Let me start by offering you all an apology, it has been two months since my last update, and although our communications director has been requesting this update for weeks now it has taken a while for me to put pen to paper so to speak. The last three months have been incredibly busy, not only from a Society point of view but from a personal point of view too, however I do realise that communications is the one key factor to Society members and I will endeavor to ensure updates are more frequent going forward.
Our minutes are available for all to read online at www.dee4life.com so I won’t go into great detail on every issue, instead I would like to concentrate on a few items.
New DFCTV site & Live Streaming
Myself and the Society are rightly proud of our new look site and services which we took the decision to fully fund back in October. The costs of a new website to host the live streaming and being able to service all platforms like smart phones and tablet computers were considerable, the time put into it, mostly by our communications director Ross Day, was more than any volunteer could be expected to put in to it.
We took the early decision to use a similar format of web page as the Club was working on to keep things familiar and promote the “One Dundee” projection. I think everyone who has had a look will agree that the new DFCTV site looks fantastic, as does the new club site.
We must thank all subscribers of “Club Dundee” packages, without their continued support we would not have been able to fund these improvements!, so a massive thanks must also go to our “Club Dundee” volunteers, not just Ross but the team who record the footage, do the interviews, edit it and upload it onto the website, maintain databases, do the monthly checks for payment updates and also to the Club for providing the manager, players and the match footage to show the action, without which “Club Dundee” would not be able to function.
The Live Streaming service has been an instant hit with our Exile members who have really got behind the live streaming and have either purchased a “Exile” package or are purchasing live coverage on a game to game basis, this backing ensures that ‘Club Dundee’ will continue to grow and improve.
We are currently transmitting live streaming of all home games but are actively investigating the possibility of doing away games next season too as well as introducing live audio commentary of all games to our members in the UK.
As you all are aware when the investment offer was agreed by our members, the majority shareholders in the football club became Football Partnership Scotland. It is therefore the Club Board’s decision whether or not to publish KPI’s in the same way the Society did when we held the majority shareholding in the Club. The Society have asked the Club Board via our two representatives if the club could publish KPI’s in a similar manner as they were before. So far the Club Board feel that the controls put in place by the SPFL negate the need to publish KPI’s, we will keep asking though in the hope that a revised set of KPI’s will be forthcoming.
There has been some discussion on fans forums regarding the Society being asked to donate money to the club. I would like to put all members in the loop.
The Society received a request from the club board via the fans representative to see if the Society would be willing to make a contribution towards the wages of an unsigned and unnamed player. After careful consideration, and a good look at our aims, objectives and rules, it was deemed inappropriate to donate money to the club for this purpose. A meeting was arranged between the Club Board and the Society Board and this led to a better understanding which enabled the Society Board to make much better informed decisions.
The Society Board recognise that we are still the largest single shareholder in the club with approximately one third of the issued shares in Dundee FC. This comes with a responsibility to share the burden of the weight of running Dundee FC in partnership with FPS. We have therefore agreed a part payment on DFCTV money due to the club after the end of our financial year and to invest a 5 figure sum into the club. Our investment will go towards helping with stadium & pitch improvements.
I say investment, as we have been encouraged to take shares for the money by the Club Chairman, Bill Colvin. If he, or any other director (person) was investing in Dundee FC they certainly wouldn’t just hand over their money, they would want something in return. We did look at purchasing DFC Bonds, however at the end of the day, the Society Board took the decision to purchase shares in DFC this time. I can’t say at this moment if this will be the done thing in the future, I am well aware that some members feel that we shouldn’t purchase shares and should just hand over the Society’s money to the club, equally there are members who feel we should buy shares, we will never please everyone, so we took the decision to purchase shares this time, next time we will make what we think is the correct decision at the time.
The meeting between the Club Board and the Society Board was the first of regular meetings, which both boards have agreed to have, on top of this the club Chairman and myself have agreed to have regular meetings and we also talk frequently about the club. This will go some way to both boards having a better understanding of each other and help towards the ultimate goal of bettering Dundee FC.
Dens buy back proposal
This is not a Society initiative however it is something we are really keen on and more than willing to play a part in achieving. Our own Ian Baird has given many hours of his time to researching the best methods of achieving the buy back.
There have been several meetings and discussions between various interested parties, however at this time it remains an idea and only that. Decisions have to be taken on what route the Dens buy back scheme takes, a Community Interest Company (CIC) or a charitable status scheme, all this has to be done with the blessing of Mr Bennett, Dundee FC as tenant and all the groups that are involved in trying to bring this together. One thing I would say is, that it is the current Society Board’s long term aim to help bring Dens back into Dundee hands and whatever way or whoever is responsible for this to happen will have the backing of the Society as long as it is not in anyone’s single control and can never be sold off or mortgaged against which has caused us so many problems in the past.
So, that’s four topics I am sure you have an opinion on, not the usual tripe from me but I thought I would do something different this time and engage on topics I thought you might be interested in.
One other piece of news you will not be aware of is the other half of our communications team, Mike Jeffries, has decided to retire from the Society Board. Mike has served the Society in one way or another for 10 years and will be sadly missed by all connected with the Society. No matter the make up of the Society board over this period all held him in the highest of regard and the current Society board will be poorer without him. Mike leaves us with our thanks, gratitude and best wishes for the future.
4 games to go!!
Finally, 4 games left to go, two home and two away. I was at Hamilton last week and the thought that struck me was how well all these Championship Clubs are doing out of Dundee FC. Some people are quick to bring up our past and as we all heard on a Saturday evening sports radio program some are quite rude about our club, however when did we last see a Championship club bring 2000 fans to Dens Park for a game of football?
The management and the players will do the best they can and we can only hope that it goes the way we are all dreaming it will. One thing we can do though is make a difference from the terraces, a large and noisy home support starting this Saturday could just make the difference between winning this league and not, so I ask you all to dig deep, again, if you can come along to Dens for these two games and raise the old roof of Dens Park and cheer this great club of ours proudly over the line.
Keep the Blue Flag Flying High,
Dundee FC Supporters’ Society.