Fans reveal plans after deal struck to save Darlington FC

The Northern Echo: DFC 1883 chairman Dennis Pinnegar speaking at a press conference on Thursday DFC 1883 chairman Dennis Pinnegar speaking at a press conference on Thursday

DARLINGTON FC 1883 (DFC 1883) has revealed plans to form a community interest company (CIC) to run the Quakers.

The announcement comes after DFC 1883 bought the club on Thursday after agreeing a deal with administrator Harvey Madden.

Fans who put money into DFC 1883 will be invited to reinvest their money in the new CIC.

The new owners say a CIC offers a wide range of benefits to the football club, including the ability to apply for grants.

Craig McKenna, from DFC 1883, said it also prevented the club’s profits and assets from being diverted away from its supporters and the community.

He added: “Forming a CIC is a significantly better way of moving forward for us.

“The money pledged to DFC 1883 will be going back to the fans. We will then put in place a mechanism that will allow the money to be reinvested in the community interest company.”

The initial plan is for seven board members to run the club, including three of the current DFC 1883 board and four other fans. No date for the vote has yet been set.

CICs are subject to normal company law, but must act for the good of the community.

They are run on a one member, one vote system, rather than the previous ownership model, which was based on one share, one vote.

Several clubs around the UK are already run by CICs, including Stenhousemuir and Clyde.

The Quakers have not yet been told which league they will play in next season, with a decision from the Football Association (FA) unlikely before the club finds a ground for 2012-13.

A spokesman for the FA said last night that they were liaising with administrator Harvey Madden and DFC 1883, and were awaiting a proposal from the new owners.

Mr McKenna added: “The amount of work that still needs to be done is huge.

“We will be making every effort of keeping fans informed as we go and will continue to answer their questions on the Darlington Uncovered on-line fans forum.”

DFC 1883 will hold a question and answer session for fans on Friday at the Blackwell Hotel, in Darlington. The time of the event is still to be confirmed.

Comments (22)

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8:21am Sat 5 May 12

neilj_dafts says...

Well done to all those involved with 1883. They seem to have reached a timely and viable solution to a very complex and messed up situation, thanks to fans' teamwork.

The next 5 years will be a challenge, but can also be fun, something the fans have been missing in recent times.
Well done to all those involved with 1883. They seem to have reached a timely and viable solution to a very complex and messed up situation, thanks to fans' teamwork. The next 5 years will be a challenge, but can also be fun, something the fans have been missing in recent times. neilj_dafts

10:21am Sat 5 May 12

swagger says...

This new start is very exciting for the fans, i for one feel more engaged with the club now than in 25 years i have a supporting the Darlo, and will be investing in this new venture.Well done 1883.
This new start is very exciting for the fans, i for one feel more engaged with the club now than in 25 years i have a supporting the Darlo, and will be investing in this new venture.Well done 1883. swagger

11:00am Sat 5 May 12

Homshaw1 says...

Someone said they might play at Shildon

I quite like the ground.

It's small and friendly and would have a good atmosphere

Parking may be a problem
Someone said they might play at Shildon I quite like the ground. It's small and friendly and would have a good atmosphere Parking may be a problem Homshaw1

11:10am Sat 5 May 12

morgan1 says...

Coummunity interest company, makes it a fun to run club for those running it.

It will be an enjoyable experience for you,but it works with Clyde and Stenhousemuir because there is no football below these levels You cant be relegated out of Scottish League 3(No where to go) not the case in England.

Average gate is around the 500 mark but occasionally you get to play a bigger club in some cup competition.

In England this is likely to mean that the club will never make it back to the football league and will remain in EVO-Stik and possible the conference leagues but the club fan base will never be large enough on this way of operating to allow it to ever exist in league 2, even the conference premier may be out of reach.

Having seen it operate and the level of funding it achieves league football is off the agenda and the concept to returning to League football in 3 years is complete fantasy especially if you go in this direction.

I think a CIC is a fundamental mistake, past members will turn in their graves.
Coummunity interest company, makes it a fun to run club for those running it. It will be an enjoyable experience for you,but it works with Clyde and Stenhousemuir because there is no football below these levels You cant be relegated out of Scottish League 3(No where to go) not the case in England. Average gate is around the 500 mark but occasionally you get to play a bigger club in some cup competition. In England this is likely to mean that the club will never make it back to the football league and will remain in EVO-Stik and possible the conference leagues but the club fan base will never be large enough on this way of operating to allow it to ever exist in league 2, even the conference premier may be out of reach. Having seen it operate and the level of funding it achieves league football is off the agenda and the concept to returning to League football in 3 years is complete fantasy especially if you go in this direction. I think a CIC is a fundamental mistake, past members will turn in their graves. morgan1

11:18am Sat 5 May 12

morgan1 says...

Again another fundamental decision without asking the potential investors that previously pledged money their opinion.
Again another fundamental decision without asking the potential investors that previously pledged money their opinion. morgan1

11:27am Sat 5 May 12

morgan1 says...

All board members should be up for election and a date should be set for an AGM to vote on all board members in the proposal to raise money.

You cannot run without consenus from the people you expect to fund the club.

3 permanent members, that's no different to a majority shareholding controling the way forward.
All board members should be up for election and a date should be set for an AGM to vote on all board members in the proposal to raise money. You cannot run without consenus from the people you expect to fund the club. 3 permanent members, that's no different to a majority shareholding controling the way forward. morgan1

11:55am Sat 5 May 12

JB183604 says...

Could not agree more morgan1. I am appalled by the route being taken, and I am one of the original investors (pre crowd cube so I don't get the option of getting money back) in 1883. I have not been consulted on this and I am dead against a CIC. They need to hold an AGM ASAP!
Could not agree more morgan1. I am appalled by the route being taken, and I am one of the original investors (pre crowd cube so I don't get the option of getting money back) in 1883. I have not been consulted on this and I am dead against a CIC. They need to hold an AGM ASAP! JB183604

3:40pm Sat 5 May 12

scott thornberry says...

JB183604 wrote:
Could not agree more morgan1. I am appalled by the route being taken, and I am one of the original investors (pre crowd cube so I don't get the option of getting money back) in 1883. I have not been consulted on this and I am dead against a CIC. They need to hold an AGM ASAP!
investor pre crowdcube? how did you manage that?
[quote][p][bold]JB183604[/bold] wrote: Could not agree more morgan1. I am appalled by the route being taken, and I am one of the original investors (pre crowd cube so I don't get the option of getting money back) in 1883. I have not been consulted on this and I am dead against a CIC. They need to hold an AGM ASAP![/p][/quote]investor pre crowdcube? how did you manage that? scott thornberry

8:28pm Sat 5 May 12

elvispresleysking says...

What money did DFC1883 use to buy the club? They are returning the £325k invested and are now asking for it to be invested in the CIC so how have the bought the club?
What money did DFC1883 use to buy the club? They are returning the £325k invested and are now asking for it to be invested in the CIC so how have the bought the club? elvispresleysking

8:43pm Sat 5 May 12

elvispresleysking says...

Sorry, just read Quakersam's respond to my question on another thread last night. So the club was purchased by DFC1883 with 'other resources' which weren't disclosed at the time though some of it came from the Dalo Uncovered fighting fund. If this was the case then why didn't DFC1883 disclose this to the public and reduce the inital £750k required? Perhaps a smaller target amount might have produced more donations, I don't know but it does appear to me that DFC1883 have had their own agenda, completely different to what was initially proposed, for some time now. And as for a community run club, how, when it only appears to be a certain number of people making all the decisions! Whilst I appreciate the timescale involved and the threats of liquidation by HM on Thursday, surely DFC1883 knew a while ago the 'public' proposal wasn't feasible due to lack of donations so why didn't they say anything then?

As for communication, who actually makes up DFC1883? how many fans are there involved and doesn't any major change of direction need agreement by the members otherwise how can they call it a 'community' club when it's run by a few.........
Sorry, just read Quakersam's respond to my question on another thread last night. So the club was purchased by DFC1883 with 'other resources' which weren't disclosed at the time though some of it came from the Dalo Uncovered fighting fund. If this was the case then why didn't DFC1883 disclose this to the public and reduce the inital £750k required? Perhaps a smaller target amount might have produced more donations, I don't know but it does appear to me that DFC1883 have had their own agenda, completely different to what was initially proposed, for some time now. And as for a community run club, how, when it only appears to be a certain number of people making all the decisions! Whilst I appreciate the timescale involved and the threats of liquidation by HM on Thursday, surely DFC1883 knew a while ago the 'public' proposal wasn't feasible due to lack of donations so why didn't they say anything then? As for communication, who actually makes up DFC1883? how many fans are there involved and doesn't any major change of direction need agreement by the members otherwise how can they call it a 'community' club when it's run by a few......... elvispresleysking

1:29am Sun 6 May 12

quakersam says...

Does it really need to disclose how it bought the club, why is it so important to you?
The money was an initial £70k which was given by the Trust, Supporters Club, DUFF and a few private donations which secured the immediate future and sale of assets back in January. Another 30k is due to fully complete this purchase in the next few weeks.

Why wasn't it reduced? Because the pitch was for £750k, 250 for football creditors, 250 for non-footballing and another 250 for a warchest. This was the original pitch. Things obviously change over time.

They havent had a different agenda at all, when multiple things are thrown at you and goalposts moved sometimes at an hourly rate, what do you honestly expect them to do? Come on be realistic.

You appreciate the timescale yet you want to know why few are making the decisions, hmm contradiction?
Look nobody is currently a shareholder therefore decisions don't have to be put out to people, there are 6/7 people on the board, half of whom are Darlington fans like you or I who have give up their day jobs to do this.

The proposals didn't fail due to lack of donations, we'd of got to the 500k if a certain person hadnt of put certain roadblocks in the way. If Raj had agreed to waive his money we'd of only had to pay off 500k. He didn't, therefore 1.3m would of had to of been paid.

Dennis Pinnegar is chairman who has been a fan for around 40 years, Laura Drew is in charge of legal stuff (also a big fan), Steve Weeks I think is another, Craig McKenna who is project manager. The information is out there, go and find out if your so bothered.

How can it consult its members when they're are no members? Nobody is a shareholder yet. You invested against a pitch. The money is currently held in an escrow account.
The change of direction needed to be made fast, there wasnt enough time to be pussyfooting around.

The club will always be run by a few people, it will have a group of board members who will run the club. They will be elected by us the fans of the club at an AGM who will reflect the community.

Don't come out with the hidden agenda crap, these people have stepped up to the plate to save this club. Where were you when it needed saving, I didn't see you volunteering your services?

Easy to criticise from behind a keyboard isn't it! If you want such a lofty position then go and see what you can do to help, then I will criticise you and see how you like it
Does it really need to disclose how it bought the club, why is it so important to you? The money was an initial £70k which was given by the Trust, Supporters Club, DUFF and a few private donations which secured the immediate future and sale of assets back in January. Another 30k is due to fully complete this purchase in the next few weeks. Why wasn't it reduced? Because the pitch was for £750k, 250 for football creditors, 250 for non-footballing and another 250 for a warchest. This was the original pitch. Things obviously change over time. They havent had a different agenda at all, when multiple things are thrown at you and goalposts moved sometimes at an hourly rate, what do you honestly expect them to do? Come on be realistic. You appreciate the timescale yet you want to know why few are making the decisions, hmm contradiction? Look nobody is currently a shareholder therefore decisions don't have to be put out to people, there are 6/7 people on the board, half of whom are Darlington fans like you or I who have give up their day jobs to do this. The proposals didn't fail due to lack of donations, we'd of got to the 500k if a certain person hadnt of put certain roadblocks in the way. If Raj had agreed to waive his money we'd of only had to pay off 500k. He didn't, therefore 1.3m would of had to of been paid. Dennis Pinnegar is chairman who has been a fan for around 40 years, Laura Drew is in charge of legal stuff (also a big fan), Steve Weeks I think is another, Craig McKenna who is project manager. The information is out there, go and find out if your so bothered. How can it consult its members when they're are no members? Nobody is a shareholder yet. You invested against a pitch. The money is currently held in an escrow account. The change of direction needed to be made fast, there wasnt enough time to be pussyfooting around. The club will always be run by a few people, it will have a group of board members who will run the club. They will be elected by us the fans of the club at an AGM who will reflect the community. Don't come out with the hidden agenda crap, these people have stepped up to the plate to save this club. Where were you when it needed saving, I didn't see you volunteering your services? Easy to criticise from behind a keyboard isn't it! If you want such a lofty position then go and see what you can do to help, then I will criticise you and see how you like it quakersam

7:11am Sun 6 May 12

darlo_jambo says...

Well done Quakersam! I can only assume some of the posters on here are poolies on a wind up or just out to mischief make out of boredom.

No response to Scott's question to a previous poster I see!!
Well done Quakersam! I can only assume some of the posters on here are poolies on a wind up or just out to mischief make out of boredom. No response to Scott's question to a previous poster I see!! darlo_jambo

9:55am Sun 6 May 12

morgan1 says...

JB183604 wrote:
Could not agree more morgan1. I am appalled by the route being taken, and I am one of the original investors (pre crowd cube so I don't get the option of getting money back) in 1883. I have not been consulted on this and I am dead against a CIC. They need to hold an AGM ASAP!

One of the few private investors not happy with CIC I guess.

I am sorry QuakersAM, there are potential investors I see no reason why their opinion cannot be asked. The board will have the details on CrowdCube, these people have equally stepped up to the mark to be counted and should not simply be ignored whilst a few make fundamental direction decisions are taken.

To me the more they ignore them and hide behind the fact that they are not memebers yet, the more likely they will alienate them.

Its simple to ask, what are you affraid of, that they wont agree with your course of actions?
JB183604 wrote: Could not agree more morgan1. I am appalled by the route being taken, and I am one of the original investors (pre crowd cube so I don't get the option of getting money back) in 1883. I have not been consulted on this and I am dead against a CIC. They need to hold an AGM ASAP! One of the few private investors not happy with CIC I guess. I am sorry QuakersAM, there are potential investors I see no reason why their opinion cannot be asked. The board will have the details on CrowdCube, these people have equally stepped up to the mark to be counted and should not simply be ignored whilst a few make fundamental direction decisions are taken. To me the more they ignore them and hide behind the fact that they are not memebers yet, the more likely they will alienate them. Its simple to ask, what are you affraid of, that they wont agree with your course of actions? morgan1

11:03am Sun 6 May 12

Hilly_2009 says...

quakersam wrote:
Does it really need to disclose how it bought the club, why is it so important to you?
The money was an initial £70k which was given by the Trust, Supporters Club, DUFF and a few private donations which secured the immediate future and sale of assets back in January. Another 30k is due to fully complete this purchase in the next few weeks.

Why wasn't it reduced? Because the pitch was for £750k, 250 for football creditors, 250 for non-footballing and another 250 for a warchest. This was the original pitch. Things obviously change over time.

They havent had a different agenda at all, when multiple things are thrown at you and goalposts moved sometimes at an hourly rate, what do you honestly expect them to do? Come on be realistic.

You appreciate the timescale yet you want to know why few are making the decisions, hmm contradiction?
Look nobody is currently a shareholder therefore decisions don't have to be put out to people, there are 6/7 people on the board, half of whom are Darlington fans like you or I who have give up their day jobs to do this.

The proposals didn't fail due to lack of donations, we'd of got to the 500k if a certain person hadnt of put certain roadblocks in the way. If Raj had agreed to waive his money we'd of only had to pay off 500k. He didn't, therefore 1.3m would of had to of been paid.

Dennis Pinnegar is chairman who has been a fan for around 40 years, Laura Drew is in charge of legal stuff (also a big fan), Steve Weeks I think is another, Craig McKenna who is project manager. The information is out there, go and find out if your so bothered.

How can it consult its members when they're are no members? Nobody is a shareholder yet. You invested against a pitch. The money is currently held in an escrow account.
The change of direction needed to be made fast, there wasnt enough time to be pussyfooting around.

The club will always be run by a few people, it will have a group of board members who will run the club. They will be elected by us the fans of the club at an AGM who will reflect the community.

Don't come out with the hidden agenda crap, these people have stepped up to the plate to save this club. Where were you when it needed saving, I didn't see you volunteering your services?

Easy to criticise from behind a keyboard isn't it! If you want such a lofty position then go and see what you can do to help, then I will criticise you and see how you like it
What an excellent post Sam. Simple, yet concise.

Hopefully this will put to bed all the stupid questions a few on this site seem to keep asking. I doubt this however.

Too many people spouting rubbish without knowing all of the facts.
[quote][p][bold]quakersam[/bold] wrote: Does it really need to disclose how it bought the club, why is it so important to you? The money was an initial £70k which was given by the Trust, Supporters Club, DUFF and a few private donations which secured the immediate future and sale of assets back in January. Another 30k is due to fully complete this purchase in the next few weeks. Why wasn't it reduced? Because the pitch was for £750k, 250 for football creditors, 250 for non-footballing and another 250 for a warchest. This was the original pitch. Things obviously change over time. They havent had a different agenda at all, when multiple things are thrown at you and goalposts moved sometimes at an hourly rate, what do you honestly expect them to do? Come on be realistic. You appreciate the timescale yet you want to know why few are making the decisions, hmm contradiction? Look nobody is currently a shareholder therefore decisions don't have to be put out to people, there are 6/7 people on the board, half of whom are Darlington fans like you or I who have give up their day jobs to do this. The proposals didn't fail due to lack of donations, we'd of got to the 500k if a certain person hadnt of put certain roadblocks in the way. If Raj had agreed to waive his money we'd of only had to pay off 500k. He didn't, therefore 1.3m would of had to of been paid. Dennis Pinnegar is chairman who has been a fan for around 40 years, Laura Drew is in charge of legal stuff (also a big fan), Steve Weeks I think is another, Craig McKenna who is project manager. The information is out there, go and find out if your so bothered. How can it consult its members when they're are no members? Nobody is a shareholder yet. You invested against a pitch. The money is currently held in an escrow account. The change of direction needed to be made fast, there wasnt enough time to be pussyfooting around. The club will always be run by a few people, it will have a group of board members who will run the club. They will be elected by us the fans of the club at an AGM who will reflect the community. Don't come out with the hidden agenda crap, these people have stepped up to the plate to save this club. Where were you when it needed saving, I didn't see you volunteering your services? Easy to criticise from behind a keyboard isn't it! If you want such a lofty position then go and see what you can do to help, then I will criticise you and see how you like it[/p][/quote]What an excellent post Sam. Simple, yet concise. Hopefully this will put to bed all the stupid questions a few on this site seem to keep asking. I doubt this however. Too many people spouting rubbish without knowing all of the facts. Hilly_2009

12:11pm Sun 6 May 12

monteforte says...

quakersam wrote:
Does it really need to disclose how it bought the club, why is it so important to you?
Answer ;yes DFC 1883 need to reveal all of their dealings etc.
Everybody,supporters
/fans wanted to know what was spent and what was purchased..
It sounds like DFC 1883( if you read some of the responses to simple questions raised ) is going to be a private club not one open to all ?
All Board members who run the new club will be and should be judged by their actions!
quakersam wrote: Does it really need to disclose how it bought the club, why is it so important to you? Answer ;yes DFC 1883 need to reveal all of their dealings etc. Everybody,supporters /fans wanted to know what was spent and what was purchased.. It sounds like DFC 1883( if you read some of the responses to simple questions raised ) is going to be a private club not one open to all ? All Board members who run the new club will be and should be judged by their actions! monteforte

1:09pm Sun 6 May 12

quakersam says...

Answer ;yes DFC 1883 need to reveal all of their dealings etc.
Everybody,supporters

/fans wanted to know what was spent and what was purchased..

Well why not read the articles and listen to the interviews given out then. That's all I've done, I'm picking out the information from those and putting it on here for the numpties who can't seem to do that for themselves.

Private club? What planet are you on really, get a grip!
It is open to anybody, there will be an AGM in the summer where fans will be elected on to the board, if you want to be a part of it then put yourself up for election.
Yes they should be judged by their actions, and their actions so far have been terrific in saving this club.
Let's see what you can do if you think your so big and clever?
Answer ;yes DFC 1883 need to reveal all of their dealings etc. Everybody,supporters /fans wanted to know what was spent and what was purchased.. Well why not read the articles and listen to the interviews given out then. That's all I've done, I'm picking out the information from those and putting it on here for the numpties who can't seem to do that for themselves. Private club? What planet are you on really, get a grip! It is open to anybody, there will be an AGM in the summer where fans will be elected on to the board, if you want to be a part of it then put yourself up for election. Yes they should be judged by their actions, and their actions so far have been terrific in saving this club. Let's see what you can do if you think your so big and clever? quakersam

2:09pm Sun 6 May 12

monteforte says...

Well done Quakersam! your efforts are appreciated by us numpties . If only DFC 1883 was as open & revealing in its dealings to all instead of a privileged few....You (Quackersam) wouldn't be there acting spokesperson ....
Well done Quakersam! your efforts are appreciated by us numpties . If only DFC 1883 was as open & revealing in its dealings to all instead of a privileged few....You (Quackersam) wouldn't be there acting spokesperson .... monteforte

6:43pm Sun 6 May 12

The White Feather says...

IF the rumours are true and I stress "rumours" that Darlo will not be even playing in darlington next season then I want my £1000 back! I put money in to keep them in the town not away from it.
IF the rumours are true and I stress "rumours" that Darlo will not be even playing in darlington next season then I want my £1000 back! I put money in to keep them in the town not away from it. The White Feather

10:37pm Sun 6 May 12

darlo_jambo says...

White feather? Perhaps White flag would be a better user name....not much stomach for the fight.
White feather? Perhaps White flag would be a better user name....not much stomach for the fight. darlo_jambo

11:52pm Sun 6 May 12

quakersam says...

Do you have 270k to pay for the Arena costs then white feather? We can't afford to stay there, hence going out of town. There is no ground with a grading for the level we will be playing at in Darlo
Do you have 270k to pay for the Arena costs then white feather? We can't afford to stay there, hence going out of town. There is no ground with a grading for the level we will be playing at in Darlo quakersam

9:19am Mon 7 May 12

The White Feather says...

darlo_jambo wrote:
White feather? Perhaps White flag would be a better user name....not much stomach for the fight.
Far from it fact is I only get £1200 a month so I have heavily invested in line with my monthly income - I wonder how many others have done the same, like I say I am dissapointed if the "rumours" are true !!!
[quote][p][bold]darlo_jambo[/bold] wrote: White feather? Perhaps White flag would be a better user name....not much stomach for the fight.[/p][/quote]Far from it fact is I only get £1200 a month so I have heavily invested in line with my monthly income - I wonder how many others have done the same, like I say I am dissapointed if the "rumours" are true !!! The White Feather

9:51am Mon 7 May 12

Skallywagg says...

Not playing in Darlington is really going to be the end for DFC. Support will dwindle even further. I know there is not a suitable venue in the town but thanks to the ego and stupidity of previous owners we have been left with nothing, Oh! and well done to the inept council who let George Reynolds build a monument to himself, DBC absolute fools and out of touch with your community as usual.
Not playing in Darlington is really going to be the end for DFC. Support will dwindle even further. I know there is not a suitable venue in the town but thanks to the ego and stupidity of previous owners we have been left with nothing, Oh! and well done to the inept council who let George Reynolds build a monument to himself, DBC absolute fools and out of touch with your community as usual. Skallywagg

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