Monday 13th March 2017
DIRECTOR Ian Wilson gives an update on stadium re-location plans following his visit to the club last weekend.
Ian said – “A number of questions have been raised about the intentions and status of the club’s plans to relocate to Young’s Farm. We have decided to provide a regular update to the fans via the club’s website, the first of which is posted here.
“DFC continues to advance its plans for relocation to a new stadium. Our ambition is to submit these to the local council in June this year, this assumes we have confidence at that time that the plans will have a good chance to meet with the council’s approval. This timing is to take into account the local elections in May and our view on the likelihood of support that ensues for a community stadium at Young’s farm.
The majority shareholders of the club have felt for some time that the structure of Granada “(the offshore vehicle) owning 100% of Brabco ( the onshore vehicle ) was no longer in tune with the business climate and in 2016 started the process of closing Granada down. This will leave Brabco as the major shareholder in DFC. This process of change in structure will be complete before the application for planning permission at Young’s Farm is submitted. Myself, Chris Stainton and Callum Hosie will continue to be the main Brabco contributors on club matters going forward.
“We have done work on the potential revenue from a new stadium and believe the relocation will put the club on a stronger financial footing and provide a more sustainable position for football at a good level. We are involving a wide group of stakeholders in this work, including those who are members of the Sonstrust. At the moment we are in discussions with sports business planning companies to also get an independent view of the business potential and sustainability of the relocation plans.
“We are confident a new stadium is the best way forward for the club and the local community. The facilities at Castle Road allow the club to run at break even before depreciation but do not permit us to put a full-time team on the pitch. There are also some investments required to keep the ground at Castle Road in a good condition. We feel this money would be better spent on a new stadium with additional community facilities.
“Fans have asked about ownership of the new stadium. As Brabco is financing the new stadium, it is important that the solution selected for the club is in the club bests interests, and does not create financial issues for the club. For a time Brabco retaining ownership was considered to be the best option in this regard, as it eliminated a possible tax charge for the club. However, we are now revisiting a full spectrum of choices and will report back in due course on how the stadium can best be owned/managed for the club’s benefit. We are taking legal and tax advice on all the options under consideration. Whatever ownership structure is settled upon, it is vital that all revenue generated from the new facilities are for the club’s benefit, and that the club can look forward to a long and financially beneficial occupation of the new ground.
“The local press and some fans have asked if we will hold any more AGMs. The club holds an AGM as and when it feels necessary, though as a privately owned company it is not legally obliged to do so. We are always open to discussion and sharing of ideas with the club’s stakeholders, please come forward and let the club have your questions and comments and we will do our best to respond.”