Chief Executive David Bottomley brings you the second installment of David's Diary...
I wanted to follow up last week’s Diary, and the inspiration this week has come via the Dale Supporters’ Trust and the Memorandum Of Understanding that we, as a Club, were delighted to sign and commit to.
Because of that, the word ‘understanding’ is very much on my mind.
Understanding that follow up is important in all things, which brings me to the point of asking again for any local tradesperson who feels they can help the Club at some point, to write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include a brief description of what you do, along with your contact details.
This would be much appreciated, especially in a week when, again, money has been invested into things such as new wiring and trip switches, to name but a few, along with the behind the scenes activity that ensures we are prepared for you, the supporters, when you enter the Crown Oil Arena!
Understanding again this week what an amazing group of passionate fans we have – not that I didn’t know that having been one myself for 50 years!
Without the fans, the Club playing professional football does not exist. The fans’ forum was an event that made it clear how passionate we all are about Dale. I thank all of you who attended.
Understanding that, off the pitch, two of our players have both gone the extra mile. These include Calvin Andrew’s nomination for the PFA’s Player In The Community 2019, and another for the work that is inspired by the EFL’s charity partner MIND. Both have shown that they care about our fans and our Club.
Down at our great partner the Soccer Factory this week, the annual EFL Under-11s schools competition has been taking place. It has been extremely successful with just short of 40 local schools being represented.
The finals day takes place tomorrow (Saturday) and the winners will represent Rochdale AFC in the League One Northern regional finals. The winner of that will then play at Wembley prior to the League One playoff final – so go Rochdale schools!
Understanding also the needs our staff, sponsors and our Club. Meetings this week have included those with Rochdale Council, where a statistic we discussed was that League One is actually in the top 40 sporting leagues in the World with regards to revenue. This includes North America and all the might of their sports.
Meetings have also taken place with our caterers, the Board, Rochdale Hornets, travel companies, Rochdale Online, Rochdale Observer, amongst many others, including meetings with regards to planning of the Sunderland fixture in April.
The week is not just about meetings, it is about action, and plenty of that has happened, both on and off the pitch, to ensure that the referee can blow his whistle at 3pm on Saturday.
Understanding that we must move forward into the 21st century, as the news on contactless and card payment terminals demonstrates (yes, ‘finally’, I here many of you say!).
Finally, an understanding that ten years ago this week, Dale were playing in a league that included Darlington, Aldershot Town, Chester City, Barnet and Dagenham & Redbridge, which shows where Dale really are.
Also, to balance that view, the same league included now Premier League Bournemouth, along with Brentford and Rotherham United of the Championship. So, understanding that we do have ambition and are not complacent, but I bet the fans of the aforementioned five wish they were lining up against Fleetwood Town tomorrow in League One.
Many thanks to all this week at the office, or in the town, to ensure we do play tomorrow, and I wish the best weekend to all of our supporters.
Up the Dale!
David Bottomley, CEO