An update from the Dons Trust Board – March 2020

As we enter March we want to take the opportunity to update fans and members about a few positive developments in and around the Club which you may or may not be aware of.

First, as part of the DTB’s commitment to increased fan engagement, we have sent out a ticketing survey seeking your views on everything from child pricing to Season Ticket perks for adults. The email is going out to more than 10,000 people, and we know such large mailouts don’t always sit well with email service providers so please do keep half an eye on your junk/spam folder. And please do have your say – your feedback will shape our approach to ticketing ahead of next season.

Last month, we polled fans on whether you would accept pre-poured beer in the bar on matchdays if it meant a quicker service. More than 1,000 of you replied, with over 75% in favour. You spoke and we listened, and pre-poured pints have been a feature in the bars ever since, while we have also trialled a new queuing system. Despite a few hiccups along the way (we seem to be jinxed with our card readers at times) the bar queues have improved slightly. It’s not perfect, but we can promise you we will strive to continue to make improvements for the rest of our time at TCRRS.

That is, of course, until we move to our new home in Plough Lane – and no update would be complete without news on that. While we are unable to update you with any sort of ‘done deal’, the overall picture is looking increasingly positive.

It’s remarkable really to think that a bond scheme that was touted at December’s SGM has since brought in more than £5.3million. At that SGM we were talking about a shortfall of £11million and almost half of that has been invested via the Plough Lane Bond since then. That’s an amazing achievement, showing what we can when we pull together as a board and fanbase.

Not only does that mean the Club will be paying interest at a rate far lower than with a commercial loan, it means getting a commercial loan should – on paper at least – be much more straightforward.

And while nothing has been signed, we continue to make progress with potential lenders.

We can’t say more for the time being, but fingers crossed!

But the way fans have rallied around to launch, promote and administer the Plough Lane Bond has been nothing short of incredible, and I’m sure there are many football clubs casting envious eyes at what we have achieved. It is something worth reminding ourselves of and worth celebrating.

So it seems fitting that the achievement in reaching £5million in a matter of weeks should be celebrated. And you are invited to join in the Plough Lane Lift-Off party – to be held at ‘The Batsford Arms’ (aka Tunnel 267) in Wimbledon on Thursday. Tickets are £11.01 including booking fee and – yes – proceeds go towards buying more bonds. Find more details at :

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/plough-lane-lift-off-tickets-9049570509

In related news, the Plough Lane Bond has gone into ‘extra-time’ and will now be running until May 14th, the date of which is not lost on us! Having hit the initial £5m target, we are now setting our sights a bit higher and looking to hit £7.5m. Ambitious? Yes. But as a club we are continually making history and, as mentioned before, every extra Bond sold really can make a difference and help get us over the line.

And if you think you can help us in any way, the Plough Lane Bond team would love to hear from you – whether it is handing out leaflets in an area we haven’t covered, or helping to spread the word online, please email ploughlanebond@thedonstrust.org.

In the meantime, the stadium build is progressing well – despite the various storms of recent weeks. The roof installation is well under way and most of the lower terracing is almost complete. We are also expecting to start work on the pitch itself in coming weeks and we must once again relay our gratitude to Buckingham who tell us they are on schedule for a timely completion.

This update hasn’t been as decisive as we would all have liked, but we hope it helps set your mind at ease that there is a lot of hard work going on – by the fans and the Club and the Dons Trust and all involved – and that we are, as a collective, moving ever closer to the things we want most for the Club.

Whatever your contribution so far, no matter how big or small, please accept our sincere thanks. We will, of course, keep you up to date on further developments as soon and as often as possible.

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