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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:18 am 
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divas wrote:
I don’t get some of this train of thought at all. It’s not like the club have come out and asked the fans for money or are burying their heads in the sand like previous years, they are pro-actively dealing with a forecasted gap in the budget by accepting a good offer for a player that cost us less when we bought him. I’d much rather this than the alternative we’ve faced in recent seasons. Of course you’d like to get the budget bang on at the outset but that’s not always possible for a number of reasons. The next best thing is you manage it from operational revenue which we’re now doing rather than by borrowing or not servicing debt as we’ve done in the past.

As long as you have the flexibility in the squad to do that - i.e. saleable assets. The alternative would have been to get rid of key high earners like Styche in the summer and face a relegation battle (cue the comments re: us being in one... I think everyone will accept that’s not solely down to budget)

The real disappointment amongst fans if they are honest isn’t the fact that we’re re-aligning our budget (like any prudent business should) but the realisation that we can’t compete in a regional league with decent sized crowds relative to our opposition. Many need to take a reality check of where we’ve come from and what we’ve had to spend to get to this point both on and off the pitch.

The creation of an academy and the appointment of a full time commercial director is the club’s attempt at developing new revenue streams rather than relying on gate receipts which have shown will never be enough to get where we want to get to.

We’re looking at a good few years of consolidation under this model, or if people are that impatient then the other option is one where we’ve been before and is the root cause of us of having to start from scratch in 2012.


Good post divas. Think you're bang on.

Budgeting for football without a benefactor to pick up any slack is incredibly tough. Under budget or get your cash flow forecasts wrong and you create cash problem. Budget too conservatively and you run the risk of providing a team that can't compete on the pitch in which case crowds dwindle anyway. It's a game where losses are unnacceptble, but so are significant profits.

At least what we're seeing is proactive financial controls in place. We have got an offer for more than what we paid for Styche, which I was lead to believe was a decent fee. It provides a cash injection into the club and lessens our liabilities.

Certainly gives even more importance to the FA Trophy and the potential prize money it could bring in. We enter at the 3rd qualifying round on the 24th November. Not as much as the FA cup but some very helpful sums if we could make it through a few rounds:

Third round qualifying (40) £5,000
First round (32) £6,000
Second round (16) £7,000
Third round (8) £8,000
Fourth round (4) £10,000
Semi-Final (2) £20,000
Final runners-up (1) £30,000
Final winners (1) £60,000

I also think we need to be making better use of the loan market. Gateshead are working on a highly reduced budget this season (albeit still probably more than their crowds can afford) but they have At least 3 squad members on loan from the big 3 north east clubs.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 10:45 am 
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This loan thing mystifies me because we have nobody but other clubs in our league have players from 2nd division and even championship teams surely they must be some decent players available ?.
Unless we cant even afford part of their wages.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 10:50 am 
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Assuming we have had to make some savings to balance the books I think this is a sensible way to deal with it. When Styche was good we were good but when he was bad we were awful. He is a talismanic figure with high charisma but probably also quite a big ego.

To raise similar cash we'd have to release several players to make the same contribution which would be challenging to do.

In order for this to pay off though we could really do with Ainge making some sort of impression. I'm hoping his performances are down to a lack of fitness and we get the sort of outcome from him that we thought we'd get when we paid for him.

I'm quite sure Styche will start of banging loads in for Alfreton (assuming that's where he's going) as that's what he seems to do every time he joins a new club and he's a good player when he's on form.

I wish him all the best, I think his impact overall has been positive.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 10:57 am 
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I thought it was interesting in both AW and Liam Hughes interview that they both mentioned that it was a proper team performance yesterday and the players felt like they had 11 men together battling out there yesterday for the first time this season. Could just be a coincidence of course.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:16 am 
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Vodka_Vic wrote:
TW put his neck on the block with 'his' squad. The implications of our poor start are coming home to roost. TW knows that if he doesn't deliver on the playing front then crowds go down.


While I wouldn't argue with the above - I'd point out the following.

Can you imagine Martin Gray's reaction to these recent events? Selling our star striker to an opposition team because we need the money - watching 'his' squad being weakened and knowing that this would make results harder to come by, and reflect badly on him.

Well, in fact we don't need to imagine do we ......

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:46 am 
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theoriginalfatcat wrote:
Vodka_Vic wrote:
TW put his neck on the block with 'his' squad. The implications of our poor start are coming home to roost. TW knows that if he doesn't deliver on the playing front then crowds go down.


While I wouldn't argue with the above - I'd point out the following.

Can you imagine Martin Gray's reaction to these recent events? Selling our star striker to an opposition team because we need the money - watching 'his' squad being weakened and knowing that this would make results harder to come by, and reflect badly on him.

Well, in fact we don't need to imagine do we ......
Do we know how TW has reacted? Not seen anything from him since last week, and tbh seeing him come out for the 2nd half in Manchester 5 minutes before the players wasn't too inspiring from a fan point of view.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:01 pm 
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divas wrote:
The real disappointment amongst fans if they are honest isn’t the fact that we’re re-aligning our budget (like any prudent business should) but the realisation that we can’t compete in a regional league with decent sized crowds relative to our opposition. Many need to take a reality check of where we’ve come from and what we’ve had to spend to get to this point both on and off the pitch.


We can't compete because we are having to run a club on gates of 400. The money from 800 fans is already spent. We gambled our future with the 500 club in order to get back to Darlington and increase our revenue. The gamble hasn't paid off.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:08 pm 
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Yarblockos wrote:
divas wrote:
The real disappointment amongst fans if they are honest isn’t the fact that we’re re-aligning our budget (like any prudent business should) but the realisation that we can’t compete in a regional league with decent sized crowds relative to our opposition. Many need to take a reality check of where we’ve come from and what we’ve had to spend to get to this point both on and off the pitch.


We can't compete because we are having to run a club on gates of 400. The money from 800 fans is already spent. We gambled our future with the 500 club in order to get back to Darlington and increase our revenue. The gamble hasn't paid off.
We don't have 800, 500 club members, it's nearer 350

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:33 pm 
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Maybe some people are reading too much into this transfer? Maybe the simple answer is that we were offered a sum which at least matched our valuation of the player and we accepted it. If say in 3 or 4 months we are mid table or bottom half, and Reece's form is similar to it is now then it may be unlikely that this valuation would be met. Therefore it makes some sense to sell now and utilise the funds into the general running of the club and free his wages up for future signings. If you owned a car worth £6k and someone came along and offered you £7k you would probably accept the offer.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:43 pm 
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Yarblockos wrote:
divas wrote:
The real disappointment amongst fans if they are honest isn’t the fact that we’re re-aligning our budget (like any prudent business should) but the realisation that we can’t compete in a regional league with decent sized crowds relative to our opposition. Many need to take a reality check of where we’ve come from and what we’ve had to spend to get to this point both on and off the pitch.


We can't compete because we are having to run a club on gates of 400. The money from 800 fans is already spent. We gambled our future with the 500 club in order to get back to Darlington and increase our revenue. The gamble hasn't paid off.


You’ve got it the wrong way round. We’re running the club on around 800


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:13 pm 
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Yarblockos wrote:
divas wrote:
The real disappointment amongst fans if they are honest isn’t the fact that we’re re-aligning our budget (like any prudent business should) but the realisation that we can’t compete in a regional league with decent sized crowds relative to our opposition. Many need to take a reality check of where we’ve come from and what we’ve had to spend to get to this point both on and off the pitch.


We can't compete because we are having to run a club on gates of 400. The money from 800 fans is already spent. We gambled our future with the 500 club in order to get back to Darlington and increase our revenue. The gamble hasn't paid off.

We would have been relegated by the league if we hadn’t moved from Heritage Park to Blackwell Meadows.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:42 pm 
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QuakerPete wrote:
Yarblockos wrote:
divas wrote:
The real disappointment amongst fans if they are honest isn’t the fact that we’re re-aligning our budget (like any prudent business should) but the realisation that we can’t compete in a regional league with decent sized crowds relative to our opposition. Many need to take a reality check of where we’ve come from and what we’ve had to spend to get to this point both on and off the pitch.


We can't compete because we are having to run a club on gates of 400. The money from 800 fans is already spent. We gambled our future with the 500 club in order to get back to Darlington and increase our revenue. The gamble hasn't paid off.

We would have been relegated by the league if we hadn’t moved from Heritage Park to Blackwell Meadows.


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In fairness I'm guessing we could have paid to increase capacity there.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:50 pm 
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In which case we would have been investing in staying out of town going forward.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:02 pm 
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Very interesting debate.

Our average crowds in the Conference North have been:
2016/17 - 1,739
2017/18 - 1,477
2018/19 - 1,345 (so far, with winter to come).

The expiration of the 500 Club memberships is only going to compensate for the fall in attendances.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:07 pm 
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LoidLucan wrote:
In which case we would have been investing in staying out of town going forward.

In hindsight the rate at which we went through the leagues probably didn’t help.Another season in the claggy glue league while the rugby club went tits up and we probably could have walked in for next to nowt.
All ifs and buts though.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:18 pm 
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wizardofos wrote:
Very interesting debate.

Our average crowds in the Conference North have been:
2016/17 - 1,739
2017/18 - 1,477
2018/19 - 1,345 (so far, with winter to come).

The expiration of the 500 Club memberships is only going to compensate for the fall in attendances.

Take the first home gate of 3k plus off the 16/17 season and the drop won’t be as much as it appears.And don’t forget we have probably our two biggest attendances ,Spenny And York to come yet .


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:25 pm 
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Emdubya wrote:
wizardofos wrote:
Very interesting debate.

Our average crowds in the Conference North have been:
2016/17 - 1,739
2017/18 - 1,477
2018/19 - 1,345 (so far, with winter to come).

The expiration of the 500 Club memberships is only going to compensate for the fall in attendances.

Take the first home gate of 3k plus off the 16/17 season and the drop won’t be as much as it appears.And don’t forget we have probably our two biggest attendances ,Spenny And York to come yet .


Also those numbers for this season are wrong. We are on about 1,410, above is possibly using FA Cup attendance. Don’t think the debate is that interesting yet, might be at the end of the season.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:29 pm 
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On the flip side of we have home games to play against York, Spennymoor and Chester but it does to show the point I was making earlier in the thread that 100 down on average attendance is £20K (or a Reece’ Styche) over the course of a season.

Whilst attendances are the only metric fans have to guess gate receipts (until AGM) they are far from perfect due to the number of variables. The work done on better capturing the attendance demographic this season as a result of the scanning and EPOS systems on the turnstile will provide much greater insight.

It will be interesting to see the 17/18 accounts to see if the price rise which I’m sure had some sort of affect on the average attendance actually generated gate revenue with smaller crowds


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:34 pm 
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shawry wrote:
In fairness I'm guessing we could have paid to increase capacity there.

Wasting money by building up someone else's ground 12 miles out of town, when you're not staying there long-term, is never a sensible option.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:44 pm 
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LoidLucan wrote:
In which case we would have been investing in staying out of town going forward.


Also imagine the attendances at Bishop now if we were getting beat as often as we have been. I would guess we would be averaging around 1k, the move to BM was the only option at the time, it may not be the best one to move forward but was the only option, other than spend on Bishop and beg for a move to the arena at some point.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:48 pm 
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Darlogramps wrote:
shawry wrote:
In fairness I'm guessing we could have paid to increase capacity there.

Wasting money by building up someone else's ground 12 miles out of town, when you're not staying there long-term, is never a sensible option.
No it isn't but to be honest it doesn't feel like money spent at BM is a great long term investment either.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:59 pm 
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Well given we needed to invest in getting a ground to NLN standard, probably best that Darlington FC did it to a ground in Darlington than Bishop Auckland.

Given the Arena was not an option, I'm not really sure what alternatives you can suggest. Stay at BM and hope the Sports Village came off 5-10 years down the line?

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Last edited by Darlogramps on Sun Oct 21, 2018 3:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 3:07 pm 
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Here's the average attendances adjusted in line with an earlier comment, which noted that FA Cup games had been included.

Revised figures (league only):
2016/17 - 1,739 (1,593 at Heritage Park, 1,872 at Blackwell, or 1,760 at Blackwell without the 3,000 game)
2017/18 - 1,461 (after 7 games, 1,575)
2018/19 - 1,410 (after 7 games, with winter to come).

Spin them any way you want, they are going down.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:58 pm 
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Crowd figures need to be read in the light of being in a playoff hunt for most of the season in 16/17, plus the interest in returning to Darlington. 17/18 and 18/19 have been pretty average (at best).

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:09 pm 
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Ghost_Of_1883 wrote:
loan_star wrote:
Thats quite possibly why we have brought in a commercial manager to sort this side of the club out.
Yes it will cost us for his services but he did a good job up at Durham CC so no reason why he can't do a good job here too,


I can think of a good reason why he might not be able to do as good a job here and it doesn't even involve the rugby club...

Basically, Durham CC are a first class cricket club which has an excellent ground, and as such will be a far, far easier sell than Darlington FC who are a 6th tier part time local football club.

I hope he can do a great job but at the same time it wouldn't surprise me if he thinks it's an impossible job a few months into his contract.

We've had various commercial people already who if memory serves me correctly were commission based, who never lasted. It must be like trying to sell ice to eskimos, trying to sell Darlington to anyone.

If this guy even covers his own salary, it'll be a triumph.

Other clubs at this level seem to manage to sell all their advertising boards. Are we even at half capacity?

Our match sponsors seem to be about 3 companies on rotation (hats off to those companies) - I can't remember one yesterday being announced. No idea if other clubs at this level face similar issues with finding match sponsors.

A full time commercial director has been long overdue - hopefully the new guy can do a good job.

Re Styche - shame to see an obviously good player go. However, the development of Saunders this season softens the blow of losing him. Disappointing that we seem to be facing cash flow issues again, but I much prefer the club being proactive than letting it get to the end of the season and then having a cash call.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 6:46 pm 
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shawry wrote:
Darlogramps wrote:
shawry wrote:
In fairness I'm guessing we could have paid to increase capacity there.

Wasting money by building up someone else's ground 12 miles out of town, when you're not staying there long-term, is never a sensible option.
No it isn't but to be honest it doesn't feel like money spent at BM is a great long term investment either.

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Yea I for one think that not another penny should be spent at BM apart from any football related maintenance.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 7:05 pm 
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Emdubya wrote:
wizardofos wrote:
Very interesting debate.

Our average crowds in the Conference North have been:
2016/17 - 1,739
2017/18 - 1,477
2018/19 - 1,345 (so far, with winter to come).

The expiration of the 500 Club memberships is only going to compensate for the fall in attendances.

Take the first home gate of 3k plus off the 16/17 season and the drop won’t be as much as it appears.And don’t forget we have probably our two biggest attendances ,Spenny And York to come yet .
Spenny will probably bring 200/300 and York will probably bring 650 so hopefully that should help but a police presence should eat in to the profit, swings and roundabouts


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 7:32 pm 
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divas wrote:
I don’t get some of this train of thought at all. It’s not like the club have come out and asked the fans for money or are burying their heads in the sand like previous years, they are pro-actively dealing with a forecasted gap in the budget by accepting a good offer for a player that cost us less when we bought him. I’d much rather this than the alternative we’ve faced in recent seasons. Of course you’d like to get the budget bang on at the outset but that’s not always possible for a number of reasons. The next best thing is you manage it from operational revenue which we’re now doing rather than by borrowing or not servicing debt as we’ve done in the past.

As long as you have the flexibility in the squad to do that - i.e. saleable assets. The alternative would have been to get rid of key high earners like Styche in the summer and face a relegation battle (cue the comments re: us being in one... I think everyone will accept that’s not solely down to budget)

The real disappointment amongst fans if they are honest isn’t the fact that we’re re-aligning our budget (like any prudent business should) but the realisation that we can’t compete in a regional league with decent sized crowds relative to our opposition. Many need to take a reality check of where we’ve come from and what we’ve had to spend to get to this point both on and off the pitch.

The creation of an academy and the appointment of a full time commercial director is the club’s attempt at developing new revenue streams rather than relying on gate receipts which have shown will never be enough to get where we want to get to.

We’re looking at a good few years of consolidation under this model, or if people are that impatient then the other option is one where we’ve been before and is the root cause of us of having to start from scratch in 2012.


Bang on. Stockport haven't managed to get out with more than twice our average gates. Other revenue streams are key to us ever progressing with this model.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2018 8:27 am 
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With Alfreton selling Tom Denton to Chesterfield last week, Styche is obviously there replacement, (although they did also sign a forward and defender earlier last week I think, so they must have a touch of money available so. May be a real challenge for the play off's this year?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:28 am 
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50 years wrote:
With Alfreton selling Tom Denton to Chesterfield last week, Styche is obviously there replacement, (although they did also sign a forward and defender earlier last week I think, so they must have a touch of money available so. May be a real challenge for the play off's this year?

They sold him at least 3 weeks ago if not longer

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