Last night saw the board face first Full Members, then an open meeting with Daggers fans, to outline the plans for the future of Dagenham & Redbridge FC following the withdrawal of financial support by Glyn Hopkin at the end of 2017.
Key points are:
- The board were advised to liquidate the club four months ago, however they feel they now have options and a plan to keep it going as a National League club through the 2018/19 season with a view to resetting at that point to a setup similar to that prior to promotion to the Football League.
- While there has been no new external investor found to date, there have been and are still several interested parties and the board will continue to look for someone to invest.
- The club remains debt free barring the loan to the council which was part of the building of the new away stand, a small facility with the brewery, and ongoing bills. All taxes and wages are up to date.
- The board feel that the club is still an interesting prospect to investors as it has a Football League standard ground and all the onfrastructure needed to go back up if and when it can.
- Part of the plan going forward is reducing costs as best can be done. As such some staff are facing redundancy. A number of players are contracted through to the end of next season though and these will form the basis of the playing squad for 2018/19 when the club will remain full time.
- As the highest wage on the books, John Still has agreed to step down as manager. He will seek another role in football as he does not want his last season to be the one just finished with all that happened.
- It seems likely that Darren Currie will be offered the role, but it is unclear whether he will want to take it. John Still stated several times that if the role is advertised, there wil be many suitable applicants, despite the financial issues.
- Season tickets will go on sale from the 18th May and, while all prices are up from last year, there will still be an "Early Bird" discount up to 16th June 2018.
- Having shied away from asking for donations up to now as they were unsure whether the club would continue to exist, and they felt asking people to shovel money into a potential lost cause was unfair, the club is now actively seeking donations from supporters and members.
- A target has been set of £150,000 for donations through this route. Should this target be hit, the board has committed to increase the Full Members shareholding by a further 5% to 31%.
- Having been closed for the past two years, application for Full Membership is now open to all supporters who are also Season Ticket holders. The club is hoping to significantly increase the number of Full Members through this.
- All ideas for fundraising and volunteers to help the club out in any capacity are welcome.