*BS*JIM PARMENTER spent time answering your emails this week in a special question and answer feature.
*BF*The Whites chairman, as usual, answers frankly all the questions put to him via the club’s official website.
*BS*BOB ANSLOW, RAMSGATE
*BF*Do the board feel they are meeting their targets at the moment as far as its major aims are concerned – perhaps off-the-field rather than on it – and whether you might feel able to share your expectations of the next, say, five years at DAFC.
*BF*When we first arrived at the club we had three major objectives. Number one was, of course, to clear the massive debt that was threatening to put the club out of business and to stabilise the on-going financial situation. This has been achieved and clearing the CVA early is an added bonus.
Number two was to install a manager and playing squad with the ability to take us up the leagues, while ensuring we did not go back into debt to achieve it. We believe this has also been achieved.
The third and more long-term objective was to develop the club, on and off-the-field, to a point where it can progress up the leagues. This involves developing off-the-field income streams to finance improving the playing squad.
Developing the youth section and links with the community are also very important objectives. In five years time we very much hope to be playing Conference football again.
*BS*BOB MOAT, DOVER
*BF*Would it be possible for the stewards who extend the tunnel at the end of the match to inform any supporters who are waiting adjacent to the tunnel that it is about to be extended?
This would make it much easier for us supporters who watch the entire match from the Town End to get clear of the tunnel and therefore easier to exit the ground before the route is closed.
*Q1**BF*We are refining the operation of the tunnel with experience, but basically if you allow yourself five minutes before and after the game you should be OK.
*BS*JASON McFARLANE, DOVER
*BF*Is there more to offer from Dover in the next few years off-the-pitch and also is it true that the training pitch will be redone?
*BF*The best is yet to come! There are no plans to re-furbish the training pitch at the moment but we are involved in a couple of other projects that, if they come to fruition, will greatly improve our facilities for training both the first team and youth teams.
*BF*Just want to know what the situation is with Daniel Braithwaite? Is he still contracted at the club? Will he be having an operation to solve his injury problems and if so when would we expect him to be playing for The Mighty Whites again?
*BF*Daniel was offered a contract at the and of last season which he originally agreed. However, because of complications over his injured knee, he changed his mind. Therefore, at the moment, he is not a Dover player.
*BS*ALEX AL-SHAIKH, DOVER
*BF*Where do you see Dover in 10 years?
*BF*Too far into the future to predict but possibly playing League football.
*BS*HARRY SMITH, RIVER
*BF*Do you believe Clive Walker is the manager who can take Dover from Ryman One South to Conference National? If so, can you explain why?
*BF*I believe Clive is the right man to be managing Dover going forward. Just look at his record over the years and particularly since rejoining Dover.
He is an A badge coach and has enormous knowledge of players and the game. He is straightforward and a club man through and through. Clive also commands terrific respect from those in the game on and off-the-field.
*BF*If there comes a time this season when things go wrong like they did last time, would you and the board consider making more signings, ie a striker who puts away chances on a more prolific basis?
*BF*Last season had we not had the injury crisis that we did, there is a firm belief that we would have been promoted.
This year we have a stronger squad but Jon Wallis was signed on loan to further strengthen when we had injuries and suspensions. We do not have the budget to make further permanent signings, but if players don’t perform they will be moved on and replaced.
*BF*The Conference ground grading is great news. What happens if no other ground in the entire Ryman League doesn’t get that grading by the deadline later in the season? Would we be promoted to Conference South?
*BF*Good question, to which I don’t have an answer because the FA haven’t ruled on this yet.
*BS*ANDREW, SOUTH LONDON
*BF*What drives you on as chairman of Dover Athletic?
*BF*Another good question, some of my friends tell me it’s insanity. I love football and being involved with Dover. It’s my home-town club and when I left before it was like cutting off my right arm.
*Q2*My family all enjoy it too and Sally, my wife, is becoming something of an expert on football.
Most of all it’s seeing the look of joy on people’s faces when they know their club is safe and doing well.
*BF*How do you assess the way we’re playing at the moment and how the current season is developing? The FA Cup-run has clearly hampered our league form – is that a concern?
*BF*We have lost once this season in the league and actually with the chances created should not have dropped a point.
As yet we haven’t seen our best team on the pitch and, with Danny Chapman coming back to fitness. John Keister now back and Glen Knight only a couple of weeks away. that day will come soon.
Clive’s intention is to play attacking football this year but of course you have to have the right players available and in form.
I have been to every game and sometimes when I hear some of the “expert opinions” on what we have done or should be doing, I wonder if I have been at the same game (if those expressing opinions have actually been at the game).
I am very happy generally with the way we are playing, but this is football and there is always room for improvement.
Clive and I are always discussing ways of improving, but in the end it’s his job to select the team and manage it.
Finally, I don’t agree that the FA Cup run has affected our league form. I think that has more to do with player availability and form.
*BF*Will Dover Athletic have a new clubhouse at some stage and roughly when?
*BF*It is very much in the plans but is down to finance.
*BF*What is the overdraft balance now roughly – and when do we plan to pay if off. How much money did the FA Cup run generate in the end?
*BF*The overdraft is now below £40k and the club are paying some off every month. I suggested to the Supporters Trust that they may like to make this an objective for the season and they donated £3k at the beginning of the season.
There has been no further movement on the account since.
The FA Cup run generated around £12k net in prizemoney.