Yesterday evening our Durham City board members, volunteers and staff met to reflect on last season, outline future plans, address concerns and questions raised internally and externally and discussed expectations for next season. Below is an overview of certain topics which were discussed in the two hour meeting which are able to comment on and we hope to provide you with further information as things develop. We know several of you have burning questions and issues which you want addressed. We can assure you and promise you that we likely echo the same sentiments as yourself and all want a new and fresh start for Durham City AFC.
Staff and Volunteers:
- Wayne Gredziak will be staying on as manager. Despite the clubs finish for the 22/23 season, Wayne only came into the team when relegation was all but confirmed. Since Wayne has arrived performances have improved significantly, keeping final scores below double digits and being competitive with even some of the top teams in the division. We got out first two points of the season under Wayne and his team and were unfortunate to not get at least two wins prior to the season ending.
- Assistant Manager Brian Barber has unfortunately had to step down due to other commitments, however Mikey Weston has stepped into that role as a dual assistant manager and player. Kyle Robinson is head coach, JJ Elliott is goalkeeper coach and Junior Masandi is also taking on a dual role as assistant coach and player.
- Brian Telfer was already working as our catering manager and was voted in by the board and volunteers to become our vice chairman as well. Brian's commitment to the club is infectious and due to running his own business, as the required skills and qualities to help him succeed.
- Charlie Whellans and Ryan Hunt have both become involved with Durham City AFC in the last two weeks as commercial managers. The two of them are looking at our current income, expenses and discussing ways to make the club financially stable, marketable and healthy again.
- We will be putting out posts advertising for general matchday volunteers, an assistant secretary and treasurer
- All our current volunteers and board members are committed to the club, wanting to stay on board and selflessly putting in a lot of work despite other commitments and being unpaid members.
- We are pursing fan ownership and are waiting to hear back from them regarding a survey monkey being put out to collect fans thoughts on fan ownership.
- We are currently in discussions with Olivier Bernard around settling the sale of the club via fan ownership, sponsors and other outlets. This will naturally take time. We understand the situation is frustrating, however at present, this is the only option that we can pursue. Unless a person or company expresses interest in taking over the club. But the impression we have from people is that fans want a fan ownership.
- Would like to reiterate that all of the club bank accounts are not controlled or in the name of Olivier Bernard. Any money which comes in goes straight to the club and we raise all our own funds.
- The club are currently paying for the use of Leyburn grove for the season. The total amount for the years use of the ground is £1900 and we have enough money to pay the first instalment. There are no immediate plans to return to Durham city centre at present due to the lack of grounds in the area and costs. Again once we stabilise as a club, we will look at this once again, however, we are still pursuing and keeping an eye on some options to see if they’re viable.
- We are waiting to hear back from Sunderland council about what work we can carry out on the ground, as we would like to use the off-season to spruce up the ground, add new features and improve facilities and accessibility to the pitch
- We will be advertising sponsorships for players, matches, matchballs and general sponsors and what the advantages of that are and what sponsors get in return.
- We will be doing more this season to ensure that sponsors are duly promoted, thanked and advertsied throughout the season, including adding them to goalscorer graphics, man of the match graphics, the website and promoting them regularly across our social media channels.
- We are looking to acquire more merchandiseto sell at home games, as we know that this was limited to the sales of only pin badges and scarves.
- The club are aware of some issues with purchasing some of our merchandise from DCD Teamwear last season due to the fact that hummel had supply issues across the the country, meaning that purchases of some items were unfulfilled and refunded.
- We are delighted to continue to work DCD Teamwear and thank them for all their support. This year our kits are manufactured by Errea with plenty of stock available on DCD Teamwears website. We are looking to purchase some of the merch from their website to sell at home games.
- We are currently discussing match day programmes and how often and detailed they need to be. Also whether, digital or printed. Unfortunately we printed quite a few programmes last season, but only sold a few meaning we made no profit and actually lost money.
- Given we are now in a lower division as well, it is hard to ascertain how many fans we will generate.
- Will provide a further update on this once more discussions have been had.
- Given the fact we will be remaining at Leyburn Grove for another season, we are looking at developing meaningful relationships with the local community in Houghton-Le-Spring and Hetton. Promoting the club, acquiring links, supporting and promoting local projects and businesses. We are also looking into creating links and relationships with local youth football teams. Our goal is to eventually have Durham City AFC youth, development teams and a women's football team, developing a clear pathway of progress for players.