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Daggers change of ownership: should we...

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In 1998,The Daggers drew 1-1 with St. Albans City at Home in the Ryman League Premier 

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Daggers in Crisis (3)
by Hardy on 14/11/2016

You go away on holiday and all hell breaks loose! The latest in the Daggers takeover saga and notes from the fans forum 9th November. (updated 18th November)

Daggers in crisis (part 3)

So after all the interviews, meetings and votes, Dagenham & Redbridge FC issued the following statement on the morning of November 9th, ahead of a fans forum that was planned to allow supports to discuss their concerns regarding the takeover that same evening.

Notice to Full & Life Members and Supporters

Since the recent Company meeting to discuss the proposed change in the structure of Dagenham & Redbridge FC Ltd, a number of Members has privately contacted members of the current Board of Directors. They have expressed concerns and indicated that they would now not support the proposed vote on the 'Scheme of Arrangement', which was to be held in mid-December. Certain Board Members have subsequently concluded that there is now no likelihood of the proposed vote achieving the required 75% majority.

The Board has therefore held talks with Mr Tamplin and, despite Mr Tamplin's Consortium still being extremely keen to complete its proposed investment in the Club, the Board of Directors has decided to withdraw its support for the Consortium. Accordingly, the Consortium has withdrawn from the process.

The Board would like to express its sincere thanks to the individual consortium members for their offer and, in particular, Mr Glenn Tamplin who has conducted himself in an exemplary manner during the whole process.

Unfortunately the step proposed by the Board has been just too much for the current membership.

The current Board will now arrange for the necessary finance to be put in place for the Club to continue at its current level. It will hopefully submit new proposals to its Members at its upcoming AGM.

The scheduled Fans Forum that is due tonight will still go ahead but now hosted by Managing Director Steve Thompson.

The change of direction came just days after the Tamplin name again came up in a court conviction for dumping waste at his house in Abridge, as reported by the local press here.

It seems that this further negative publicity for Mr Tamplin caused considerable disquiet among the full Members and also some members of the "Tamplin Consortium" and in the end the Board reached the conclusion that they were unlikely to carry the required 75% majority at the next EGM to enable the sale to proceed.

Fans Forum

At the forum held on the same evening, 9th November 2016, originally for the fans to be alble to question Mr Tamplin, Steve Thompson was questioned repeatedly regarding the state of the clubs finances and how the situation had arisen.

The following is reproduced from the Daggers Forum with kind permission of, and many thanks to, the author "Auntie Merge".

Initials ST (Steve Thompson) JS (John Still)
Over 100 supporters in attendance.
I typed this all the way through the meeting; I think I caught everything.

Q Asked about due diligence/did you know about the court case A (ST) We were aware of a court case and were led to believe that it wasn't as serious as it company Due diligence necessary taken was what was expected and doesn't want to go into any detail

Q More about due diligence. If you look at Companies House you will see Tamplin has not held a directorship longer than 5 years. How can you say you did due diligence?
A (ST) We did due diligence there is no way that there was any assets within the club that could be taken. One of the suggestions was to open up the consortium and that is why extra people

Q Why didn't we say no to Tamplin over the number of companies he has gone bust?
A (ST) We discussed it at the board meeting and decided it was more to do with the industries he was trading in. Now the finance has gone we will not have to sell any players. There have been measures put in place and finance to enable the club at the current level and that will give us the breathing space to put a different arrangement in place. We need new investment; without it we cannot afford to keep the club at its current level on the current crowds.

Q Monies that were transferred as part of the consortium takeover. What will happen to it?
A (ST) The monies will be refunded. We have withdrawn our support.

Q Why did the club disrespected the fans over this takeover. On the night of the members meeting, the people in the protest outside were accused of all sorts of things - touching cars, being abusive. Also John Still was meant to say that demonstrating wasn't allowed.
A Tony (Safety Officer) The fans behaviour that evening was exemplary. It was one person who came into the club that said things about the protest and this was misinterpreted.
A (JS) I never said that.
A (ST) The only time I've criticised any of the demonstrations was at the Solihull game.

Q Is anyone interested in investing in the club?
A (ST) there are other people who have made themselves known in the past few months once they knew the members were open to investment.

Q Is it all investments or a loan?
A (ST) We are looking at investments as loan money cannot be used towards whatever level of wage or salary cap for the league we're in. The only two loans the club currently have are the loan to the council for the new stand about 160,000 and the brewery 40,000.

Q Regarding the statement this morning re the decision with the consortium.
A (ST) When I realised when the vote wasn't going to get the 75% of the members to go through I accepted that it shouldn't go as far as a vote and should stop now.

Q From the 125,000 will the existing directors of the clulb who backed the proposal ask for their money back or will be remain in the club?
A (ST) I can't speak for them.

Q Are the board going to go cap in hand to the other consortium?
A (ST) I don't think we need to go cap in hand to anybody. But there will be discussions going on; we are prepared to talk to anyone

Q You keep coming back to the members not voting, Donald trump swung his election from being far behind, why didn't you let it go to the vote?
A (ST) We have 68 full members; some are not engaged in the process and I can probably tell you which ones voted which way. It was always going to be tight. When one or two members indicated they would no longer support Tamplin, there was no point and if the games up, the games up. We've had a lot of legal fees and it was pointless to carry on another five and a half weeks.

Q You know when you and Dave Bennett were looking at the offer from the Easts, wasn't it a conflict of interest, where you could go back to Glenn Tamplin and tell him about the Easts offer?
A (ST) We took the advice of a solicitor and there was no conflict of interest.

Q What is John Still's take on this?
A (JS) I'm a manager, hope to join the board and I'm a supporter. When I look at this club, I look at is as a supporter. I look at how it was a few years ago to how it is now. The club had changed and it needs some sort of investment. I went and met Tamplin along with a couple of board members and I looked at it as John still the supporter. I went to have a chat with John Goodwin. The investment that I thought was needed was coming from Tamplin. He did everything I wanted and I asked. He came over to our training ground and looked at the training ground. I can't remember recently a director coming over. Our gym facilities have gone from okay to poor. We've lost a dietician and replaced them with a player. Do I want to go on the board or not, then yes, I want to be involved in how this club is run. The consortium still wants to do it but the vote is not going ahead. Would they have got the required vote I don't know. My own personal opinion is the welfare of this football club. Would that consortium been the right one in years to come - I don't know. Do I think that this club needs investments to stand still yes. To grow? Yes. Football has changed.

Q There has been a rumour that Glenn Tamplin was tapping up the players. Is this true?
A (JS) No, categorically not. But he did speak to me about the players on existing contracts that we want to keep and then spoke to the players about extending their contracts.

Q Is Glenn Tamplin's son's team still playing at the ground on Sundays?
A (ST) Yes.

Q What is the financial situation?
A (ST) We have never said that we were in serious financial trouble but we accepted we needed investment. There is no mechanism in law where a company limited by guarantee can be converted to a company with shares. There has never been a time that no one has been paid. Our bills, players, manager, bar staff and suppliers are all paid and will continue to be paid. But going forward we are going to need this investment.

Q In recent interview with Mike Wainwright you said that financial situation was a 'disaster' and 'dangerous'?
A (ST) If the investment doesn't come forward the situation will be dangerous.
A (JS) The other members of the consortium want to go ahead if the members vote yes if they vote no, ok. It came as a shock that it wasn't going to the full members.

Q Should all the remaining consortium members get together and form one big consortium?
A (ST) That is possible. This happened yesterday. Half of our current board are away on holiday.

Q Surprised at mr Tamplin lifelong supporter why isn't he putting in his money anyway without owning the club?
A (not really an answer to that!)

Q The current board has seen us through two relegations, the Wayne Burnett fiasco, and now this. Most of the board members are on holiday this week; they won't be at Halifax next week. Shouldn't you (ST) and the board resign over this and we get a new board who support the club and go to games?
A (ST) Any one who said we didn't fight to stay in league one doesn't understand the club.
Q But you sold a player - Paul Benson.

Q Asked board to resign.
A (JS) In my opinion I believe that the people here run the club but it needs drive, to improve the football club. No problem with any of the directors but we have to have a person with drive who won't take no for an answer. We haven't got the right drive. I've got the drive but need others. Times have moved on we haven't moved with it.

Q The drive comes from the board but the board is so far removed from the supporters. We need to all pull together bit something needs to be in the middle. We've been blatantly run into the ground. So that Tamplin said if you don't take our investment it's that or administration. The drive comes from the board. If you love the club then stand down and and let people with the drive come forward.
A (ST) This is one of the plans with the investment that some of the current board would resign.

Q Re money that we've lost - the Tamplin deal was only a short term one on the money he was putting in:
350k season one
650k season two
Compared to Tamplin's 1.250,000 all the money will be soon be gone.
There are clubs in our league on budgets of 350k - 450k, why aren't we cutting the budget and living within our means?
A (JS) Can we compete with these clubs with bigger budgets no, but can we beat them yes. I bought Wayne in but I can't tell him how to do his job. When I came back we had no young hungry players. Once we get ourselves up and running properly new young players will be coming through the club.

Q I came to listen but the facts are that since June that this board has raised this clubs debt by 300,000. Tamplin is now getting his money back, meaning we are 400,000 in debt. We have got to have change within this club.
I can't understand why Dave Bennett issued a statement about the club and said it's a difficult situation to change the constitution of the club. If we couldn't change the constitution of the club with the membership, why is it going ahead?
I believe we've had nothing but half truths and seen gross misconduct from the board. If we stay with this board I do not see a future for this football club.
A (ST) The legal situation was that there would have to be another vote of 75% of the members. No directors have changed their vote but they have withdrawn their support of the consortium.

Q Surprised with you having your fingers on the money that you aren't aware about the difficulty in changing the constitution.
(not really an answer given)

Q This club is one of the most expensive in the league why didn't we reduce the price?
A (ST) fair comment but we offer a very good season ticket. We do offers to try and bring people in. It may be that we have to reduce the prices in the long run.

Q When I was in the TBS stand, the Dover supporters were complaining about paying 21 for a ticket. Clubs like Brentford offer 26 a ticket for championship football.
A (ST) Our gate receipts are relied on a lot more for income than a championship or premiership club.

Q You've talked a lot about members, I'm still trying to find out the advantage of being a full member - where is the advantage?
A (ST) Full membership is for where people who want to get involved in the running of the club. Two board members come up for election every year, one committee member and an officer. The main advantage is being able to elect or stand. And the members are the custodians of the club. Full membership was always open to any one who has a Season Ticket. The membership was closed at the start of the takeover discussion and it will come up at the next board meeting as to when it will be reopened.

Q So few directors go to midweek away games, sometimes there is only one director. It is unprofessional that not one director went to morecambe away midweek. yet for the Everton game you probably could have had a full board meeting. When we do kids for a quid, why don't we extend it to the Saturday on the day, and try to get more people in?
A (ST) Board members going away that's a difficult one and you can't always legislate for board members at away games.
(Q)Can't you get a rota going.

Q When you send the season ticket application why don't you send out an application form or mention full membership?
A (ST) I can't say that you're not right for the last 10 years at an early game we've done it as a special for full members, and asked them to bring along a guest, particularly think about someone who might want to be a full member. We could have done more but equally supporters that wanted to be a full member knew we were a full members club.

Q You've got a great big clubhouse and I think the off the field activities are appalling. Assuming the board stays at it is are you going to increase our off the field activities?
A (ST) Most Friday and Saturday nights the rooms are booked. Large room closed at 3pm For weddings. Small hall usually closed at 6.00 pm. Halls are 90% used with bookings. If there is other things that you can think of let us know.

Q Look at the objectively whatever you think of the board, yes they've made mistakes but respect the board. Always beware sugar daddies. How are you going to grow support? There is a unique opportunity - next season there will be 10-15k West Ham supporters not returning to the Olympic stadium. We should entice them here. What do you think the estimated fan base is?
A (JS) When we were in League two our support went up a bit. And considerably more for away support. It's around somewhere 2000 people when we're playing well, exciting football, and on a league above. The reality is that's probably about we got. Next year if we are vibrant we have a chance of some of them coming here.
A (ST) When we first got promoted to the football league we had a number of sub 1000 gates. We have increased from the previous conference attendances.

Q Why don't you run an offer that If you've got a season ticket for West Ham you can get in for half price?
A (ST) It's something we're thinking about towards the end of this season.

Q Do we have enough funds at this level?
A (ST) We have enough funds at this level at the present time. Going forward the guarantees we've got will be that it we are funded for this season. If we were to get promoted then the dynamics of the finance change. If we don't get promotion there will be hopefully new owners.

Q The PR has been really crap about Tamplin the board needs to be more open about what's going on.
A (ST) Some of you here are full members then that information has gone to full members. So what information we give to full members and what we post on the website is different.
Q What I found as disturbing as a full member why wasn't the chairman of the supporters club involved and notified about events, even though he is not a full member. As a supporters club we don't know anything. A full member passed the letter to the Chair of the supporters club and Dave Bennett said 'what are you doing with that letter?' At the end of every members meeting why isn't a summary made available to the supporters?

Q We were told that Tamplin was abused, and abused on twitter, yet I cannot find any abuse. Then there was the incident of Tamplin's son being abused in the TBS. I was there and there was no abuse. I don't know where these stories of abuse of Tamplin came about because they are not proven
. A (ST) I can't comment on anything that Tamplin said. Not going to comment at all. Solihull the abuse was such that their chief safety officer held i us back and escorted out of the ground to a taxi.

Q When we were protesting outside the members meeting Dave Bennett came out and said there would definitely be a fans forum before the members go forward with the Tamplin bid. But then someone received an email from Steve Thompson saying there would definitely be no fans forum.
A (ST) The understanding was that there would not be a fans forum before the vote. There was meant to be a meeting to meet Glenn Tamplin, but Tamplin decided not to meet the fans.

Q Is this the end of any possible of any financial involvement of Glenn Tamplin and the end of any possible involvement from him?
A (ST) It would depend on different parts of the consortium. I can't say definitely to you no, but I find it very unlikely.

Q You said we will be securing a loan in the interim to cover the gap in investment, how long can we go for?
A (ST) There hasn't been a full board meeting. This has all happened in the last 48 Hours. I don't know the answer to that.

Q If you read the Waltham Forest Guardian (about the waste dumping) is that the reason why the board has withdrawn?
A (ST) I don't know, I only know that members said they no longer supported Tamplin.

Q asked of JS: I just can't believe that whole affair of Tamplin, and the secret society of the full members, we are still going to go away from here without knowing the answers. Now you haven't got the investment how long are you going to stay patient? As a supporter what confidence have you got in the man sitting next to you?
A (JS) I came to the club for one reason for one season. Where it's difficult being a manager and a supporter, over the years I wasn't here I could see the last group of John Still players leaving here, but I couldn't see the thing that the club had got the club to here - young keen players. I'll come to end of this season and try to get the club back running the way I'd like to see it as a supporter. I'm going to say this, if the Tamplin thing had gone on I would have been here next year. Not having to sell players. I don't know at the moment.
I have probably disagreed with lots of things that Steve and chairmen and ex chairman have done. Gone home sometimes unhappy. If I look at the whole picture, yes people have to be held to task but one thing I have never doubted is he is 100% in what he believes is right for the club.

JS then sat with the crowd and asked a question as a supporter since 1969.
Q With what's gone on, with what has gone on an unsettling time, what is our vision for the club and how important is it that you that talk to people who are going to be impacted by your decisions?
A (ST) One of the rules the football league has got you need to be an incorporated club. We sat down me and Derek Almond (RIP) and we came up with the idea of the club limited by guarantee and we asked the members as it kept the ethos of a members club. If it doesn't work we'll have to eventually look to selling the club. My vision is to find the right people that can come into the club with the big enough pockets to improve the infrastructure at the same time maintain the team and go forward. My main job is to try and find that person or people. It isn't only about getting promoted to the football league, but supporting the manager whoever the manager is at the time, at the end of the day we are a Football Club. We need the supporters around us to support the club.

Tamplin at Billericay

On the 13th November DiggerDagger received an email from Glenn Tamplin stating that he had now secured the purchase of Billericay Town FC. He pointed us to the following statement at the Billericay Town website:

The Club has today received the following statement from Chairman Steve Kent.

I have agreed to sell (subject to contract & completion) my majority shareholding in Billericay Town Fc to Mr Glenn Tamplin. Grant Gordon has also agreed to sell his remaining shares to Mr Tamplin. All parties are keen to complete as soon as possible.

Glenn is a very successful businessman and a former non-league footballer who is keen to take on a non-league football club and move them up the pyramid. He first made enquiries about Billericay several months ago but when an opportunity arose with Dagenham & Redbridge he understandably chose them as his preferred choice.

However, due to difficulties in making a deal happen with a members club Glenn came back to us all the more determined to fulfil his dream at Billericay. So what has been a big loss for Dagenham is now a massive gain for Billericay."

We will up-date with further information in due course.

Subsequent to this announcement Glenn Tamplin gave a radio interview to Phoenix FM which outlined the reasons for his attempt to buy the Daggers falling through, and his future plans for Billericay Town. The interview can be heard here.

For clarification, this is opinion...

So it seems that Tamplin has indeed moved on and was in discussion with a third Essex club, Billericay Town, prior to his interest in the Daggers which we were unaware of, which he has now followed through with. He has since confirmed that he spoke to Billericay prior to the Daggers as he knew the Manager there.

The result of all this is basically the Daggers are in a mess at present, and the impact of that may be reaching the team, who got battered 5-0 at home by Gateshead at the weekend.

As was becoming clear, the "Tamplin Consortium" was not a united group at all as was hinted when they obviously had not met as a group ahead of the meeting with the members, and very little regarding money paid to date or promised in future is in writing. It seems likely that Glenn Tamplin is seeking his investment to date, and possibly sponsorship money, back.

In the meantime, as a result of the board working on the assumption that investment was going to come in at some point we have a team funded on that basis and right now there is no money on the table.

DiggerDagger understands the club is not in immediate trouble for money and any immediate holes in the budget will be covered.

It is probably now time to take a while to think, find the right solution and make it happen.

The people that got us here need to consider their positions during that time though.

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