Category: News

Dulwich Hamlet Football Club and Dulwich Hamlet Supporters’ Trust announce the club’s return to Champion Hill

Dulwich Hamlet Football and Dulwich Hamlet Supporters’ Trust announce the club’s return to Champion Hill

The club expects the work required to prepare the ground to take 4-6 weeks and will announce the date of the first home fixture as soon as upcoming cup fixtures have been confirmed.

 

London. October 23, 2018.  

An agreement has been reached after the conclusion of successful talks between Dulwich Hamlet Football Club, Southwark Council and Meadow Partners that will see the club return to Champion Hill. Supporters’ Trust Co-Chair Duncan Chapman said “The club and the trust have been working as one on this and are both delighted that Dulwich Hamlet will be coming home to where, over many years, it has grown to become such an important part of our local community.” With crowds regularly exceeding 2,000 people the return to Champion Hill will also be a welcome boost to many local businesses on match days.

The final agreement was reached following a meeting attended by all parties chaired by Sports Minister Tracey Crouch. Club Director Ben Clasper stated “We’d like to thank Tracey Crouch and our local MPs Helen Hayes and Harriet Harman for facilitating and attending the meeting which led to this positive outcome.” A joint statement was prepared and agreed between all parties following the meeting at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on October 22, 2018.

Joint statement from Dulwich Hamlet Football Club, Southwark Council and Meadow Partners

“DHFC has approached Southwark Council to ask for support to secure the long term financial security of the club and facilitate its return to Champion Hill.

DHFC has requested a new lease from the council on the AstroTurf pitch.

This new lease, to be granted by the Council, would be coterminous with an 18-month lease, to be granted to DHFC by Meadow, on the Champion Hill site. Both leases include a 1 year rolling extension.

The new lease of Greendale would allow DHFC to use the AstroTurf pitch for all its sporting requirements including any match day use and such other community and sporting uses as DHFC may undertake from time to time.

DHFC has agreed to meet the Council’s aspiration for investment into the improved sporting facilities on that site for the benefit of both the club and the wider community.

Meadow has agreed to support the club’s return to Champion Hill on this basis. In recognition of this, the Council has agreed not to progress activity on a compulsory purchase order in relation to the Champion Hill site for the duration of DHFC’s lease at Champion Hill, so long as it is on fair and reasonable terms, including allowing the club to retain match day income, bar-takings and catering proceeds.”

JOINT STATEMENT ENDS

After 8 months away from Champion Hill the club will now work with the National League to begin the process of returning from its temporary home at Tooting and Mitcham FC’s Imperial Fields ground where promotion was secured at the end of last season to the Vanarama National League South.

100 Club – October 2018 Draw

The winners of this month’s draw were James O’Shaughnessy who won £78.00 and Jenny Lennon-Wood who won £46.80. Monthly contributions are running at £312 and the total raised now stands at over £37k. 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.

Programme Notes v Tonbridge Angels

Today’s FA Cup opponents, Tonbridge Angels, are no strangers to The Hamlet having played them in the Isthmian Premier league for the past few seasons until our promotion.

Whilst a few may be disappointed that we do not have the adventure of traveling to a new ground, a home tie does bring in revenue for the club (although gate receipts are shred with today’s opponents).  Regular supporters are obviously aware that home attendances are currently below what we were recently achieving at Champion Hill.  Significantly, a reduction in crowds means a reduction in match day revenue and this does not only affect the current budget of the club, but also hinders the goal of securing its long-term future.

So, a good run in the FA Cup could bring in some much needed revenue to the club, with the winners of this game securing £9,000 in prize money.  Dare we dream of reaching the First Round Proper, not only be a fantastic achievement for the club but could also bring with it a big financial windfall.  The last time Dulwich reached this round was in 1998, when they lost at home against Southport, who knows maybe we could end be playing a Football League team at home in a televised game!

Concerning attendances, the Football Club and Trust are working hard to encourage people to make the journey to our temporary home in the London Borough of Merton and one particular group we have seen in attendance less, since our enforced move, are families.  I mentioned in my last programmes notes that the Supporters’ Trust will be hosting a family day at next Saturday’s home game against Chippenham Town with activities and giveaways for children attending the game.  By hosting this family day, we hope to ensure that our younger supporters enjoy their visit to Imperial Fields and leave wanting to come back for more.

Many fans will recall the tragic death of Junior Dian in July 2015. Junior was a 23 year old defender who was playing a pre-season friendly as a trialist for today’s visitors, when he collapsed on the pitch and later died in hospital.  Our visitors chose to turn this tragedy into something positive. First they decided to screen all of their players for undiagnosed heart conditions – something that an average of twelve, apparently healthy, young people die from every week. They then put their support behind the charity C-R-Y (Cardiac Risk in the Young) and have helped facilitate the screening of hundreds of young people in Kent.

A similar programme in Italy where all athletes, amateur and professional, are screened for heart conditions has been reported as resulting in a drop in the death rate from such incidents of 89% since it was introduced.

So, when the matchday committee recently informed the Trust that the battery and pads on the club defibrillator needed replacing we had no hesitation in agreeing to meet the cost of the replacement. Of course, everyone associated with the club hopes that this equipment will never be needed but it is vitally important that this it is available and ready to use – just in case.

Finally; after an unsuccessful attempt to get the Trust mega-container to Imperial Fields a couple of weeks ago we are planning to have another go – with a vehicle that has a bigger crane!  We are looking forward to being able to once again provide a full range of merchandise, including teamwear, to Hamlet fans on matchdays. We don’t want to tempt fate by announcing a date – if you see a large pink and blue steel container in the corner of the ground today ….. then it made it!!!

Enjoy the game!

Mark (Scolly) Scoltock

 

Programme notes V Wealdstone

The Supporters’ Trust is pleased to sponsor today’s match against old rivals Wealdstone who we welcome to Imperial Fields.

It’s our third successive Saturday home game and whilst our crowds have been good at Tooting and Mitcham during a traditionally quiet period, they are currently below what we achieved at Champion Hill. We seem to be enjoying the company of far fewer family groups than we did when we were at our home in East Dulwich.  The previously short walk down Edgar Kail Way has been replaced with an 8 mile drive in busy Saturday afternoon south London traffic, or a trip by public transport.

With this in mind, the Trust will be encouraging local East Dulwich families to make the journey to the next home game by running a family day at the game against Chippenham Town on 29 September. One of the areas where we are seeking to support the club this year is by helping to ensure that our supporters have a good match day experience.  By holding a family day, we hope to ensure that our younger supporters enjoy their visit to Imperial Fields and leave wanting to come back for more.

You may have noticed at the last home game that the Supporters Trust Club Shop has now moved to the far end of the main stand. It was becoming increasingly difficult to transport and carry the vast amount of Ikea bags and boxes of scarfs, T-shirts and caps.  It therefore made sense to relocate the shop closer to where our stock is stored which is also where the Mega-container will eventually be relocated – hopefully more news on that soon.

Last week we introduced two of our four new Board members, Michelle Chapman and Paul Griffin.

The third new Board member is teacher Alex Smith, who grew up in Liverpool and learned from an early age that football is more than a game. “As a city, it was part of our blood, our identity.  Since first seeing Dulwich Hamlet play in 2015 on a visit to London while I was living in Brighton, I was drawn to the club’s inclusive and fighting spirit.”

In reference to the club having to play away from its traditional home of East Dulwich, Alex believes that it “just makes it all the more crucial that the club and the Trust fight to keep the club alive and the community engaged. And that’s what good football clubs are all about: community. From promoting grassroots competition and coaching, to providing a safe space where everyone can feel welcome and valued, to engaging and supporting local businesses, clubs are about more than what happens on the pitch. But the thrill and the promise of what happens on the pitch is so often the magic that breaks down barriers and gets people talking. That’s the beauty of football.”

Our fourth new Board member is Mark McCann.  Although a Nottingham native, Mark has lived in London since 1991 and in south-east London since 2005; first in Peckham, now in Forest Hill. He  stumbled into his first Hamlet game by accident in 2007 after a particularly harrowing shop at Dog Kennel Hill Sainsbury’s and gradually cranked up his attendance so that by the promotion season of 2012-13 he was hooked and a regular.

He’s worked in the public sector for nearly 30 years, first as a Whitehall civil servant and more recently for the public body that distributes National Lottery funding to charities and community groups.

“I’m a great believer in making the very best out of adversity. And this season is testament to how a football club and its supporters can do that. The Trust has terrific people behind it; supporting Gavin and the team, while helping to stick it to Meadow.” Mark added that “everyone’s priority this coming season is to secure the club professionally and financially and get it back into Champion Hill.”

Finally, thank you to all those supporters who donated items to last week’s food bank collection.  In recent years we have seen that more and more people are having to rely on food banks to supplement their weekly groceries, so it was good to see that, yet again, the generosity of supporters of Dulwich Hamlet attending the game and donating to the Wimbledon Food Bank.  I understand that it’s planned to hold another food bank collection later in the season, this time for Southwark Food Bank.

Enjoy the game!

Mark (Scolly) Scoltock

 

100 Club Winners – September 2018

The winners of this month’s draw were Steve Rickerby who won £78.00 and Mr J Cronin who won £46.80. Monthly contributions are running at £312 and the total raised now stands at over £37k. 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.

Programme notes v Hampton and Richmond Borough

Welcome to today’s match against Hampton & Richmond Borough!

Now that we are a month into the season, everyone at the Club is beginning to get used to life in the National League South, both on and off the pitch. Of particular importance is the need to maintain strong attendances at our home matches whilst we are away from Champion Hill.

The Supporters’ Trust Joint Chair Duncan Chapman spoke to Tom Bale (DHTV Commentator) live on air at half time at Monday’s away fixture at Slough Town.  Duncan emphasised that more than ever it’s time for everyone to pull together and re-iterated that one of the main focuses remains getting the club back to Champion Hill.  He went on to comment that the most important thing is that we all need to work together – supporters, 12th Man , SaveDHFC, the Trust and the Directors to back Gavin and the team on the pitch and support the club in any way we can off it.  Don’t forget if you cannot make it to a game, either home or away, do make sure that you tune into Tom’s DHTV’s radio commentary.

At today’s game, the football club has organised a collection of non-perishable food items and toiletries, which are to be donated to the Wimbledon food bank. The Club’s long standing commitment to reach out to help those in need and to raise awareness of issues faced everyday by those around us, is one of the reasons many of us love this football club. It is so important that, despite playing away from Champion Hill and being in our own fight, we are still able to continue to help the communities that surround us.

 

You may have seen in my last programme notes that I mentioned that the Mega-Container had now arrived at Imperial Fields.  At the time of writing the notes everything was in place to transport the container from Champion Hill.  Sadly, and not for want of trying, we were unable to load the container on the transport vehicle.  Further arrangements to move the container are currently being made…. we are just going to need a bigger crane!

 

Last Saturday, home and away replica shirts flew off the mega-trestle table with many sizes running low already.  Saturday also saw the first day of sale of our Promotion Roundabout T-shirts prices £12 adults and £9 children.  Presently, replica shirts and the promotion t-shirts are only available at home games, however you will be able to purchase them online (www.dhstshop.co.uk) in early October.

 

I mentioned last week that we had recently elected four new members to the Trust Board.  Paul Griffin is well known to most Dulwich Hamlet fans old and new as the friendly face of the turnstiles. For many years Griff served on the Football Club Committee working on things such as the 1893 Club and the club website.  At present, his main role will be to lead on the Trust’s 100 Club as part of Membership Engagement subgroup with a view to merging the two lottery schemes. In his election statement Griff stated “Looking ahead I am determined to see Dulwich Hamlet return home to Champion Hill as a sustainable club. This club must be able to live within its means yet continue to attract the quality of players & personnel along with the investment to compete as well as challenge at the highest echelons of Non-League Football.”

 

Michelle Chapman who describes herself  “As a long suffering Villa fan…” and “as a lifelong football fan” stated that she found “the experience at Dulwich was genuinely different. I felt included and welcomed into the Rabble with open arms. Soon, I had bought a mega-step to account for the lack of terracing and became ‘step-sister’ to a similarly vertically challenged fan and tried many times but failed to start my own (admittedly very poor) songs.”  With her background in public service, she hopes to bring a range of skills gained from her experiences of working with young people and communities as well as having oversight of projects and policy, much of which required in depth legal knowledge.  Michelle will be part of the Trust’s community engagement and events subgroup.

 

Next week, we will be introducing our two other new board members Mark McGann and Alex Smith.

 

Enjoy the game!

 

Mark (Scolly)  Scoltock

July board meeting minutes published

The full minutes of the board meeting that took place on  26 July 2018 are now available to read here.

The July board meeting was the first since our AGM and included the appointment of Alex Atack and Duncan Chapman as co chairs of DHST and the appointment of board members to other key roles for 2018/19.

Programme notes v Gloucester City

Following our call for nominations to the Trust Board, we were delighted that 15 Trust members submitted applications.  As there were only six available seats on the board this year, an election was held and the results announced at our AGM at the beginning of July.

Congratulations Mel Hughes and Isaac Parnell who got re-elected and welcome aboard to our four new Board members, Michelle Chapman, Alex Smith, Paul Griffin and Mark McGann.

Pete Campbell, Peter Wright, Dave Rogers and previous Trust Chair Al Crane stepped down from last year’s Board.  Myself and the Board would like to take this opportunity to personally thank all of them for all the hard work they have put into the last 12 months, it was a pleasure to work alongside them especially during last years ‘eventful’ season.

With Al Crane stepping down from the Trust, Alex Atack and Duncan Chapman got elected, by the rest of the Board, to take up a joint Chair role. Alex De Jongh will step into the Vice Chair role.

Merchandise

This season we will be stocking a range of Dulwich Hamlet team-wear, including this season’s home and away replica shirts.  Replica shirts are priced £35 adults, £30 junior and £25 children.  You also have the opportunity to place orders for infant replica shirts from 3 to 6 months up. Other team-wear items, including polo, hoodies and training shirts, will be available in the coming weeks.

We have taken delivery of our Promotion Roundabout printed t-shirt featuring the now famous Lordship Lane Palm tree.  These are on sale today, priced £12 adults and £9 children.

Today you will see that our Mega-container has joined us at Imperial Fields.  Thanks to the assistance of Jackie Watkins, we have managed to secure a location for the shop within the ground and we hope to soon have it fully functional on match days.  Whilst one of our main goals is to see Dulwich Hamlet playing back at Champion Hill as soon as possible, we realised that it had become a necessity that the Mega-container was temporarily re-located to this ground.

Away Coach Travel

The Supporters’ Trust will be organising coaches this season for distant away games and fixtures that may be affected by rail closures.  As we want to ensure that travelling to away matches is affordable for as many fans as possible, we will trailing subsidised coach travel.  In the event that any profits are made on coach travel, the Trust will donate these between the 12th Man scheme and the Club’s charity partner for this season, Redthread (www.redthread.org.uk).   The first of coach traveled to Bath City last Saturday and it proved very popular with supporters.

The decision for us to take over the coach travel was only made at the first meeting of our new board on 24th July. As we have not put on coach travel before, the preparation and organisation took longer than normal, as there were a number of factors that needed consideration and discussion. We are aware the announcement to run the coach to Bath may have come after a number of supporters had made other arrangements, in future we intend to confirm coaches at least two weeks prior to the fixture. We will be taking bookings for the next 3 coaches soon.  Truro City (at Torquay), Gloucester City and Eastbourne Borough.

Fund Raiser

On Thursday 16 August, The East Dulwich Tavern’s popular Pub Quiz raised funds in support of Dulwich Hamlet Football Club. The packed crowd helped raised just under £600, with every penny donated to the club via the 12th Man Scheme.  Many thanks to the team at The East Dulwich Tavern, Dulwich supporter Clare Keeble for their organisation and to all the local businesses that donated prizes for that evening’s raffle.

Finally, several Altona 93 supporters, who were part of the organising committee who put on the fan events during our pre-season tour of Hamburg, will be attending today’s game.  I think that everyone who made the trip would agree that they did an amazing job in ensuring that we had a weekend to remember and we are very pleased to welcome them today.

Enjoy the game!

Mark (Scolly) Scoltock

Programme Notes V Concord Rangers

In case you missed them, here are our programme notes from the recent home game against Concord Rangers.

___________________________

Welcome back to the first Saturday home league game of the season. It has now been a week since our debut at Welling in our first campaign in National League South.

The close season seemed to simply fly by, with many supporters getting together to watch the World Cup and travelling in large numbers to support the team in Hamburg. It feels as if we have not been away! As I write this, I cannot help but think back to that May bank holiday and the amazing celebrations the squad and supporters shared, both at this ground and back at Lordship Lane, on the now re-named Promotion Roundabout.

Merchandise

Talking of promotion, today we have our specially designed celebration scarf on sale, priced at £10.  These went on sale at Wednesday’s home game against East Thurrock and seemed to be an instant hit with supporters. We have also ordered a promotional T-shirt which will be available to buy in the next few weeks.

The relocation to Imperial Fields has unfortunately had an impact on our merchandise setup as we have been forced to downsize and operate from the ‘mega-table’. However, arrangements are being finalised to temporarily re-locate the mega-container until we can return to Champion Hill.  In the meantime, our online shop offers the full range of current merchandise (www.dhstshop.org.uk) including last season’s Kappa teamwear range.

The Trust has also, once again, agreed to sell both home and away replica playing shirts on behalf of the club.  We recently placed our first order and, with the lead-time being significantly less that we experienced last season, we hope to have these in stock by the end of August.

Community Work

One of the Trust’s key objectives is to maintain strong links with the community. One of the ways that we achieve this is to promote the Club at local fairs. Over the Summer, the Trust organised stalls at the Lambeth Country Show and the Goose Green Festival Fair which provided us with an opportunity to talk to many local fans, updating them on the current situation of the Club and encouraging them to attend matches whilst we are in exile. We would like to thank the Club’s Directors for supporting our initiative of offering new fans the opportunity to attend a game for free over the next year and look forward to welcoming them to Imperial Fields.

The Club’s community work has been celebrated for a number of years and we were delighted to accompany the Directors and members of the SaveDHFC campaign to the Southward Civic Awards in May. At this ceremony, the Club were honoured to be presented with the Mayor’s Discretionary Award, Southwark Council’s highest Civic Award. This was not the only celebration, however, with Trust member and DHFC fan Catherine Rose elected as Mayor of Southwark for the coming year! We are thrilled with the opportunity this presents to the Club and have already had a number of productive meetings with Catherine, looking at ways to resolve the current problems.

Of course, we could not achieve any of this without our members volunteering their time – in particular, we thank the Dulwich and Tooting and Mitcham fans who have been sprucing up the ground over the past few weekends.  Whilst this is our home, it is good to see supporters working together to make this a welcoming place to visit.

During the summer break, we held our AGM alongside the elections of the new Trust Board.  A record number of 15 members were nominated for the six available roles, highlighting the importance our members place on the Trust’s role in assisting the Club’s Directors to secure the long-term future of Dulwich Hamlet. An introduction to the new Board will feature in the next programme.

Enjoy the game.

Mark (Scolly) Scoltock

DHST Spokesperson

 

Don’t Forget Your Season Ticket!

The Football Club did not receive the contact details for a number of fans who purchased their Dulwich Hamlet tickets through the See Tickets website, so their tickets could not be posted out.

Many supporters have now collected their season ticket, at recent home league games, but there are still some yet to do so.

Anything printed from, or sent to you by, the See Tickets website isn’t your season ticket!  Therefore it needs to be swapped for one of the credit card style tickets.

If you’re one of these fans, please contact Bill via email at billlazzi@btinternet.com with your address, the ticket will be posted to you.