Ray Simpson / 28th July 2020
Behind the scenes at Darlington FC -- update 17
What's happening at Darlington FC
Behind the scenes – update 17
Here is the latest of the behind the scenes updates of events at Darlington FC.
The Boards of Darlington FC and DFCSG continue to meet regularly via video conference call, to discuss various ongoing relevant matters. They last met on Thursday 23rd July 2020
The next league season:
As you have no doubt seen in the national press, the FA have released guidance for the return of grassroots football and within that the National League System guidance states that fixtures for Steps 1 & 2 will start no earlier than Saturday 5th September, subject to change due to Government guidance at that time. The full National League System guidance can be found by clicking this link
In order to prepare for an eventual start to the 2020/21 season, the Club is currently undertaking full risk assessments, some in conjunction with DRFC, in order to make Blackwell Meadows Covid-19 Secure, before games can be played. At this time, there is no clear Government guidance on whether spectators will be permitted.
Since the board meeting, the National League issued further guidance about a possible season start on Saturday 3rd October, with the season ending on Saturday 29th May 2021. Our first game is expected to be an FA Cup second qualifying round tie.
We will have to adopt certain protocols, especially the safe return of spectators. We will keep everybody informed when information is available.
We are currently reviewing and updating the Commercial Brochure, and this will be ready within the next couple of weeks. In the last week, we have confirmed the signing of the agreement with our main sponsors Ebac, and also a sponsorship extension with the Mowden pub. There will be further announcements coming soon.
The club has continued to be very active through various means:
- Until lockdown came in March, not many in and around DFC had used the Zoom or Teams video conferencing facility, but this is now part of our daily business routines and is likely to remain for some time to come. Much of our internal meetings, contact with sponsors and community partners has been via this method. It has also been used to interview former players Les McJannet, Gary Coatsworth and Robbie Painter for 90s week on the official website, and a special feature with Paul Arnison in Australia. The feedback we have received shows that these features are very popular. We have also interviewed new player Nicky Hunt on Zoom – you can watch the interview here: https://darlingtonfc.co.uk/news/video-promotion-the-aim-for-nicky
- Our community partnership with Darlington Support has also received very positive feedback and we are continuing to work together to support the most vulnerable, isolated and shielded, in and around Darlington. The Club is delighted to learn that our partnership with Darlington Support has been further strengthened this week by the inclusion of our Matchday Events Manager, Joanne Cameron, into Darlington Support’s group of coordinators. As you’ll be aware, Joanne has also been volunteering for Darlington Support for some months now. The purpose of the Darlington Support Coordinators Group is to support residents requiring help across our town by organising the efforts of volunteers who can provide assistance. You can read more about Darlington Support here: https://darlingtonfc.co.uk/news/darlington-fc-extends-its-buddy-scheme-and-partners-with-darlington-support
- The Club has held discussions with the Dolphin Centre about how and when Quaker Retail may be able to re-open in the Dolphin Centre, subject to the required risk assessments. We will keep you informed of developments with this. Please note however, that you can still buy DFC clothing on our official website and at My Sportswear on Morton Park.
Coming up, we will:
- Continue the ongoing work on the review of the new 2020-21 Commercial brochure. Hopefully, this will be available in August.
- Continue the work in progress of existing and new and exciting features for the official website. A 90s week has been put together, while some parts of the website will be refreshed as we build up to the new season.
- Continue to develop our relationships within the local community
Throughout these very difficult and unprecedented times, we have maintained a very high profile for the club on our official website and social media channels, and we will continue to do so until we resume matches for the benefit of our much-valued volunteers and loyal supporters and sponsors.
Thank you for your continued support, it is very much appreciated.
Remember, follow the guidelines and stay safe.