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Owners Give Written Assurances to Fans

January 9, 2018

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THE owners of Dumbarton Football Club have given six written guarantees to the club’s fans through the Sonstrust about the conditions applying to the planning application for a new stadium development at Young’s farm.

The move comes after a three-hour meeting of trust representatives with Brabco director Chris Stainton last Friday, and the first of two Q&A session at the club’s stadium ahead of Dumbarton’s game against Dunfermline on Saturday.

The statement (which will be made available to fans) has been co-signed on behalf of Brabco by Chris Stainton and by former Dumbarton FC director Ian Wilson.

It promises that “the new stadium will be owned in such a way as to secure its continuing use as a sustainable facility for DFC into the foreseeable future” and that “there will be no ground share during the relocation process”.

Brabco also pledges that there will be significant changes to the club’s governance and board, with the trust guaranteed continuing board representation and a commitment to find “people with the right skill sets to move the club forward.”

In addition, the Sons’ owners agree with the trust that Dumbarton needs to be a strong community club. They pledge to involving fans in commercial planning for the new development, and commit the club to “best practice processes for engagement with the DFC fanbase.”

Brabco has also committed publicly to bringing the ownership of the club onshore, which the trust has pushed for. That is in process at present.

Should the relocation move ahead, trust representatives also foresee the opportunity arising for us as a fans’ group (or for our CiC vehicle) to increase our holding and influence in the club.

The commitments Brabco have now made in writing represent significant progress in our discussions with the owners of Dumbarton FC in recently, following nearly nine months of exchanges and meetings.

We have negotiated based our own cast iron priority as a trust – which is the to ensure the security and flourishing of the club we love.

Moving forward, and whatever transpires in terms of the stadium issue, we want to see substantial community engagement, better governance, fresh commercial development to support the team, and a real and lasting partnership between the club board, the majority owners and the trust.

We have had beneficial conversations with the owners about how this can take shape, and we will bringing further ideas and proposals of our own in the coming weeks, in consultation with our members.

ANOTHER CONSULTATION ON SATURDAY

In the meantime, a second Q&A session will take place before the St Mirren game on Saturday 13th January (2pm in the Community Suite), ahead of a vote of trust members on whether or not the trust should give its green light to the next stage in all this, the planning application – bearing in mind that even if that hurdle is passed, there’s a long way to go. That vote should take place for trust members early next week.

The meeting on Saturday will involve DFC vice chair Colin Hosie explaining the club board’s perspective on the way ahead, as well as trust representative on the club board, Alan Findlay, the leader of our trust negotiating team, Simon Barrow, and members Stevie Lynch and Alistair Thorn.

(Brabco’s PR team will likely be present again on Saturday, but this particular Q&A at 2pm is for fans and trust members, focusing on what’s the best future for our club, and the risks and opportunities involved in a decision to stay or move.)

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