Shares issue will help shore up Quakers' financial future

The Northern Echo: NEW BEGINNING: The twin towers rebuilt at the Feethams development NEW BEGINNING: The twin towers rebuilt at the Feethams development

A MAJOR fundraising drive is being launched to help turn Darlington FC’s dream of returning to its home town into reality and secure its financial future.

Quakers have been in exile in Bishop Auckland since 2012 and recently unveiled plans to share a ground and facilities with Darlington Rugby Club, at Blackwell Meadows.

It has now launched a fundraising initiative which will allow funds to buy further shares in the club, in an effort to provide financial stability and push forward the plans to return to Darlington.

The club hopes to raise at least £50,000 through a combination of three fundraising initiatives – devised to appeal to all fans depending on their personal circumstances and offering associated rewards for investing – including opportunities and incentives for corporate and community partners.

A 22-page prospectus has been produced, detailing the investment opportunities, which are seen as crucial to the club’s financial well-being.

Chief executive Martin Jesper said the future of the fan-owned club lies in the hands of the community working alongside the rugby club and other local partners.

He said: “This club’s financial challenges have been made extremely clear in recent months and, while I know it is a difficult ask at this time of the year, we are delighted that we are finally able to launch this scheme.

“This is a club owned by the fans and it is thanks to the generosity and support of the fans that this club still exists.”

The club is spending a second season sharing facilities at Bishop Auckland, but fans are anxious for a return to their home town.

After months of negotiation, the club last week signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the rugby club, and ongoing discussions regarding the move and facility sharing arrangements will continue between the clubs over the next few weeks.

Mr Jesper added: “I am encouraging all of our fans, local business and community partners to come forward and invest in the football club which will help secure its short term future, and most importantly, provide the financial momentum supporting our move back to Darlington and we can welcome a new generation of supporters into the fold. Together we can make this work.”

Darlington MP Jenny Chapman welcomed the initiative, adding: “We encourage fans and the local community to get behind this scheme, as it presents an exciting opportunity to bring the football club back into the town.”

A fans’ forum will take place at Blackwell Meadows, at 7pm, on January 6, with fans having the chance to find out more about the three fundraising initiatives.

For full details of the investment opportunities available, visit squareknot.co.uk/pitches

:: Builders working on the former Feetham’s site, which will become a housing development, have rebuilt the iconic twin towers out of new materials.

Comments (6)

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10:46pm Thu 19 Dec 13

behonest says...

So what are these 3 fund-raising initiatives and associated rewards? Okay, I'll visit 'squareknot' to find out.

It doesn't tell me either. Asks me to 'log in'!

Come on, Martin - clear communication!
So what are these 3 fund-raising initiatives and associated rewards? Okay, I'll visit 'squareknot' to find out. It doesn't tell me either. Asks me to 'log in'! Come on, Martin - clear communication! behonest

10:52pm Thu 19 Dec 13

behonest says...

And how do I get hold of this 22 page prospectus? Anyone got any idea?

Is that through 'squareknot' too?

Jeez, the club needs someone like me. Advertising is one thing, but clear, targeted and effective communication is quite another.

However. Come on Darlo!
And how do I get hold of this 22 page prospectus? Anyone got any idea? Is that through 'squareknot' too? Jeez, the club needs someone like me. Advertising is one thing, but clear, targeted and effective communication is quite another. However. Come on Darlo! behonest

9:02am Fri 20 Dec 13

Lionel1 says...

Reading between the lines the money is running out (AGAIN) and fast. MJ talks about the fundraising bringing financial 'stability' and 'well-being' - hardly words of confidence to fans.

Is this new initiative to keep the club in business until the end of the season or to fund the move (as that will cost short term)? I would have thought all those fans who wanted to buy shares would have done so by now.

Once again DFC appear to have got themselves into trouble as I'm sure they had to be bailed out by £50k last year!
Reading between the lines the money is running out (AGAIN) and fast. MJ talks about the fundraising bringing financial 'stability' and 'well-being' - hardly words of confidence to fans. Is this new initiative to keep the club in business until the end of the season or to fund the move (as that will cost short term)? I would have thought all those fans who wanted to buy shares would have done so by now. Once again DFC appear to have got themselves into trouble as I'm sure they had to be bailed out by £50k last year! Lionel1

12:47pm Fri 20 Dec 13

VictorKasulesCarKeys.. says...

Lionel1 wrote:
Reading between the lines the money is running out (AGAIN) and fast. MJ talks about the fundraising bringing financial 'stability' and 'well-being' - hardly words of confidence to fans.

Is this new initiative to keep the club in business until the end of the season or to fund the move (as that will cost short term)? I would have thought all those fans who wanted to buy shares would have done so by now.

Once again DFC appear to have got themselves into trouble as I'm sure they had to be bailed out by £50k last year!
I see what your saying Lionel1, however I see this as a positive, not a negative .I would rather initiatives like this to engage the WHOLE community, business included. It may seem like "oh they need more, what's the point!" ,but in my opinion, we don't have a 'Sugar Daddy' any more (thank god!), but if we are to do this and bring the club home, then WE are the ones who have to do it. After all, we have come so far, are we to just quit now?
[quote][p][bold]Lionel1[/bold] wrote: Reading between the lines the money is running out (AGAIN) and fast. MJ talks about the fundraising bringing financial 'stability' and 'well-being' - hardly words of confidence to fans. Is this new initiative to keep the club in business until the end of the season or to fund the move (as that will cost short term)? I would have thought all those fans who wanted to buy shares would have done so by now. Once again DFC appear to have got themselves into trouble as I'm sure they had to be bailed out by £50k last year![/p][/quote]I see what your saying Lionel1, however I see this as a positive, not a negative .I would rather initiatives like this to engage the WHOLE community, business included. It may seem like "oh they need more, what's the point!" ,but in my opinion, we don't have a 'Sugar Daddy' any more (thank god!), but if we are to do this and bring the club home, then WE are the ones who have to do it. After all, we have come so far, are we to just quit now? VictorKasulesCarKeys..

1:13pm Fri 20 Dec 13

Lionel1 says...

VictorKasulesCarKeys
..
wrote:
Lionel1 wrote: Reading between the lines the money is running out (AGAIN) and fast. MJ talks about the fundraising bringing financial 'stability' and 'well-being' - hardly words of confidence to fans. Is this new initiative to keep the club in business until the end of the season or to fund the move (as that will cost short term)? I would have thought all those fans who wanted to buy shares would have done so by now. Once again DFC appear to have got themselves into trouble as I'm sure they had to be bailed out by £50k last year!
I see what your saying Lionel1, however I see this as a positive, not a negative .I would rather initiatives like this to engage the WHOLE community, business included. It may seem like "oh they need more, what's the point!" ,but in my opinion, we don't have a 'Sugar Daddy' any more (thank god!), but if we are to do this and bring the club home, then WE are the ones who have to do it. After all, we have come so far, are we to just quit now?
I'm not suggesting that people or companies shouldn't invest, or that fans should give up on the club but sometimes it appears that its an easy option for those that manage the finances to use the fans as a 'get out' for mismanagement (after all it's your club!!). This is the second year running that 'emergency' funds have been needed to allow the club to continue, will this happen every year? And why is it happening? A bundle of explanations were rolled out last finacial year for the £150k loss, what will it be this time? I may seem negative but its reality. If those in charge don't run the thing peoperly you can have all the 'goodwill' you like, it'll fold.
[quote][p][bold]VictorKasulesCarKeys ..[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Lionel1[/bold] wrote: Reading between the lines the money is running out (AGAIN) and fast. MJ talks about the fundraising bringing financial 'stability' and 'well-being' - hardly words of confidence to fans. Is this new initiative to keep the club in business until the end of the season or to fund the move (as that will cost short term)? I would have thought all those fans who wanted to buy shares would have done so by now. Once again DFC appear to have got themselves into trouble as I'm sure they had to be bailed out by £50k last year![/p][/quote]I see what your saying Lionel1, however I see this as a positive, not a negative .I would rather initiatives like this to engage the WHOLE community, business included. It may seem like "oh they need more, what's the point!" ,but in my opinion, we don't have a 'Sugar Daddy' any more (thank god!), but if we are to do this and bring the club home, then WE are the ones who have to do it. After all, we have come so far, are we to just quit now?[/p][/quote]I'm not suggesting that people or companies shouldn't invest, or that fans should give up on the club but sometimes it appears that its an easy option for those that manage the finances to use the fans as a 'get out' for mismanagement (after all it's your club!!). This is the second year running that 'emergency' funds have been needed to allow the club to continue, will this happen every year? And why is it happening? A bundle of explanations were rolled out last finacial year for the £150k loss, what will it be this time? I may seem negative but its reality. If those in charge don't run the thing peoperly you can have all the 'goodwill' you like, it'll fold. Lionel1

1:27pm Fri 20 Dec 13

VictorKasulesCarKeys.. says...

Again Lionel1, I cant disagree. Its the debt we inherited that is making things worse than they should be, but it needs to be paid ( unlike previous regimes ). That is where as I understand it is our 'Black hole'. The club needs this gone from round our necks, then once back in town we can recover, fan owned and most importantly, financially secure. This initiative will help get rid of that debt in my opinion.
Again Lionel1, I cant disagree. Its the debt we inherited that is making things worse than they should be, but it needs to be paid ( unlike previous regimes ). That is where as I understand it is our 'Black hole'. The club needs this gone from round our necks, then once back in town we can recover, fan owned and most importantly, financially secure. This initiative will help get rid of that debt in my opinion. VictorKasulesCarKeys..

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