Dover Athletic Supporters’ Trust will hold it’s AGM on Thursday 26th March at an important point in its history, development and future.
The Trust was formed just over 9 years ago when supporters came together as a reaction to the resignation of a former board of directors at the football club. During those years, the Trust has built up a shareholding in the club of 138,400 shares, but since the new board has come in, contributions have been made to the club as donations. This recognises the fact that we understand that the current board of directors, in particular Jim and Sally Parmenter, have also been putting funds into the club without either receiving shares or raising Directors’ Loans.
In total, therefore, the Trust has, in just over 9 years, put around £170,000 into Dover Athletic.
However, the Trust board has found it far more difficult to be active this season, as the tremendous strides that have been taken both on and off the pitch at our club have meant that the general view of supporters has been that the Trust no longer has any need to support the club financially.
Part of the problem has clearly been the loss of a ‘home’ venue for Trust events. The magnificent new Centre Spot needs to pay its way, but this does mean that we have been unable to justify putting on events such as the monthly Quiz Nights, which used to bring in, on average, about £50/£60 per month – which wouldn’t cover the cost of opening the Centre Spot.
We originally requested a meeting with the club last August to discuss where the Trust should be going, where it should concentrate its efforts, and most particularly what budget we hoped to be able to provide to the club this season. Regrettably, this discussion has yet to take place.
In recent weeks, two members of the board have resigned their positions, and at least one other has indicated that he will not be standing for next year’s board.
Debbie Harrison, who, with husband Paul, has been the major driving force in organising events and raising funds in recent years, has decided that her work commitments now mean that she can no longer work on the Trust Board.
Simon Harris has resigned from the position of Trust Chairman, although he has agreed to stay on the board at present. When he returned to chair the board at the last AGM, he had hoped that he would be able to convince people to help out with various things, even if they did not necessarily join the board. A number of people promised to “think about it”, but regrettably none eventually felt able to contribute.
There have been some discussions in recent weeks regarding transport to away games, and it is hoped that these discussions will be able to progress towards a position where the Trust will be organising coaches to away games next season. However, this only comes from the fact that two individuals who are not Board members are talking to us about their specific roles in this.
The view of the current board is that the Trust cannot continue in its current form, unless there are members who are willing to put time and effort into it, and therefore the few current board members who are willing to continue would propose that next year’s Trust would;
*BS*.*BF* No longer aim to organise any fund raising events, apart from the Christmas raffle which our members have consistently supported year after year.
*BS*.*BF* Use the funds raised not just to support the football club, but also to support initiatives that benefit supporters directly.
*BS*.*BF* Continue to support DAFCtv, as we believe that this excellent service is a massive benefit to supporters, and, on occasion, of massive help to the club in appealing against erroneous sending off decisions.
*BS*.*BF* Organise away travel, with the help already discussed
*BS*.*BF* Only meet quarterly or even half-yearly, simply to keep going and meet its legal obligations.
These matters will be discussed at the AGM on Thursday 26th March, and members are urged to attend.