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Old 27th February 2020, 16.41:08   #1-0 (permalink)
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Default Darlington (No - not ours) but stll relevant.

Darlington FC is in the news because of investment in the Fans-owned club, and fans are delighted (well, many are anyway, but not all.)

Compare the following announcement about their Director John Tempest's resignation last year with another, also called John, from Wrexham AFC: see

“I expect to soon to make a presentation about the club’s future, and what needs to be done to achieve our ambitions.”

Meanwhile, David Johnson (their CEO) is looking to make new appointments to the board following John Tempest’s departure.

“We need to make at least one new appointment to the board. The person concerned must be of the right calibre, and to be able to devote plenty of time to football club business on a voluntary basis.

“In particular, he/she
Must essentially have previous or current board experience
Have good people management skills
Be prepared to attend meetings at various times during the day
Must be able to demonstrate corporate responsibility
Have a sporting background, but this is not essential

“A more formal advert will follow in due course, but if in the meantime if anyone is interested, then by all means contact me.”

Now, a year or so later, David Johnston has announced in the last 2 days that he is going to exchange money (£50,000) that he lent to the club from a Directors Loan Account and another type of loan into shares:

Darlington fans have expressed feelings ranging from suspicion, through congratulations... to sheer idiocy. Unbelievably, several have claimed that he has acquired the shares issued to him without paying a penny for them - completely ignoring that he's put £50,000 into the club and instead of treating it as a loan, he's converting it into an investment in shares instead. It is still £50,000 guys!!!

Others will recognise that £50,000 doesn't make him a major investor in the sense of being a sugar daddy.

However, it does uphold the principle that he, a volunteer director, has contributed something affordable (for him) to the club.

Our one member, one share, WST philosophy doesn't allow us to acquire more shares, irrespective of how much we donate, but it does show that there are folk out there who do donate sums to causes they support, and there is no reason why some of our more affluent supporters mightn't do the same.

It holds good for the less-affluent too - every pound counts when it comes to the club accumulating the funds needed to swell the squad budget for next season. I asked a question of fans around 11 years ago: "Would you give up the cost of a pint of beer a week if it meant that your football club could afford a stronger squad?"

The answer was a resounding YES, and it contributed towards three new players being signed by Denis Smith, and promotion the following season. Once we'd rid ourselves of Hammy and the Gut, the money was then put towards the eventual acquisition of the Club itself. I'd love to see the "Beer a Week" initiative being revived, so that every fan could see faster progress back into the FL.

That is supporters investing in their own club's future.

Is that an impossible dream?

Last edited by The Only Way Is Up; 27th February 2020 at 16.43:18..
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