In the Summer of 2019, over 500 dedicated fans played a part in increasing the playing budget for incoming manager Alun Armstrong. The appointment of Alun brought with it a new wave of optimism to the Club which resulted in us smashing the original £80,000 target. The final total was a shade over £100,000 – a fantastic achievement and an amount which allowed Alun to do some serious remodelling of the squad. Upon his appointment Alun pledged to spend your money wisely and build a squad of value for money players from the local area – a pledge he certainly delivered on.
Boost The Budget has become a critical activity in allowing the Club to compete at National League North level by supplementing the playing budget to the tune of around a third of the total budget. Without this investment from our owners – you, the fans – we would find it very difficult to compete at this level.
The 2020/21 season promises to be one of the most challenging to date for many clubs at all levels of football. The sheer number of unknowns currently make planning of all aspects very difficult. Commercial revenue is almost certain to be reduced as businesses across all sector struggle due to the economic downturn. Setting a playing budget for a club at this level even in more certain times is extremely difficult – even small fluctuations in forecast versus actual revenue can create some gaps in cashflow that are difficult to bridge. The guaranteed revenue from the Boost The Budget scheme really does make the cashflow situation much more manageable.
In May 2020, we asked you once again if you would be able to back Alun in his quest to push the Club forwards, with the continued commitment that he would spend the money wisely to fine tune an already talented squad of players with a clear remit to play an exciting brand of football. Given the climate of Covid-19 and economic instability, we cautiously set a Boost The Budget target of £100,000. Across 31 days, 708 investors raised a staggering £131,385, allowing Alun to quickly bring in the likes of Dan Maguire, Nicky Hunt, Tony McMahon and Luke Charman at a time of huge uncertainty.
Since it's initial inception four years ago, Boost The Budget investors have contributed over £360,000 to the Club's playing budget in that time. A staggering contribution and the very definition of 'fan ownership'.
Alun Armstrong: “I’ll make sure I’ll bring players in that are value for money and I want players that want to play for Darlington Football Club, want to progress and move up the league and show the fans that passion.”