CoronavirusFriday, 20th Mar 2020
An update to the supporters of Dunfermline Athletic
As everyone knows, football in the United Kingdom is facing an unparalleled challenge from coronavirus. In Scotland, the current season has been suspended and there is considerable uncertainty about how and when the season will end and also when the coming season will start.
Dunfermline Athletic, like every other senior club in Scotland, faces substantial financial challenges as a result. Virtually all of our anticipated incomes streams are frozen. We will be unable to hold the last three league games at East End Park in the scheduled manner, and hospitality, catering and private functions at the ground have now been be curtailed. This will damage the cash flow of the football club, particularly as we have very limited options in dealing with the many fixed costs we carry as a football club.
It is therefore necessary for us to put in place immediately an emergency contingency plan which will address our finances and also make sure we do not place at risk our loyal staff, volunteers and supporters.
As from 12 noon on Saturday 21 March, East End Park will be locked down completely until the end of April, with all of our facilities being closed. All of our administration staff, each of whom has the ability to work from home, will self-isolate, along with our ground staff and playing staff. Only security personnel will be present.
Our intention is to re-open our shop and ticket office in early May to allow season tickets to go on sale. Our planning assumptions, at this stage, are based on the new season commencing in August.
Despite the closure of East End Park, our club will still operate with our phone lines being diverted and club staff and directors still contactable by email. It is vitally important that the day to day business of our club still functions during these difficult times and we believe we are resilient enough to deal with this.
In the meantime, our on line Club Shop www.dafcshop.uk remains open for business, and deliveries will still be made during the period up to the end of April. Please note that all existing shop orders which are due to be picked up in person should be collected by 12 noon on Saturday 21 March.
Until this emergency arose, we had been on budget for season 2019/20 which is a huge improvement on last year, and more in line with the three previous years. The directors remain firmly behind the Club and would much appreciate the support of their fellow Pars fans at this critical time.
An appeal to the supporters of Dunfermline Athletic
I fully appreciate that many people in the Pars Family will have their own challenges at this time, but I been heartened by the many messages of support I have received and by people asking what they can do to help the Club through this really difficult period.
In particular, it was really humbling to see all of our supporter groups coming together on Wednesday night to set up a “fighting fund” which will be absolutely crucial to our club functioning over the next few months. To me, it was hugely significant that our supporters took the initiative and did that off their own backs, without my issuing an appeal to do so. It is yet another example of what a fantastic and loyal fan base we have.
However, as Chairman, I feel that I can only ask you to do the following for Dunfermline Athletic:
1. Please join, or re-join, the Centenary Club Lifeline Fund. You can have more than one subscription of £20 per month. You can join via the Club’s website or alternatively email firstname.lastname@example.org
2. The 2020/21 season ticket money will be critical for the Club’s future and our ability to plan for the new season. Please renew your season tickets early and encourage your friends and family to do so, when they go on sale in early May.
3. At the present, the current season is suspended. The football authorities are in regular discussion with the Government. However, when season 2019/20 is brought to a conclusion, whenever that may be, we would ask our supporters for their cooperation and understanding not to seek compensation in respect of any of the games which may not be allowed to be played.
Seven years ago, we came very close to losing our Club forever. By working together, we saved Dunfermline Athletic. We know what it takes, and we know we can overcome this situation if we stand together.
The DAFC Board will do our utmost to lead our club through these unprecedented and challenging times.
In the meantime, please remain safe and do what all good Pars fans do anyway, which is to look out for each other and look after the most vulnerable people in our local community over the next few weeks.
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