It seems ages ago now, but our financial year just ended of course began in July 2011, with the club just out of administration and in your hands, as members and owners. A lot has happened since then, and we covered a lot of it at least year’s AGM, so looking back over the calendar year 2012…Steve Ayre joined the Society board for a number of months and helped us out, and in May Scott Glenday stepped down as Chairman. John Knight has done tremendous work as our financial director and stepped down at the end of last month, and Graham Smith is also stepping down today after many years’ service, and I’d like to thank them all for getting involved and giving their hard work and effort. Sadly, a number of our members passed away this year, with some well known faces including Wullie Reilly, Mel Mill and John Kennedy.
We’ve got a strong number of supporters’ clubs as members now, have youth and senior clubs as well, and work with the Former Players’ Association, Junior Dees, and also the Society began offering stadium tours, and half-time hospitality in the Penman Lounge, which of course still operates on matchdays except for Category A where the club needs it for hospitality, and we’ve run Platinum functions with the next one being a Christmas lunch with the players tomorrow. We also ran a fun day, 6-a-sides and Player of the Year dinner and raffle, and volunteer days.
Eddie Devlin joined the club board when Scott stepped down, and of course the club also appointed Scot Gardiner as CEO, and there’s a lot of work has gone on over the last 12 months behind the scenes, how the club’s run, the facilities, the staff, and so on, which was essential even without the unexpected bonus of getting back into the SPL and being the first supporter-owned club in the UK to play in the top flight. And I think it says something that we have the lowest gate prices in the SPL, the club didn’t put prices up and kept Under 12s at £20 including Junior Dees membership.
There’s a real call for change in Scottish football, we see the problems at other clubs and the likes of Rangers, Hearts, Dunfermline, Kilmarnock, St Mirren and Motherwell all looking at fan ownership, so we stay involved with the work that’s happening at a national level through Supporters Direct where Fraser is a member of the Scottish council.
We continue our community work, with amazing effort from Jacqui and her team, and the charities who visit Dens have been full of praise for the bridges we help build in terms of putting them in touch with football supporters. Our work has been praised by Henry McLeish as well when he looked at what all clubs in Scotland do, so it’s important to note that recognition. We’ve also stepped up our sponsorship of schools football, with the latest funding handed over to them last weekend.
We’ve put an end to the bucket collections, but being in the SPL doesn’t mean an end to fundraising, and having made a commitment to the club of £70,000 this year, there’s a long way to go to actually reach that target. Just because we’re in the SPL doesn’t put an end to this, we actually need to step up the membership schemes and fundraising, and also get more people involved as volunteers so we can deliver what you as members want us to be working on.
But we don’t want to rest on our laurels, and we’ll be taking stock over the holiday period as to our strategy and aims for the next 12 months. We want to know what you and other members want us to do for you, where our focus should be, and getting involved can be anything from simply making suggestions and giving feedback, to putting forward ideas and helping make them happen, or being a volunteer or board member as a number of people came forward to do last year.
Source: Dundee Mad