An update from the Chairman
“I appeal to as many Pars fans as possible to assist our Club in preparing for the coming season by purchasing a season ticket.”
For everyone in the world the last few months have not only been unprecedented but extremely challenging. Sadly, too many people have been lost to us over this period but the sense of community and engagement demonstrated, together with the courage and strength shown by so many, have been genuinely heart-warming. In terms of running and managing the football club, during this period, it has also been particularly difficult and there will be a continued need to try to predict the unpredictable as we move forward.
I am pleased that all of the Championship clubs have worked together collaboratively and pragmatically over the last few weeks to create a viable and measured fixture card for season 2020-21, which takes into account the risks as we currently understand them. We will undertake a three-quarter season, involving a 27-game Championship commencing in mid-October, running as normal until the beginning of May. The majority of the games are scheduled to take place in 2021 when it is expected that we should be back to full capacity in our stadiums.
I am acutely aware of the many financial challenges individual families may have at this time, and I am hugely respectful of this fact and appreciative of the donations we have received to date, which continue to make me feel very humbled. However, I would not be doing my job as Club Chairman if I did not issue a rallying call to our fans to support our Club in terms of planning for next season. We need your further support more than ever as all football clubs face significant challenges in the coming season.
Based on a 27-game programme, we will have either 13 or 14 home games at East End Park. It is not entirely clear at this stage, if we would have to play perhaps two or three of the initial home games behind closed doors, or within a ‘socially distanced’ stadium until we are allowed to host matches without any restrictions. If we are playing in a ‘socially distanced’ stadium, the likelihood is that only home supporters would be allowed into the stadium. Therefore, our package needs to be flexible at this stage and we ask for everyone’s understanding of these issues, because we cannot be certain at present of the precise split between games that will be streamed live, games that will be subject to reduced numbers, and normal matches with an unrestricted crowd attendance.
A season ticket card holder would still purchase their “normal” seat, in their favourite stand, but could only be sure of being able to sit in that specific seat when we are operating without any restrictions. In the case of a ‘socially distanced’ stadium, all season ticket card holders would have priority access to a seat. In the event that a small number of matches are played behind closed doors at the start of the campaign, all season ticket card holders will be provided with a free, live stream of the match delivered by a new camera system which will be installed in all Championship grounds for the season. To reward season ticket card holders we will also offer the Betfred Cup group stage matches played at home as part of the package for 2020-21.
All of the DAFC Board genuinely appreciate the efforts of our fan base over many years since we came out of administration in 2013. We are once again faced with yet another challenge along the way which is of not of our making. Your continued support, at this difficult time, would be hugely valued as we try to navigate our way safely through the season ahead of us.
Ross McArthur, Chairman
Read the full statement