Darlington Supporters' Trust ballot over £40,000 for the Quakers (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Darlington Supporters' Trust ballot over £40,000 for the Quakers
A FANS’ group is balloting on whether to invest £40,000 in the Quakers.
Darlington Supporters’ Trust is asking members to vote on how to use the money, which was raised during a previous crisis faced by the club.
Although £10,000 of the original £50,000 collected by fans has already been used to save the club, the trust has faced repeated calls to hand over the rest of the cash.
A new board was appointed last month after the previous leaders resigned over the controversy.
Doug Embleton, the new chairman, said investment information produced following discussions between the trust and fans’ company Darlington FC 1883 (DFC 1883), which owns the club, accompanied the ballot papers.
Members of the trust have the choice of investing in the community interest company formed by DFC 1883, putting the money direct into DFC 1883, or keeping the cash.
Mr Embleton said the trust could move forward once the issue of the money had been resolved.
He added: “This involvement of members is what a trust is all about, coupled, of course, with a deep love of Darlington FC.
“In the longer-term, the real work of the trust will only then begin. It is vital that we now engage with and become the voice of supporters, strengthen our already growing membership and look to go on raising further funds.
“A strong and lively trust is a must for this football club and, if the huge efforts already put in by the new board are a sign of things to come, it is clear that it is currently in very good hands.”
Trust accounts show that after handing over £10,000 in January, the group still has more than £52,000.
Some fans have called for all the money – not only £40,000 – to be invested in the club.
However, Mr Embleton said the fundraising drive in 2004 raised £50,000, which, if fans voted in favour, would all be passed to the club.
He added that the trust would use the rest of the money to raise further funds to help the Quakers.
Any member who has not yet received a ballot form should email ballot@darlo trust.org.
"More than £100,000 reinvested"
MORE than £100,000 has been reinvested in the Quakers, the club announced last night.
The total invested in the community interest company (CIC) formed by Darlington FC 1883, or pledged directly in the club, last night stood at £101,300.
Supporters initially pledged more than £325,000 to buy shares by paying money into the Crowdcube online funding system.
However, DFC 1883 decided to return the money and launch the CIC after it bought the club without a company voluntary arrangement.
Craig McKenna, DFC 1883 project manager, said: “It’s good to see the fans coming forward and we are confident, although not complacent, that we will achieve what we need to achieve.
“It’s pleasing to pass the £100,000 barrier. Personally, it’s as much about the volume of fans joining the CIC as it is about the amount of money raised – this is a community football club and we need as many fans and members of the Darlington community as possible to join the CIC.”
Former manager David Hodgson will join DFC 1883 chairman Denis Pinnegar and team manager Martin Gray at a fans’ forum at the Blackwell Grange Hotel, Darlington, at 6.30pm tonight. The event is the first in a series exclusive to the members of the CIC.
Fans wishing to attend can email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve their place.