iain dougan fc twente

Once again, we have offered supporters the chance to ask chairman Iain Dougan any questions relating to the club. These questions and answers can be found below.

  1. How serious is the club's financial position?
In terms of how serious the position is, we are losing money from the football side of things. As a committee, we are charged with the wellbeing of the club and we are being proactive rather than reactive. With being a committee, we are a different business model than many other clubs within the leagues. Other clubs have directors who can give soft loans to bide them over during hard times. At Stranraer, we do not have that revenue stream and have to cut our cloth accordingly.

The decision was taken at the beginning of the season that we would look at all aspects of the business to cut back and get back onto an even keel. As the season has gone on - due to dwindling crowd numbers - this target has not been achieved. Hence that we have to look at all aspects of the club and the cost involved in all parts of it. This will impact on the first team squad and with, as has been documented, players being asked to take a pay cut. The PFA were not keen on this route and they are there for the benefit of the players and the club has no issue with it. It was just one idea put forward.

Listening to offers for current first team squad members is another option, making savings in other areas and all aspects of running the club are being looked at. This includes off the field, away from the football side of things and we have liaised with other clubs to see how they do certain things as well to see if we can learn from them.

The club is not in the position it was in a few years ago with many debtors. It will no doubt mean some hard decisions on the football front but for the long-term good of the club, these are things that have to happen.

  1. Do we need to do things differently and cut down our outgoings to protect the club?
Yes, we are trying to do that and it might well be that we have a smaller squad in the future. Our under-20s squad is having more of an effect. We have three or four on the bench and that is excellent. It proves the under-20s are doing their job. They are performing well as a team but also it means they are fit for purpose and are a huge asset to the first team now. Hopefully, that continues.

  1. Why do we wear our second/third kit when there’s no clash with our home strip?
Recently, we wore our yellow and blue kit on a home Saturday because of the quick turnaround and another game on the Tuesday. It was then discovered there would have been a clash away from home with both our away strips on the following Saturday. Hence, we again wore a change strip at home, with the blue home strip being worn at Alloa to avoid a clash. In the main, we wear blue home and a change away to give our back of strip sponsors equal viewing

  1. Is the scout (Head of Recruitment and Scouting Stuart Millar) value for money?
It would be unfair to talk about the role of an individual person, especially when I think the title of 'scout' is a simplification of what the person does. He very much has the interests of the club at heart and is very experienced in his role. He covers hundreds of miles and puts in a power of work behind the scene. Like everything else at the club, we will review whether it is cost effective and if it is financially viable.

  1. Is it true some committee get paid / and why are there so many staff at stair park when there is about 11 or 12 committee members?
Stranraer FC committee members are unpaid. We have two committee members who have paid roles at the club but these are not committee dependent and not for match day work. Committee members have jobs outwith and dedicate many unpaid hours for the good of the club. On match day, they have roles from manning turnstyles, looking after away directors, serving in bars, head steward, etc, etc. On top of this, we have a very small staff in comparison to many. These are part-time, including our club secretary and groundsman, who pack a lot into their allotted hours. It goes without saying that we rely heavily on the hard work of volunteers. That ranges from those helping at the ground on the day, whether it be selling programmes and 50/50 tickets to stewards and those on turnstyles or anyone else. Away from the games, we have volunteers who help with the club's website, the club shop, the programme, videoing and editing the game. The work of all the volunteers is hugely important and the club cannot stress enough how grateful they are for their continued help and support.

  1. Why are kids full kits far dearer than bigger teams?
A kids full strip with embroidered badge and a sponsors logo is £50. An adult's full kit is £58. Top only for an adult is £40 while a child is £35. On viewing the Old Firm's websites - no discounted or sale item authentic badged and logo prices Celtic adult top £53, junior £40, shorts adult £25, junior £20, socks for adults £12  and junior £10. This would make season 17/18 authentic junior strip £70, a full baby strip £33 and infant £38. Unfortunately, these sizes are not available to Stranraer FC. Glasgow Rangers strips, with sponsors logo, shirt adult and junior £45, shorts £22, junior £15 socks £8, mini £39.99 baby £34.99. Again, these sizes not available to Stranraer FC. Many bulk buying shops will highly discount strips purely because buying power of quantity. Stranraer FC strips have a two-year rotation period for all their strips, most bigger club change every year.

  1. Do you need any stewards?
The club are always looking for volunteer stewards with training being given. Even if they cannot manage every game, these volunteers save the club much needed money week in week out and like all volunteers are an integral part of the football club.

  1. How can we help?
You ARE helping whether it's coming to games, buying a lottery ticket, supporting club events like sportsman dinner/race night or even having a drink in the Fitba Bar. All these thing are integral in funding the club. We just need more walk in fans, not dyed in the wool regulars, who support us through thick and thin. I don't and never have taken umbrage to any Stranraer-based football fan, who chooses to travel to watch the Old Firm or go south of the border to watch an English giant. It's their choice and their hard earned money but football at this level is about watching the game, having a craic with people you know and, if SFC is their second team behind the Old Firm, then great. I am more than happy with that and if they bring their kids along to be future Stranraer Supporters (primary school kids always free at Stair Park) even better.

  1. Are the Stranraer committee 100 per cent behind Allan Jenkins and the South and youth teams?
The club decided to rejoin the South of Scotland League this term with major sponsors Ryan Construction and local support for this venture having made this team self funding. The club has been welcomed with open arms by South of Scotland committee, for which we are grateful. Our youth teams pulled out of the SFA league purely because of travelling and costs this incurred. Since then, we have continued the hard work in the community that Allan Jenkins has done. Fundraising again allows both the South and under-20s teams to provide a pathway from local youth set ups, such as Millennium/Lochryan and Galloway Thistle, into our South of Scotland/20s teams and hopefully, eventually, our first team squad. The revamped under-20s got a massive boost with a fantastic sponsorship deal with Global Freight Management and Allan Jenkins, Stuart Wild and David Macgregor are working in harmony to try and provide this gateway.

  1. What genuinely are the club's ambitions? Maintenance or development?
The club's ambitions are, and always have been in my time involved, to play at the highest level possible. This, of course, takes money but old rumours that the club doesn't want promoted are a complete fabrication. The committee were as devastated as any other Blues fan when we lost in the play-offs to Ayr Utd. Undoubtedly, it would be a challenge should we make the Championship at any given time and staying at that level would be extremely challenging. But Dumbarton as a part-time club have managed it and it is very about much trying to establish yourself in any league. Only two or three years ago, we were favourites to be relegated from this league. Some of our under-20s squad are now doing what we hoped would occur, push for places in the first team starting 11 on merit. We also have a number of younger boys in our South team being well schooled by Allan Jenkins and Gary McCutcheon. There are senior players in that squad who have allowed the youngsters to make rapid progress.

  1. Where and what happened to the money?
The perception you get an absolute fortune from big cup ties is not wholly accurate. While you clearly get a sum of money, it takes money to run a football club. We travel to all games, you need to kit out a team, you need training gear, you need travel gear, strips - these things are not given to you. Yes, we do probably punch above our weight. We are definitely not at the begging bowl stage. This committee is taking measures to ensure we do not become financially crippled.

  1. Are the club punching above their weight or can they make the play-offs?
Stranraer make a habit of punching above their weight we have lower League One crowds but as a whole business we definitely belong at this level, with ambitions to do as well as we can every season. We may well see departures in January to cut costs but we have others in the squad and under-20s that are waiting for their opportunity to step up and grab their chance. The manager is fully aware of this and up for the fight to keep us competitive.

SPFL 3L1 6474

POS
TEAM PLD
PTS
1 Raith Rovers 35 74
2 Ayr United 34 73
3 Arbroath 35 59
4 Alloa Athletic 34 56
5 Stranraer 35 50
6 East Fife 35 42
7 Airdrieonians 35 41
8 Forfar Athletic 35
35
9 Albion Rovers 35 30
10 Queen's Park 35 28

Updated 21/4/18 at 5pm

Fixtures