We are aware of some recent speculation suggesting that the Trust favours, or is working towards, the formation of a “phoenix club” – rather than concentrating on saving the existing Club.
This speculation is unfounded. The Trust and its board members are fully focussed on working with the Club, and others, to ensure the continued existence of Dulwich Hamlet FC. We have carried out no work towards the formation of a phoenix club, and in the present climate we would not do so other than in co-operation with the existing Club.
The past seven months has been an exceptionally busy period for the Trust and its board members, as has been the case for so many others. Some of our work is visible, but much of it necessarily takes place behind the scenes. Helping to keep the Club afloat, and supporting the fight against Meadow, has been the sole focus of our work. There is, of course, a worst case scenario in which the existing Club does not survive – but all our efforts are directed towards the avoidance of that scenario. We are not contemplating a future in which the possibility of a phoenix club would arise.
Whilst one of our primary objectives is for the Club to be fully owned by its supporters, this doesn’t require the formation of a phoenix club. For example, the Club has signalled an intention to issue new shares to raise funds, and this is something the Trust would like to explore further, to ensure that fans have a more meaningful stake in the Club (the Trust currently holds 90 out of 300,000 issued shares – 0.03%).
Supporters Direct (who provide advice and support to Trusts like ours) have never recommended going down the route of forming a phoenix club. They have been incredibly supportive during this difficult time, both in terms of the independent advice they have given, and also by using by their influence within central Government departments and access to Ministers to promote our cause – and the Club’s.
Central to the aims of DHST is the belief that supporters are best placed to make decisions that affect the future of the Club; that decision making should be open, transparent and inclusive; and that financial sustainability for the long term must be ensured. We hope the Club will work closely with DHST and other supporters to ensure that these aims are central in any plans for the future.
Dulwich Hamlet Supporters’ Trust – 5 May 2018