Frequently Asked Questions

The Trust

What is a Supporters’ Trust?

A Supporters’ Trust is an independent, democratic, not-for-profit, community-based organisation that seeks to give the fans a collective voice in the running of the club.

Broadly speaking, Supporters’ Trusts try to get:-

  • Influence – the formation and running of representative bodies for supporters.
  • Ownership – the acquisition of shares in the football club to pool the voting power of individual supporters to further the aims and objects of the Supporters Trust.
  • Representation – securing the democratic election of supporters representatives to the Boards of Directors of individual football clubs.
What is Dulwich Hamlet Supporters’ Trust (DHST) ?

DHST is a Supporters’ Trust. It aims to secure a sustainable future for the football club by increasing supporter involvement in its running. We also believe the club should be run in the interests of the supporters and wider community it serves. It seeks to give the collective voice of fans are heard in key decision-making and future planning, particularly with regards to ensuring there is a sustainable and viable ground for the club, for now and for future generations.

DHST was set up along the lines recommended by Supporters Direct.

Who runs DHST?

DHST is run by a Board which (if there are sufficient candidates) is elected by the membership on an annual basis. This process takes place each spring, prior to our AGM in the summer, details of which are sent to all members.

Click here for details of the current board members.

What are the objectives of the Trust?

The Trust sets objectives to cover each two year membership period. Those for 2012 – 2014 are shown here.

There are two main thrusts to what we do.

Firstly, helping the club now as much as we can either directly (sponsoring matches, buying the away kit, running the shop) or indirectly by raising the profile of the club locally to boost attendances. The shop obviously also provides a valuable service to all supporters.

Secondly, trying to ensure Dulwich Hamlet’s long term future. Like most non-league clubs, Dulwich lead a precarious existence and also play on a potentially valuable piece of inner London land. So we try to monitor the developments at the club and with the ground and respond where necessary.

We also run a monthly lottery which was set up to grow a ring-fenced fund which would be invested in the club when (but only when) agreement could be reached with the club that gave supporters a meaningful influence in the running of the club (e.g. through buying shares). This has not been possible so far, although we hope to have talks on the matter soon. The fund now stands at over £23,000 – which is also a excellent ‘rainy day’ fund should something unexpected and untoward happen to the club.

What has DHST done recently?

Since 2010, Dulwich Hamlet Supporters’ Trust has:-

  • paid for advertising and provided a page of news to the SE22 magazine, raising the club’s profile in the area aiming to boost attendances
  • placed posters in key local businesses advertising forthcoming fixtures
  • bought a new shed in which to re-open the Club Shop. This raises funds for both the Club and the Trust and provides a service to supporters. In our first year of operation we sold over £5,000 of souvenirs to supporters
  • analysed and responded to the ground development plans proposed by the Club, submitting professionally drafted responses to the council
  • subsidised the Supporters’ coach to the final away match in  2011/12
  • sponsored two home matches
  • bought, and become kit sponsor for, a new Sky Blue and White Away Strip
Who are Supporters Direct?

Supporters Direct is a government initiative whose aim is to help people who wish to play a responsible part in the life of the football club they support and, as such, they offer support, advice and information to groups of football supporters.

Supporters Direct recommend that Trusts be registered as an Industrial and Provident Society (IPS) with the Financial Services Authority (FSA). Due to the fact that it is registered as an IPS, there are certain requirements that it has to meet, and other things that it cannot do. In particular, the FSA will not register any amendment to the Rules which is not in accordance with the democratic and community benefit principles established in the Trust’s constitution.

Is DHST an Industrial and Provident Society?


What is an Industrial and Provident Society and how does it work?

An IPS belongs to its membership, literally. Every member will own one share, with a value of £1, in the Trust. Those shares cannot be traded or transferred.

Everything that DHST does will be guided and controlled by its Constitution. The Constitution guarantees that:

DHST must operate for the benefit of the community that it serves.

DHST’s members and its officers will not profit from DHST.

FSA operates a model rule system and monitors changes from the model. They will not register rule changes that fall foul of the constitution or the legal requirements for a DHST.

A copy of the Constitution is available on request – please contact us.

Why use this IPS constitution?

The constitution itself provides safeguards to supporters to ensure that it is run correctly and effectively, and no-one can run off with your money.

So for instance, DHST has to file annual reports, that are independently checked, and audited accounts have to be presented to DHST’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) and to the FSA. As a further safeguard, groups may co-opt a number of independent co-optees, unconnected with DHST, who can act as monitors of the DHST’s actions.

What happens if the Trust is ever dissolved?

If the IPS ceases to exist or is dissolved by the membership, any assets remaining after the satisfaction of all debts and liabilities will be transferred to

  • a sporting charity or charities operating in the area
  • one or more societies established for the benefit of the community operating in the area
  • one or more societies established for the benefit of the community, according to the membership’s wishes

Joining The Trust

Why should I join?

Your membership shows that you support the Trust’s aims of helping Dulwich Hamlet to have a secure future, and that the Trust is as representative as possible of the supporters more widely. It is a great encouragement for the Board to know that the Trust has a large and growing membership.

The membership fee (which is normally £10 for two years) helps fund our activities which in the last two seasons have been considerably more than our income. This includes:

  • Buying the shed from which to operate the shop;
  • Sponsoring two home matches (raffling the resultant free tickets to members);
  • Buying the next away kit for the club;
  • Paying for adverts in SE22 magazine;
  • Buying shop stock;
  • Subsidising the supporters’ coach to the last away game last season.
How much is it to join?

Membership periods run for two years. The current period runs from 1st February 2012 to 31st January 2014.

Membership costs just £10 for two years for adults, £2 for juniors (under 16s) and £50 for corporate membership.

As a special offer recognizing that the fact that we are halfway through the two year period, you can join now for just £3 for adults, £1 for juniors.

Who can join DHST?

Membership can be open to any person, corporate body or firm who is a supporter of the club, or has an interest in the game of football in the area, and who agrees to be bound by the rules of DHST. The constitution contains machinery for expulsion of members under appropriate circumstances and reserves the committee’s right to refuse membership applications.

All members own one share, with a nominal value of £1, and these may not be withdrawn, traded or transferred. Once individual membership ceases the share registered in the name of that member will be cancelled and the amount subscribed for the value of the share becomes the property of DHST. Shares carry no right to interest, dividend or bonus.

How does the Trust communicate with its members?

We send a newsletter to members at least three times a year either electronically or by post. We have this website which has been completely revamped. The AGM each summer is also an open meeting to which all members are invited.

How can members communicate with the Trust?

We can usually be found around the Club Shop (which we run) inside the ground on matchdays. You can use any of the contact methods shown elsewhere on this website.

Is there anything I can help with?

The board are always looking for fresh blood, new ideas, and help from supporters, however large or small.

All and any skills are welcome. If you (or someone you know) could help us, please get in touch.

How many members does the Trust have?

We currently have approximately 100 members. We are proud to have had our local MP as a member from our inception. Following recent boundary changes this is currently the Rt Hon Harriett Harman MP, Deputy Leader of the Opposition.

The Ground

Is it true that the freeholders of the ground are in administration?

Yes. The freeholders, DHPD Ltd. went into administration on 31st May 2012.

What is the background to the situation?

In 2008, the long standing freehold owners of the ground, Kings’ College sold the freehold to DHPD Ltd. for £1.2m. DHPD Ltd. was a newly formed company whose business is described in the Companies House listing as ‘development of building projects’.

It’s sole director was named as Eren Muduroglu, brother of Sami Muduroglu, former owner of Fisher Athletic, who is believed to have been behind the unsuccessful attempt to develop flats on their Salter Road ground, since when Salter Road has become derelict, Fisher Athletic have ground shared with Dulwich, fallen down from the Conference, gone bust and been re-formed as Fisher FC in the Kent League.

Where did the £1.2m come from?

The £1.2m to fund the purchase appears to have been borrowed from a company called Northfleet Ltd, based at a postal address in the Isle of Man.

How does DHPD Ltd. relate to Dulwich Hamlet Football Club Ltd.?

They are separate companies. Almost all the shares in the football club are owned by Nick McCormack who is believed to be at least loosely connected with the ground owners. The football club has a lease with DHPD Ltd. which is understood to have been recently renewed, although it is not clear how long the lease is for.

Is it possible for companies like DHPD Ltd. to develop Champion Hill?

There are planning restrictions on the Champion Hill. Greendales (the five a side pitches behind the far end) are on Metropolitan Open Land (MOL), where new building is very difficult. The football pitch has a lesser designation of  ‘Other Open Space’ (OOS). This was obtained in 2007 after a long, successful lobbying campaign by DHST to gain the protection against possible development. OOS status means that no development will normally be permitted unless equivalent facilities are provided within 400 metres of the site. There is also a Section 106 Covenant dating from 1990 that restricts use of the property to recreational, leisure or educational purposes, but the protection this will give in practice is uncertain as the Council could decide to release this covenant.

Have DHPD Ltd. tried to develop at Champion Hill?

We are aware of two schemes launched by the owners to develop at Champion Hill. Firstly a scheme to build 60 flats on the car park was developed in 2010 and details were explained to supporters and local residents at the time. After submitting formal applications to Southwark Council the scheme was withdrawn in November 2010 without explanation.

The second scheme was to build a new stadium on the Greendale site behind the ground. This scheme was not discussed with or even mentioned to supporters and although the facilities were minimalist and below that formally required for Ryman league football, it was rejected by the council in February 2012, principally because building on Metropolitan Open Land would contravene council policies.

What is the progress on administration?

As stated elsewhere on May 31st 2012, DHPD Ltd. went into administration, although this only emerged after the new season had begun. In late December the administrators (Harris Lipman, based in North London) placed a progress report before the High Court which indicated they were in talks with a number of possible parties. The report mentions the land being developed into ‘residential accommodation prior to a sale or alternatively to obtain planning permission and sell the land in an undeveloped state.’

It then states that the time frame for planning permission could be too lengthy and that instead ‘it may well be that the site is marketed as is.’ The report contains no mention of the fact that football is currently played on the site.

What are the implications of DHPD Ltd.’s administration for Dulwich Hamlet?

Potentially the implications are very serious. For a start there could be a question mark over the lease that the club hold with the freeholder, when that freeholder is in administration although there are no signs of that at present.

Secondly it is clear that the land only has a value (and thus a potential to deliver a return to secured creditors) as a site for residential development.

What are the possible outcomes of DHPD Ltd.’s administration?

At this point it must be stressed we are entering the realm of speculation – but the following scenarios seem possible:- Scenario 1 – Closure

The freehold is sold to another property development company. This company somehow manages to get planning permission or engineers the demise of the football club (perhaps by increasing the rent, or by taking over the club and running it down). Eventually the ground is built upon in preference to becoming an eyesore.

source Scenario 2- Continued uncertainty

The club continues to stumble on, with budget cuts and general uncertainty causing the progress of recent years off the pitch to reverse, with declining performance and local interest. The future continues to be completely uncertain and out of the hands of supporters. Scenario 3 – A new era

Entry into administration provides an opportunity for new investors to come forward, buy the ground and the football club and take it forward to the Ryman Premier Division and Conference. Such investors would still probably wish to develop the site in some way, but in a way consistent with a Dulwich Hamlet continuing to play in East Dulwich.

Surely talk of closure is scaremongering?

Not at all – many clubs in both the league and non league levels have found themselves without a ground or facing extinction due to the actions of property developers. In London the problem has been particularly acute with many non-league clubs closing, merging or moving over the last 20 to 30 years – including our neighbours Fisher Athletic.

100 Club

What is the objective of the 100 Club and what will the funds raised be used for?

Dulwich Hamlet Supporters’ Trust has operated a 100 Club lottery since 2004. The objective is to raise funds to invest in the Club for the benefit of supporters whilst also at the same time acquiring a significant shareholding that would enable it to have a meaningful influence on behalf of supporters in the way the club is run.

Over the years, it has not been possible to agree terms on which the money could be invested. The last attempt was in early 2007 when there were discussions about a loan from the Trust to the Club, but these came to nothing. Between that time and 2012, there have been no discussions on the subject of the 100 Club funds with the Club. However, in late 2012, the football club indicated a willingness to offer shares and the Trust will be following this up with the club’s owner, although clearly any view on whether and how to invest will be strongly influenced by the situation with regard to the freehold on the ground.

How do I join the 100 Club?

Click here to find out about joining the 100 Club.

How long do I have to commit to my payments to the 100 Club?

We would like participants to commit for a season, but there is no minimum requirement.

What is the minimum payment?

Under the legislation governing the 100 Club, we must allow contributions as low as £1 a month, but we hope that most members will contribute at least £10.

Can fans less than 16 years of age join?

No, legally this is not possible.

I want to stop my payments to the 100 Club.

Simply stop the standing order, and inform DHST so we can update our records.

Is there a penalty for pulling out of the scheme?


How does this differ from the 1893 Club and the 12th Man fund?

The 1893 Club Lottery is run by the football club and the money raised is usually passed to the club for specific purposes but without seeking to obtain any wider influence.

The 12th Man fund is not a lottery, but seeks donations that are passed directly to the manager to supplement his agreed playing budget.

Both schemes are fantastic ways of raising money in the cause of supporting Dulwich Hamlet FC and many people contribute to two or all three of the fund raising schemes in place.

Why does the Trust seek to secure shares? Why do DHST not just give the 100 Club money over to the club for nothing?

In the past supporters groups at various football clubs have given sums of money to those managing the football club without receiving anything in return. They have done this out of love for their club. Later however some of these fans’ groups have found themselves ignored and even, at times, exploited by the club’s owners. DHST does not want to end up in the same situation and so it follows the advice of Supporters Direct, a government backed organisation that helps and advises fans on how to acquire shareholding stakes in the football clubs that they support, and asks for shares in return for the money that fans have raised.

The real value of shares is that they provide a lasting influence in the club and give the fans rights to have their real say in how things are running. And the more shares you have, the more say you have. Click here to see what rights shares give you. Having more of a say in how the club is run allows DHST to ensure the football is run correctly according to company (for instance holding AGMs) and listens to it’s fans.

Shares also bind the Trust, the club and the community together. Organisations and directors of football clubs come and go, but DHST aims to be here not just for this generation of fans, but also the next. One of the reasons it will last is because it is a shareholder and will pass these on to the next generation of supporters who in turn will be guaranteed a voice in the club.

Getting shares for investment also ensures that the money goes into Dulwich Hamlet Foootball Club. The danger of just handing over monies and not receiving any shares in return then there is no way of ensuring that the money is spent on DHFC. Whereas if you get shares the money appears in the DHFC Ltd’s audited accounts and you know for sure it is spent on Dulwich Hamlet Football Club.

Examples of the different levels of influence that shares give are as follows:

  • Just 1 share or above allows you to get copies of accounts, notice of AGM, attend AGM, see the shareholder list, get Articles of Association etc.
  • 5% of shares allows a veto to be put on directors reducing the notice period for General Meetings (this could be useful as it prevents the ‘shotgun’ General Meeting scenario whereby the Club holds a General Meeting at a really awkward time without any notice so to push through a motion that people might find contentious;
  • 10% of shares entitles us to (a) call a poll at a General Meeting (b) call a General Meeting itself and, for instance, put a motion of no confidence to the board (both of these things could be very useful to us strategically, particularly the calling a GM);
  • 25% allows us to stop a resolution or rule change, for instance changing the Articles of the company (again, this could be useful as could prevent the winding up of a company or a adverse rule change.)

But it must be remembered that shares are a means to an end (influence in the club) not an end in themselves if it does not offer such influence.

Will the football club offer shares to the DHST?

For many years the football club have not been willing to contemplate this. However, in late 2012, the football club indicated a willingness to offer shares and the Trust will be following this up with the club’s owner, although clearly any view on whether and how to invest will be strongly influenced by the overall situation with the club and the ground. For example it would be unforgiveable to spend the money and then find that as part of the sale of the ground that the club was to be sold for £1!

Nevertheless the move is a positive one which will be followed up.

While the share issue is resolved, what will DHST do with the money it has raised?

The fund will continue to grow. As it does so, it will be more attractive to the club owners. There is no rush, so the money will be safely kept in a bank account as a safety net if a calamity befalls the club in terms of the future or the ground, accruing interest ready for the right time to invest.

Are there no alternatives to shares? Couldn’t DHST accept something else in return for the money it has raised?

The preference is for shares for the reasons outlined above, but DHST would consider other legally guaranteed ways of having influence such as a directorship on the board of the football club’s limited company. However, this option would need to be discussed in further detail.

What is a “new share issue” and how is it different from buying up existing shares?

A ‘new share issue’ means that you purchase shares from the club, and not existing shareholders. The advantage of a new share issue is that the money will go into the club and appear in the accounts as an investment, as opposed to going into an individual’s pockets as a private transaction.

How will DHST ensure that it gets a fair return for it’s investment?

DHST will only pass money to the Club when it is satisfied with the terms negotiated.

Will members have an opportunity to vote on recommendations for spending the money?

The Supporters’ Trust Board will aim to keep 100 Club contributors informed of all relevant developments with regards to such discussions and would intend to consult with the contributors before taking any decision to invest the money.

What will happen if DHST is unable to negotiate satisfactory terms with the club?

The money raised through the 100 Club will be held by DHST until an agreement on return is reached with the club. If it becomes clear that an agreement will never be reached it would be appropriate to call a meeting with all contributors to decide how to use the money and to agree the future of the 100 Club.