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Catching up with the Chairman

11 months ago By Mishi Morath

It's been a while since we shared Liam Hickey's regular pieces in the matchday programme, they might seem a tad dated now..

But for those of you who never saw either, or both, we re-publish them here.

For all of the up-date-news from him make sure you buy a programme tonight, with every penny from programme sales going, as always, DIRECTLY to the Football Club Committee budget.

Here's the first one, from back on Saturday 21st October:

Good afternoon everybody and welcome back to Champion Hill for today’s game against Burgess Hill Town. I would like to welcome everybody associated with our visitors and hope they enjoy a good day in our company.

Our visitors were the opponents on the day that we sealed a return to the Premier Division and so will always have a place in the history of our club. Who could have believed that the massive crowd that day would now be less than the average Saturday attendance now.
I am also delighted that The Chandler Family have sponsored today’s match and they have dedicated their sponsorship to Commemorating the 212th Anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar.

I would also like to welcome our guests that are here today as a result of the great community work that Mishi, George and others undertake. Today we welcome Athenlay FC and also Magic Kids, both of whom will be introducing both adults and children to the world of live football for the first time today. Athenlay will also be putting their team through their paces during the half time interval.

In addition, I am delighted to be able to welcome a group of children who take part in our Football in the Community scheme. They are the future stars of this club and I hope they, and their parents, also gave a great afternoon.

On the pitch, things are really clicking into place and some of the injured players will have their work cut out to get back into the team once they are fit. The performance on Tuesday evening against Harlow Town was another emphatic statement of the intent in terms of what this group of players can achieve. I will continue to bang the drum about how lucky we are to have our manangement team who don’t just turn out a great team but have such an influence over the whole of the club. It is a pleasure to work with people of such integrity.

As the crowd showed its usual midweek tail off, I will reiterate just how amazing our fans and our community are. Your support of our Non League Day initiative and the generosity shown has certainly humbled me. To raise over £9000 for our two local charities was an amazing effort.

Wearing my other hat as Commercial Manager, as I mentioned last week we have commissioned a special kit to support the work of the Ibrahim Kargbo Foundation and the players will be wearing it during their warm up today and also in the London Senior Cup tie at Corinthian Casuals. We have worked on this with our partners at Jale Sports and I hope fans will get behind our initiative to raise funds for the Ibrahim Kargbo Foundation by purchasing a replica shirt. These will shortly be available to order and all profits will go to the charity to help its work in supporting the mud slide victims in Sierra Leone.
Also on the commercial front, we have made a small change to our Match Day sponsors packages. We have decided to halt the match ball sponsors and instead introduce a category of Individual Match Sponsorship. This will be priced at £30 and is in addition to the current match sponsor package that will instead be marketed dolly at businesses.

The package will include:

Name of sponsor in the programme

Announcements acknowledging the sponsor over the PA

Complimentary entry and programme

Refreshments in the Boardroom pre match, post match and at half time

A seat in the Directors Box

A chance to nominate 4 candidates for the Supreme Engraving Awards UK Man of the Match on which fans will vote,

I hope that this will enable more fans to join us in the Boardroom who would not have been able to sponsor a match before.

Finally, as I mentioned in Tuesday's programme we are looking for businesses to sponsor our junior teams. They are desperate to look just like the first team and you won’t just receive their gratitude but also see your name on their kit, tracksuits, training wear and bags.

Prices are £2500 per team and I hope we have some generous business people in our fan base tgat can make this happen. The kit is anticipated to last for 2 seasons so if you can help, or know somebody who can, then contact me.

That’s it from me, other than to thank you all for your support. You all make this club as great as it is.

Enjoy the game

And the most recent one, prior to tonight, from Tuesday 31st October:

Good evening everybody and welcome to Champion Hill. I offer a particularly warm welcome to all our visitors from Greenwich Borough FC, a club that has made giant strides forward over the last few years and which appears to have very supportive owners and investors with a real vision for their club.

I would also like to thank our visitors for so willingly agreeing to reducing admission prices for tonight’s match to try to make it more attractive to fans who we are all aware spend a lot of money supporting their teams.

I would also like to welcome our match sponsor this evening going by the name of Scratch Crusader and thank them for their support, as of course I would like to thank you all for supporting the club in so many ways.

Starting with events off the pitch, a lot has happened over the last couple of weeks which will impact on the club after tonight’s game. Many of you will have seen the press recently and the fact that the plans for a new stadium linked to the development of housing on our stadium have been withdrawn. This is following a court case that saw the council reclaim the lease on the site earmarked for the new stadium.

There has been a standoff between the council and developers for some time and this has impacted on the club for some time. The impact of the latest court case is not yet fully defined but it appears that any further investment in the club has ceased and that we are now going to have to stand on our own and be entirely self sufficient.

The full details are yet to be set out to us but what is clear is that we shall require the support of our fans more and more if we are to continue to move forward on the pitch. If you have never supported the 12th Man Scheme then now is the time to do so if you want the team to continue to perform at its current level and above. The scheme really can be the difference between the club thriving and falling backwards.

It is disappointing that after all the hard work of my committee, the Supporters’ Trust and so many fans that we have been cast adrift so quickly. I must assure you all the financial decisions within the club have been made without reference to its stakeholders but they are the ones who are now left with the consequences of those decisions. Does this sound a familiar scenario?

In all this, I must make it clear that no blame can be attached to our management team as they have operated exactly as any team management would and achieved great results. In fact, they continue to work with us towards a successful future for this club and I count them as stakeholders in our future.

What is very clear is that the stakeholders in the club, The Committee, Supporters’ Trust & ASPIRE Academy have a very clear shared vision for the club that can be achieved if we are allowed to pursue the plans that we have already prepared and worked on. However, this needs flexibility from those who own the stadium and the Directors of the company that runs the football club. We need to be allowed to bring fresh investment into the club, which we are currently prevented from doing by them refusing to sell or dilute their shareholding, but in the meantime we would hope that our fans will invest in the short term to enable the club to continue its upward trajectory.

On the pitch, we are in a rich vein of form with plenty of goals at the right end and a rock solid defence at the other; all this with injuries to some of our most experienced players. Fans cannot fail to be impressed with how our squad players have stepped up to cover for the absence of our first choice players. In fact, I don’t envy Gavin having to make some very difficult decisions once everybody is fit.

Once again thank you for your support and please do as much as you can to help us through these difficult times because a bright future is very close.

Liam Hickey
Dulwich Hamlet Football Committee

Tel 07967212353

Updated 16:01 - 14 Nov 2017 by Mishi Morath

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