Author: Peter Wright

Dulwich Hamlet Supporters’ Trust Statement regarding recent actions by Meadow Residential LLP

On 5 March 2018 Meadow Residential (acting through a connected licensor company) purported to terminate Dulwich Hamlet Football Club’s (DHFC Ltd) licence to play at Champion Hill, with immediate effect.

A few days before, a statutory demand was served on the Club for £121k in backdated rent and other charges, said to have been accrued since the 2013-14 season (predominantly, therefore, during the period in which Meadow and its predecessor controlled DHFC Ltd).

On 6 March Blake Morgan LLP, solicitors representing “Greendales IP LLC” (a Delaware corporation assumed to be connected to Meadow) informed DHFC Limited that Greendales had (last October) registered the words “Dulwich Hamlet Football Club”, “DHFC” and “The Hamlet” as trademarks, and demanded that the Club immediately cease using these words “on any printed literature and any online activity including websites and twitter”.

These bizarre and punitive moves effectively leave our 125 year-old club homeless and nameless – barely a year after Meadow co-owner Peter Bennison signed an updated memorandum of understanding (MOU) with DHST committing Meadow to ‘ensure the financial sustainability’ of the football club ‘irrespective of the outcome of the planning application’.  Meadow’s actions in the past week appear to us to be a clear and unconscionable attempt to force the club into liquidation.

DHST honoured its commitments under the MOU to support Meadow’s plans.  So too did the volunteer members of the Club’s football committee and the many supporters who wrote letters of support.

It now seems clear to us that there can be no future for any development involving Meadow at Champion Hill.  There is only one honourable and responsible course for them now to take: to withdraw the statutory demand, reassign the trademark registrations, withdraw the termination of the licence and arrange the sale of Champion Hill at fair market value to Southwark Council or another party on terms that address any historic debt issues affecting the club.

Earlier today, Meadow contacted us and signalled their intention to transfer the trademarks to DHST. Whilst transferring fundamental assets of this Club, such as its name, back to its supporters is welcome, it’s disappointing that action is even necessary.

Adversity has demonstrated the value of this club to our community.  It is not too late for Andrew McDaniel and Peter Bennison to step back from the brink and resolve this matter with honour.  We call on them to accept that Meadow’s involvement at Champion Hill must now end, and to enter into good faith negotiations with interested parties for the rapid sale of Champion Hill on terms that give absolute priority to its long term sustainability.

DHST remains committed to its objectives and hope that this sorry saga is concluded rapidly, that we might continue to pursue them and fully realise our goal of a permanent sustainable home for DHFC in East Dulwich.

On the 6 of March DHST and Football Committee representatives attended the Houses of Parliament to meet with a number of the Club’s supporters in parliament and update them on recent developments. We thank MP’s Helen Hayes, Dr Rosena Allin-Khan and Harriet Harman as well as Lord Roy Kennedy for their ongoing support. We also thank London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Leader of Southwark Council Peter John for their continued assistance.

Finally, we would like to thank all our members for their continued support. Together, we cannot and will not let this club go without an almighty fight.

The club and DHST need your help to continue the struggle. We ask you to please contact your local MP, councillors and London Assembly members. This can be done through www.writetothem.com or by sending them a letter.  When contacting them, please consider the following:

  • DHFC is an important community asset that has received national recognition for its inclusive values, but that its existence is under threat from the property developers who control the ground.
  • Make the message personal and interesting. Tell them what the club means to you and what an asset it is to the local area.
  • Consider the impact of the club on your family – if you have older family members with memories of years gone by these stories need to be told, or similarly the young passion of your children.
  • Ask for their support of the club during the current situation.

Please note that personalised messages will always garner more attention and you must contact your local representatives even if they are not in Southwark. Physical letters are often particularly effective but any contact is useful. Be sure to use emotion, personal perspectives and even humour in any correspondence as this is particularly useful in garnering attention from people who receive a large volume of mail.

DHFC is just one of many clubs who have faced and will face this kind of hostility. This action doesn’t and should not end with DHFC, we must fight for grassroots football whenever and wherever we can.

With your help we can secure the future of this football club – please spread the word.

Many thanks,

DHST

DHST Statement Regarding Ongoing Developments

Earlier today the Football Committee issued a statement outlining the current situation following Meadow’s confirmation that, as of 1 November they would be withdrawing from processing payments and managing the finances of DHFC Ltd (company that owns the Football Club).

Clearly, these are worrying times for everyone associated with the Club. DHST is working hard to help major stakeholders reach a stable resolution as soon as possible. We would echo the Committee’s point that there are a number of pre-requisites to be met before they can consider taking on the responsibilities of the Club’s owner, Nick McCormack. DHST will continue working toward its objectives and for the best interests of the football club and our supporters.

Poster Partners Scheme

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Many of you may have seen DHFC fixture posters at matches or in the local area. These are commissioned and disseminated by a group of volunteers on behalf of DHST.

For a couple of years we have been doing this informally to assist the club in raising its profile locally.  We hope this has contributed to the club becoming the best supported in the league.

Our September poster is out now!

We would now like to formalize and widen this initiative.

DHST has been approaching businesses in the local area to become ‘poster partners’. This entails them agreeing to place a fixture poster on their premises each month.

This serves a dual purpose, it keeps our fans informed and creates even greater awareness of the club in South London. It also involves local businesses with the club which we hope will stimulate important investment in the club through sponsorship.

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  1. We need volunteers to help put up posters in the local area.
  2. We need introductions to local businesses, societies, employers who might get involved with the scheme

If you think you might be able to assist us in this endeavour please contact us via email:

info@dhst.org.uk

Any level of help would be appreciated, posters can be printed out by following this link or a supply will be available at the club on match days.

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The Phoenix

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A Thank You to Our Volunteers

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Members of the ASPIRE Academy helping give out leaflets as part of the Support our Stadium campaign

Dulwich fans at the game vs. Macclesfield Town yesterday may have noticed a number of people assisting with activities in and around the ground before, during and after the match. This helped make the day the massive success it was. We would like to thank:

ASPIRE academy members, Clare Keeble, Chris Gilbart, Diane Williamson, Mike Wooton and Scott Barnett for their assistance in disseminating leaflets in support of our new stadium development. We would also like to thank Meadow for providing financial assistance to produce these leaflets.

We would like to thank Sarah Binns and Peter Campbell for assisting with sales of 50/50 tickets and Alexander Myers for helping with programme sales.

Finally, we would like to thank Thomas Adams and Clare Keeble (once more!) for their assistance with the DHST mega-container operations.

Our volunteers were supported as usual by DHST board members, so thanks to them as well.

If we’ve missed anyone out, we apologise and do let us know so we can correct!

Volunteering is an essential component of a community football club and will become ever more essential as we move towards fan ownership. If you feel inspired to help we always need volunteers. You can email us at info@dhst.org.uk

 

 

 

 

 

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XI reasons to join DHST

Brixton’s premier news site and long-time supporters of Dulwich Hamlet FC, Brixton Buzz, have just published eleven reasons to join Dulwich Hamlet Supporters’ Trust as a member. Follow this link to find out what they are!

We recently launched our #JoinWithJack initiative to add more members to our already fast growing Supporters’ Trust.

You can join via his site or at the Mega-Container on any matchday.  Thanks for your support!

 

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Join DHST with President Jack!

We are always delighted when fans join up to the Trust.  It’s rewarding to see fans appreciating the work we are doing for the club. We are particularly pleased that all the club’s Football Committee are now members. This is a fantastic recognition of the work that the Trust Board are putting in alongside other volunteers (such as those on said committee) to make Dulwich Hamlet a success.  Our latest recruit was former Chair of the Club and now President, Jack Payne. Jack signed his form by the Mega-Container before the game last Saturday with our membership secretary (Peter Wright) on the left and Chair (Duncan Hart) on the right.

Membership of DHST supports our continued work for Dulwich Hamlet FC. Our objectives are that Dulwich Hamlet Football Club:

  • has a secure long-term home in East Dulwich
  • is fully owned by its supporters
  • is a transparent and well run Football Club
  • has a growing Supporters’ Trust that communicates regularly with its members
  • has strong links with all fans and the surrounding community

Continue reading “Join DHST with President Jack!”