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 The Poll

Daggers change of ownership: should we...

Stay as we are (Members Club)
Go with the East Consortium
Go with the Tamplin Consortium
Look for another solution


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DAGGERS DICTIONARY

"Pony"
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Woking
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     On This Day


In 1993,The Daggers drew 1-1 with Northwich Victoria Away in the GM Vauxhall Conference 


In 1994,The Daggers drew 1-1 with Macclesfield Town at Home in the GM Vauxhall Conference 


In 1997,The Daggers beat Enfield 1-0  Away in the ICIS League Premier 


In 1999,The Daggers beat Hendon 6-0 at Home in the Ryman League Premier 


In 2000,The Daggers beat Canvey Island 2-0 at Home in the Ryman League Premier 


In 2004,The Daggers beat Burton Albion 1-0  Away in the Nationwide Conference 
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In 2010,The Daggers lost 0-1 to Morecambe Away in the Coca Cola League Two 


 

 


Decision time!

Cursed to live in interesting times
by Hardy on 13/10/2016

Some thoughts from Hardy ahead of the EGM which will decide the Daggers future on Monday 17th October.

Cursed to live in interesting times

Following on from the surprise withdrawal of the East Consortium from the bidding process to buy the Daggers on Tuesday, the matter goes for a decision to an Extraordinary General Meeting of Members on Monday 17th at the club.

We understand that not only was the withdrawal a surprise to fans, it also took the club and other bid unawares, and DiggerDagger has been told that the notice was actually published at the Daggers Forum ahead of it being received officially by D&RFC Club Chairman, Paul Gwinn.

The move leaves Members with a straight choice on Monday between changing the way the club is structured and accepting the bid from the Tamplin consortium or remaining a company "Limited by Guarantee", effectively with no shareholders therefore unable to be sold.

Given the reported state of the club's finances, this is likely to be a choice between "Tamplin" or "Admin", which is what was feared in the Summer, or pretty much no real choice at all if the finances are shot.

What are the state of the finances?

This is the single issue that is key to the decision on Monday and will no doubt be a major topic for discussion ahead of any vote.

DiggerDagger has been informed by one insider that, should the decision be to stay as we are, the club could be in such a dire position it will have to go into administration by the end of October.

Admin of course means points deductions, potential transfer embargos and probably a fire sale of assets which is bound to include the squad. If the club can't come out of admin in time the National League may well impose a mandatory relegation.

While this might appear unlikely, Directors have a responsibility to ensure that a company is solvent and able to trade, and without outside support it seems that this may not be the case. Administrators would then look to realise what they can for the assets and it is extremely likely that the outcome would be that the club would be put up for sale anyway and could then go to the highest bidder in an uncontrolled manner.

We are already aware that various bills, including Tax and VAT, have been covered by short term Directors loans in the past, and given that we understand those loans to have come from members of the Tamplin bid, one has to ask if they will be willing to continue to put up their money without the changes they are seeking.

Against that, we know that the Football League parachute payment is a significant amount, and we had a couple of windfalls last season (FA Cup and Jones transfer), and this really ought to be able to keep the club going for the season. The parachute payment will halve next season and then cease should the club not get promotion in that timeframe and windfalls are just that, not to be relied on. This will mean scaling back ambitions significantly and most likely decline in the clubs ability to compete moving forward.

It would seem that reality probably lies somewhere in the middle of the two extremes as always. DiggerDagger's view, gleaned from conversations with many, is that while it might not be as dire as the club hitting the wall by the end of the month, the wall is appearing on the horizon and something needs to be done soon.

The club has been conducting its business over the last few months as if it was cash rich, and this is a worry since without investment, whatever the truth here, it obviously is not. Glenn Tamplin told DiggerDagger that the money he has invested to date is a donation not a loan and he is guaranteeing the wages of players he, and John Still, have signed to bolster the squad. Whether Members believe this or not may be key to the argument on Monday evening.

Hopefully the truth will come out on Monday.

Who's who?

The Tamplin Consortium names ten individuals as investing.

Four, Dave Bennett, Chris Smythe, David Ward and Steve Thompson are current board members, and therefore at least partly responsible for the club's financial woes as a result and will no doubt face some difficult questions. John Still is of course a club legend, but previously indicated he wants to retire at the end of this season, which may not happen if he wants to see the Tamplin "project" as described through.

Glenn Tamplin himself has been the subject of much discussion and has famously spoken to this site to give his thoughts on why he is coming on board and what his plans are. Of the others, Glyn Hopkin is a long term sponsor and actually had his name on the stadium from 2003 to 2006.

The last three though, Dennis Bean, Mark Fitzer and Jeanette Kwakye, are unknown names and faces. I would anticipate that they will be asked to explain what their motives are in investing significant amounts into the Daggers. The East withdrawal letter indicated that they had requested due diligence on these individuals but had not had a response from the Club.

I would also expect questions on the guarantees that are being put up on the future investment, and how it will be ensured that the investors do not simply sell their shareholdings to one individual down the line. This is the small print of the deal that is unclear to date.

Guessing games

So what might happen, other than financially, if the vote is to stay as we are on Monday?

The club has been signing additional players and off field staff, but Glenn Tamplin told DiggerDagger when interviewed that he has been funding this as an unconditional donation to the club, whatever the outcome, and has been working with John Still closely in recent months. He assured us that this extra money was not a loan, nor would it cease should he lose the bidding process. This investment is premature in our opinion, but the results of the extra money can be seen on the field of play, with the Daggers sitting in 2nd place in the National League.

With John Still part of the Tamplin group of investors, it would not be a great leap of logic to suppose that should they lose out on Monday, he will look to consider his position, which is only contracted to the end of the current season.

And what if the vote is to sell?

As one wise poster at the Daggers forum said, "A woman can only sell her virginity once." The club will never be the same after it becomes just another Limited Company.

If we sell it is likely to be full steam ahead with Glenn Tamplin's vision of the future as documented in their bid and outlined in the interview published here in September. He is certainly ambitious for the club and motivated for now at least. He has promised improved communication and extra involvement with the club for fans, which we hope will happen quickly and effectively. He has also promised a review of the whole way the club is run day to day, including the commercial side of the business, which is long overdue.

Tamplin assured DiggerDagger that he is in for the long haul, but a football club is generally a money pit. Can he, and his consortium, sustain investment and enthusiasm long enough to get the club to where he wants it to be and be self financing?

The Daggers Supporters Club will have a decision to make regarding whether they want to consider taking up the offer of some kind of merger with the Members to gain a seat on the board. We understand via third parties that the SC do not wish to do this, preferring to stay independent. It seems that this is an area that could be up for negotiation and that a voice on the board for supporters would be a major step forward for the club.

To date the Supporters Club has remained silent on the whole affair, which is somewhat disappointing to be honest when they could have been offering a degree of leadership and questioning the parties involved.

A personal comment

The items put up to date at DiggerDagger.com since the Summer result from my view of a need to provide information to the supporters of Dagenham & Redbridge FC, who have been offered very little through official channels or via the news media who seem to have taken a step back from the club now it is again "Non-League".

This started with little more than a bit of digging and collecting of the various rumours together in one place for easy reference, and culminated in the interviews with Dave Bennett and the two bidding parties. The interview with Glenn Tamplin particularly seems to have been viewed as a turning point in the process, so much so that it was referenced in the East Consortium announcement that they were withdrawing.

Throughout I have tried as hard as I can to stay neutral and present facts not opinion. I have also offered all parties the option of contacting me with further information or anything they wanted put in the public domain. All the interviews were reviewed by the people that gave them prior to publication. Where anything was quoted it was a genuine quote. When asked my own view I have made it clear that my preferred option was not to sell unless the finances provided no alternative.

So thank you to all those who have expressed support for what has taken some considerable personal time to compile over recent weeks.

Despite this I have been accused of bias by a few individuals. Ah well, I've been accused of worse. To these people, I suggest you go set up your own blog or website and "knock yourself out". It is a free country!

Mike Wainwright (AKA Hardy)

Come on you Daggers!!!


 

 

 

 

DiggerDagger.com is an independent website and the views expressed are not necessarily those of Dagenham & Redbridge Football Club