DAFC Board StatementTuesday, 28th Jul 2015
Start of Season Club Update
The Board of Directors of Dunfermline Athletic Football Club would like to make this statement as part of our policy of communicating with all supporters in an open and transparent manner.
As highlighted in our statement in May, the Board, in finalising this season’s budget, simply had to reduce costs further, while collectively as a support continuing to work very hard to bring in the income we need to survive in the third tier of Scottish football for another season.
At outset, we clearly have to thank, yet again, our magnificent fan base, who have responded to our call to support our club “Through Thick & Thin”, with season ticket sales now sitting at 2087, whilst our Centenary Club Lifeline membership sits at 1067. Both figures are ahead of our budget forecast, and are remarkable considering the disappointment we have all felt over the last two seasons. Indeed, the season ticket figure looks likely to surpass last season’s total, before our first home league match against Cowdenbeath on 15th August.
The above season ticket figure does include U-12’s, who are entitled to a free ticket, if accompanied by an adult. This specific figure has increased this year to 428, which although it does not add to our budget, it is so promising to see the future generation of fans engaging with our club.
If you have not already purchased your season ticket, then we would urge you to do so as soon as possible, before the season starts. Our thanks once again must go to volunteers David Laming, Elaine Brebner and Karyn Rennie who have all assisted in our Club Shop with season ticket renewals, on a voluntary basis, throughout the last two months. Their enthusiasm and commitment should be applauded by all Pars fans.
In addition, we are pleased to say that our advertising and sponsorship targets have also been met, even before the season starts. We are one of a select number of clubs who have managed to obtain sponsorship for the front and back of our first team jerseys, and shorts, this season.
However, in order to support Allan Johnston and the playing squad, as much as we can, we need to continue to raise further funds during the season. In addition, as stated previously further cuts still need to be made, which in itself has proven to be very difficult given that a lot of the core costs have already been cut to the bone.
There are two specific areas where our club has had no choice but to make cost savings, as we manage the harsh reality of a third consecutive season in SPFL League One, whilst doing our very best to support the Manager.
Unfortunately, both areas will directly impact upon the match day experience for some of our supporters, which is naturally disappointing, but we would ask for your understanding of the wider financial issues affecting our club at this time.
Firstly, like a lot of other sporting clubs, our club has cancelled our SKY TV subscription for this coming season, as we were incurring a very significant four figure sum, for only a few hours viewing on c. 20 days per season.
Secondly, we have managed to negotiate an attractive agreement with our partners, Belhaven and Coors for this coming season. However, a consequence of this arrangement is that Tennent’s Lager will no longer be served in the bars at East End Park. Stella Artois will be the replacement lager. In addition, it should be noted that once again our club has not applied an increase on any of the bar prices and we will review this area in December as we want to continue to offer our supporters good value for money. Our drinks supplier is fully supportive of our efforts and they too have kept their prices the same until December.
Both of these changes will come into place for the League Cup tie against Cowdenbeath on Saturday.
We do appreciate that this will impact on the match day experience for some of our fans, so we apologise for any disruption that this may cause. As we have said before, your support of this great club will never be taken for granted by this current Board of Directors, but we have had to make a lot of very hard decisions in the last few months affecting all aspects of our operation, with the understanding and support of our loyal staff.
Nonetheless, Allan, Sandy and John have worked very hard behind the scenes to recruit the right quality and character of player, and have shown remarkable patience and fortitude to attract the players that they have, to date, all from higher placed teams. Allan is still looking to recruit a further 2 or 3 players. We have tried to support the Manager, with as competitive a budget as we can, under challenging circumstances. In addition, to improve the strength, conditioning and fitness of the players we have assisted the Manager by purchasing a state of the art heart monitoring system and taken steps to adopt a more focussed approach to sports science. These are long term investments for the club, but have to be purchased from our existing revenue and sponsorship, hence the reason why it is imperative to further reduce a number of costs this season.
The Board felt it was important that supporters were made aware of these facts in advance, to understand the context of our decision.
Thank you yet again for your fantastic support to date, it is greatly appreciated, and we look forward to your continued support next season.
Come on Ye Pars!