Chairmans Update October

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Dundee FC Supporters’ Society Chairman’s report September 2014

Dear Members,

This is my, much overdue, first report of the new season. To be honest, I have been putting it off as I didn’t think I had a lot to mention, but as I sit down now and list my bullet points it is clear to me that there has in fact been quite a bit going on in the back ground these last couple of months.

Over the summer and early autumn, Society meetings have been hard to arrange, due to holidays and work commitments and it was of course important that when we met there was a quorum to be able to make decisions. We have also had a couple of board members and volunteers stand down, and a new volunteer coming onboard. This all needs time to bed in, and any slack picked up by others. We are currently focused on getting our financial accounts audited and the planning process for our AGM.

Graham Pert. Due to work commitments, Graham informed the Society Board at the beginning of August of his intention to stand down. Graham was originally a member of the Development Committee (DC) during the summer of 2013, before leaving the DC and putting himself forward for election to the Society Board at the SGM in August 2013. After being elected, he worked very hard for our members, taking responsibility for memberships and overseeing the introduction of annual membership as well as running the Club Dundee Platinum Club along with many other tasks and general Society work. He has been an excellent Society Director and his standing down leaves a large hole in the Society, which will be hard to fill. He goes with our best wishes and thanks, and would always be welcomed back in the future.

Chris Wallace. Chris has also decided to take a rest and step down from the Society Board. Chris has recently found it increasingly difficult to commit the time and effort required to play an active part on the Society Board, and decided it would be better to stand down and create a position that could be filled with a new board member. Chris was Vice Chairman of the Society and provided excellent support to myself as Chairman. Chris was also our link with Supporters Direct and his shoes will be hard to fill in this important area. The Society would like to express our thanks and best wishes to Chris for the future

Volunteers. A couple of long standing volunteers have also decided the time was right to take a rest from their Society work. Nicky, our memberships volunteer, stood down in August due to work commitments which meant she increasingly found it difficult to spend as much time on volunteering as she used to be able to do, and Robin who collected and arranged the Society mail for a number of years has also decided to step down and take a rest. Both these volunteers have been a massive part of the Society infrastructure for more years than I can remember and they certainly go with our best wishes and thanks.

We have recently recruited a memberships volunteer to replace Nicky and welcome Andy Prunty onboard and wish him the best of luck as he continues to get to grips with the complexity of annual memberships.

Fresh Blood. As always, even before the aforementioned resignations, the Society is always looking for others who would like to help out. Whether that is as a volunteer in the background, or as an elected or co-opted Board Member, we would be delighted to hear from you. No prior Board experience is necessary, just be enthusiastic and hardworking and we will find a role for you. If you do feel you could contribute, please email me direct at: peter.campbell@dee4life.com.

Season Tickets and Society Membership. How fantastic it was to hear that the Club has sold over 4000 season tickets. This is an excellent effort by the fans many of whom are also Society members. Since the introduction of Annual Membership to the Society, the response has exceeded our expectations. There may be some new members yet to receive their membership packs and this is mainly down to us having to reorder badges and membership cards as demand was higher than expected, not that we are complaining!
Most of Club Dundee members should by now have received the excellent 2013/14 Goals DVD, and I would urge any Club Dundee member not yet in receipt of it to get in touch with the Society on: contact@dee4life.com

DSA. I would like to send best wishes and good luck to the new DSA committee that was formed at the DSA AGM at the beginning of August. Kenny Ross (Chairman), Dave Forbes (Vice Chairman), were elected to form the new DSA committee along with Jacqui Robertson who was the only remaining DSA Committee member from last season. I am sure under their stewardship, the DSA will go from strength to strength. At the DSA AGM, member clubs decided that they wished to go back to being an independent group and Kenny has already begun the process for this to happen. Although this will have to be rubber stamped at the next Society meeting the DSA go with our blessing.

Audit of Society Accounts and AGM Planning. As I mentioned earlier, we are now working hard on getting our accounts, to the end of the financial year 2013/14 audited, and they are now with our auditors. Planning for the AGM continues and I would hope to be able to confirm the 6th December 2014 as the date shortly. There will be an enrolling cut-off date for members to be able to attend the AGM, meaning that past members who have not taken out a new annual membership by that date will not be allow to attend the AGM. This is normal practice, and we will definitely be giving plenty of notice.

Society work in and around Dens. Some of you may have noticed that the Gents toilets in the South Enclosure are currently being refurbished. This is a project that the Society undertook and has paid for, with the toilets now having a new roof and door installed as well as a coat of fresh paint. The outside is still to be painted but it is hoped this will be done soon. We were also approached by the Football Club to fund a fans mosaic at the top of the old South Enclosure steps. Following careful consideration and after consulting a number of our members we came to the decision that this might not prove popular and declined the request. However we are as always open to ideas and suggestions on where our members feel their money should be spent. Members are always encouraged to contact us via: contact@dee4life.com, and if you have any suggestions please get in touch. We are looking, in the near future, to fund the painting of the exterior wall on Dens from Dens Road to Provost Road, we have the money and quote in place for the painting of the wall but understand that rendering work needs to be done first and are awaiting the quote for this work and the painting prior to giving final approval. Another idea that’s been suggested is to bring back the Bobby Cox Televisions. We are currently considering providing a couple of large screen TV’s in the Bobby Cox concourse which would allow us to screen DFCTV adverts and also link in to the live feed during games. This is at the early planning stage and no final decision has been made as yet, but it gives you an idea of the things the Society can do to enhance our supporters experience on match days.

Survey. The Society Board is clear about the general direction it is heading in, however the Football Club today is a very different one to a few years ago, therefore it’s important that we, as a Board, are steering the Society in the direction that the majority of our members want us to go. Therefore, we are about to embark on an email survey of members views to ensure that our vision is consistent with our members vision, so please look out for this survey hitting your inboxes soon, and can I please ask that you take the time to respond and help us to help you.

Dens Park Buy Back Proposal. I am sorry that there has been no update on this. A viable proposal (in my opinion) was presented to the Club Chairman at the end of last season, it was then brought up at a subsequent Club Board meeting and we are seeking the Club’s blessing to take it forward to the next stage. It is ambitious, there is no doubt in that, however it has been achieved at another Scottish Football Club, which has been through its own difficulties, and does not have the supporter base that Dundee FC possesses. It is a 3 year plus plan, which if successful would see the funds being raised to purchase the stadium back from Mr Bennett. It is not a scheme to enable the Society to own the stadium, we will simply administer the scheme, and if it is successful and the stadium is purchased back, then the stadium will be placed in a separate trust to protect it for evermore. There is a caveat, that during the fund raising process, all monies donated will be accounted for and we will know what every contributor has donated. If then, in the future, the scheme is not successful or if something changes that the scheme is no longer required to purchase the stadium, every contributor will be asked if they wish their money back, or if they would prefer to donate it to youth development at the Football Club. This obviously relates to direct donations only and not any money thrown into a collecting bucket for example. As I said previously, this is in my opinion a viable proposal, that has been successful elsewhere in Scottish Football, it would take a lot of time and effort and donations but it does give us, as Dundee FC supporters, a target to aim for and the Society and others are keen to get this launched as soon as possible now that season ticket sales are out of the way. We hope to receive the Football Club Board’s blessing to move this forward, and when I’m in a position to share more news with you, and hopefully give a launch date, I will.

In the meantime - Keep the Blue Flag Flying High,

Peter Campbell
Chairman
Dundee FC Supporters’ Society.