Dunfermline Athletic

Supporters Council Meeting, 29th January 2016

Thursday, 28th Jan 2016

John Russell introduced the seventh Supporters Council Meeting held in the Purvis Suite on Thursday night.

'View from the Boardroom'
First presentation was given by the Club's Managing Director, Ross McArthur who gave a Board update. He commenced by asking everyone to stand and respect Pars fan John Coupland who died on the way back from last Saturday's league match at Peterhead.

Despite saying that he would not comment on players' contracts, Ross confirmed that during the January transfer window no offers or intimations of interest had been received for any of our players. The Board had been pleased with the style of play, the number of goals scored and displays against teams from higher leagues. He reported how impressed Jim McIntyre had been with the fitness of the Dunfermline Athletic players.

The financial slide affirmed that the budget set was to breakeven. He claimed that is a tremendous achievement in League One while carrying out all the activities they do at the club.
Season ticket holders are at 2500 compared to budget of 1900. Average 3447 against a budget of 2500 but the number of concessions is increasing. Because of this the average charge after deducting vat is only £8.50.

The Board has supported the manager with a full time Sports Scientist and increased playing staff because of the injuries to defenders. Increased costs are also expected for repair of boilers, electrical and structural damage. There has been investment in the pitch for this season. Turnstile repairs will be a further investment.

"We can't spend all the money we get in. We need to build up the capital that we have in the bank."

The income from the Club Shop has been good. There has been good growth in Social Media. Facebook up to almost 34,000 likes. Credit to Craig Brown and Mikey Mlotkiewicz, #SPIRIT was a good example of reach.

Match Day issues
Difficult to police fans who step out of line. Incidents in matches against Dundee and Ross County. The club assists with self policing where required.

The ongoing support is absolutely vital to the club. Ross made a plea to fans to bring along friends and family. Money from Centenary Club Lifeline is crucial since there are no large investors or possibility of bank support. Ross closed by thanking fans for their much appreciated support.

Asked about the undersoil heating Ross said the system is not currently working.

'Having the time of our lives' -- the Centenary Club Lifeline brunch series
On behalf of the Centenary Club Lifeline, Jason Barber gave a couple of short sales pitches.
Sunday 6th March, 12 noon start for Q&A for the 2011 First Division, Austin McCann, Nick Phinn, Kevin Rutkiewicz, Martin Hardie.
Saturday 7th May, 6.30pm in Glen Pavilion £20 inc welcome drink.
Work has been going on behind the scenes to modernise Lifeline systems. Praised Stephen Taylor for introduction of online banking. Digital database has been modernised. On target for contributing £200,000 to the football club this year. There is a need to replace those who drop out for some reason. Jason said that there are over 900 members but those who have signed up but never started their standing orders will be written to. Prizes include £500 per month, £250 weekly prizes.

'A day in the life of the kit man and his van'
Mo Hutton gave a short talk on the life of the kit man. He thanked all those who had contributed to the fund raising for the provision of a new kit van.

'My role on the Board of DAFC'
Margaret Ross made a presentation on Fans Representation on the Board. She started by stating that this was not a new desire and that the previous owners had always said that was what they wanted. Since 2013 supporters are at the heart of the club and now represented at all levels.

Directors including the supporters representative have a direct responsibility to all the members and require to be accountable, responsible and liable. Margaret said that as a board member she is wholly included in all club business. This includes financial and budget affairs.

Two area of tasks.
External - required rebuilding of relationships, address historic issues with local businesses.
Internal - keep fans informed and up to date, liaise with fans groups and volunteers.
Margaret said that the club is now very organised. Financial reporting is immense, no short term planning, it is all long term.
MR's responsibilities include regular boardroom business, players welfare both at first team and under 20 level, continuing volunteer program, general fan queries. Margaret has been working on a project SPFL Working Group on the Right to Buy. A 69 page document has been compiled and circulated to all clubs in Scotland.

Drew Main -- 'Plans, hopes and aspirations from the Disabled Access Group'
Drew Main outlined the plans to provide disabled access to Legends. An option was shown whereby access would be provided via a lift from the Club Shop up and into the Rennie Suite. An alternative would be an external tower from outside the boardroom up to close to where the DJ booth is sited in Legends. This would only provided access to Rennie Suite or Legends but there could be ramping to connect.

Provision of accessible toilets is the next requirement. It could mean losing some seating provision in Legends. This still prevents wheelchair access from Legends into Charlie Ds. A third option is a little more adventurous. External lift from Legends access up and into an external corridor (supported on stilts) that could be long enough to connect to all three lounges.

Other considerations could be structural engineers report. Architect costs, building warrants, planning permission, bar security, asbestos survey and Emergency Evacuation plan including staff training.

The third solution has not been costed but £44000 is the potential cost of the first two options.
The Disabled Access Group accept that the club should not be asked to pay for this at a time when all resources are channelled towards promotion. Local businesses have been approached but Drew said that specific fund raising projects would likely be required.

The Disabled Access Group have also proposed providing disabled access toilets in the Purvis Suite. It had been pointed out that could be provided at the far end of the corridor beyond the newer Hospitality Rooms in the Purvis Suite. This extension would require removing some concrete from the terracing in the South East enclosure. Drew suggested that the cost of this project might be £22,500.



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