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Dumbarton need to seriously consider how they engage with fans. In my own recent experiences they have been far from helpful. Of particular note,  the season before last when I still had a season ticket and one of the all ticket games were coming up I contacted the club to ask if they would be able to hold my ticket for me as I wouldn't be able to collect until the day of the game (I work down south), after ignoring my first couple of attempts to ask on twitter I got an answer by email basically saying no before relenting after further correspondence. I think last season ST holder may have been allowed to pick up before 12 on the day though? It was more the attitude that annoyed me. Not long after that I inquired about booking hospitality for one of the home games against Rangers (My dad is a Rangers fan ;) it was for his 50th...) They ignored my email for a couple of months until not long before the game when I assume they realized they still had space to fill and decided now they would indeed like my money. Needless to say I didn't take them up on the offer and just watched from my normal season ticket seat, beside some Rangers fan who was explaining to me how the sash isn't sectarian. :blink: 

The above coupled with the attitude you regularly receive off the car park stewards and the increase in walk up prices (I only go walk up just now due to work) makes for a pretty poor match day experience on offer just now. Although playing wise I'm still content even though its been a slow start, missed a lot of though so far so maybe thats why ...

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I can't believe folk are on here again questioning Stevie Aitken learning from experience, etc. Given our low budget and part time status he continues to work miracles. Not only keeping us competitive but keeping us up against the odds. Yeah, once again this year our squad seems a little fragile. However we're 7th and I see no reason Stevie can't get the best from the squad to keep us up again.

Taking into account all the off field problems we have as highlighted by oki3 it is a miracle we continue to stay up each year

I honestly think that the success we've had over the last 6-7 years is mainly due to 2 good managerial appointments and we have done well despite our board and much disliked owners Brabco.

This will all come crashing down sooner than later but I doubt it will be due to Stevie Aitken. The way the club is currently been ran off the field has to take it's toll soon and is unsustainable. Maybe Stevie will walk sooner than later as I doubt he will be too pleased by the way things are been ran e.g scrapping the youth set up without being consulted, etc.

I do struggle this year to like anything about the club other than the team and manager. I am embarrassed to read about dodgy showers, etc and all the so called small safety related changes are a complete joke and I don't buy that they are required in safety grounds. Absolute tosh.

In the situation we are in the club need to engage with fans and be a proper community club whereas there's one bad decision after another just now. The prices are disgrace.

Anyway I know we're all entitled to opinions and all that but some on here do seem to have very unrealistic expectations.

No arguments that he has done a wonderful job and for a majority of the games we play in his style is effective at sustaining championship football. This doesn't mean he should be above criticism though and games where we need to take the game to the opposition is something that for me, is still a work in progress after 2 seasons.

The off field stuff is more concerning and worrying.

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42 minutes ago, The Moonster said:

 

I'm honestly embarrassed by that. Fair enough there could've been an issue with the hot water yesterday but surely to god we're at least firing out a plate of sandwiches or something? 

OKI makes extremely good points in his post, 589 attending yesterday tells you everything about the apathy towards the club at the moment. Extremely sad.

Yesterday was the lowest Saturday attendance since March 2012. If that doesn't get alarm bells ringing at the club, then nothing will. 

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OKI's post is both depressing and totally unsurprising.

Aside from the general contempt with which fans are treated by the club, the attendance yesterday perfectly illustrates what a few of us have been saying for a couple of seasons now. Home supports are dwindling. Average attendances might say otherwise, but that's clearly down to having bigger visiting supports. Yesterday was a bog standard 2nd Division game a few seasons ago for us, and I'd be disappointed if the attendance was under 600 for that, never mind for a Championship tie.

It almost feels as if those in charge at DFC (whoever they may be with Mr Wilson now away) are trying every trick in the book to turn away as many fans as possible. It's like a toys out the pram move because of the fans' scrutiny of the stadium proposals.

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4 minutes ago, Sonsteam of 08 said:

OKI's post is both depressing and totally unsurprising.

Aside from the general contempt with which fans are treated by the club, the attendance yesterday perfectly illustrates what a few of us have been saying for a couple of seasons now. Home supports are dwindling. Average attendances might say otherwise, but that's clearly down to having bigger visiting supports. Yesterday was a bog standard 2nd Division game a few seasons ago for us, and I'd be disappointed if the attendance was under 600 for that, never mind for a Championship tie.

It almost feels as if those in charge at DFC (whoever they may be with Mr Wilson now away) are trying every trick in the book to turn away as many fans as possible. It's like a toys out the pram move because of the fans' scrutiny of the stadium proposals.

Without wanting to be a Brabco cheerleader, it's not quite as simple as that.

Brabco have been honest from the outset - they own us because they think they can make money through a stadium development. They're not Dumbarton fans, have no real interest in being hands on owners and are focused only on making their money. If they can do that in a way that doesnt damage the club then fair enough. Brabco's priority is delivering a profit. Our priority as fans is ensuring the future of the club. If the 2 things have enough overlap that a good outcome can be achieved for both parties then it's win-win. If it can't then we'll see views polarise.

The day to day running of the club is down to the Dumbarton board. Many of the problems fans are encountering are nothing to do with our absentee owners. That doesnt absolve them of any criticism. It's arguable that we could do with some help when it comes to the way the club is run and perhaps a bit more involvement from Brabco at a high level would have helped keep the previous board focused on delivering for fans? Nobody knows for sure. It has to be said that we were stagnating under both Gilbert and Alan Jardine so we can definitely ask questions of the previous board. Could they have done more for the club?

It comes down to the same problems we're going to face again and again. We're in an area of high unemployment and relatively low wages. We've got the Old Firm on our doorstep. We've got people who are perhaps not traditional football fans going to Scotstoun and Braehead instead of giving the local football team a chance. The people of West Dunbartonshire and Helensburgh give us little thought and pay absolutely no attention to us so despite having our highest sustained league position for maybe 30 years, the local population simply refuse to buy into the club. How do you overcome that? How do you get a  populace who don't care about their local club to suddenly start valuing what they have on their doorstep? Its bad enough if we're doing so little to value our existing fans that people feel like they're being taken for mugs. That kind of treatment won't even begin to bring new fans through the doors.

We're losing fans. Part of that is down to price. Part of it is because real life gets in the way and people get married, buy property and have kids. Sadly we're losing some of our older fans to illness and we've lost some younger fans over the past few years. We're not replacing them like for like, never mind increasing our support, and thats a guaranteed way for the club to stumble towards a crisis.

I'd love to know what the answers are because right now we need them.

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7 minutes ago, BallochSonsFan said:

It comes down to the same problems we're going to face again and again. We're in an area of high unemployment and relatively low wages. We've got the Old Firm on our doorstep. We've got people who are perhaps not traditional football fans going to Scotstoun and Braehead instead of giving the local football team a chance.

It has to be said that Clan have had an excellent surge in support over the last few years possibly because they are doing exactly what the sons arent... Engaging well with supporters and offering a good match day experience at a much more reasonable price. Granted they have a much bigger catchment area to draw from and are in a bit of a previously untapped market.

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I'm honestly embarrassed by that. Fair enough there could've been an issue with the hot water yesterday but surely to god we're at least firing out a plate of sandwiches or something? 
OKI makes extremely good points in his post, 589 attending yesterday tells you everything about the apathy towards the club at the moment. Extremely sad.

To be fair...our home crowds have routinely been between 500 and 600 ever since we've been in the championship....yesterday's attendance was only low because there were next to no away fans

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It has to be said that Clan have had an excellent surge in support over the last few years possibly because they are doing exactly what the sons arent... Engaging well with supporters and offering a good match day experience at a much more reasonable price. Granted they have a much bigger catchment area to draw from and are in a bit of a previously untapped market.



I'm not sure that's entirely true tbh. I see far more criticism directed towards the way they are run on Twitter and the likes than the Dumbarton board get.

I gave it bash and it absolutely wasn't for me but I can see the appeal, particularly for families with young kids, but there is no denying their fans seem unhappy about 95% of the time, particularly with regard towards the way they are run.

Our no 1 issue right now is not attracting new supporters, it's clingin on to the ones we have. On a weekly basis they are being pushed further away. That is truly alarming and yesterday's shocking attendance simply highlights that. We need to forget about attracting neutrals instantly and be very concerned about numerous guys I'd consider the 'hardcore' not bothering buying season tickets and bot bothering paying the eye watering PATG prices. Anyone know officially how many season ticket holders we are down this season? I reckon it will be a fair whack.

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Fair enough, I dont really pay much attention to twitter other than to keep up with the sons match updates. In my personal experience the few times I've been I've always found it to be a more fan friendly experience, its not a patch on a game of football though.  Maybe thats a distorted perspective because I pay much more attention to whats going on at the sons than what happens there. They must be doing something right because crowds have been on the rise.  I'll be looking to get an ST again next season for sons, hopefully prices will remain at the same level and some of the petty things happening around the stadium will fall away.

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The last time we played Brechin at home was on the last day of the season just before the play offs in 2012.So you would imagine the club was on a bit of a high. Crowd was 636. Earlier in the season the crowd was 572. So yesterday's crowd was fairly average. Sorry to spoil all the doom and gloom with facts but there you go

 

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The last time we played Brechin at home was on the last day of the season just before the play offs in 2012.So you would imagine the club was on a bit of a high. Crowd was 636. Earlier in the season the crowd was 572. So yesterday's crowd was fairly average. Sorry to spoil all the doom and gloom with facts but there you go
 


You're also leaving out the fact that one of those was an utterly meaningless end of season affair that had no outcome on our season. I attended practically every match that season... apart from that one.

Yesterday was our biggest game of the season so far and the games against Brechin will most likely be our most important throughout the season. Perhaps a better comparison (similar level, similar importance of game, similar time of the year, similar league points tally) would be the 2014/15 season where we had over 750 for a clash against Alloa. They may bring a handful more fans than Brechin but I'd imagine there isn't a great deal of difference.

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