Category: News

Consultation on future use of DHST funds

Dulwich Hamlet Supporters’ Trust

Consultation on future use of DHST funds

Position statement – April 2018

Summary

On 28 February 2018, Dulwich Hamlet Supporters’ Trust (DHST) opened a consultation to hear the views of its members in relation to the future use of funds held by the Trust.  The DHST Board recognised that the actions of Meadow Residential since October 2017 have placed severe strain on the Football Club’s finances, and anticipated that this may result in requests to DHST to increase the level of financial support it currently provides to the Club.

The Board is grateful for the many detailed and thoughtful responses we received.  We have considered these, and agreed to adopt the position set out in more detail below.

In summary, DHST will maintain its existing level of financial support to the club.  Further financial support, if requested, will be at the discretion of the Board, also taking into account the outcome of this consultation and advice from Supporters Direct.  The Board would need to be satisfied that such support would be a prudent use of DHST funds, consistent with DHST’s objects and for the benefit of the community served by the Club.

A key outcome of the consultation was that 65% of respondents would defer to the Board in making financial decisions or would support the Board in following the advice of Supporters Direct.

For questions relating to any matters included within this statement please contact DHST via email at info@dhst.org.uk or speak to any Board member on a match day.

DHST Position

  1. The DHST Board must act in accordance with its governing document (the Society Rules); one of which is to follow best practice as advised by Supporters Direct. The Board must act in the way it considers most likely to achieve DHST’s objects, and in accordance with other legal obligations – notably the duty to act with reasonable care, skill and diligence.
  2. DHST intends for profits to be applied in accordance with Rule 6 of its constitution. This means profits will be used to maintain prudent reserves and will be used on expenditure to achieve the Society’s objects.
  3. The overall position that DHST will adopt is that requests for financial support will be considered by the DHST Board and any agreement will be at the discretion of the Board. In considering requests for larger sums the DHST board will consult with Supporters Direct and will also consider the outcome of this consultation. The DHST board will not normally seek a vote of DHST members when considering individual requests for financial support.
  4. The overall position in paragraph 3 is supported by the consultation responses. Sixty-five per cent of respondents expressly stated that they would defer financial decision making to the Board and/or advice of Supporters Direct.
  5. DHST will continue to support the Club financially through existing channels such as the merchandise profit share, sponsorship and fundraising events.
  6. As per advice from Supporters Direct, DHST does not intend to provide financial support unless there is evidence of clear benefit to the long-term future of the Club, its supporters, and the local community that the Club serves.
  7. The DHST Board will ask that requests for financial support from the Club are supported by the information necessary (including financial information) to allow the DHST Board to make an informed decision. The Board also asks that requests are made in good time to allow the DHST board to consult with Supporters Direct and consider as necessary.
  8. As outlined in the consultation, any request for funds that extends beyond those held by the Trust, for example the 100 Club reserves, would require further consultation with the 100 Club contributors.

* * * * * * * * * * *

APPENDICES

  1. Background to the Consultation

Meadow Residential, owners of Champion Hill, withdrew all financial support to the Football Club on 1 November 2017. This followed the abandonment of Meadow’s application to redevelop Champion Hill. Subsequently, Meadow have evicted the Club from Champion Hill which leaves the Club with reduced profit on match days. This has left the Club in a difficult position financially and it is likely that DHST may be asked to help make up any shortfall, although to date no formal requests have been received.

DHST’s constitution requires the board to act in the best interests of the community served by the Football Club and the board therefore asked our members to express their views for the board to consider as part of any financial decision-making process.

  1. Summary of consultation responses

Forty-one eligible respondents participated in the consultation. All respondents were registered members.

Due to the nature of the consultation, some participants expressed more than one view within their response. Each comment has been considered and the frequencies of key themes, as defined by us, are expressed as percentages below. Please note the percentage expresses the number of respondents out of the total which expressed that specific view. Therefore in each case it must not be considered that the opposing view was supported by the remainder of the respondents, merely that the specific theme was not raised.

  1. Support/agreement to defer to the board in making financial decisions (45% of respondents).
  2. Support/agreement to follow advice of Supporters Direct (20% of respondents).
  3. Support/agreement to fund match day operations (22% of respondents).
  4. Support/agreement to fund players’ wages (15% of respondents).
  5. Do not support/agree to fund players’ or management wages (12% of respondents)
  6. No relevant comments or no opinion on this matter (9% of respondents).
  7. Impose a limit of £10,000 on any funds provided (12% of respondents).
  8. The Club should reduce its expenditure (12% of respondents).
  9. DHST should influence how money provided to the Club is spent (7% of respondents).

NB: Point 5 represents 5 respondents who said they would not support / agree to DHST funding the players’ or management wages.

32% of respondents commented that they would support the provision of additional funds from DHST for specific purposes, for example legal costs, VAT bills, for a phoenix club, in exchange for equity, to fulfil other specific objectives, or if it was a loan.

The same percentage of respondents said they would not support DHST offering funds for short term costs – for example, to ‘prop up’ the Club for the remainder of the season. Some respondents commented that they would not support any funds being provided to the club, and others said that DHST should not contribute money unless there was security, a sustainable future, or the funding would enable supporters to gain more direct control over the long term future of the club, in addition to day to day running.

In addition to responses directly related to the transferring of monies to the Club, other points were made through the consultation responses that warrant due consideration.

  • There is a need for assurances that the Club has a sustainable business plan in place.
  • There is a need for greater transparency of the Club finances.
  • There is no point in spending money to achieve promotion if the Club ceases to exist in the future.

March Board Meeting Minutes Published

The full minutes of the DHST Board meeting that took place on 15 March 2018 are now available to read here

Topics covered include an update on the situation at the Club/Champion Hill, membership consultation, merchandise, 12th man fundraiser party, summer fairs and volunteering.

12th Man Fundraiser Party – A Great Success!

On Saturday night we hosted a party at the East Dulwich Tavern to raise funds for the Club’s 12th Man fund. The party was well-attended with great music from our DJs, prizes won in the raffle and some very good prices realised in the auction.

We’re pleased to announce that the money raised from the night is £2340.00!

Thank you to everyone who attended and we hope everyone had an enjoyable time.

We must also extend our sincere thanks to the team at the East Dulwich Tavern for providing the venue free of charge.

Lastly, a big thank you to all individuals and businesses who donated prizes for the raffle and auction:

Porters Barbers   Flock and Herd Butchery   The Palmerston   Mel Hughes   Meat Liquor   Franklin’s   Duncan Palmer Photography   Moxon’s Fishmongers   William Rose Butchers   The Cheese Block   The Honor Oak Handyman   East Dulwich Picturehouse   Sheffield FC   Mark Scoltock   AP from Wrexham FC   DHST   DHFC Former Players Association

 

100 Club Winners – April 2018

The winners of this month’s draw were Bill Collar who won £76.25 and Bill Azzi who won £45.75. Monthly contributions are running at £305 and the total raised now stands at over £34k. Many thanks for your continued support. Head here to fill in a quick and easy online form to be in with a chance of winning next month’s draw.

12th Man Fundraiser Party – The Prizes!

Last week we announced details of our forthcoming party to raise funds for the DHFC 12th Man scheme. We’re delighted to reveal details of raffle and auction prizes up for grabs including details of how you can bid on the auction items prior to the party in case you can’t make it or just want to get your bids in early!

Members who are unable to attend the party are invited to submit starting and maximum bids for auction prizes by email before the party. Successful email bids will be confirmed on Sunday 15 April.

All advance ticket holders will go into a lucky dip draw, on the night, to win a special Dulwich Hamlet goodie bag! The goodie bag includes a DHFC canvas tote bag with 2018 calendar signed by the players and a 1983* crest woolly hat inside. 

*owing to an error by one of our suppliers, we have a limited number of hats with a unique date! 

Raffle prizes

Once again local companies from East Dulwich have kindly donated gifts.  We have a voucher for a Porters Special and £30 worth of products from Porters Barbers; a meal voucher worth up to £40 from Meat Liquor, vouchers from butcher, Flock and Herd worth £50; a voucher for The Palmerston pub and DHST are donating a selection of Kappa teamwear.

image2
Vouchers from local butchery, Flock & Herd

Auction prizes

We have a fantastic range of football shirts available, a Dulwich Hamlet football signed by the current first team; an Edgar Kail T-shirt signed by ex-DHFC players from the Dulwich Hamlet Former Players Association and a selection of signed prints from cartoonist, David Squires including a recent strip which featured Dulwich Hamlet.

We are opening the bidding for the items below from today so if you can’t make the party you can place a bid via email. If you wish to bid for any of the items just email us at merch@dhst.org.uk by midday on Sat 14th April.  If your bid is successful we will contact you on Sunday 15 April to arrange payment and collection of your prize. Please state the lot number you wish to bid for, your opening bid and your final bid.

Lot 1 – 2017/18 Dulwich Hamlet no.3 long sleeve away shirt – Size: XL

Lot 2 – 2015/16 Manchester City away shirt (new with tags) – Size: Small

Lot 3 – 2011/12 New York Cosmos short sleeve away shirt (new with tags) – Size: Large

Lot 4 –  1989/90 Juventus home shirt long sleeve home shirt #11 Size: Large/XL

Lot 5 –  David Squires print – West Ham feat. Dulwich Hamlet

Lot 6 –  2011 Sheffield FC home shirt (no.7) to commemorate 150th year – Size: Large

Lot 7 –  David Squires print – Carlos Valderrama

Lot 8 –  2016/17 Rayo Vallecano replica shirt Size: Large

Lot 9 – David Squires print – England World Cup fail

Lot 10 – David Squires print – Millwall ground chicanery

Lot 11 – Bala football signed by 2017/2018 DHFC players

Lot 12 – Edgar Kail T-Shirt signed by former DHFC Players

Lot 13 – Limited edition signed Sheffield FC football from 150th year (no. 32)

A special thanks to all individuals and businesses that have so far donated items.  We express our sincere thanks to the East Dulwich Tavern and their staff for allowing us to use the space for free and for their continued support of the Football Club.

Football signed by current first team players.
Football signed by current Dulwich Hamlet first team players.
Juventus shirt
1989/90 Juventus Replica Shirt
Dulwich Hamlet Shirt
Dulwich Hamlet Current Season Replica Shirt
2016/17 Rayo Valleccano replica shirt
2016/17 Rayo Valleccano replica shirt
2011/12 New York Cosmos Replica Shirt
2011/12 New York Cosmos Replica Shirt
2011 Sheffield FC Replica Shirt
2011 Sheffield FC Replica Shirt
2015/16 Manchester City Replica Shirt
2015/16 Manchester City Replica Shirt

 

 

DHST 12th Man Fundraising Party – Sat 14 April

On Saturday 14 April, we will be hosting a 12th Man fundraising party upstairs at the East Dulwich Tavern from 7pm – midnight.  All funds raised from the night will go to the Club’s 12thMan Fund.

Supporters attending the ‘home’ game at Tooting & Mitcham’s Imperial Fields Stadium earlier in the day will be able to travel back to East Dulwich for free if they have purchased a ticket in advance for the party.

Tickets, priced £3, will be on sale at Saturday’s away fixture against Burgess Hill Town via Supporters’ Trust Board members and in the club bar (point of sale will be announced before each game) at the next three home fixtures:

Tuesday 10 April v Tonbridge Angels 7:45pm kick off

Thursday 12 April v Dorking Wanderers 7:45pm kick off

Saturday 14 April v Thurrock 3pm kick off

We have provisionally booked 2 coaches and expect to sell enough tickets to run at least one coach but we need to confirm this booking to the coach supplier on Wednesday 11 April so supporters are advised to buy their tickets as early as possible at the games tomorrow and Tuesday.

The party will kick off at 7pm with DJ’s providing entertainment throughout until midnight. In between the dancing, we are going to hold a raffle and auction where we have some fantastic prizes on offer.  Further news on the prizes will be released shortly.

All ticket holders will go into a lucky dip draw, on the night, to win a special Dulwich Hamlet goodie bag!

JuveDH3RayoCosmos

Some of the shirts on offer at the party 

If any individuals or businesses have any items they wish to donate to the raffle and auction, please contact us info@dhfc.org.uk.  A special thanks to all individuals and businesses that have so far donated items.  We express our sincere thanks to the East Dulwich Tavern and their staff for allowing us to use the space for free and for their continued support of the Football Club.

February Board Meeting Minutes Published

The full minutes of the DHST Board meeting that took place on 15 February 2018 are now available to read here

Topics covered include an update on the situation at the Club/Champion Hill, plans to commemorate International Women’s Day, membership consultation, merchandise, and volunteering.

100 Club Winners – March 2018

The winners of this month’s draw were Steve Rickerby who won £76.25 and Kerry Muraszko who won £45.75. Monthly contributions are running at £305 and the total raised now stands at over £34k. Many thanks for your continued support. Head here to fill in a quick and easy online form to be in with a chance of winning next month’s draw.

DHST review of DHFC related financial accounts

Appraisal of Dulwich Hamlet Football Club Ltd abbreviated accounts for the year ended 30 September 2016

In line with objective 3 of our 2016-18 objectives, the Supporters’ Trust is here to ensure that Dulwich Hamlet Football Club is a transparent and well run football club. In order to prepare the club for fan ownership it is vital that we scrutinise any publically available financial information and continue to push for any information that is not readily available to support the understanding of this public information. Continue reading “DHST review of DHFC related financial accounts”

Further Statement on Current Situation with Meadow Residential LLP

On 7 March, Meadow dropped their ill-advised attempt to stop Dulwich Hamlet Football Club using its own name.

Although this was an embarrassing episode for them, it is no real concession: Meadow should not have made its trade mark registrations in the first place, and it is clear that they would not have survived proper legal scrutiny.

The bigger picture is that all the other elements of Meadow’s apparent strategy to push DHFC out of business remain in place.

It appears from Meadow’s latest statement, issued on 7 March, that their development plans still depend on concessions that are unrealistic, in our view, to expect Southwark Council to make.

In those circumstances, we do not understand what good Meadow believe can come from their continued involvement at Champion Hill.

As we said on 7 March, we believe it would be better for everyone – including Meadow – if they sold the land at fair market value on terms which guarantee the future sustainability of the club.  We repeat our call on them to do so.

Whatever course Meadow now take, they must end the strategy of aggression that threatens the club’s existence.

To that end, we are putting the following five propositions to Andrew McDaniel, Michael Tremayne and Didier Colin of Meadow Partners LLP; to Peter Bennison of Meadow Residential LLP; and to Jeffrey M Kaplan of Meadow Partners LLC, which we invite them to agree as a matter of urgency.

  1. Give the club its home back.  Under threat of being locked out of Champion Hill, the club signed a new licence in December 2017, on terms you knew it could not comply with.  We call on you to reinstate that licence immediately, to ensure that the club can fulfil its next home fixture, and commit to replacing it as soon as possible with a new licence negotiated fairly and in good faith, to remain in force for as long as you continue to own and operate Champion Hill.
  2. Withdraw the statutory demand, and stop using alleged debts incurred on your watch to threaten the club.  It is unconscionable for you to claim rent and other sums that you would not have pursued if your planning application had succeeded. And it is well established that it is generally impermissible to pursue disputed debts by way of insolvency proceedings.
  3. Agree to pay over match day bar profits to the club, going back to 1 November 2017, and going forward.  When you announced your withdrawal of financial support from the club in October 2017, you did not make it clear the club would not receive bar profits, and only informed it that it would not a few weeks ago.  It is the club’s activities, and the loyalty of its supporters, that generate these profits, and they should be allocated to the club.
  4. We call on you to honour all player and staff contracts entered into on your watch, and to reinstate the bar and support staff who were let go last week. Our players and staff are ordinary members of our community, working extra jobs to support themselves and their families.  Withdrawing or threatening a key source of their income has huge consequences for them.  You agreed the wage budget for the 2017/18 season, and players and staff were entitled to rely on the assurance that they would receive an income until the end of the season.
  5. Please remove the unnecessary fencing you’ve put up on the access road to Green Dale behind the stadium.

* * *

We do not intend to comment in detail on Meadow’s statement of 7 March, but there are a couple of points we should address.

First, Meadow’s statement presented their registration of the trade marks as a step taken for the club’s benefit, in the context of “discussions over a memorandum of understanding and ultimate handover [of the club] to DHST”.  This may suggest that we knew about the trade marks when they were registered.  To be clear, we did not: we had no idea they existed until we saw a copy of Blake Morgan’s letter threatening the club.  The updated MoU was signed in March 2017.  The trade mark applications were made, without informing DHST, in October 2017.  This coincides with the withdrawal of the planning appeals, the discontinuance of DHFC Limited’s claim (as an integral part of the planning application) to extend its lease over Green Dale, and Meadow’s announcement that it was withdrawing financial support from the club.

Second, the statement refers to Southwark taking legal action against the Club.  Again, to be clear, the Green Dale lease proceedings were brought by DHFC Limited on Meadow’s watch against Southwark.  When DHFC Limited discontinued that claim, Southwark automatically became entitled to an order that DHFC Limited pay its costs.  But Southwark has not, to the best of our knowledge, pursued DHFC Limited for those costs.  This is in keeping with the clear public statements made by its leader, Peter John, and by the Council Assembly in unanimously passing a motion in support of the club – and is in contrast to the approach Meadow have taken to the debts they say they are owed by DHFC Limited.

Finally, we’d like to place on record our thanks to Tooting and Mitcham United for agreeing to share their ground with the club, and to the countless individuals who have shown their support for the club in different ways over recent days.

We’ll continue to keep our members updated whenever we’re able to do so.

DHST