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From the board room: “Stop sniping — certain people should know better”

10th march poster for matches v Brackley and Bradford

Several fans have spoken of their support for the piece that director Richard Cook wrote for the “From the Boardroom” notes in Saturday’s matchday programme.

Here it is, produced in full:

Welcome once again to our new home at Blackwell Meadows. It’s now our seventh game back in Darlington and since Boxing Day the Board has been continuing to work hard to improve the match day experience. I know a lot has been said on social media over the last few weeks about the football club’s relationship with the rugby club, unfortunately most of it is false and baseless, and some of it comes from people who should know better and unfortunately don’t know the facts.

“What everyone has to remember is both the board of Darlington FC and the committee of the rugby club are all volunteers, so we are all time-precious, arranging meetings whenever we can afford the time to discuss the key issues and build on the relationship. Getting everybody together in one place on a regular basis is not that easy. Since the first match on Boxing Day both clubs have worked together to try and improve the experience whilst not alienating some people who have called Blackwell Meadows their home for over 25 years. Comparing the first game and where we are now;

  • the food and catering pricing issues have been resolved
  • the Tom Watson room (the downstairs lounge) is open to all on a match day before and after the match
  • the Quaker club are using the lounge area
  • improvements have been achieved to the disabled parking
  • and for today’s match we welcome Quaker Retail and the Supporters Group into the bar area.

Little steps but they are strengthening the trust and relationship. This progression is not any different to those in business and in our personal lives if we think hard about it. We have lots of further ways we will improve the relationship but we need your help to cement it. Please do not snipe, it’s not helpful.

Hopefully you will have seen from the club’s official website that we are now also planning for next season with the launch of our season tickets. We have launched the season tickets in March in line with many other football clubs so we can estimate the demand and start to set budgets for next season. We have looked to reward fans who commit early and have frozen the price of standing tickets for the third year running . Once the 15th April deadline passes we will be applying pricing for next season which will be dependant on which league we are playing in.

Martin’s budget for next season, more than any other budget at the club, will be based upon our season ticket receipts as we look to consolidate our finances after a number of challenging years taking into account our success on the pitch with three promotions and off the pitch with our move back to Darlington. Finally as a fan owned club we need your help, we continuously need volunteers to run our club both on a match day and through commercial and other off the field activities. If you think you can help the club in anyway then please speak to John or myself at one of the forthcoming games — anyone with a financial, commercial or sales background is especially needed. Finally I’d like to welcome the players, directors and fans of Brackley. Enjoy the game and three points to Darlo !