Dumbarton Football Club - Sons of the Rock 1872

CLUB STATEMENT: KEEPING GOING IN TOUGH TIMES

Thursday 14th May 2020

DUMBARTON FC remains keen to keep our supporters up-to-date with current developments as best we can.

First, we would like to emphasise, as we have before, the importance of the fans and our immense gratitude for the generous support the club has received through direct donations and the Support Our Sons crowdfunding initiative.

Income challenge

With the premature ending of the season the club has lost a significant, five figure sum in terms of income. This comes from a variety of places including gate money, hospitality, events, fundraisers and numerous other smaller but profitable activities or sponsorships. Many of these are driven by volunteers from across our fan base, and from the Sons Supporters Trust (Sonstrust). All are all key to our success, as is our relationship with our main sponsors, who are also under immense pressure.

Season tickets

We are extremely grateful to fans who have so far purchased their Premier Ticket for next Season. However, we have made the difficult decision that we cannot yet put standard early season ticket sales on offer until we better understand the timing of next season. This income stream, as in previous seasons, would have helped us get through the "off season" in terms of cashflow.

Players

While we have furloughed our playing staff, we made the decision to honour their contracts and, with their support, we have extended the payment period to help us with cashflow. We are keeping the situation with regard to contracts under close review, and staying in touch with players through our manager. We are very grateful to all involved at this difficult time for all of us.

Ongoing costs

Like most small businesses we are obligated with costs from contracts and work on a month-to-month basis. Wherever possible we have cancelled or paused items of expenditure, but there are many costs that remain ongoing. The building needs to be insured , we outsource our payroll, we cannot leave the pitch untreated and we have costs for the groundsman (who has been very accommodating in helping to minimise these). Even so, machines need to be repaired, blades sharpened, feed purchased for the park and so on. Then there is water, electricity, other utilities, phones and the IT network, bank fees, staff costs, equipment maintenance and other smaller items that all add up.

Moreover, since we operate month-to-month, we need to work with suppliers to help us through peaks and troughs, so there are agreed delayed payment plans from the last few months. While that helped us, we have liabilities due while many income streams have disappeared.

Crowdfunding lifeline

For this reason, the club is incredibly grateful for the crowdfunding, which has now reached over 23,000 and has been vital in helping us keep going so far. We are very keen to meet the 25,000 target by the end of the month (perhaps by the 25th!) and we will be working hard to achieve that.

In the meantime, the Club Board (who are all volunteers) and our General Manager, who is doing a fantastic job during lockdown, continue to work all avenues to ensure that our football club survives and thrives.

Moving forward

We are constantly reviewing our position and looking at different scenarios moving forward, which as everyone will appreciate is not easy. Those scenarios have to include unpalatable ones that include no or very limited gate income until the calendar year 2021. Other income streams therefore need to be worked even harder, and we will be rolling out some fresh initiatives in the coming weeks which we hope you will all get behind – though we are very mindful of the pressures that our supporters and the local community are under, too.

Stay positive, stay safe

The Club Board and our volunteers are committed to doing all in their powers to protect the club while we continue to face these challenges. With the continual backing of our fans, we have a fighting chance. But the next few months will be crucial as we look to drive income.

Finally, and most importantly, please keep safe and well, follow the guidelines coming from the Scottish Government, stay indoors, and protect the NHS. Let's also remain positive, and let's hope we can all get back together soon to support our Sons at the C&G Systems Stadium!

Club Chairman and Board

* The Support Our Sons fundraising page is here. If you can make a donation, top up an existing one or even share the link to the page, this will be very much appreciated.