Saturday, 5 March 2011

Dumbarton fans can make a big difference

First published in Sons View, 05 March 2011, Dumbarton -v- Livingston

The Sonstrust is continuing its drive to increase membership and secure a bigger say for Dumbarton fans in the future of the Club, and also the future of Scottish football as a whole.

Fans at today’s clash with Livingston will be getting a ballot paper asking for their vote on three important issues – whether the lower leagues should be regionalised, whether ‘colt’ teams from the SPL should be allowed to play in the second and third divisions, and whether there should be proper fan representation in the governing bodies of Scottish football.

If you’re reading this and haven’t had the chance to vote yet – fear not! You can also do so online at the Sonstrust page or the Facebook pages for either the Trust or Dumbarton FC.

YOUR VOTE MATTERS because the SPL has announced that it may be deciding on ‘reconstruction’ of the league (issues effecting ours too, not just theirs!) within “the next few weeks”.

The views of Dumbarton fans and ordinary supporters across the country therefore need to be heard loud and clear. Today’s vote will give the Sonstrust and the Club a mandate to push the SPL and the SFL to ensure that reforms take our wishes seriously – not just those of the big clubs, the Old Firm, the moneymen and the TV companies.

Similarly, joining the Sonstrust is the key way that ordinary fans can help secure the future of Dumbarton Football Club – both on the pitch and off it.

If you join up today or at the next home game, your membership – which costs just £10 – will count for the rest of this season and the whole of next season too. A bargain!

Just go to the Sonstrust Table in the Community Suite, see Tommy Hughes, or drop a note to

What does the Trust do, what can it achieve and why is it really worth joining? Well, here are a few examples. The Sonstrust has succeeded in:

* Giving supporters a direct voice into Dumbarton FC
* Raising funds and developing facilities for the Club
* Heading up Matchday commercial activity at DFC
* Getting a fully-funded Club Director – paid off 6 years early
* Producing the DFC Matchday programme and developing/running the Club website
* ‘Meet the Manager’
* Working with Dumbarton Stadium Company Ltd (DCS)
* Better supporters’ bar facilities: TV, memorabilia, projector, etc.
* A whole range of social events
* Local community initiatives fund
* Annual match sponsorship – 2 or 3 games per season
* Sponsorship of Match Ballboys at DFC, donating tracksuits
* Management /co-ordination of season ticket distribution
* Raise the Rock days – helping to increase crowds and revenue
* Walk to the Rock – profile for the Club in the community

Equally important is the fact that joining the Trust (it’s easy – just fill out a quick form and give your tenner in!) also links you to dozens of other Trusts and thousands of fans across Scotland. And together our voice can be much, much stronger.

Last week Supporters Direct especially praised Sonstrust for its work in recruiting and involving fans. SD development officer James Proctor declared: “Strengthening individual Trusts and building the Trust movement in Scotland is really important at a time when big decisions are being made over the future of the game.

Henry McLeish’s report into Scottish football recommends the inclusion of fans in the decision making of the SFA and the SPL have recently started to engage with supporters’ trusts and Supporters Direct over their proposals for reorganisation of the leagues. Therefore having a democratic and Scotland-wide fans organisation is an important step in improving the game and ensuring fans are represented.

“The Sonstrust at Dumbarton have set a great example with their recruitment drive, which is emphasising the importance of being part of Supporters Direct, as well as encouraging community ownership and giving fans a bigger say. We hope others will be inspired by their initiative.”

So please join the Trust, make sure that you 'Rock the Vote' today, and make your voice heard in the debate about the future of our game.

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