JIM PARMENTER will raise a glass to the start of 2006 – hoping that the New Year will be an even better one for Dover Athletic.
The Whites chairman will next week celebrate one season in control of the club since becoming the majority shareholder when he led a rescue package last January.
One year on and he has not only been able to save Dover Athletic from closure, he has, along with help from the Supporters Trust and fellow board members, stabilised the overall financial situation.
But the club are still not completely out of the woods with around £30,000 still owing to clear the CVA debt. Plus the club are around £47,000 in the red with the bank – due to an old long-running overdraft – which is being serviced with no problems at the moment.
However, the fixtures computer has not been kind to the club at this time of year – with just one home game to look forward to in the space of four weeks. Also the club are already behind most teams on their fixtures and any further postponements will almost certainly see Clive Walker’s men playing three games a week to catch up.
The bottom line is though that if the club are to pay off the CVA one year early, directors and fans will need to lift themselves for one final push to get the wretched debt paid off finally.
Jim said: “It goes without saying that the cashflow situation isn’t good at the moment. The lack of home games means no money is coming in.
“Had the Ramsgate match been called off, it would’ve been very bad news indeed. It was a great gate for us – but really, it only recouped what we lost for the postponed Kingstonian match.
“The club is stronger than it was this time last year but to take it on to the next level, which we’re all desperate to do, it’s important to get this CVA paid off quickly.
“We know how hard the fans worked to keep this club alive during the last few years. The fans and community spirit surrounding Dover Athletic is the main reason why I stepped in last year.
“This is a big club and has potential to get into the Football League. However, we’ve got some tough seasons ahead of us. It’s a long road we’re on and we are fighting a double battle this year – to pay off the CVA and get promoted out of Ryman One.
“We’ve a great chance of achieving both – and I appeal to our fans to help us achieve this by getting behind fundraisers, volunteering help, thinking up and organising fundraisers and turning up to Crabble in large numbers.
“If this happens, the CVA will get paid off but, if it doesn’t, all the money being generated at the moment will simply just cover club costs.”
The potential fixture backlog is a concern and Jim does not want it to hinder our promotion prospects.
He said: “We could find ourselves in a situation where we’ve got to play a lot of matches in a short space of time and chasing points to win promotion.
“Let’s keep our fingers crossed that we can get all our games played – and not have a hectic schedule at the end of the season.”