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The easiest answer to the issue of skills and volunteering is to speak with somebody on match day. If it's helping with trust activities then there are trust reps available. If somebody has some professional skills or experience that may be of benefit to the club then I have absolutely no doubt that the board would make time before or after a game to discuss what needs done.

I'm not sure that the club can put a list up of the skill sets it doesnt currently have and the areas that it needs to address. Might not be the best idea to advertise exactly where the club is falling short. Dialogue is possibly a more appropriate way of getting folk involved. The directors will listen and will be candid and honest with what they can share with fans.

As for what other clubs do differently, the Angus clubs benefited massively from having all 4 teams in the same division last season. That sparked significant interest with local businesses and Forfar (I'm sure it was Forfar) were able to carry that forward into this season. THey also have some bigger businesses that are engaged with the local football teams.

Edited by BallochSonsFan

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15 minutes ago, Bring Back Paddy Flannery said:

3. I'll be honest, I'm not hugely surprised by this. In seasons gone by the club has been very active in advertising these sorts of things on social media but this season there was very, very little. Our marketing was practically non existant bar the odd tweet about season tickets. Was it mentioned why? Do the club know what the Angus clubs or Annan do differently? Has there been feedback from previous sponsors as to why they don't continue to sponsor?

To be fair, there’s absolutely nothing else to do in Angus so it’s much easier for them to attract the local teuchter/Tory businesses and individuals.

Edited by FifeSons

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49 minutes ago, BallochSonsFan said:

- Duffy believes that we have the 2nd lowest budget in League One. The club doesnt agree but acknowledges that the budget has been set at an affordable level because they won't risk the club's financial stability.

I ended up caught up with work last night and never made it down but I must admit, it worries me that board and manager are not on the same page in respect of the budget.

 

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The easiest answer to the issue of skills and volunteering is to speak with somebody on match day. If it's helping with trust activities then there are trust reps available. If somebody has some professional skills or experience that may be of benefit to the club then I have absolutely no doubt that the board would make time before or after a game to discuss what needs done.
I'm not sure that the club can put a list up of the skill sets it doesnt currently have and the areas that it needs to address. Might not be the best idea to advertise exactly where the club is falling short. Dialogue is possibly a more appropriate way of getting folk involved. The directors will listen and will be candid and honest with what they can share with fans.



I don't think it's need to be a list of where we are falling short, more just a list that could be circulated to the supporters to highlight, in basic detail, some of the jobs we need picked up. I certainly think that would be more beneficial than hoping folk approach officials pre match.

For example, if we need someone to help out with social media, someone who can post the odd Twitter update or the likes. Or someone to help out with a video to support a kit launch. I don't think it would be a big deal to advertise that sort of thing in advance and it would give us a better chance of receiving the help we need. Obviously not everyone could post social media updates or produce videos but we have videographers and journalists amongst our support who may not realise these things need done. FWIW I'm not specifically saying these things need done, just using it as an example.

I mean if it's legal advice or such regarding ownership issues I completely understand not wanting to publicise that sort of thing but I don't think we should be too embarassed to actively seek help for odd jobs around the place. It could even be circulated to the Trust mailing list or handed to supporters pre match to keep it 'in house' rather than having it on social media or the likes.

It's not a huge deal or anything but I do feel like that would help. Sometimes relying on people dreaming up in their head how they could help will prove difficult, perhaps seeing it in writing would encourage them to step in and allow them to work out if they have the time or skills to do it.

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Summary:
Club issues:
- The club are struggling around the 200 season ticket holder mark. This is around half of our season ticket numbers as little as 2 years ago when we were in the Championship. It's a vicious circle: Fans complain about the quality of squad so stay away which means the club don't have the money to use to build a squad.
- Duffy believes that we have the 2nd lowest budget in League One. The club doesnt agree but acknowledges that the budget has been set at an affordable level because they won't risk the club's financial stability.
- Duffy is looking at potentially bringing in another 2 loan signings. These may be late additions as clubs above us finalise their squads and look to send younger players or squad players on loan.
- The club has taken a firm stance with the local council regarding the walkway. Essentially told that it's a council project and up to the council to fund. It's nothing to do with us.
- The owners are looking at Youngs Farm again. Unsure how the development would be structured or financed but the community sports hub would be a much bigger feature. The owners are pursuing this with the council themselves.
- There were plans for the club to have 2 stands when moving to the current ground. A change at Sport Scotland meant that £2million of funding was no longer available. The club couldn't fill that funding gap. A second stand would have been particularly helpful in the Championship and opens up options for supporters. Safe standing wasn't available when the ground was built. The local council/police are particularly strict with us and we don't have the flexibility to accommodate fans within the ground in the way that some other clubs do.
- The club is running with a board of 4 directors. People give their time and efforts with little or no expenses paid. It does at times mean that running the club can be time consuming. The club would benefit from any help that fans could offer in any number of areas. It's easy to criticise the club but the challenge is in stepping up and helping to change things.
- Although money is very tight at the club, we are not currently reliant on any form of emergency funding to keep us operating.
- That said, the club has currently sold 5 match sponsorships for the new season. Annan had sold over a dozen as of our cup game and one of the Angus teams has sold sponsorship for every home game in the 19/20 season. There's a major challenge in getting local businesses to engage with the club and to sponsor games. That extends to other areas of finance such as funding Sons TV etc.
 
Trust issues:
- Administering the trust has been problematic in the past 2 years, leading to a lapse in legal status. It was an oversight that is being fixed. It shouldn't cause any problems in the future but has contributed to the trust not holding AGMs when it should have. This was regrettable but was in part caused by the efforts of trust board members and other volunteers being directed elsewhere.
- The trust will be seeking new board members and there are still opportunities for people to get involved without becoming board members.
- The trust remains in contact with the club board and with the owners in order to represent fan interests.
- The trust remains committed to it's core goals of supporter representation and to a greater degree of fan involvement/ownership at the club.
 
General discussion:
There was general discussion surrounding
  • funding
  • the relationship with the local authority
  • Rory Loy's injury (he's still injured, the first operation hasn't helped and there are no guarantees that a 2nd op would solve his issues)
  • C&G's involvement at the club (players contracts and C&G contracts are entirely separate - the only way that C&G can influence player signing is if a full time player is stepping down to part time and is looking for work outside the game or if a part time player from another club is looking to change jobs - C&G may help make Dumbarton a more attractive option)
  • Encouraging young fans
  • Stewarding standards and fan experience on match day
Thanks BSF, the summary is greatly appreciated

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1 hour ago, Bring Back Paddy Flannery said:


 

 


I don't think it's need to be a list of where we are falling short, more just a list that could be circulated to the supporters to highlight, in basic detail, some of the jobs we need picked up. I certainly think that would be more beneficial than hoping folk approach officials pre match.

For example, if we need someone to help out with social media, someone who can post the odd Twitter update or the likes. Or someone to help out with a video to support a kit launch. I don't think it would be a big deal to advertise that sort of thing in advance and it would give us a better chance of receiving the help we need. Obviously not everyone could post social media updates or produce videos but we have videographers and journalists amongst our support who may not realise these things need done. FWIW I'm not specifically saying these things need done, just using it as an example.

I mean if it's legal advice or such regarding ownership issues I completely understand not wanting to publicise that sort of thing but I don't think we should be too embarassed to actively seek help for odd jobs around the place. It could even be circulated to the Trust mailing list or handed to supporters pre match to keep it 'in house' rather than having it on social media or the likes.

It's not a huge deal or anything but I do feel like that would help. Sometimes relying on people dreaming up in their head how they could help will prove difficult, perhaps seeing it in writing would encourage them to step in and allow them to work out if they have the time or skills to do it.

 

Agree with all of this. I think for a big part of this to work the folk currently helping out with these things can't get territorial about it. They need to realise we are all pushing for the same thing and throwing your toys out of the pram because someone else wants to help with videography/photography or anything else isn't going to help.

It genuinely scunnered me seeing our kit launch was two mannequins. 

So much potential there for us to engage with fans and in today's climate social media/video/photo/blogs etc  is a big way to attract new fans.

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4 hours ago, BallochSonsFan said:

Summary:

Club issues:

- The club are struggling around the 200 season ticket holder mark. This is around half of our season ticket numbers as little as 2 years ago when we were in the Championship. It's a vicious circle: Fans complain about the quality of squad so stay away which means the club don't have the money to use to build a squad.

- Duffy believes that we have the 2nd lowest budget in League One. The club doesnt agree but acknowledges that the budget has been set at an affordable level because they won't risk the club's financial stability.

- Duffy is looking at potentially bringing in another 2 loan signings. These may be late additions as clubs above us finalise their squads and look to send younger players or squad players on loan.

- The club has taken a firm stance with the local council regarding the walkway. Essentially told that it's a council project and up to the council to fund. It's nothing to do with us.

- The owners are looking at Youngs Farm again. Unsure how the development would be structured or financed but the community sports hub would be a much bigger feature. The owners are pursuing this with the council themselves.

- There were plans for the club to have 2 stands when moving to the current ground. A change at Sport Scotland meant that £2million of funding was no longer available. The club couldn't fill that funding gap. A second stand would have been particularly helpful in the Championship and opens up options for supporters. Safe standing wasn't available when the ground was built. The local council/police are particularly strict with us and we don't have the flexibility to accommodate fans within the ground in the way that some other clubs do.

- The club is running with a board of 4 directors. People give their time and efforts with little or no expenses paid. It does at times mean that running the club can be time consuming. The club would benefit from any help that fans could offer in any number of areas. It's easy to criticise the club but the challenge is in stepping up and helping to change things.

- Although money is very tight at the club, we are not currently reliant on any form of emergency funding to keep us operating.

- That said, the club has currently sold 5 match sponsorships for the new season. Annan had sold over a dozen as of our cup game and one of the Angus teams has sold sponsorship for every home game in the 19/20 season. There's a major challenge in getting local businesses to engage with the club and to sponsor games. That extends to other areas of finance such as funding Sons TV etc.

 

Trust issues:

- Administering the trust has been problematic in the past 2 years, leading to a lapse in legal status. It was an oversight that is being fixed. It shouldn't cause any problems in the future but has contributed to the trust not holding AGMs when it should have. This was regrettable but was in part caused by the efforts of trust board members and other volunteers being directed elsewhere.

- The trust will be seeking new board members and there are still opportunities for people to get involved without becoming board members.

- The trust remains in contact with the club board and with the owners in order to represent fan interests.

- The trust remains committed to it's core goals of supporter representation and to a greater degree of fan involvement/ownership at the club.

 

General discussion:

There was general discussion surrounding

  • funding
  • the relationship with the local authority
  • Rory Loy's injury (he's still injured, the first operation hasn't helped and there are no guarantees that a 2nd op would solve his issues)
  • C&G's involvement at the club (players contracts and C&G contracts are entirely separate - the only way that C&G can influence player signing is if a full time player is stepping down to part time and is looking for work outside the game or if a part time player from another club is looking to change jobs - C&G may help make Dumbarton a more attractive option)
  • Encouraging young fans
  • Stewarding standards and fan experience on match day

I wasn't able to make the meeeting so thanks for the update BSF.  It sounds very much as I would have expected, there are major structural issues, eg the negligent club ownership and the chasing of unicorns on the Renton Road, and more cosmetic ones, ie voluntary efforts, strips, etc.,  The former can influence the latter, but not the other way around.

The years of the club being run like a private golf club, and a very snooty one at that, are now really coming home to roost and it will be very difficult to tempt back the fans lost in the last eighteen months, never mind new ones.  Historically, DFC's PR has been a disaster, and it will take a real effort to restore it.  We now have a much more open Board and that can help.

But there is one thing that can really fire us up, and that's getting a team on the park that will put bums on seats.  Jim Duffy presumably knew the budget when he agreed a new contract so I think we're entitled to at least question the make-up of the current squad.  From where I'm standing he hasn't been at it this close season. 

The general outlook doesn't look too bright right now, and I'm of the opinion that it never really will as long as Brabco remain in town.

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5 hours ago, BallochSonsFan said:

Summary:

Club issues:

- The club are struggling around the 200 season ticket holder mark. This is around half of our season ticket numbers as little as 2 years ago when we were in the Championship. It's a vicious circle: Fans complain about the quality of squad so stay away which means the club don't have the money to use to build a squad.

- Duffy believes that we have the 2nd lowest budget in League One. The club doesnt agree but acknowledges that the budget has been set at an affordable level because they won't risk the club's financial stability.

- Duffy is looking at potentially bringing in another 2 loan signings. These may be late additions as clubs above us finalise their squads and look to send younger players or squad players on loan.

- The club has taken a firm stance with the local council regarding the walkway. Essentially told that it's a council project and up to the council to fund. It's nothing to do with us.

- The owners are looking at Youngs Farm again. Unsure how the development would be structured or financed but the community sports hub would be a much bigger feature. The owners are pursuing this with the council themselves.

- There were plans for the club to have 2 stands when moving to the current ground. A change at Sport Scotland meant that £2million of funding was no longer available. The club couldn't fill that funding gap. A second stand would have been particularly helpful in the Championship and opens up options for supporters. Safe standing wasn't available when the ground was built. The local council/police are particularly strict with us and we don't have the flexibility to accommodate fans within the ground in the way that some other clubs do.

- The club is running with a board of 4 directors. People give their time and efforts with little or no expenses paid. It does at times mean that running the club can be time consuming. The club would benefit from any help that fans could offer in any number of areas. It's easy to criticise the club but the challenge is in stepping up and helping to change things.

- Although money is very tight at the club, we are not currently reliant on any form of emergency funding to keep us operating.

- That said, the club has currently sold 5 match sponsorships for the new season. Annan had sold over a dozen as of our cup game and one of the Angus teams has sold sponsorship for every home game in the 19/20 season. There's a major challenge in getting local businesses to engage with the club and to sponsor games. That extends to other areas of finance such as funding Sons TV etc.

 

Trust issues:

- Administering the trust has been problematic in the past 2 years, leading to a lapse in legal status. It was an oversight that is being fixed. It shouldn't cause any problems in the future but has contributed to the trust not holding AGMs when it should have. This was regrettable but was in part caused by the efforts of trust board members and other volunteers being directed elsewhere.

- The trust will be seeking new board members and there are still opportunities for people to get involved without becoming board members.

- The trust remains in contact with the club board and with the owners in order to represent fan interests.

- The trust remains committed to it's core goals of supporter representation and to a greater degree of fan involvement/ownership at the club.

 

General discussion:

There was general discussion surrounding

  • funding
  • the relationship with the local authority
  • Rory Loy's injury (he's still injured, the first operation hasn't helped and there are no guarantees that a 2nd op would solve his issues)
  • C&G's involvement at the club (players contracts and C&G contracts are entirely separate - the only way that C&G can influence player signing is if a full time player is stepping down to part time and is looking for work outside the game or if a part time player from another club is looking to change jobs - C&G may help make Dumbarton a more attractive option)
  • Encouraging young fans
  • Stewarding standards and fan experience on match day

It was also said that when Brabco put the club up for sale last year, they had a couple of bids at around £1.2m which were immediately dismissed. But Simon thinks they could be willing to let the club go for £1.5m although one of their shareholders wants to hold out for £3-3.5m. 

Colin Hosie mentioned that he'd like to put some terracing behind each goal (like Galabank) to increase the capacity to 3500 but we don't have the funds to do that. Something like that could alleviate any problems like the other night and increase revenue if we get a big cup tie in the future.

 

 

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That 200 ST sale news is troubling. Support just seems to be fading away. Wonder how that compares to the dog-days at Boghead in the late 90’s. 

Agreed with the other posts here re match sponsorship/commercial. We’ve been very, very quiet over the summer in promoting this stuff. It’s not what I recall from previous seasons. 

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That 200 ST sale news is troubling. Support just seems to be fading away. Wonder how that compares to the dog-days at Boghead in the late 90’s. 
Agreed with the other posts here re match sponsorship/commercial. We’ve been very, very quiet over the summer in promoting this stuff. It’s not what I recall from previous seasons. 


We had a lot of fans saying they wouldn’t renew with Stevie Aitken at the helm. Yet when he left, and the fans choice Jim Duffy came on there was no notable spike in ST sales. So where did those fans go?

We’ve also had fans say I. Here that a £200+ outlay in the summer is too much and yet when the club authorise a payment plan that allows fans to pay up at a very reasonable £25 a month there’s still no significant uptake.

The club are doing their best with the Brabco baggage strapped to their back in a small pool of volunteers; but fans need to react and support the club when things are down right.

I thought it was a useful engagement event and is something we should be doing 2 or maybe 3 times a year, hosted by the Trust but with representation from the board and/or manager when feasible.

One thing I found interesting was the view that Brabco benefit from the negativity surrounding the club on social media platforms, on here etc. Make no mistake that hearing fans deserting the club when we’re already tight financially will be music to their ears. Maybe food for thought for some.

If we’re going to rid ourselves of the absolute clustershambles of failed businessmen that call themselves Brabco we need the fans united, and willing to engage, support and be proactive in any subsequent fight. And it may well head that way.

Which leads to my final point. Given the amount of negativity on here, and on social media over the summer, much of it justified, a lot of it not; it was disappointing to see only 40-50 fans in attendance. When we hear so many complaints about the club not being open or ho eat about what’s going on, that’s a disappointing turnout when the club do engage.

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11 minutes ago, Jordo1872 said:

 


We had a lot of fans saying they wouldn’t renew with Stevie Aitken at the helm. Yet when he left, and the fans choice Jim Duffy came on there was no notable spike in ST sales. So where did those fans go?

We’ve also had fans say I. Here that a £200+ outlay in the summer is too much and yet when the club authorise a payment plan that allows fans to pay up at a very reasonable £25 a month there’s still no significant uptake.

The club are doing their best with the Brabco baggage strapped to their back in a small pool of volunteers; but fans need to react and support the club when things are down right.

I thought it was a useful engagement event and is something we should be doing 2 or maybe 3 times a year, hosted by the Trust but with representation from the board and/or manager when feasible.

One thing I found interesting was the view that Brabco benefit from the negativity surrounding the club on social media platforms, on here etc. Make no mistake that hearing fans deserting the club when we’re already tight financially will be music to their ears. Maybe food for thought for some.

If we’re going to rid ourselves of the absolute clustershambles of failed businessmen that call themselves Brabco we need the fans united, and willing to engage, support and be proactive in any subsequent fight. And it may well head that way.

Which leads to my final point. Given the amount of negativity on here, and on social media over the summer, much of it justified, a lot of it not; it was disappointing to see only 40-50 fans in attendance. When we hear so many complaints about the club not being open or ho eat about what’s going on, that’s a disappointing turnout when the club do engage.

 

Hmm, 40-50 fans being available to go along isn't too bad tbh.  At least 20% of ST holders, who will speak to folk who didn't go along...... Not everyone can make midweek evenings.

I don't follow all the Brabco crap tbh, too much involved, so I try stick to what is happening on the park.  I don't want to speak to board members, I want to speak to Duffy and ask him how he feels our recruitment went this summer.

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7 hours ago, BallochSonsFan said:

 

- The owners are looking at Youngs Farm again. Unsure how the development would be structured or financed but the community sports hub would be a much bigger feature. The owners are pursuing this with the council themselves.

 

according about that. now that the team isnt in championship, what do you prefer? a stronger first team? or worse first team and a youth structure (obviusly non-profesional, players & trainers from the town and nearly)

It is unlikely every year a youth pass the first team... but for instance crawford has come back, and others youth players who played for sons are in other youth teams (clyde, hamilton, vale of leven,  stirling etc etc)

Edited by McGarci

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2 hours ago, microdave said:

 

Colin Hosie mentioned that he'd like to put some terracing behind each goal (like Galabank) to increase the capacity to 3500 but we don't have the funds to do that. Something like that could alleviate any problems like the other night and increase revenue if we get a big cup tie in the future.

 

 

So we need 

a) someone who knows about concrete, and

b) someone with an affinity to the local area 

 

In ye come @Melanius Mullarkey and Mrs Mullarkey.

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2 hours ago, microdave said:

It was also said that when Brabco put the club up for sale last year, they had a couple of bids at around £1.2m which were immediately dismissed. But Simon thinks they could be willing to let the club go for £1.5m although one of their shareholders wants to hold out for £3-3.5m. 

Colin Hosie mentioned that he'd like to put some terracing behind each goal (like Galabank) to increase the capacity to 3500 but we don't have the funds to do that. Something like that could alleviate any problems like the other night and increase revenue if we get a big cup tie in the future.

 

 

I'd give my right baw to stand on a wee terraced section behind the goals tbh.

 

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17 minutes ago, Silverton End said:

I'd give my right baw to stand on a wee terraced section behind the goals tbh.

 

Wonder how much one of those would cost? 🤔

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19 minutes ago, Boghead ranter said:

So we need 

a) someone who knows about concrete, and

b) someone with an affinity to the local area 

 

In ye come @Melanius Mullarkey and Mrs Mullarkey.

Maybe C&G could acquire some railway sleepers

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Wonder how much one of those would cost?


£100-150k for uncovered terracing.

£200-300k for covered terracing

£400k for terracing with usable space beneath.

Would be my guess. We’ll need to sell a few more ‘engraved at the rock’ bricks for that though.

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Another thing I've remembered was the manager's fund. The board are trying to get Brabco to contribute to the maintenance that's needed because it accumulated under their orders while the planning for the new stadium was ongoing. If we had a manager's fund going straight into the club bank account then Brabco might very well say that they don't need to contribute because the fans are. So the fund has to go through the Trust but it's a bit complicated due to something I don't understand. Tbh I think my eyes glazed over a bit when they were talking about cooperative and tax and other financial stuff I don't have a scooby about. But if there was a fund, I'd happily pay £20 a month towards it.

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1 minute ago, microdave said:

Another thing I've remembered was the manager's fund. The board are trying to get Brabco to contribute to the maintenance that's needed because it accumulated under their orders while the planning for the new stadium was ongoing. If we had a manager's fund going straight into the club bank account then Brabco might very well say that they don't need to contribute because the fans are. So the fund has to go through the Trust but it's a bit complicated due to something I don't understand. Tbh I think my eyes glazed over a bit when they were talking about cooperative and tax and other financial stuff I don't have a scooby about. But if there was a fund, I'd happily pay £20 a month towards it.

Yeh the manager fund needs to go through the trust or third party to stop brabco from getting there hands on it.

it seems that the people helping the club were stretched so thin that something had to give and go on the back burner and that was one of them. It sound crazy as you would think it would have helped with the squad but they seemed to be dealing with more pressing issues such as getting the trust structure fixed.

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