*BS*THE Supporters Trust are backing the club’s plans for a new Centre Spot facility – and the message to fans is clear: “Let’s make this happen.”
*BF*After years of fighting debt, supporters now have their first chance for years to benefit from their fundraising efforts and build a clubhouse to be proud of.
The proposed new building at SeaFrance Crabble will be longer and wider than the current clubhouse, boasting improved facilities to benefit the club and supporters. It will require significant finance to complete the project and fresh fundraising initiatives will be a key part of the Trust’s involvement.
The club has clearly made big strides off the pitch in the past few years and the Trust have played a big part, donating a vast amount of money to the club through its fundraising events and members’ generosity.
Trust representative Paul Harrison told doverathletic.com: “This will be the Trust’s main project this year. Previously we have donated funds towards paying off the overdraft and helping with the club’s general running costs.
“We’re looking to get involved in the club’s “roll of honour” scheme, which will help raise much-needed funds to make this project happen.
“But we are going to need to give this a big push to make this happen. We want to make these efforts as successful as when everybody rallied round to save the club in its darkest hour three years ago.
“All funds we raise will go into a central pot of money. We’re not doing this independently from the club – as everyone is joining forces to work on this exciting project together for the benefit of Dover Athletic and its supporters.
“But with a project such as this we need some fresh fundraising initiatives, with ideas and help from new people. We welcome input from all supporters, whether members of the Trust or not.”
If you have any suggestions for Paul or if you would like to offer your help in supporting the Trust, please e-mail Paul Harrison: email@example.com
Paul added: “This year’s Christmas Raffle will be open to all supporters, not just Trust members. Tickets will be made available at first-team home games in the coming weeks. All monies raised will go to the clubhouse venture.”
Club chairman Jim Parmenter has stated that around £150,000 needs to be raised to make the project viable. The total cost of the complex will be nearer £200,000 – but Dover Athletic are dependent on fans getting behind a campaign to raise money for the project.
*Ppic1*Paul Harrison said: “Such a facility would provide revenue for the club as a business and it would also make it possible for the club and Trust to host more events, such as the Summer Ball, on its own premises. Holding functions at other venues, due to the limitations of the current Centre Spot facilities, costs the club revenue. The Trust will benefit too from being able to host different types of fundraising events.
“You only have to look at a club such as Leyton, in Ryman Premier, to see the benefits of a clubhouse facility that can be hired out. Leyton survive despite attendances of less than 100 due to the modern bar and function rooms at their ground.
“We also hope that it would encourage more people to use the clubhouse on matchdays, creating a social club environment before and after the game.”