Thursday, May 25, 2017

Blackwell Meadows Pitch Works Commence

I’m delighted to let you know that due to the fantastic fundraising done by the fans of the Club work was able to begin earlier this week - the existing grass has received a treatment which will kill it enabling it to be removed and the new drainage to be installed before the pitch is then re-seeded.

Thanks to those of you who have contributed towards funding the work – we have received payment for around half of the pledges so far. Those that have pledged but haven’t yet made payment if you could do so as soon as possible so that we can provide proof of matched funding to unlock the FSIF grant which is available it would be appreciated. The awards committee will be sitting in early June so it’s crucial we receive funds as soon as possible.

Those who have elected to pay via GoCardless will have received an email this afternoon with further instructions to make payment and those of you who chose to pay via bank transfer can make payment using the following details.

Darlington FC Supporters Group (B2D)
Account No: 30283268
Sort Code: 30-84-43

If anyone is having issues paying for the pledge please contact us at cs@darlingtonfc.org ASAP so we can help.

Thanks again for your tremendous support!

Wayne Raper
DFCSG Chair

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Statement from the DFCSG Board

We would like to take this opportunity to clarify the DFCSG Board’s position with regard to the recent offer of investment by Raj Singh and his subsequent decision to withdraw from any potential deal.

Once the approach to invest in the Club was made, the Directors of DFC had a duty to consider the views of all shareholders. As DFCSG is the major shareholder we, the DFCSG Board, also had a duty to consult our members, which is the democratic process we were going to be undertaking at the upcoming SGM.

It is important to state that the board of the DFCSG are resolutely committed to the fan owned community club model. Whilst we welcome any proposal of investment, we have rules in place designed to safeguard the future of the Club that we must adhere to. Any significant direct investment in the Club is potentially at odds with these rules regardless of who the investor is. However, there are other ways in which investors can get involved within the rules as they stand. And if our members do not agree with the rules they can be changed through a democratic process, although this takes time.

Clearly with Raj Singh’s previous involvement with DFC, many fans understandably felt that there were even more important factors to be taken into consideration, and made their opinions clear on social media as is their right.

However, regardless of the board’s opinion on the suitability of any investor, as a democratic one-member-one-vote society, we have to let our members have their say when such a situation arises.

We must stress that despite media reports to the contrary the Club is not in any immediate danger. However, now that this period of uncertainty is over, we need to all pull together and refocus our efforts to stabilise the Club and position it for growth and success. We are going to go ahead with the SGM to give our members the opportunity to ask questions about recent events and our plans for the future. We will also be meeting with the DFC Board and management in the next few days to discuss the next steps now that there is no prospect in the short term of private investment. As always there are a number of positions that will need to be filled at the Club and we are working with the club to establish an organisation model that will more clearly identify roles, responsibilities and gaps in the organisation. We would therefore welcome skilled volunteers to help shape the strategy and direction of the Club. We would like to thank those people who have already been in contact with offers of help.

As fan owners we have the power to shape the future of the Club. You can do that by supporting the open fund raising initiatives that are now more important than ever (see https://fundraising.darlingtonfcsupportersgroup.org/) The ‘Boost the Budget’ fund raising will determine how competitive a squad Martin Gray can field next season, and the fund raising to extend the south stand is essential to position the Club for promotion to the National League.

Your Club Your Choice

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Notice of Special General Meeting

A special general meeting of Darlington FC Supporters Group will take place at 7.45pm on Friday 26th May 2017 at Central Hall of the Dolphin Centre, Horsemarket, Darlington DL1 5RP.

You will have probably seen (view the statement) that the DFC board are asking shareholders to approve a resolution that will enable them to allot shares to the value of £40,000 to Raj Singh in exchange for a £40,000 contribution to next season’s playing budget. As the majority shareholder in DFC 1883 Ltd, the Darlington FC Supporters Group must decide whether to support this resolution or not. DFCSG members will be given the opportunity to vote on this at the SGM.

If the members vote in favour of this resolution, the DFCSG board will also seek approval from the members for the DFCSG to acquire additional DFC 1883 Ltd shares so that the DFCSG can maintain a controlling interest (>= 75% of the voting rights) in DFC 1883 Ltd after shares have been issued to Raj Singh. This is required to comply with the rules of the DFCSG. We propose to finance the purchase of these shares by converting some of the Community Share money loaned to DFC 1883 Ltd. by DFCSG into shares. We also propose to loan a proportion of the Boost the Budget contributions made by DFCSG members to DFC 1883 Ltd to replace the Community Share loan converted to shares (the remainder would be passed to DFC 1883 Ltd. as a donation). This is required to ensure that loan repayments from DFC1883 Ltd. are sufficient to cover Community Share repayments when they fall due. Again, DFCSG members will be given the opportunity to vote on this at the SGM.

The primary purpose of the above is to enable Raj Singh to provide some funds to complement the pledges being made to the ‘Boost the Budget’ initiative to enable Martin Gray to continue his team planning for next season. The limits set by the current DFC Articles of Association would provide sufficient scope for an investment equivalent to approximately half of the ‘Boost the Budget’ target of £80,000 and therefore this would reduce the amount that would need to be met by the fans to around £40,000.

Should the above be passed by the members, it would provide the opportunity for Raj Singh to continue to work with his advisors to develop a more detailed proposal setting out how he might want to increase his involvement with Darlington Football Club. However, a more detailed proposal would likely take a number of months to develop. Assuming we get to that point, it would then be up to the members of DFCSG to determine whether the proposal would meet their future aspirations in terms of the running/ownership of the Football Club. Our major concerns when considering any proposal would be safeguarding the future of the Football Club for fans as a whole and protecting the interests of those fan-investors who have got us to where we are today.

Meeting Agenda

1. Apologies for Absence
2. Introduction
3. Question and answers regarding matters in hand
4. Vote as to whether to support DFC Resolution and, if necessary vote to provide a mandate for the proposed future action in relation to this resolution by the DFCSG Board
5. Next steps

If you intend to be at the meeting it would be very helpful if you could notify our Membership Secretary at , in advance to help with seating arrangements. If you can’t attend this SGM, then if you wish, you may appoint a proxy to attend on your behalf. However, you would need to contact our Membership Secretary in advance and provide him with the details of who will be attending in your stead. Alternatively, you could request that the DFCSG Chair acts as your proxy. Please note that no individual, other than the Chair, is permitted to be a proxy for more than three members.

Yours sincerely,

Neil Raper

Secretary
Darlington FC Supporters Group Blackwell Meadows
Grange Road
Darlington DL1 5NR

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Statement from the DFCSG Board

We’d like to take this opportunity to update all Darlington FC 1883 Ltd shareholders and Darlington FC Supporters Group members of the progress made in relation to the potential investors with whom we have met over the last two weeks.

It is inevitable that it will take time to fully understand the implications of bringing in private investment, and in particular to ensure that the fan-owned model is able to sit alongside private investment. We are now in a position to announce that Raj Singh is one of the individuals who is looking to help the club move forward with the potential for longer term investment.

In the meantime however, it is crucial that we try and operate the business as usual and allow Martin the best opportunity to shape his squad for the coming season. With this in mind, Raj Singh has offered to immediately invest a £40K contribution towards the 2017/18 playing budget. Raj commented “ I saw the shortfall Martin was asked to take on the playing budget for next season and I was keen to help keep the momentum Martin has built up over the last few seasons”.

In order to facilitate this DFC will shortly be writing to all its shareholders to seek approval to allot shares in DFC to Raj Singh in return for his investment. In order to do this, DFC’s shareholders will have to formally approve a resolution with at least 75% of those who vote being in favour of the proposal. Acquiring a shareholding of £40k is in accordance with the current Articles of Association, which limits the shareholding of an individual to 15% of the total issued share capital.

As you know, DFCSG owns more than 80% of the voting rights in DFC, and so it will be asking its members how they wish it to vote on the proposal. If you wish to have your say, then we encourage you to join the DFCSG if you are not already a member.

For many fans the proposed involvement of Raj Singh will come as a surprise, and Raj is fully aware that he will need to answer fans concerns and questions relating to events in 2012. With this in mind. Raj will shortly be undertaking an online Net Café Q&A with Ray Simpson. We will provide details just as soon as they are finalised.

Supporting the “Boost The Budget” fundraiser will in the next two weeks give a clear indication of the calibre of squad that can be built. Don’t forget this one is a weekly or monthly direct debit so it can be spread across the entire season. With the play-off finalists now known, and in turn it being clear who will remain, the National League North competition is only going to get tougher, and so it is vital that we provide funds to ensure our team squad is as strong as possible.

If DFC’s shareholders decide to accept Raj Singh’s offer to contribute to next season’s playing budget by acquiring £40k of equity in the club, he would then develop further proposals on how he would like to increase his (and potentially others) involvement, whilst taking into account the fact that we are a community owned football club. The Board and DFCSG would liaise with Raj to understand his plans and the implications for the Club going forward. The fact that Martin would be able to progress with his plans for next season, means that there would be time for plans for further involvement to progress at an appropriate pace. These budget plans would be made on the expectation that the fans contribution would be also be £40k and the current total of pledges in the ‘Boost The Budget’ fundraiser currently stands at £23.5k – so we still have a little bit of work to do.

There remains the requirement to find the moneys to install at least another 206 covered seats, and to introduce an open terrace at the western end of the ground. These plans are being fully costed and will be shared with fans shortly.

Appropriate shareholder and member meetings of the football club and Supporters Group are now being called to seek views on how fans want to progress, and the approvals to proceed as outlined. Both the Board, and the Supporters Group look forward to engaging with fans in what is clearly a crossroads for the future of the club.

TO BE ADVISED

DATE TO BE ADVISED

Click here for travel information

The DFCSG - strengthening the roots of our club

The DFCSG created and manage the B2D fund, which is funding available to help establish the Club back in Darlington. The fund acts as the primary collection pot for monies raised from direct donations and events organised by the DFCSG Fundraising Group.

Of course, there are many ways in which you can help the club directly but, if you’re specifically looking for a quick and easy way to support the establishment of a solid foundation for the Club in its new home, then it only takes a few minutes to set up a one-off or regular donation to the B2D Fund either by your online or high street banking service.

For monthly standing orders or a one off donation please send monies to the following account:

“Darlington FC Supporters Group”
Lloyds Bank
Sort code: 30-84-43
Account No: 30283268

To pay by cheque please make cheque payable to
“Darlington FC Supporters Group” and send to

Darlington FC Supporters Group
c/o Blackwell Meadows
Grange Road
Darlington
County Durham
DL1 5NR

Please quote your name in the reference area when using internet banking and, on the back of your cheque, include your name and address.

Remember there are many ways to help the Club… can you think of any more? Please tell us about it either by email or in person at the Fans Table in the bar at all home games.

  • Buying a Season Ticket helps to provide the Manager with additional funding needed to strengthen the team at the start of each new season
  • Attending matches provides the club with a constant stream of money throughout the season, from additional match-day ticket sales and revenues from catering and other sales (e.g. programme sales, match-day raffle tickets, 50:50 match-day draw, Club merchandise).
  • The Come On Darlo Prediction League is a fun way to add a little bit of an edge to your season - use your skill and judgement to predict how we and the other local clubs will do in the coming season, and who will be the big winners and losers nationally, come the end of the season.
  • The Sponsor a Goal scheme is a fan-run initiative which has raised over £8000 for the Club since it began in season 2012-13.
  • For as little as £5/month the DFC Fans Lottery Draw provides you with the chance to win either £50 in each weekly draw, or even more in the monthly Super Draw. The Lottery has raised more than £10,000 for the Club over the past 12 months.
  • The Fundraising Group runs a series of entertainment fundraising events over the year, the proceeds of which go into the B2D fund.
The Darlington FC Supporters Group (DFCSG) was established on April 10th 2015 with the merger of the CIC, Supporters Club and Supporters Trust. Darlington FC Supporters Group holds approximately 62% of the equity of Darlington Football Club and is therefore the major shareholder as well as being the Corporate Director of Darlington Football Club 1883 Ltd.

quaker-retail-160x200.jpgQuaker Retail is the club shop and is open Monday to Friday between 10am and 1pm in the foyer at the Dolphin Centre, in Darlington Marketplace.

To contact the shop either telephone 07717345004 (only available during shop opening hours) or send an email to:

You can also shop online at http://darlingtonfootballclub.co.uk/shop/

Join the DFCSG

Join the DFCSG online right now and have a say in the future of your club.

 

Join the DFCSG

SPECIAL OFFER!
Join now and enjoy all the benefits of membership until the end of August 2018.


Contact us

If you have any questions for the DFCSG Board, or would like to get more involved by contributing your thoughts or ideas on how to make our Club even more successful, or if you have any other matter that you’d like to raise or perhaps even stand for election to the DFCSG Board then you can contact us here.