Fans have now contributed over £1.5million in eight years!
The Boost the Budget scheme has now closed for this year – and loyal Darlington fans have literally smashed the target!
A figure of £100,000 to help manager Alun Armstrong’s playing budget was set at the start of May – some people thought that the amount was quite optimistic because of current circumstances – but the fans proved everybody wrong by raising £131,190, beating the target by £31,190. 707 fans contributed both large and small amounts, an astonishing £43,000 being pledged in the last ten days. The club would like to sincerely thank everyone who pledged.
It also means that in the eight years since the fans took the club over, they have contributed a mammoth £1.5 million to fund several projects in various ways.
Darlington chief executive David Johnston said; “Darlington fans have once again proved how much they love their club. Considering the difficult times that we’re living in – and let’s hope that they will be over soon and everybody remains safe and well – to have contributed well into six figures is testament to how much Darlington fans want their club to be successful and move forwards. It was amazing to see the running total gather pace at the start and near the end of the campaign. Every time I checked, the total had gone up by a few thousand!
“The money that they have generously contributed will help Alun compete in the transfer market for players and challenge for the play offs in the new season. Not many fans in this country -- if any -- can claim to help their clubs so much financially.”
Manager Alun Armstrong, who has just signed a contract extension, said to the fans; “To say I’m overwhelmed is an understatement!!
“What a lot of people seem to forget is, that this is your club and without you doing this we wouldn’t be here, which is why this club is so special and unique.
“I don’t see any club in the world, never mind the country, raise this kind of money in such difficult circumstances. To raise this on top of the £10,000 to help cover the loss of income from the last four home games is just astonishing and to be the manager of the club with fans/owners like this is an absolute honour.
“I will do my utmost to give you what you deserve. Together we’ll be stronger!
“Stay safe and see you all soon.”
Chris Stockdale, the chair of the Darlington FC Supporters Group, said: "I'm more amazed than ever at the response from our supporters this year given the ongoing pandemic - it's way beyond our initial expectations. I'd like to thank each and every person who has pledged, large and small. Together these funds will help us build a stronger club, on and off the field, going into next season and beyond."
In the past, Darlington fans have contributed to various schemes; to take over the old club in 2012, to fund the moves to Bishop Auckland and back to Darlington, to pay for the construction of a seated stand and the Tin Shed at Blackwell Meadows, to pay for pitch refurbishment at Blackwell Meadows, and to successive Boost the Budget campaigns.