Message from the DFCSG Chair
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If you were present at the Fans Forum on Friday, or are an avid consumer of social media, or a reader of the Northern Echo, you will be aware that Martin Gray expressed his opinion that Darlington Football Club has reached a pinnacle as a fan-owned entity and for the Club to progress it would need private investment. He went to say that he has been speaking to a couple of wealthy people that are interested in investing large sums of money in the Football Club to drive the club towards the Football League with Martin Gray at the helm in return for 51% of the share capital. This announcement came totally out of the blue to the DFCSG board, which is why it has taken a little time to draft a communication to our members.
At the time of the meeting, the board of DFCSG had not been approached by anyone wishing to invest in the Football Club. Subsequent to that meeting we have been approached by such an individual.We are duty bound to listen to what they have got to say before presenting the facts and potential implications to our members. As DFCSG possesses 77% of the share capital of Darlington Football Club, there could not be any changes of ownership without the say so of the members of DFCSG. We will be liaising with Supporters Direct to ensure that we correctly interpret our own DFCSG rules with regard to this issue.
Also at Friday’s forum we launched a very important fundraising drive but unfortunately it seems to have been completely overshadowed by Martin Gray’s opinions about a change of ownership.
We launched two fundraising schemes to help Martin Gray and his team compete on the pitch whilst ensuring that the Club remains on a sound financial footing and to bring the Blackwell Meadows infrastructure up to a grade where we can progress to the next level.
For all of the details, please follow this link:
Some fans have raised questions about whether they should participate in the fundraising whilst there is uncertainty about the future ownership of the Football Club. Our answer is definitely ‘Yes’ because it could be several months before these uncertainties are resolved and by then the windows of opportunity to secure the upgrading of the pitch and also to provide additional support to Martin Gray’s playing budget so that he can take decisions about shaping his squad for next season could have passed by then.
At this moment in time, the DFCSG board has absolutely no idea what might transpire in terms of external investment. However, in the event that the ownership model changes after the first stage target of the Community Share issue has been reached and the pitch upgrade is secured, any investments in the Community Shares at that point will be safe because there will be a binding agreement with repayment plan in place between the Football Club and the DFCSG for the loan of the funds for the pitch upgrade. This in turn will allow DFCSG to repay Community Share investors in line with the terms of the Community Share issue.
We will endeavour to keep members updated of any changes in circumstances as soon as we are able to. Meanwhile, if you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.