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Daggers change of ownership: should we...

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Next Match

24 April 2021
Kings Lynn Town
Vanarama National League 

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17 April 2021
Solihull Moors
Vanarama National League 
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     On This Day

In 1995,The Daggers beat Bath City 1-0 at Home in the GM Vauxhall Conference 

In 1997,The Daggers beat Dulwich Hamlet 2-0  Away in the ICIS League Premier 

In 2000,The Daggers beat Hampton & Richmond Borough 3-2  Away in the Ryman League Premier 

In 2006,The Daggers beat Kidderminster Harriers 3-0 at Home in the Nationwide Conference 

In 2011,The Daggers lost 0-1 to Plymouth Argyle at Home in the NPower League One 

In 2017,The Daggers beat Wrexham 1-0  Away in the Vanarama National League 

In 2019,The Daggers lost 0-2 to Braintree Town Away in the Vanarama National League 



Dave Bennett

Interview with Dave Bennett (2017)
by Hardy on 22/08/2017

DiggerDagger took the opportunity to catch up with Dave Bennett again, a year on from our last interview with him.

Interview with Dave Bennett (2017)

Dave Bennett has been a long term investor in the Daggers as shirt sponsor, a board member and Chairman up to the end of last year. Now as an investor in the consortium led by Glyn Hopkin buying into the club, he remains part of the fabric of the football club.

This week, with the new season now underway and a few positives and negatives rolling around the place, DiggerDagger took the opportunity to catch up with him again, a year on from our last interview at the height of the Tamplin takeover, here.

We started by talking about what Dave had been doing since he stepped down as Chairman in September 2016.

Dave told us "I have taken a step back a bit and have adopted a low profile, but I am still involved in a lot that goes on around the place obviously."

"I try to attend all games home and away when I am in the country but I am retired and often in the USA as I have a place in Florida. I also have a recent grandchild who lives in Australia so am sometimes away for long periods, so am not around as much as I have been previously."

He added, "When I do travel to away games, and I have done places like Torquay on a Tuesday night, I prefer to take a train, and I often bump into some of our away supporters who are always welcome to discuss anything with me, and do!"

Glenn Tamplin

We had to discuss the current circus at Billericay Town. How did Dave feel that was going?

Dave laughed. "Well obviously there is a vast amount of noise around that, some of it good, some of it bad. Glenn showed a lot of enthusiasm while he was here, and I think that reflects on how things are going at Billericay. He would never have had full control here to run Dagenham & Redbridge quite like he is Billercay though, and most certainly would not have been allowed to become the manager."

"I wish him good luck to be honest, he's definitely put his money where his mouth is, but I am very happy with how things have worked out at Dagenham & Redbridge since Glenn moved on. I think we have something special happening here now and hopefully the supporters can see that too."

The change of ownership

We asked how the change of ownership to the Glyn Hopkin led consortium was going.

"It is dragging on to be honest," Dave told us. "We had hoped to get it all wrapped up in the summer to start this season under the new set up, but lawyers will be lawyers and we aren't quite there yet. We have proceeded on the basis that it is going to happen though, hence the spending to tidy the club house up and a few other changes round the place that might not be so obvious."

We asked about Full Membership, which is still closed at the moment.

"Yes it is right now, and we hope to open it up again soon, but obviously it hasn't yet. The Members are currently working up a new rulebook, which will reflect the changed constitution of the club and once this is done we will be good to go," Dave informed us.

"We do want to get new blood in and part of the deal is that the Members retain a significant share in the club because Glyn, Steve and I feel that is important to keep it as part of the community. Watch the website for an announcement soon I hope."

We asked about the "Vice Presidents Club" which has appeared in programmes this season, what is that?

Dave told us, "This is something we have put in place to allow some continuity for the people who have put a lot of time and effort into the club over the years on the board and in other capacities. With the structure of the board changing, the VP Club members retain a status allowing them to remain in the directors box with all that offers in terms of hospitality. It is by invitation though, and there is quite a cost to take it up."

Dave went on to say, "Dave Andrews remains life President of the club. The VP Club has people like Chris Smythe and Ray Calcutt in it, who have given a lot to the football club in the past. It also includes ex club Presidents John and Brian East."

What is all the fuss about flags?

There has been a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth at the Daggers Forum recently over the relationship between the club and the supporters, particularly over the banning of a couple of flags. What actually has happened there?

Dave explained the background. "The North Korea Daggers flag turned up at Everton for the first time as far as I am aware and got a few laughs, even though it was pretty obviously aimed at Steve Thompson and me. The Trump's Daggers Confederate Flag appeared later, and after it was picked up on the TV we did get a couple of outside emails complaining that it wasn't appropriate."

"Steve and I have tried to find out who owns the Trump flag to make an offer to pay them the cost to replace it with something less controversial, but despite asking through unofficial and Supporters Club channels have not been able to have that conversation so far. The flags turned up at Boreham Wood and Eastleigh this season, and with events in both North Korea and the USA, plus the behaviour of a few supporters that let the club down badly at Eastleigh, Glyn decided to ban the flags from games under our existing ground rules that don't allow racist or inflammatory banners."

Have the club refused to talk to the Supporters Club?

Dave was adamant this had not happened. "The Supporters Club have asked to speak to Glyn and Paul Gwinn a few times, often at short notice. Glyn runs a major company and isn't always available at short notice, and as far as he is concerned Steve and I were dealing with the flag thing."

"We are all approachable, all available at times, but not all the time or at the drop of a hat, and people can't decide who they will and won't talk to," he added.

And the email that has been discussed at the forum?

"Steve Thompson sent an email to AFC Fylde and Maidstone, our next two away fixtures, telling them that the flags were banned at our ground and advising them not to let them be displayed at those games either."

Dave explained, "The Safety Officer had already advised them of the issues at Eastleigh, as is standard before any away game with any club if there have been any incidents. Whether they let the flags in is up to the away club of course, but we have a duty to inform them of potential issues."

Dave reiterated that the offer to talk stands if the owners of the flags want to take that up.

The Dagenham & Redbridge Supporters Club has posted a response to this section of the interview which can be found on their website here

On the field?

Dave believes there are a lot of positives around the place right now, but things still need time to settle down,. "The unbeaten start is great, but we have shipped a lot of goals. John is as frustrated about that as anyone and will address it."

"Hopefully we can continue to build momentum and not get the sort of luck we had with injuries last season. It is early days yet though."

Dave was very complimentary about AFC Fylde, who we visited on Saturday. "It has obviously had a lot of investment which shows in the ground and on the pitch, but what a great welcome we were given and what a fabulous day it was, particularly with the late equaliser that always feels good."

"It just shows that clubs can have money invested in the right way too," he added with a wry smile.

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