“We will need everyone to come together and play their part” Dave Cormack
Yesterday we updated staff and, subsequently, the media on the exceptional circumstances we find ourselves in. We pulled no punches about the stark reality facing Aberdeen Football Club because we believe it is important in these times to show clear, decisive leadership and, above all, transparency.
I must caveat this by saying that, in these unprecedented and worrying times, what happens in football needs to be put into context. Every individual, every business and every organisation will be acutely feeling the reverberations of the unfolding events.
And because the Dons play an important part in my life and your lives, we are committed to steering the Club through this incredibly challenging period. When we get through this, which we will, and football resumes, we want to be in the best shape we can be, on and off the pitch.
Showing solidarity and support for our fans and the community
I’m proud and humbled that the Club’s first response to the fast-moving events in the last week was to consider how it could support the community through this unparalleled crisis. AFC has been at the heart of our community for over 100 years and we have marshalled our forces, using the power of and passion for AFC as a force for social good for that community.
Our community campaign has two key components:
- To use our unique platform to connect with people of all ages, from all backgrounds across all parts of the city region and beyond, providing them with AFC-based content which educates, comforts, reassures and even brings a smile to all those affected, but particularly those suffering from loneliness, anxiety and fear while being forced to stay at home.
- To provide practical support, through the work of the AFC Community Trust, to those in need and, potentially, to the emergency services as and when they require it.
Our current position
Three weeks ago we were in a healthy financial position; free of external debt, with £1.5million in the bank. We had expected income of about £1million from four home league games and the Scottish Cup Semi-Final and, potentially, £5million in season ticket sales, seasonal hospitality and new shirt sales coming in through mid-July.
Our monthly running costs are about £1.2million and it’s only prudent to assume there will be no football until July perhaps, at the earliest.
During this period, we are facing £5million in outgoings with no expected income. No matches are planned and we have no idea when a new season starts, never mind the current season ending, and it is highly unlikely there will be any player sales in the summer.
This situation is clearly unsustainable. No club, whatever their size, scale or level of investment, can withstand a total lack of income over a period of anything between three to six months.
We are doing everything we can to mitigate this collapse of income over the next few months and protect our hard-working, dedicated and loyal workforce and all those who depend on the Club.
Once we have clarity and certainty on what happens next, the Board will recommend a course of action to ensure the Club’s survival. This will include asking investors, including myself, to support the plan. We will be facing some tough decisions and we will need everyone to come together and play their part in efforts to secure the Club’s future.
I fully appreciate that our supporters have their own challenges at this time but, as the Chairman, it is incumbent on me to appeal to all our Dons fans, partners and sponsors to do what you can to support the Club at this critical time.
I’ve been heartened by the messages of support I have received from fans asking what they can do to help the Club through this really difficult period.
I’m hugely encouraged by those still buying season tickets, renewing or subscribing to AberDNA and buying merchandise on-line. This underlines the amazing and loyal support we have from the Red Army.
Like you, I love our Club and what we stand for. We are determined to get through this and I am confident we will, if we all stand together.
Please remain safe and well and do what all good Dons’ fans already do: look out for each other and look after those in our community who need it most.
You can support the club in the following ways:
Season Tickets 20/21
Earlier this month we launched the sale of season tickets for the 20/21 season with a commitment to improving atmosphere and the overall matchday experience for supporters with a view to making Pittodrie everything that it should be in our final few years here.
Once again, we are working with V12 Season Ticket Finance to help supporters spread the cost of their season ticket. To help make things easier we are also covering the interest costs for supporters who select the 6 month or 4 month payment options.
Season Tickets remain available to purchase and renew online at afc.co.uk/eTickets
AberDNA is a membership initiative which aims to capture the imagination of not only local, but national and international supporters. Unlike season tickets or other memberships, all profits from AberDNA are used exclusively to support the Football Operation.
Since its introduction in 2018 AberDNA members have contributed over £1 million directly to the Football Operation, this contribution from almost 6,000 members around the world is now a critical part of the football budget.
In return for your support of the Football Operation, via a monthly or annual payment plan, supporters can join one of six different membership categories and will receive a range of benefits, including a replica shirt, discounts on season tickets and club merchandise.
Our online store afc.co.uk/shop also remains available with further reductions now made on 2019/20 replica kit and Adidas trainingwear as part of our sale. 2019/20 home shirts are available priced at £18 for Adults and £12 for Youths.