred more season tickets next season on a monthly DD basis so that we're not as affected when we don't have a game. I would be quite happy to set up a DD for £30 per month which just keeps rolling and in turn I get my ST each year. In the modern world I'm used to paying for my services (tv:broadband/utilities) this way anyway which actually helps my personal cash flow too
Doesn't a monthly DD payment for a season ticket sort of defeat the purpose of a season ticket though?

The benefit to the club is that they get money up front which helps budget for the season.
The benefit for the supporter is they get a discounted ticket for the season because they've helped the club by paying up front and committing to a full season.

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.

Unless we're saying steady cash flow is now more important than the ability to budget for the season - which may be the case in our current situation - but if that's the case why not just do away with season tickets?
On Sunday April 29, 2012 at 10:25 pm, Darlo Cockney wrote:Sadly some people have nothing better to do that invent rumours.

We will be playing at the arena again next season - fact.

Quakerz - if you actually attended games and spoke to people you might actually find our facts, rather than spreading s*** on this board.

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Re: Public Meeting - 11/12/2017

Post by HarrytheQuaker » Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:04 pm

Spyman wrote:
divas wrote:
Personally I believe we've got to look at selling at least a couple of hundred more season tickets next season on a monthly DD basis so that we're not as affected when we don't have a game. I would be quite happy to set up a DD for £30 per month which just keeps rolling and in turn I get my ST each year. In the modern world I'm used to paying for my services (tv:broadband/utilities) this way anyway which actually helps my personal cash flow too
Doesn't a monthly DD payment for a season ticket sort of defeat the purpose of a season ticket though?

The benefit to the club is that they get money up front which helps budget for the season.
The benefit for the supporter is they get a discounted ticket for the season because they've helped the club by paying up front and committing to a full season.

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.

Unless we're saying steady cash flow is now more important than the ability to budget for the season - which may be the case in our current situation - but if that's the case why not just do away with season tickets?
Our lass pays 3 equal instalments for her season ticket at Leeds in May/June/July job done for the season

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Re: Public Meeting - 11/12/2017

Post by Darlogramps » Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:10 pm

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.
Last edited by Darlogramps on Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Public Meeting - 11/12/2017

Post by divas » Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:11 pm

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

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