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Trust dismiss talk of Magpies sliding down pyramid
DORCHESTER Town FC Community Trust have moved to dismiss fears their proposed ownership of the club will result in the Magpies sliding down the league pyramid.
Trust secretary Dave Ring described the notion as “nonsense” and confirmed that the process of due diligence is due to start today and should take no longer than three weeks.
He also rebuffed suggestions that Dorchester isn’t a “football community” and expressed his confidence in the people of the town to get behind the new venture.
It was revealed last week that chairman Shaun Hearn had agreed in principle to hand over his majority shareholding to the trust with a view to the Magpies being a community-owned club by the start of next season.
The news has been met by a mixed reaction from supporters and Ring is eager to allay the reservations some have over the move.
“Some people are well up for it and quite enthusiastic but some are sceptical about how it can work,” he told Echosport.
“The bottom line is that a lot of the fans against it, I would imagine, don’t really understand what it’s about.
“For some it’s a precursor to dropping down the leagues, but that’s nonsense.
“Community ownership definitely generates more interest within the community.
“People say Dorchester isn’t a football community but that’s not true.
“There are 500 kids in the youth set-up, which at the moment isn’t associated with the club. Factor in their parents and that’s a huge part of the town there.
“I have no doubt that community ownership of the football club will encourage local businesses to get involved more in regards to different types of sponsorship and functions at the club.
“The whole point of the community ownership philosophy is for the football club to run within its own means.
“But if any local businessman, Shaun included, felt the need to donate money then that would absolutely fantastic.”
The next few weeks will all be about assessing the club’s financial position and then coming up with a business plan that works going forward.
Some of the trust’s groundwork has already been done after the same due diligence process took place last year when a handover was mooted then.
And while Ring is realistic with regards to the possibility of any potential stumbling block he is in no doubt that a solution could be found if required. Once all the finances are looked at and we’ve got a full view of what the picture is then we can come up with a robust business plan,” he added.
“The handover of the shares will only happen if we can come up with a robust business plan that everyone considers will be right for the football club.
“It’s the same with any business. And if there is business that can’t be done then you don’t purchase the business or take it on.
“The football club is the football club and a plan will be made with regards to making it work without a shadow of a doubt.
“There is no reason why it can’t work. Like Shaun has said, the club is in a reasonably good financial position so it’s just the due diligence part of the process now and then to come up with a plan.
“We are confident that there are no causes for concern but only until our finance people know exactly what the true position is will we know what we need to do.”
One of the trust’s first priorities is to strengthen its own board which is currently made up of four men and one woman.
The plan is to introduce representatives from Dorchester Town Youth FC and the club’s board of directors.