What's the point of fan ownership?

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CharlesCraven
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What's the point of fan ownership?

Post by CharlesCraven » Wed Mar 06, 2024 6:50 pm

What is the point of fan ownership?

That's not a rhetorical question, and I don't raise it in the pejorative sense, but how many Darlo fans would be able to give a succinct and compelling answer to that question when challenged?

Perhaps you'd give me a brief history lesson on the succession of disastrous owners and chairmen who ripped the club from its historical home and drove it to the brink of extinction.

You might then recount how the fans saved the club at the eleventh hour, before seeing it to three promotions in just four chaotic seasons, and finally into a period of much-needed financial and operational stability which saw it come through a global pandemic in rude health.

Remarkable achievements, of that there can be no doubt. But they are just that - past achievements.

Would you be able to explain to me how the Club operates under fan ownership in 2024? More importantly, would you be able to tell me how you're able to influence the club as a fan-owner?

Could anyone list ways in which the club has improved its operational structure in recent years, and convince me that it could now be considered a serious, semi-professional organisation?

Could anyone, including either the DFC board or the DFCSG board, tell me what the strategy is for the Club beyond some vague ambitions that we'd like our own ground and would quite like to get back to the Football League one day?

Therein lies the problem.

Through blood, sweat, tears, and a not insignificant amount of cash, fan-ownership salvaged the club. It's been chaotic for the most part, but by the time the National League re-started following the COVID-19 suspension, the club had been given a platform to build for long-term success.

It had cash reserves and a clear understanding that it needed to secure a long-term home as soon as possible in order to thrive. Realistic opportunities had been identified for achieving the latter.

We are in danger of squandering that platform now.

This is ostensibly due to a lack of medium-to-long term strategic planning, but the problems run deeper than that. The truth is that fan-owned DFC doesn't function as it should.

The Supporters Group (which, for the avoidance of doubt, is the majority shareholder in Darlington Football Club) fundraises and provides operational support to the Club, but fails to wield influence in return.

For its part, the Football Club lacks accountability and has consistently proven itself unable to focus on anything other than the short-term.

This cannot be considered a healthy fan-ownership model, and will not lead to long-term success.

In short, fan-owned DFC needs reform, and has done for years. If we finally grasp that nettle, a successful future may yet lie ahead. Shy away from it, and I fear that the Club will soon find itself drifting into obscurity.

Here's what needs to happen next:

https://1drv.ms/b/s!Aso0OoTs3S4fj1DhjvX ... m?e=YxWIwy

or

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1fHmHbI ... p=drivesdk
Last edited by CharlesCraven on Thu Mar 07, 2024 7:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Lawman3
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Re: What's the point of fan ownership?

Post by Lawman3 » Wed Mar 06, 2024 7:09 pm

Who are you, and what is your agenda?

You’ve named yourself after the founder of the Northern League, so my suspicion is that you aren’t a Darlington fan, and could even be Spen.
Never argue with an idiot: The best possible outcome is that you win an argument with an idiot.

CharlesCraven
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Re: What's the point of fan ownership?

Post by CharlesCraven » Wed Mar 06, 2024 7:15 pm

Lawman3 wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2024 7:09 pm
Who are you, and what is your agenda?

You’ve named yourself after the founder of the Northern League, so my suspicion is that you aren’t a Darlington fan, and could even be Spen.
I have named myself via the link at the bottom of my post, which also clearly sets out my 'agenda'. Please do give it a read.

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Lawman3
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Re: What's the point of fan ownership?

Post by Lawman3 » Wed Mar 06, 2024 7:18 pm

I’m not sufficiently interested.
Never argue with an idiot: The best possible outcome is that you win an argument with an idiot.

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Kalu
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Re: What's the point of fan ownership?

Post by Kalu » Wed Mar 06, 2024 7:37 pm

CharlesCraven wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2024 6:50 pm
What is the point of fan ownership?

That's not a rhetorical question, and I don't raise it in the pejorative sense, but how many Darlo fans would be able to give a succinct and compelling answer to that question when challenged?

Perhaps you'd give me a brief history lesson on the succession of disastrous owners and chairmen who ripped the club from its historical home and drove it to the brink of extinction.

You might then recount how the fans saved the club at the eleventh hour, before seeing it to three promotions in just four chaotic seasons, and finally into a period of much-needed financial and operational stability which saw it come through a global pandemic in rude health.

Remarkable achievements, of that there can be no doubt. But they are just that - past achievements.

Would you be able to explain to me how the Club operates under fan ownership in 2024? More importantly, would you be able to tell me how you're able to influence the club as a fan-owner?

Could anyone list ways in which the club has improved its operational structure in recent years, and convince me that it could now be considered a serious, semi-professional organisation?

Could anyone, including either the DFC board or the DFCSG board, tell me what the strategy is for the Club beyond some vague ambitions that we'd like our own ground and would quite like to get back to the Football League one day?

Therein lies the problem.

Through blood, sweat, tears, and a not insignificant amount of cash, fan-ownership salvaged the club. It's been chaotic for the most part, but by the time the National League re-started following the COVID-19 suspension, the club had been given a platform to build for long-term success.

It had cash reserves and a clear understanding that it needed to secure a long-term home as soon as possible in order to thrive. Realistic opportunities had been identified for achieving the latter.

We are in danger of squandering that platform now.

This is ostensibly due to a lack of medium-to-long term strategic planning, but the problems run deeper than that. The truth is that fan-owned DFC doesn't function as it should.

The Supporters Group (which, for the avoidance of doubt, is the majority shareholder in Darlington Football Club) fundraises and provides operational support to the Club, but fails to wield influence in return.

For its part, the Football Club lacks accountability and has consistently proven itself unable to focus on anything other than the short-term.

This cannot be considered a healthy fan-ownership model, and will not lead to long-term success.

In short, fan-owned DFC needs reform, and has done for years. If we finally grasp that nettle, a successful future may yet lie ahead. Shy away from it, and I fear that the Club will soon find itself drifting into obscurity.

Here's what needs to happen next: https://1drv.ms/b/s!Aso0OoTs3S4fj1DhjvX ... m?e=YxWIwy
Very good and thought provoking piece.

Darlo Dodger
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Re: What's the point of fan ownership?

Post by Darlo Dodger » Wed Mar 06, 2024 10:54 pm

Heavens what a jolly long first post, posted Wed March 06, at 6:50 pm, from a chap who has been a member of this forum since Wed Mar 06, 2024 6:26 pm
If and to the extent you have constructive proposals to make I think that it might be an idea to submit them to the board(s) [either or both] for consideration.

Darlo_Pete
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Re: What's the point of fan ownership?

Post by Darlo_Pete » Wed Mar 06, 2024 11:06 pm

I think it's more than decent for a first post. I wish I'd been as eloquent as that in my first post. :D

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TKOA
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Re: What's the point of fan ownership?

Post by TKOA » Wed Mar 06, 2024 11:43 pm

You’d be better off sending this to the club rather than putting it on here.

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don'tbuythesun
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Re: What's the point of fan ownership?

Post by don'tbuythesun » Wed Mar 06, 2024 11:48 pm

Fascinating for a first post and a link I can't open and interesting that Kali has posted a reply for the first time in three years. Mates or the same person. Suspicious behaviours or maybe genuine?

joejaques
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Re: What's the point of fan ownership?

Post by joejaques » Thu Mar 07, 2024 12:28 am

don'tbuythesun wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2024 11:48 pm
Fascinating for a first post and a link I can't open and interesting that Kali has posted a reply for the first time in three years. Mates or the same person. Suspicious behaviours or maybe genuine?
Me too, please enlighten us :roll:
Image

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Spyman
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Re: What's the point of fan ownership?

Post by Spyman » Thu Mar 07, 2024 7:01 am

Just because our current model/management structure isn't perfect, it doesn't mean the only suitable alternative is to sell the club.

We can tweak and restructure what we have without ripping everything up.

Sent from my Pixel 6 Pro using Tapatalk

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.

DC

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Kalu
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Re: What's the point of fan ownership?

Post by Kalu » Thu Mar 07, 2024 8:07 am

don'tbuythesun wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2024 11:48 pm
Fascinating for a first post and a link I can't open and interesting that Kali has posted a reply for the first time in three years. Mates or the same person. Suspicious behaviours or maybe genuine?
Genuine. Long time lurker.

The link works for me, and the author is on page one of the document.

Nothing to see here.

Darlopartisan
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Re: What's the point of fan ownership?

Post by Darlopartisan » Thu Mar 07, 2024 8:28 am

Link works for me.
I thought a very good read, obviously he was on the DFCSG board a few years ago and sees the club starting to drift.
My view is , he should get himself back on the board where he can share his thoughts/ideas and help move the club forward.

Old Git
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Re: What's the point of fan ownership?

Post by Old Git » Thu Mar 07, 2024 9:01 am

joejaques wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2024 12:28 am
don'tbuythesun wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2024 11:48 pm
Fascinating for a first post and a link I can't open and interesting that Kali has posted a reply for the first time in three years. Mates or the same person. Suspicious behaviours or maybe genuine?
Me too, please enlighten us :roll:
The name attached to the link is Lee Kilcran who was at one time a member of the DFCSG Board.

lo36789
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Re: What's the point of fan ownership?

Post by lo36789 » Thu Mar 07, 2024 9:04 am

Most seems reasonable in terms of ideas. The thing that didn't seem quite right was a suggestion that the stadium stuff was over to us to choose a site and just get on with it.

My understanding was that our site will effectively be the preference of council town plan and where a sports facility / venue would be required to service a need.

I am not sure there has ever been a choose of sites where planning permission would be granted that we can get on and build it we can source the money.

I am not sure the economics entirely stack up for us to finance it now.

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Re: What's the point of fan ownership?

Post by LoidLucan » Thu Mar 07, 2024 9:30 am

Yes we need to beef up moves to get into a ground of our own but it has to be said many practical, economic, planning,
land, timing and cash obstacles have been thrown up in the way of that. And yes some areas of communication need to be improved. I don't think anyone would dispute that.

But aren't there clearly defined and open routes for people to make a real difference in the way things operate? Surely for someone highly motivated and with the right skills the best way to impact things is from within.

It may not be a perfect set-up and improvements can be made but at the heart of everything is the principle that any fans with drive, ideas and enthusiasm can get involved and have an impact, including with some of the things that have been suggested.

Darlobill
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Re: What's the point of fan ownership?

Post by Darlobill » Thu Mar 07, 2024 9:36 am

At first, I thought it was rather a long winded read from the usual suspects but reading it in full and seeing the guy was actually on the DFCSG board, I thought it was a very good read and raised some good relevant points. Like Darlopartisan it would be great if he rejoined the board as he obviously has good ideas to move the club forward although perhaps with his concerns he wouldn’t be welcomed back.

A full time investor is the way forward for me for the club to get back to the league but that’s very unlikely to happen.
Possibly a way forward is for DJ to stay as CEO of DFC, other DFC board members, unless they are actually investing finically in the club which I don’t think they are at present to move into the DFCSG board and strengthen that with their obvious skill set. DJ to look for 10-15 well - heeled fans who perhaps would invest in the club to join the DFC board knowing that they are not changing the ownership model but for their investment have some involvement in identifying a new stadium etc, there are some retired fans who would likely be up for that, and I’m sure there are some out there.. Anyway just an idea so don’t shoot me down one thing BTB is not just enough to move the club substantially forward IMO so we have to look at all ideas.

Possibly all above is all irrelevant the main thing is to stay up and I’ll be there on Saturday to support the team.

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Geordie Quaker
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Re: What's the point of fan ownership?

Post by Geordie Quaker » Thu Mar 07, 2024 10:59 am

Having reflected on both the post and the attachment, there is no disputing that there are some relevant points made. There is undoubtedly a level of organisational inertia at the moment and this has impacted the communication / tone of voice from the club (certainly throughout 2023).

In the club's defence, I suspect this was a result of the sheer size and complexity of the major mission: a new stadium. We probably have not been updated frequently enough on this, but we all know deep down that is because there is little to update.

The proposal makes suggestions for structural change in the club and the relationship between DFC and DFCSG. Whilst these points may have some merit, there is no explanation of how this will help us move forward. Yes, we can refine roles and responsibilities, we can establish a ten-year strategy and publish it amidst a swell of enthused communication, but a strategy has to include details as to how the ambitions will be realised. Building a training ground in the town might sound nice, but where and with what? There exists a near unbridgeable resource gap between where we are and where we want to be, and that being resolved by either of the two opposing models (fan ownership or private investment) seems equally unlikely.

I do not know if Lee has an axe to grind personally with someone in the club, but the decision to write this up as some sort of official proposal is rather bizarre. I fail to see its’ intended output – I assume it is not just to set off a thread on a forum. Are we wanting senior people at the club to reflect on it? If so I am sure the author knows this is not the optimal channel for it.

It may just be that this (and some other less constructive critiques of the club) is more down to the admittedly depressing acknowledgement that us aiming for a new ground is, a bit like Andorra seeking qualification for the Euros, pissing in the wind.

lo36789
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Re: What's the point of fan ownership?

Post by lo36789 » Thu Mar 07, 2024 12:17 pm

Darlobill wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2024 9:36 am
A full time investor is the way forward for me for the club to get back to the league but that’s very unlikely to happen
*benefactor

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Re: What's the point of fan ownership?

Post by onewayup » Thu Mar 07, 2024 2:18 pm

The only relevant point is this posters reasoning for the post. He's trying to stir up trouble.
Fan owned is best scenario for our club at this present time . that should be all he needs.past DFCSG member.just what do you want.
Last edited by onewayup on Thu Mar 07, 2024 2:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Spyman
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Re: What's the point of fan ownership?

Post by Spyman » Thu Mar 07, 2024 2:51 pm

onewayup wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2024 2:18 pm
The only relevant point is this posters reasoning for the post. He's trying to stir up trouble.
Fan owned is best scenario for our club at this present time . that should be all he needs.past DFCSG member.
I initially posted having not read the document - which I have now done.

I think some very valid points are raised, and as I suggested in my original response, there's always room for improvement and change. Standing still is rarely a good thing and I think its right to challenge the norms to ensure we're constantly trying to develop our structures off the field.

Whether this is the best way to go about this, and whether Lee has an axe to grind or is trying to stir up trouble, I don't know - but I do think its perfectly fair for someone who is (presumably) a paid up owner to propose changes and improvements. Obviously the best way to see these changes implemented would be for Lee to get himself back involved with the Supporters Group Board of the DFC Board. For all we know, this document might have been sent to members of the aforementioned groups and simply shared with us for full disclosure to interested parties.

I don't know why Lee left the DFCSG in the first place and whether that is in any way related to this.
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.

DC

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Re: What's the point of fan ownership?

Post by onewayup » Thu Mar 07, 2024 2:55 pm

As you say for all we know,but still strange time for this to happen seems like he's got unfinished agenda.until a full disclosure we are all guessing.

Darlobill
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Re: What's the point of fan ownership?

Post by Darlobill » Thu Mar 07, 2024 2:59 pm

onewayup wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2024 2:18 pm
The only relevant point is this posters reasoning for the post. He's trying to stir up trouble.
Fan owned is best scenario for our club at this present time . that should be all he needs.past DFCSG member.just what do you want.
TBF I don’t know Lee that well but from what I’ve seen he’s not a trouble maker and is a loyal passionate fan who just wants the club to succeed. I don’t think his article is trying to provoke but help.

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Spyman
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Re: What's the point of fan ownership?

Post by Spyman » Thu Mar 07, 2024 3:04 pm

A quick google search throws up this article Lee wrote 3 years ago which you could see as a precursor to this new document:

https://yourclub.darlingtonfc.co.uk/yc- ... ng-success

"It gives us an opportunity, as Owners, to finally pause and reflect...what constitutes success for Darlington Football Club in the short-term?". The fallout from Monday's statement remains to be seen, but can the reaction of the fans tell us something about the future direction of the Club? Former DFCSG Director, Lee Kilcran, shares his thoughts.

On Monday, the Football Club Board released a statement announcing that the Club will not be playing any further National League fixtures until issues around funding and safety have been resolved.

It was hardly surprising. The Club’s view on both matters has been known for some weeks and it is a decision that is, in my view, both fiscally responsible and morally just. The health of the organisation, its staff, and its volunteers, must always take precedence.

There was one slightly surprising aspect, though. As I skimmed social media on Monday night, I struggled to find a single Darlo fan who disagreed with this. A good number of fans from other clubs even seemed to be in agreement.

Positive consensus among football supporters is a spectacle so uncommon that I found it jarring. “What does this mean?” I pondered. “Has the pandemic ushered in a new era of reflection and moderation, where grown men consider it beneath them to call each other rude names via the internet?” I checked my WhatsApp messages, and quickly realised that this isn’t the case.

It may, however, offer some insight into a question of fundamental importance: what constitutes success for Darlington Football Club?

Cast your mind back to April 2017. Fan-owned Darlo had rattled through the leagues to reach National League North, and it looked like we were heading straight for the play-offs in our first season. That group of players seemed unstoppable. Unfortunately, the Club wasn’t.


Progress on the pitch had significantly outstripped the growth of the Club, and the gap between the two was growing with each promotion. The organisation simply wasn’t capable of sustaining the continuous on-field success, and this became apparent in spectacular fashion. Despite only recently having poured hundreds of thousands of pounds into developing Blackwell Meadows, our new home was found to be unsuitable for the play-offs and the National League banned us from competing.

The relentless pursuit of promotion was over, the manager left, and one of the most successful teams in Darlo’s history slowly broke up. The meteoric rise of fan-owned DFC had plateaued and the idea that a move back to Darlington was going to solve all our off-field problems had been comprehensively disproven.

To make matters worse, the problems with Blackwell Meadows continued to mount up. Over three years on the DFCSG Board, I spent hundreds of hours trying to identify these problems and head them off. I would often work into the night and go to bed wondering how and why the move had not lived up to expectations.

The answer, I think, lies in the way in which success came to be defined in the early years of fan-ownership. The fans’ rescue of the club in 2012 was a chaotic process, and before the dust had even begun to settle, we were kicking off our first season in the Northern League. There was very little time to reflect on what had happened or think about what we wanted fan-owned DFC to be. We didn’t even have time to think about what success might realistically look like. We just knew that we wanted to see the Club back where it belongs, playing Football League matches in Darlington, as quickly as possible.

Almost by default, success became entirely synonymous with speed. How quickly could we climb through the leagues? How quickly could we get back to Darlington?

Pretty quickly, it seemed. We just needed to make sure that we could keep on increasing the playing budget year-on-year and we’d be challenging for a place in the EFL in no time. The sooner we got back to Darlington, the sooner we’d have more resources to finance that approach. Simple.

Except that neither of these aims are, in any way, simple.

Starting from where we were in 2012 and building a Club that’s capable of sustaining itself in the EFL is an ambitious, long-term project. Securing a suitable ground is an integral part of that project and is a complex, medium-long term project in its own right.

It all requires careful strategic planning and it hadn’t been done. Mistakes were inevitable, it was just a question of how severe the consequences would be.

Fortunately, the mistake that came back to bite us in 2017 only resulted in a plateau, rather than a terminal decline. Since then we’ve held our own in National League North, gained stable leadership on both Boards, and drastically improved our financial position.

We’re a year into a global pandemic, with the realistic prospect of a season that could be called ‘null and void’ imminently, and we’re still in a better position than we were in the early years of fan-ownership. Despite all that is going on in the world, the Club seems to be enjoying an almost unprecedented period of stability.

It gives us an opportunity, as Owners, to finally pause and reflect. The long-term aims are still there, but what constitutes success for Darlington Football Club in the short-term? The first part of the answer may have been revealed on Monday night, and it is the sort of foundation on which a successful, sustainable football club can be built.
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.

DC

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Re: What's the point of fan ownership?

Post by Heaton out » Thu Mar 07, 2024 3:08 pm

I initially thought this was spam or another troll from another club like Spen, but, I then read the name someone put up that has now been removed, if this is that person, he sounds like a disgruntled ex board member, surely he should approach the club with his concerns rather than stir things up on here, especially at a time when for once things feel better in terms the club, players and fans being together, which is something we haven't been able to say for a very long time.

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Kalu
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Re: What's the point of fan ownership?

Post by Kalu » Thu Mar 07, 2024 3:17 pm

Heaton out wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2024 3:08 pm
I initially thought this was spam or another troll from another club like Spen, but, I then read the name someone put up that has now been removed, if this is that person, he sounds like a disgruntled ex board member, surely he should approach the club with his concerns rather than stir things up on here, especially at a time when for once things feel better in terms the club, players and fans being together, which is something we haven't been able to say for a very long time.
His name is on the piece. Have a read.

Thinking this isn't the time to bring this up due to recent form is the exact short-termism that is a major issue at DFC and with its supporters.

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Re: What's the point of fan ownership?

Post by CharlesCraven » Thu Mar 07, 2024 3:22 pm

Firstly, apologies to those who've been unable to access the link. I'll try to provide an alternative when I can.

Secondly, thanks to those who've taken the time to read what I've written and to engage in meaningful discussion. In response to some of the broad points raised:

1) DFCSG is a democratic organisation. Such organisations must be transparent and democratically accountable if they're to deliver in the interests of their electorate (in this case, the DFCSG members).

2) Encouraging healthy, informed debate amongst the membership is a key part of this. For that reason it's entirely appropriate to air this stuff publicly.

3) That said, I agree that Uncovered isn't necessarily the ideal platform for it. This type of information actually belongs on Your Club in my opinion, but experience suggests that DFCSG wouldn't feel able to publish it for fear of upsetting the Football Club. Whilst it's mildly critical, it doesn't contain any commercially sensitive information and doesn't attack anyone on a personal level. I'm therefore hopeful that this will change going forwards.

4) I remain on good terms with key figures on both boards, and a few have been in touch since I posted to let me know that they're going to give it a read and reflect on the contents. This is healthy, and the suggestion that I may have a personal axe to grind with either board is clearly wide of the mark. My only interest is in making sure that the Club runs as well as it can.

5) Some have rightly pointed out that my suggested reforms won't in and of themselves resolve some of the significant problems facing the Club. They will, I hope, give us a much better chance of resolving them without giving up on fan-ownership. They are huge challenges, and some are quite possibly insurmountable unless the Club finds a better way of organising itself.

6) I confess to being slightly baffled by comments suggesting nefarious motives and the like. My record of involvement with the Club and Supporters Group speaks for itself, as do my continued membership of DFCSG, my continued relationships with people on both boards, and the content of what I've written.

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don'tbuythesun
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Re: What's the point of fan ownership?

Post by don'tbuythesun » Thu Mar 07, 2024 3:44 pm

I respect that you've clarified your position. As I couldn't open the link I was unable to see past the post. It would have helped to know who you were and where you were coming from. This would have greatly reduced the bafflement and there would perhaps have been less hostility.

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Spyman
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Re: What's the point of fan ownership?

Post by Spyman » Thu Mar 07, 2024 4:04 pm

Lee, thanks for clarifying some of those points.

Can I ask why you stepped down from the DFCSG Board when you did?
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.

DC

lo36789
Posts: 10973
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 10:58 pm
Team Supported: Darlington

Re: What's the point of fan ownership?

Post by lo36789 » Thu Mar 07, 2024 5:09 pm

I think my two main perspectives.

- whilst interesting ideas they don't resolve the actual fundamental issue raised. We are somewhat reliant on other parties / bodies with regard to a ground development. Not sure we can govern it into being.

- Options are there to apply to be a DFCSG director. As it states we are so few on volunteers the likelihood is you will be able to voted. Surely more ability to make change from within?

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