Category: Club News

RETAINED AND RELEASED LIST

Dover Athletic manager Andy Hessenthaler has today announced his retained and released list.

The following first-team players are out of contract and have left the club:

Yusif Mersin, Josh Passley, Will De Havilland, Jack Munns, Kurtis Cumberbatch, Paul Rooney, Joe Bedford, Oscar Gobern, Steven Rigg, Bilel Hinchiri, Ahkeem Rose, Omar Mussa, Marvel Expiteta, Louis Collins, Ade Azeez.

The following out-of-contract players have been offered new deals: 

Sam Wood, Travis Gregory

The club has exercised an option to extend the following players contracts:

Josh Bexon, TJ Bramble, Marshall Wratten

Hessenthaler admitted making the decisions he had was always a difficult part of the job

“First and foremost I would like to thank each and every one of the players leaving the club for their efforts in what was an unprecedented season.

“I cannot speak highly enough of their attitudes and their commitment during what was an extremely difficult time for us a club.

“It is never an easy time for any manager, informing players they are being let go – it’s tough, but my job is to make these decisions however hard they might be.”

The club would like to place on record its thanks to those players who will not be with us going forward for their efforts and we wish each and every one of them every success in the future.

 

 

 

STRIKER LOTTERY IS BACK

The Striker Lottery will resume today after being suspended due to the COVID-19 lockdown in January.

Striker Lottery Manager, Harry Reid, said: ”The week numbers will continue from where we left off.

“The last draw was Week 9, so today’s will be Week 10 –  this is so the system will recognize the credit payments.

”This will keep you at the same credit level as you were on before we stopped and any payments made since then will have been added to that credit.

“Thank you more than ever for your continued support and patience.”

If you have any questions, you can email Harry at striker@doverathletic.com  or call him on 01304 822373 (option 4) on a Wednesday only.

GRAND DAY PLANNED AT CRABBLE

CHAIRMAN’S UPDATE

Dover Athletic Chairman Jim Parmenter has tonight opened up on the situation the club currently finds itself in and the tough challenges ahead.

He said: “I would like to provide supporters and the many well-wishers who have contacted the club, with an update regarding our appeal against sanctions imposed by the National league and preparations for next season.

“For obvious reasons, I am unable to provide any detail around the substance of our appeal, which now looks unlikely to take place before mid-June but suffice to say we have appointed Queen’s Counsel to represent us at the hearing.

“I must pay tribute to and thank both Sean Gorman and Simon Tovey of the Outset Group Maidstone for their legal and practical advice, which quite frankly has been superb.

“It has been freely given, extremely thorough and without them, we could not have come this far and all our supporters should be extremely appreciative of what they have done for our club and we are as confident as we can be that we have a just and indisputable case.

“Our local MP Natalie Elphick is also on the case and I understand representations will be made at the Ministerial level as well as with Tracy Crouch’s inquiry into football governance.

“I am extremely heartened by all the messages of support from all over the country as well as the football media’s vocal support.

“I would also like to thank from the bottom of my heart all those people from far and wide who have contributed to the JustGiving page that has been set up by one of our fans.

“With regard to next season, Hess (Andy Hessenthaler) will continue as Manager and obviously, we will be starting in a compromised position (regardless of the appeal outcome.

“We will not be able to compete financially with the big rich clubs in the league, but we are planning an ‘alternative approach’ because the financial madness which is prevalent in our league currently is not sustainable and is destroying the game aided and abetted by the hopeless administrative structure at our level.

“What we will need as a club is for the whole town and district to come together to help us regroup and show the establishment that we will not be bullied.

“We stand united for what is right and just and we will not be cowed.

“So, please, recruit a friend, make a purchase from the shop, buy a season ticket when the time comes, sponsor us in some way, but most of all please come to the games and cheer the team on.

“Let us show the world of football that the people of Dover really do care about their club.

“Let us show football there is a better way!

“In the meantime, please keep safe and get your jab when the time comes.”

APPEAL TO RAISE FUNDS FOR CLUB

Dover Athletic would like to say a huge thank you to all those people who have donated to a fundraising appeal initiated by one of our fans, James Pearce.

James started a JustGiving page after the club was given a 12-point deduction for next season and fined £40,000 last week for not fulfilling fixtures by an independent panel commissioned by the National League.

As a club, we can assure you that we need every penny we can get at this time as we appeal the decision.

The JustGiving page link is here

We thank you one and all for your continued support.

COYW!!

CHAIRMAN’S RADIO INTERVIEW

Dover Athletic Chairman Jim Parmenter provided an update to supporters during an interview on BBC Radio Kent Sport on Saturday afternoon following Friday’s announcement by the National League.

We were given a 12-point deduction for next season and fined £40,000 for not fulfilling fixtures by an independent panel commissioned by the National League.

The Chairman would also like to confirm that we will be appealing to the Football Association and are also seeking legal advice.

The full interview, thanks to BBC Radio Kent Sport, can be heard here:

NATIONAL LEAGUE CHARGES DOVER

The National League has charged Dover twice with a breach of Rule 8.39.

Following the failure of the National League to provide agreed funding, the club has had to make the difficult decision to cease all football operations and furlough players and staff.

Chairman Jim Parmenter said: “We are clearly very disappointed that the National League seem to be sticking to their guns and applying rules of the competition with no proper awareness or consideration for the exceptional circumstances we find ourselves in

”It is clear that the agenda is to finish the season at any cost.”

It is likely that Whites will see further charges being brought as they continue to be unable to fulfill games.

Parmenter said:  “We do have a right to deny charges on a game-by-game basis, but with the cost of a personal hearing for each charge being £150, clearly this is an additional financial burden and limits our options. 

”We will, however, make our submissions in writing, based on our firm belief that the failure of the National League to ensure the promised funding was made available has resulted in us taking the only possible action to avoid insolvency.”

 

CLUB STATEMENT

Dover Athletic can confirm that all management, players, and staff have now been furloughed to safeguard the club’s long-term future.

Chairman Jim Parmenter, who has funded the club for the past seven weeks after the initial government grant funding ended in December, said he had been left with no option but to make the decision to prevent the club from becoming insolvent.

“We are operating in unprecedented times. We have to make difficult decisions.

“We wanted to leave the decision that has been made as long as possible before making this final announcement in the hope a support package may appear.

“Unfortunately no support has been forthcoming, so it is with the deepest regret that the club must now furlough all staff and players and reduce operations to a bare minimum.

“All financial reserves have now been completely exhausted.

“For 15 years, I have run the club without debt and I do not intend to change that now.

“The club will be unable to fulfill further National League fixtures until appropriate funding is made available.”

As a result of this decision, our three loan players, Harry Ransom (Millwall), Ryan Hanson (Hull City), and Oliver Webber (Crystal Palace) have all returned to their parent clubs.

CHAIRMAN’S MESSAGE FOR SUPPORTERS

Everybody will be aware that Dover Athletic, along with many clubs, agreed to start this season back in October 2020 only if grant funding was made available.

It was agreed that this would be provided by the government for the first three months until December, with the clear understanding that if crowds did not return the funding would continue until such time as the situation returned to near normal.

As has been well publicised, that has turned out not to be the case. Sport England are now being given responsibility for offering funding to clubs, mainly in the form of loans, with grants available only in very exceptional circumstances.

I have always made it clear that I would not commit the club to a substantial loan that would impact the club for years to come, it would be irresponsible to burden a small club like Dover in this way and certainly does not make business sense to do so.

We have applied for a grant from Sport England, but I am not confident that it will be forthcoming and certainly not soon.

I continue to maintain that what is being offered by Sport England does not comply with the league’s own rules regarding clubs taking loans.

The league has for twenty years mandated clubs to live within their means and punished clubs if they did not, as a result, statutory tax debt was reduced to virtually nothing and insolvency events have become extremely rare, which has brought great credit to the league.

I am really concerned that the current direction of travel will force clubs to take financial risks they would not otherwise take, and I am determined that Dover Athletic will not be one of those clubs.

We play football for our fans and our community and in their absence, I can see no logic in burdening the club with hundreds of thousands of pounds of debt to complete a meaningless season.

Funding ended six weeks ago now and without any form of significant income stream I have had to continue to fund the club – this cannot continue and if action is not taken the club will become insolvent.

I have (as promised) run the club without debt for 15 years and I do not intend to change that now.

I firmly believe that the survival and future wellbeing of the club, its staff, supporters, and the wider community must come first. Taking the right action now will ensure that we can survive and start again next season (assuming our normal revenue streams are available by then).

Therefore, unless the situation changes in the next couple of days, I will have no option but to furlough all staff, cut all possible expenditure and cease football operations.

The current situation has taught me one thing; with the costs of surviving in the National league rising exponentially and our income is not, the club needs more backing than I can offer alone. It is my intention to open the door to interested parties who wish to invest in Dover Athletic either partially or in its entirety.

I continue to do everything I can to help the club navigate this greatly challenging time and hope that together we can get through this and come back stronger.

Chairman resigns from League Board

Dover Chairman, Jim Parmenter has today resigned as a Director of the National League. 

In a letter sent to National League Chairman, Brian Barwick and members of the board, Mr Parmenter said:  “I can no longer support the direction of travel that the board is taking and I’m afraid I can no longer be seen to be a party to actions which I absolutely disagree with.

“I accept that the board is a collective and whilst as a member, it is a prerequisite that, in public, the board and its Chairman are supported.  I have therefore chosen to resign, in order to say what I really believe publicly.

“The lack of grant funding should have been properly addressed in late December or at least very early January. As it stands it is likely to be two months with no funds for clubs before any sort of resolution is forthcoming.

“I am in particular disagreement that the executive appears to be encouraging clubs to take large loans to complete the season, as I have said twice at board meetings I believe that the competition rules are being broken by allowing the proposed loans, let alone encouraging them. (Page 155 Appendices 08 of the rule book).

“The league has for ten years insisted that clubs manage their financial affairs prudently and has had great success and received much praise for the results, now that is all to be thrown to the dogs and for what?

“I understand why the bigger, richer clubs with chances of promotion are pushing hard to continue, but in a sense they are asking smaller clubs with no crowds or income who are playing for no reason to take large loans and probably overstretch themselves with dire consequences, to subsidise the larger clubs ambitions. I do not agree with that position.

“The board has very little credibility as an organisation within our clubs and I believe the decision to send letters to clubs who find it difficult to play, threatening sanctions was ill-conceived and will do nothing to unite the competition in what continues to be a very divisive time.  Even if the vote is to continue I do not believe that the league will be able to continue in any credible form or with integrity for another five months.

“There are some very good people on the board and I do not seek to criticise individuals, but as a body, I do not believe we have shown strong, relevant leadership. Our governance  has descended into chaos and some decisions made by the board seem to change when interpreted by the executive.”