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Sonstrust Wants Fans to Have Their Say

November 5, 2014

PublicExhibitionTHE supporters’ trust at Dumbarton FC is encouraging all fans of the SPFL Championship team to take part in a consultation over proposals to relocate the club in another part of the town as part of a major redevelopment.

The trust, which is a registered provident society with hundreds of members, leafleted and talked with Dumbarton fans at their Scottish cup game against Rangers on Saturday. It is also calling a public meeting on 26th November to give local people a chance to express their views.

The majority owners of Dumbarton FC are putting on a display of their plans for a new stadium at the Club on Thursday and Friday this week. This is part of the statutory planning and consultation process.

Simon Barrow, communications and projects officer for the Sonstrust, said: “We are pleased to be fully engaged with the club on this vital redevelopment issue, which will play a major part in shaping the future of Dumbarton FC.

“Our main role is to ensure that supporters and local people have a real chance to find out what is going on and to express their views and ideas.

“These are ambitious plans. Our viewpoint is that whatever happens needs to be capable of securing the future of the club, benefiting the community, involving supporters, and being fully financially sustainable.”

The board of the Sonstrust will make further comment after the exhibition of plans at the Bet Butler Stadium on 6th and 7th November.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Scott permalink
    November 6, 2014 7:40 pm

    The new stadium looks nice, as you would expect from a brand new football stadium but that’s about it so far.

    No information could be given around funding other than very, very rough estimates. This for me is the main issue and until information around funding is presented to us I’d have to say I’m dead against the move.

    The fact the stadium will be constructed in phases in another stumbling block for me. The initial phase will consist of a 1,500 capacity and any further phases will depend on funding and whether we can lease/sell the surrounding land. To me it seems like we’re diving into this and could potentially be left with a stadium with a smaller capacity than our current one.

    In the words of the man with the eyebrows… no thanks (unless of course I can be convinced otherwise).

  2. November 6, 2014 9:29 pm

    The stadium plans look tremendous, really excellent. However…

    We still don’t know how much it’ll cost us. Phase 1 will be the building of a 1500 seated stand. That’s it. What if the funds aren’t sufficient to fulfil the completion of the other 3 sides and we end up with a smaller, poorer located version of what we already have. Gilbert said the plan was to build phase 1 whilst still in the BBS, which is good as it saves any groundsharing options that would be an inconvenience to everyone. However if we are to move in before the full stadium is completed then we must specify that the ground has a capacity AT LEAST the same as at the BBS.

    To me it seems like a massive risk to the financial future of the club, for what, in the long run, could prove to be of little benefit. The last thing anyone involved with the Sons’ wants is to run up a large amount of debt for a stadium which isn’t suitable for us. If we are told how much completion of the stadium (Phases 1 & 2) will cost and how much we will make from selling the current site, and it makes sense financially then I will support the new build. Unfortunately with all the uncertainty surrounding it I cannot support the plans and so it is also a no thanks from me.

    Finally it is essential that all Sons’ fans who can attend the meeting at the Abbotsford on the 26th where hopefully we will get answers to the big questions.

  3. Steven C. permalink
    November 6, 2014 11:21 pm

    I can only echo the stated concerns regarding the general funding of this proposal. However, for me, the fundamental issue is the plan to relocate Dumbarton FC, a community football club, outside the local community. This alongside general access/transport issues & the proposed capacity size, leave me feeling very sceptical at this time.

    I’m also very concerned that these proposals are being forwarded, as far as I know, by the same Board who moved us to the present site. They appear to have given little thought to the possible consequences of not being able to expand/develop our current location. Sorry, but I do not trust the future of the club in the hands of these people.

  4. Gillie permalink
    November 6, 2014 11:40 pm

    I too went down to the Rock tonight to see the proposals for relocation to Young’s farm. As others have mentioned the plans are hugely impressive with visitor centres, coffee shops, supporters bars for both home and away fans, function rooms, training pitches etc, but can we finance it, or are we punching above our weight as a part time club?

    I was worried that Brabco would walk off into the sunset after the completion of phase 1 and never finish the job, but Gilbert assured me that Dumbarton FC were protected, ringfenced and wouldn’t stand to lose a penny, as all these terms would be written into the contract. Brabco would be the ones to lose out.

    I think the financial aspect is at the forefront of most of our minds, we want to safeguard the future of our club and that the money is being spent wisely. Hard to get ball park costs.They can’t give us projected figures from buying and selling of land, until prospective housebuilders tell us how much our land down at the castle is worth, all dependant on how many houses they can squeeze in there, (maximum I think is 180)

    I was pleased to learn that there has now been an update to the initial plans. As well as the 1500 seater main stand,there will be TERRACING put in at Phase 1, holding 500 each giving us a stadium capacity of 2500 for the first couple of years.

    This is a consultation phase which hasn’t cost DFC anything yet, I was told if it is not viable and there is conflicting opinion, then we won’t move and will stay as we are.

    What I am delighted about is that WE have a say in all of this, we can ask questions, make suggestions, point out problems re finance, traffic, access, pedestrian access,etc . Brabco with their 76% could barge on and do whatever they like, but thanks to the hard work of Alan, Simon and the trust, we have been given a voice. Not many sets of fans could find themselves where we are. We should make full use of this privilege afforded to us, and make sure we do what is best for DFC.

    Or……do we become a trust owned club and say bye bye to Brabco?

    See you all at the Abbotsford, looking forward to hearing all the views and questions

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