On Tuesday night a supporters meeting was held in the Lilywhite Lounge to discuss all aspects of the clubs progress and activity. Dundalk FC’s new 500 Club was discussed in detail and it was announced that there will be a new Dundalk FC Book released by Jim Murphy which will be out prior to Christmas. After the meeting manager Stephen Kenny, players Patrick Hoban, Peter Cherrie and Chris Shields answered questions for the supporters in attendance.
Here is a run-down on what was said on the night:
Dundalk FC Club Chairman Ciaran Bond –
Where we are as a football club:
“When we started off, the whole aim was to stabilise the club both on and off the field. I have to say off the field especially we are way ahead of where we targeted. We will support Stephen and his players, and hopefully come October and early November we will have something to show for it”.
“From a financial point of view, obviously success on the field helps you along the way. We have pluses and minuses. The budget targeted in terms of gates receipts was exceeded by the end of August”
“Sponsorship once again when you are doing well on the field, people tend to row in behind you.”
“From a financial point of view, the football club has only three, if not four avenues to raise money, obviously match nights with gate receipts and programme sales, then the bar sales and merchandise, than after that we are reliant on sponsorship. Then the last batch is fundraising and I have to say unfortunately fundraising hasn’t being one of our stronger aspects. There is plenty of reasons for that and the club takes its share of the blame in not organising things the way we should have done. But generally speaking with the economy the way it is and with people having limited resources in terms of what they can do, fundraising has stumbled a bit. Unfortunately our budget set out was €130,000 and we sit at the moment at €66,000, a massive reduction in what was envisaged”.
The 500 Club:
“Hence the 500 Club, we looked at this and said how we can get supporters more involved. From a business point of view, you look at the areas where we improved, you look at merchandise, sponsorship, gate receipts and we took this club to another level. But I think we need not only get a financial contribution from supporters, but also an input from supporters. I think this is why Club 500 is the way forward”.
“Last week we took 1,500 people to Inchicore, if 500 of those people paid €2 a week that’s a grand a week, that’s €52,000 a year off that shortfall in fundraising wiped out”.
DFC Board Member Simon Blackmore –
What is the 500 Club?
“The club this season is in a different place financially, to maintain where we are and to move ahead we do need another fundraising aspect. But that is not just what the 500 Club is about. One of the aspects of the 500 Club is you will be a club member and you will get first preferences on tickets and other things like that. We can build on different things, once we have a core membership.”
“But it must be said, that one of the most important things is that it is a fundraiser. We tried to pitch it at a level suitable to all supporters. Some people thought the Patron Scheme wasn’t entirely there; it didn’t give people the options to contribute to the club as it was pitched slightly too high. What we tried to do is pitch the 500 Club at a level where anyone can get involved with four membership levels”.
Acorn Financial Service:
“Another aspect is Acorn Financial Service has been very generous in sponsoring the 500 Club. If you go to them and get any financial services, a percentage of that will be kicked back into the club, which will benefit the club and everyone in the long run”.
Jim Murphy’s New Dundalk FC Book: ‘A DUNDALK F.C. MISCELLANY’ –
It was also announced on the night that Jim Murphy is working on another fundraising initiative for the club and will be releasing a new Dundalk FC book, a 350 plus publication which will be out for the Christmas market. There is the option for supporters to get their names in book on the subscribers list at a cost of €10. Advertisements and sponsorship of the book is also available.
Dundalk FC General Manager Paul Johnston stated that: “We all know the stellar work that Jim Murphy does for the club; we are always going to Jim for information and resources. Jim is working again on a new Dundalk FC book which will be out prior to Christmas. I have seen snippets of the book and it’s going to be a very impressive publication”.