Boost the Budget passes £45,000 on first day

By Ray Simpson

Boost the Budget passes £45,000 on first day

Great start to the campaign

Boost the Budget got off to a great start, with over £45,000 raised on first day, which means that we're already a quarter of the way to our minimum £175,000 target.



Following a fantastic end to the 2023/24 season, can you help maintain the momentum and enable Steve and Terry to build an improved squad for the coming season?

"Boost the Budget was a huge part in how we’ve been able to be successful…that’s been a massive help!” (Steve Watson, 19th April 2024)

On 31st December 2023 the club appointed Steve Watson as manager.

At that point, we were 23rd in table, eight points from safety and we had played a game more than the likes of Bishop’s Stortford, Southport and Banbury United sat around us in the table.

The task ahead for Steve, Terry and the players was monumental. Many feared relegation was a foregone conclusion.

At that time, the DFCSG board had been debating whether a second ‘Boost the Budget’ for the 2023/24 season was appropriate.

It had only been in the previous May that Darlington fans had pledged a record amount of £162,070 towards Alun Armstrong’s playing budget; the ‘cost of living’ crisis was biting hard as 2024 loomed and many still had their Christmas decorations up.

After weeks of debate, a conclusion was reached that “extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures” and that asking the fans for additional ‘Boost The Budget’ funds was both justified and absolutely necessary.

A target of £30,000 was set. As ever, Darlington fans went above and beyond, raising £32,000 inside a fortnight and bringing the season’s ‘Boost the Budget’ investment total to a staggering £194,070.

The rest, as they say, is history. We won 12 of the next 21 games, securing National League North safety with a 3-1 win over Farsley Celtic at Blackwell Meadows in front of 2,261 fans on Saturday 13th April.

Cedric Main, Matty Cornish, Scott Barrow, Matty Young and Aidan Rutledge – Steve’s signings across January, February and March – all played a massive part in our survival campaign, and it would not have been possible to attract them had it not been for Darlington fans raising £32,000 at the start of the year.

The likes of Tom Platt, Toby Lees, Will Hatfield and Cameron Salkeld, who also played a huge part in keeping us in the NLN, would not have joined earlier in the season either without May 2023’s ‘Boost The Budget’ campaign.

This is where you can play an integral part in helping us achieve future success. As a fan-owned club, we effectively dictate the level of ambition and quality of the squad by setting a significant chunk of the manager's playing budget.

Steve believes that, with some key additions complimenting the core of last season’s squad, we can seriously compete and push for a play-off spot come the end of the coming season.

To attract the best and to retain the talent we already have is not easy (or cheap), but we’re ambitious and we want to back Steve and Terry as much as we can.

Last May we were amazed at the £162,070 raised, but this time we think we can go even better, hence a May 2024 ‘Boost the Budget’ target of £175,000.

Football fortune income (ie, TV revenue, cup runs and player sales) can also add to the playing budget throughout the course of a season. But the more we raise now, the better Steve and Terry’s prospects are of attracting top players during the close season.

Since its inception seven years ago, ‘Boost the Budget’ investors have contributed over £800,000 to the club's playing budget; a staggering contribution, and the very definition of "fan ownership".

As always, we know that making a financial commitment to the club may not be possible at the level which you have invested previously. It is important we look after ourselves and our families first and foremost.

However, if you are fortunate enough to be able to invest for the coming season, it will make a significant and material difference to the playing budget and the targets we hope to secure.

As with previous years, any and all contributions are appreciated. However, due to an increase in individual transaction fees over recent years we ask that you consider minimising the volume of donations you make (looking at you, rounder-uppers!). Minimum levels have been introduced on each of the one off/weekly/monthly donations, but if this is going to cause an issue then please reach out.

To pledge to Boost The Budget 2024/25, click here.

As in previous years our fan rewards are back again – click here to see full details of what is on offer.

Let’s aim for a successful 2024/25 season together! Thank you, once again, for your incredible support.