Update from DAFC's BoardWednesday, 28th May 2014
DAFC's has issued an updated report on our club's affairs
The Board would like to make this statement with an updated report on our club's affairs, to ensure it continues to communicate with all stakeholders in an open and transparent manner.
Despite our young footballers performing exceptionally well over the course of the season, they were extremely unfortunate not to reach a successful outcome in the play-off final, second leg. It goes without saying, that the defeat against Cowdenbeath was a blow to everyone associated with our club. Despite this disappointment we need to focus on the positive, by remembering we now have the backbone of a very talented squad for many years to come. Sometimes you have to stand still, to take a step forward in future.
As we highlighted in our Chairman's letter to season ticket holders, the financial climate of the game in Scotland remains extremely challenging for every Club, and DAFC is no exception. Particularly as we will again be operating as a full time Club in the third tier of Scottish Football, which makes planning for the future very difficult. However, the Board are fully committed to delivering an attractive and successful team on the park. The Management team will continue to be given every support our Club can realistically afford, to allow them to continue their good work.
Promotion to the Championship is the required minimum objective, to ensure we can then develop a sustainable platform for our club for future generations. A further trading loss will be incurred next year in this division which will further diminish, but not deplete, our retained capital.
DAFC is now a widely owned community club, and it needs the support of the community more than ever next season in League 1. The play-off games in particular demonstrated the wider breadth of support there is for our club, in the local community, but we need to encourage more to contribute more regularly. The Board, club staff and many volunteers are working hard to reduce costs and maximise revenue, but supporters, sponsors and indeed anyone with an affiliation for DAFC can play their part to get behind our club next season.
In terms of revenue generation, we are delighted that both the Purvis Group and Macklin Motors have agreed to be shirt sponsors next year. We have designed a range of further innovative and exciting advertising and sponsorship opportunities that we are looking to promote to local, regional and national businesses through a variety of means.
In addition, we are planning two key fund raising dinners in the coming season, plus a further range of entertaining fund raising initiatives. We are now focussed on delivering a specific income generation target for a number of "in-house activities" along with the 1885 Business Club, DASC Supporters Shop and the Pars Supporters Trust.
As a supporter, we urge you to assist our club next season to Keep The Pars, by the following means:
1. Renew your season ticket, or purchase one for the first time and take advantage of our attractive pricing structure designed to attract more families and children;
2. If not a season ticket holder, get along to as many matches as you can next season and encourage friends and family to join you;
3. Keep paying your Centenary Club Lifeline membership, or if you are not already a member please join;
4. Attend match day hospitality next season, in our new inclusive and exciting Kingdom Club;
5. Attend Legends or Charlie D's pre and post-match and sample the atmosphere with fellow Pars fans;
6. If you are looking to arrange any social or family events, please consider the excellent facilities within our club for your venue; and
7. Next season's club kit is expected in the Club Shop in the middle of June, and has already received positive feedback from fans, so please get in early and purchase your kit before your summer holiday. Our club has made a big commitment towards purchasing the kit in advance this year, in the hope that we can make a bigger profit than recent years, but that now requires our supporters to purchase the stock!
To be more be more specific, in terms of our underlying budget, so that supporters can understand and acknowledge the importance of the part they can play, individually or collectively next season, the Board would like to highlight the following key figures:
? 1600 season ticket sales are being anticipated (including the premium season tickets within the Rennie and Jock Stein Suites).
If we could maintain last year's figure of 1,800, this would further boost our chances of reinvesting in the playing squad. Supporters may be interested to know that the profit to our club less VAT for an average season ticket holder (once all concessions are included) is actually less than £8 per game. Therefore, the view that Scottish Football is too expensive is a myth. Despite this, the Board has also decided to offer free admission to all Under 12's who purchase a season ticket next season, if accompanied by an adult, to further encourage youngsters to attend matches.
? The average attendance for home games at East End Park is 2,300.
If we could attract even 200 to 300 extra fans for every home game next season it would make such a big difference.
? The match day hospitality target for the Kingdom Club is 150 per game.
In a number of games last season, the number drifted below and above this level, so we are working hard behind the scenes to further improve the food, entertainment and experience within the Kingdom Club.
However, at the same time all of this needs to be coupled with further cost cutting measures within our club. For instance, we will need to restrict the times the stadium is open to cut down on heating and lighting, amend staff contracts to more flexible working hours, specifically reduce our first team training costs along with other related areas. Again, we ask for the cooperation , patience and support of the fans in achieving this.
It is important to highlight that there are a number of very positive things happening around our club at present, which bodes well for our future development as a community club. To do things properly takes time though, and the Board asks for supporters to be patient as it is difficult to invest in wider projects or activities where our club is at present. That said, a lot of crucial foundation work is being undertaken.
? The Board has agreed a strategy for success for DAFC combining football, community and commercial activities which has been outlined to all stakeholders. Once in place this will provide a sustainable platform for our club, however a lot of further consultation and hard work requires to be done to implement all aspects of this.
? Our young footballers continue to improve as they gather more first team experience, under the watchful eye of Jim Jefferies, Neil McCann and John Potter. Stephen Wright and his youth team coaches and staff also continue their good work down the age groups, as they scout, sign, coach and develop our next generation of young players. The strategic decision for DAFC to join a Fife Regional Academy has been made in recent weeks, which should allow our club to benefit from economies of scale and wider regional and national funding. However, DAFC will still have the ability to develop our own designated players. The Board would also like to formally acknowledge the work carried out by DAFC director, Craig McWhirter over many years, providing much needed financial support and many hours of his previous time to create the youth football structure our club has at this time. In recent weeks, Craig has spent many further hours consulting with the other Fife clubs and the SFA, and then analysing and developing the ideas for the Fife Regional Academy. As a result, Craig has decided to resign from the DAFC Board, to allow him to concentrate more fully on his own business interests and the strategic development of the new Fife Regional Academy. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Craig for his sterling efforts, under difficult circumstances, for our club, but are delighted he will still have an ongoing involvement.
? A community strategy working group has been formed with the objective of delivering a consistent and measured community programme, encompassing DAFC and its youth structure, the Young Pars, the Pars Foundation, the Soccer 7's and a number of individual supporter's with specialist knowledge and experience. A key initial strand of the new strategy is to work more closely with local primary schools, by DAFC players "adopting a school" for next season.
? A volunteer register and programme is now in place, to ensure anybody can volunteer their services to assist our club and highlight their available skills and areas of expertise, even if it is just their time. A specialist group has already carried out invaluable work assessing the needs of disabled supporters within the stadium. The wider volunteer group in the last week has commenced a programme to tidy, clean, paint and repair the stadium over the close season working alongside the Stadium Management Group. Our club has consulted with West Fife Enterprise and has managed to source the assistance of up to five young adults for 6 weeks, to assist us maintain the stadium, but provides them with valuable work experience at the same time.
You can offer your services to work together in a volunteering capacity for DAFC via http://www.pars-united.com/dafcmembers/register-here/
? Following the ideas forum last October, further scoping groups have been created covering match day experience, ticketing and marketing and a number of excellent ideas and plans are moving forward for next season.
You can get involved with any of the scoping groups to ensure your ideas or suggestions are being heard via http://www.pars-united.com/blog/ideas-programme-priorities-your-invitation-to-join-in/
? The 1885 Business Club membership continues to grow and is now nearly at 50 members. It has already held two breakfast meetings with a variety of entertaining and interesting speakers. A number of fund raising initiatives are planned over the coming months, which provide the opportunity for our club and local businesses to be more closely aligned.
? The Centenary Club Lifeline is nearly at 1,000 members and is now indeed a crucial "lifeline" for our club. The membership scheme has been viewed enviously by a lot of other similar sized Scottish football clubs, but the fact that DAFC is now a community club is the reason why such a scheme resonates with so many supporters all over the world.
? A Media Group of volunteers has met over the last few months, to design a new official website which will be launched in late June. The plans also include a rebranded Pars TV platform, an integrated Pars You Tube Channel and further changes to on line tickets and a on line club shop. The official DAFC social media audiences continue to grow month by month, taking into account the fantastic work being undertaken by volunteers, Mikey Mlotkiewicz and Craig Brown. Our club now has a professional, sleek and highly engaging approach and audience reach figures have trebled in six months. In the weeks running up to play off semi-final and final, the reach was 135,000! More and more people want to hear about the re-birth of our club, and this affiliation can only hold us in good stead.
Therefore, the Board ask everyone not to dwell on the past, as we all must now look forward and recognise how far we have come in a very short period, as 6 months ago our club was still in administration after all. A lot has been achieved, but an awful lot still requires to be done and patience will be the key, as a number of things require to be prioritised at present taking into account our club's league position.
Finally, the Board would like to commend the attitude of the supporters, players and all of the Club staff and management over the last twelve months. During that traumatic period in our Club's history, everyone has shown great fortitude and dignity along with a real sense of passion to save, buy and now keep our beloved Pars.
We look forward to your continued support of our club. Together we are DAFC.
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