Chairman`s UpdateThursday, 13th Jul 2017
Chairman, Ross McArthur, is making this statement on behalf of the Board of Directors of Dunfermline Athletic Football Club, on the cusp of the new season, to provide a further update on our club’s affairs.
It is fair to say that managing and running a football club at the present time is extremely challenging, on a number of fronts, so I wanted to take this opportunity to share what I think is relevant and important information with our fan base, particularly relating to our new replica kits.
Season Ticket SalesI would like to firstly thank all of our supporters who have already renewed their season tickets for the forthcoming season. Your loyalty and support is very much appreciated, as it provides a solid platform to plan for the season, whilst allowing us to provide the best possible support we can to Allan Johnston, in terms of further strengthening the playing squad.
At present, we are sitting at total sales of 2,535, which is only marginally down at the same point last year, so it would great if we can achieve a total 3,000, as we did last year. I do appreciate that the price increased this season, after previously being held for a number of seasons, so it is anticipated that if the overall numbers remain slightly down, our “walk-up” fans on match days will probably increase compared to last season.
Open Day - Kit LaunchEveryone is looking forward to our annual Open Day and kit launch, on Sunday, which is always a great family day to highlight all that is good about our community football club, and showcase the various activities undertaken by so many groups within our supporter base.
Unfortunately, due to circumstances out with DAFC’s control, we will not now receive our full allocation of new home kit in time for Sunday’s Open Day. Freight problems have caused a delay in the delivery schedule to our kit suppliers, JOMA, in Spain.
Therefore, we wanted to alert supporters to this fact in advance, to avoid disappointment on the day. The allocation that we do have MAY NOT be quite enough to satisfy the initial demand, and we ask that supporters bear with us as we await our next delivery. We have been assured the remaining kit stock will arrive within the next week direct from JOMA.
However, the stock numbers and sizes detailed below have arrived, and will be available to purchase on the day, which based on the last couple of seasons will be pretty close to satisfying the initial demand, but may be short in a couple of specific sizes:
Age: 4 - 30
Age: 6 - 30
Age: 8 - 30
Age: 10 - 30
Age: 12 - 35
Age: 14 - 30
Small - 30
Medium - 54
Large - 55
X Large - 44
2 XL - 20
3 XL - 10
4 XL - 10
Therefore, I would like to apologise in advance, if unfortunately one of our supporters cannot obtain their specific size on the day.
In addition, like all businesses dealing overseas we have been hit with further challenges caused by Brexit and currency issues, and as a result our replica kit prices this year will now have to be subject to a price increase of £5 for all Adult sizes. The Kids price will remain unchanged. This take us in line with other similar sized clubs, like Falkirk and St Mirren, in the SPFL Championship, and represents the first price increase since 2005.
As highlighted above, I fully acknowledge that with season ticket prices also increasing alongside the kit price, it is not ideal timing for supporters, particularly those with families, but I genuinely state we are faced with price increases ourselves, at the same time as trying to remain as competitive as we can be on the field of play. I would again emphasise that we do try and balance this for families by offering free season tickets to under 12’s, as well as special family season ticket offers.
The Open Day takes place on Sunday at the Glen Pavilion (1-4pm), and I hope everyone has an enjoyable day.
Playing SquadLike many other clubs, at all levels, the current transfer window is proving to be another challenge as we look to try and obtain the best available players we can, within our working budget.
As I stated at the end of last season, attracting better quality players to improve our chances of progressing as a club would not be easy, and so it is proving. With the new season starting so early now (believe it or not there are still 7 weeks to go until the window closes), it means bringing in all of the players we would ideally like, early enough for pre-season, is all but impossible nowadays unless you are willing to sacrifice the quality of your recruitment. Allan has said many times that better players will look at all their options and strive to play at the highest level they can, and although DAFC is still perceived as a big club, as a consequence of where we are, we do need to show willingness and patience to attract players.
We are working hard to try and make things happen, but when players are under contract to other clubs there are a multitude of issues that you are faced with, as the other club might have to bring in a replacement before they allow the player to move, make some form of settlement or decide if a player will be allowed to go out on loan, and to what level. That is the nature of the marketplace, so you cannot become frustrated you simply just have to remain resilient and patient.
That said, it is important to remember that we have already extended the contracts of Sean Murdoch, Lee Ashcroft, Callum Morris, Jason Talbot, Nat Wedderburn, Michael Paton and Kallum Higginbotham since the end of last season as well as recruiting Jean Yves-M’Voto, Declan McManus and Aaron Splaine.
It is unfortunate though that once again, when we are operating with a small squad at present, we are hit with injuries all in the same area of the team.
Allan knows what areas we need to further strengthen, and although it is really difficult to put a time frame on recruiting new players, we are hopeful a couple of signings are close.
In the meantime, can I ask that all supporters remain patient, and continue to get behind the club, because as I continually highlight, the key to success has been everyone pulling in the same direction, and we need to keep the positivity and momentum going once again into the new season.
I hope all of our supporters have had a really good break, and we all have an enjoyable season ahead.
Come on Ye Pars!
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