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‘Team needs your support if it is to return to form’
THE Quakers will not make a quick return to the football league unless more fans invest in the club and step forward to help raise money, officials have warned.
Darlington 1883 (DFC 1883) board members said season ticket and merchandise sales had been excellent in recent weeks – but far fewer fans had joined the community interest company (CIC) or offered to help fundraise than they had hoped.
Supporters initially pledged more than £325,000 to buy shares by paying money into the Crowdcube online funding system.
However, only about £150,000 has so far been invested in the CIC, which replaced the Crowdcube system.
Craig McKenna, DFC 1883 board member and project manager, said the club had drawn up a list of more than 40 potential fundraising schemes which could not be launched because of a shortage of volunteers.
An appeal for fans to sit on a panel which will work alongside the DFC 1883 board had also received a poor response.
Mr McKenna said there were many positive things happening at the club, and board members and volunteers were working extremely hard, but the shortage of investors and volunteers could hamper the club’s future.
He said: “The aim is to bring this football club back to Darlington and to a higher level of football as soon as possible.
“However, without increased levels of support through the CIC membership and or fundraising, these objectives will begin to look further away.
“Everything that is going on is excellent, but it’s coming from a pool of people too small to secure the future that fans tell us they want.”
Denis Pinnegar, DFC 1883 chairman, said fans could be confident the club was now financially stable and that manager Martin Gray was putting together a competent and exciting team.
In an appeal for more fans to get involved in the club, he said: “Since January, the fans have been asked over and over to help and contribute to the future of the club.
“Until now the club hasn’t had a future, but now that it does this is the time for fans to have real influence over how that future is shaped.”
For details on volunteering or investing in the club, call 08717-221883.
Alternatively, visit darling ton1883.co.uk