Denaby United Football Club – Annual Meeting – Plain Speaking

April 1922

Denaby United Football Club


Some Plain Speaking


President. “Clears the Air”


Declined Gates for Improved Football

A certain section of the Denaby football supporters came in for condemnation by Mr H.C.Harrison, the president of the Denaby United Football club, at the annual meeting on Friday. The meeting, which was held on the field, was well attended.

Mr H.C.Harrison presided, and also present were Mr H.Hulley (chairman of the committee), Mr WStill, Mr Tom’s Swinbourne (secretary), Mr R.V.Bedford (assistant secretary), and Mr N.V.Sinclair (financial secretary).

The chairman said it was the second year. He had presided over their annual meeting, and on the previous occasion. He had to apologise for the very poor position. They occupy in the middle and Lee, but, as they set off to that, he told them that they had a balance in their favour. Since the last meeting they had made the ground what it was today and at a considerable cost. They had also given them a promise that they would attempt to get a team that would do better. They would understand that that was not only a difficult matter, that an expensive one, and they would agree that they had got together a team that was considerably better than the year before. In fact their position up to Christmas, at any rate, justify them in expecting, with luck, that they might finish somewhere near the top of the Midland league. They served up football that was quite as good as any where in the Midland league (hear, hear) and it had been done with the team, which was run as cheaply as any in the League.

They did not throw money away on players will stop. So far as they could, they are kept their word to their supporters, and had provided them with a better team, not perhaps with the results they had all four, but certainly with better results than they achieved the year before. There was no doubt they were greatly indebted to their manager, Mr Hancock. They were told at the last annual meeting that if they did all the things they promised they would have no fear of their being support sufficient for them to carry on, but she had to tell them that their gate receipts last season was something like £200 down.

The receipts for the season had been £1439 and the gate receipts of the previous season were £1624. That was excluding cup ties, which were a deal loss. They had a balance from previous year of £88 and that was when they finished at the bottom of the league. Since then, they have made a new ground, which cost them over £600.

The principal items of receipt were: Gate money £1439; Cup ties £231 14s 9d; Sheffield Challenge Cup £49 6s 2d; subscriptions and donations £194 13s; transfer fee £225; special efforts £177 7s; sundry loans £677, making a total of £3122 15 9d.

The principal payments were: wages etc £2064; ground improvements £624 8s 6d; leaving a balance in hand on that account of £41 18s 3d.

Their total liabilities however, were £999 17s 9d, and the club was, at the moment, in debt to the extent of £480. That was their position at the end of the year, after they had had what they called a fairly successful playing season.

So far as the members of the committee and himself personally were concerning, it did not strike them as being a very bad position. Naturally they were disappointed with the gates.

Under the circumstances, the new ground might have cost them £2000; it could not have been done under that figure. They had got it now and it was an asset. They had no fear that at the end of the next season. They would have wiped off the deficit. He wanted them to understand it had been a very difficult time for everybody.

They had tried to keep their promises, and they had done so, but it had cost them a certain amount of money.

For next season, they had already secured the nucleus of a very fair team, which would cost them half what the team cost them last season. They did not anticipate any drop in the gate receipts; rather did they look forward to an increase.

He appealed for the supporters to rally round the club and see that it remained sound, and to all would help them. He tended their hearty thanks.

Straight from the Shoulder.

Proceeding, Mr Harrison said he. He had to explain the position of the committee. That meeting are being advertised for members only. It had been wrongly advertising that way, and should have been for supporters only, but he wanted to tell them what they were up against nearly every year.

They kept hearing that there was a movement on foot, and a certain party was in existence to turn them out of office and shift them. “All right,” said the chairman, “so far as I am concerned, and my friends on the committee, we don’t want that party to take the trouble. We will give it up. So far as we are concerned, we get nothing out of it. It is taking money out of our pockets and taking up time we can ill afford. We will give it up to those people. If they have any interest in the club, and wanted Turner’s out of office. (Hear, hear).

I very much object though, to remarks like those being passed at a general meeting, that we are going to be turned out, that a party was coming along to clear the lot out, or to put so-and-so out of office, or to make things hot for someone else – people who have never done a hands turn to warranty.

It is not right that the officials of a club, supported by members would do by membership cards and supported, should be ousted out of office by people who don’t care whether there is any sport in Denaby are not.

I do not want to keep out of this meeting anybody was gutted to feeling for sport at heart, and who wants to do something for the good of football in Denaby.

I do say though, that it is not right for anybody to go around and get a party together from Mexborough, Conisbrough, or anywhere they like to vote out of office. Anybody they don’t like. It is not fair.” He would welcome anybody that had the club at the heart. The interest of Denaby United, and he wanted them to understand that they, as committee, got nothing out of it. They did not ruin it for their own ends, but to provide Denaby with the highest standard of football they could. (Hear, hear).

He had lots of other things to do, but he had a great interest in the game and the like to think that Denaby was somewhere near the top of the league. He hoped he had cleared the air a bit.

With regard to their position, they were faced with a deficiency, and some of that deficiency was, more or less, a personal matter. It was personal to him and other members of the committee, and it affected the colliery company. He represented too.

He did not think, however, that anybody was going to cripple the club by calling that money in. Certainly they had a ground, and that was an asset worth £2000.

Spade Work Done.

If they had not had some of the best fellows in the world to help them with the ground, it would have cost them a lot more. They had to get a team for next year, and so files that was concerned, he would say that the spade work had already been done.

After all that had been accomplished, were they going to come there for their personal ends to” chuck all of them overboard” and start somebody else on the job? He maintained that the men were done the “holing” should get the coal for it. (Hear hear).

If a man had done the spade work he ought to have whatever credit there was (applause.) He thought the best way would be to appoint a general committee, which will elect its own management committee and officials; they could not run a football club on a big unwieldy committee. When he first heard the remarks about the management of the club, his first impulse was to throw up the position, but he wanted to tell them that if they continued, “swopping” horses whilst crossing the stream the odds were they would never get across and he thought the manager and official appointed last year and done their best replace Denaby on the highest level in sport that they could. They had all tried their best and not for what they could get out of it. Imagine will tell them straight that they were not there to be coerced and barged and bullied; they would chuck it first. (Hear, hear and applause.)

That was his position in he thought it best to tell them straight. He thought men in Denaby like to be told straight. (Laughter and applause.)

Election of Officers

Mr H.C.Harrison was unanimously re-elected president of the club, and, in returning thanks was election, said he did not think they would appoint him to do anything else after what he said. (Laughter.)

The vice presidents were re-elected and the committee of 33, was elected, and then power to appoint the management committee and executive officials.

The chairman said that at a meeting held recently it had been suggest that it might be a convenience to some members if they issued their membership cards earlier and allowed them to pay their subscriptions in instalments.

A member, said he thought they would get a lot more members by adopting such a course.

The chairman said that 13 members failed to pay their subscriptions last year.

A Supporters Club

The Chairman said he believed a Supporters Club consisted of a number of members who banded themselves together to assist the club, not only by attending all the matches, but by organising outside events to improve the finances of the club. They have no Supporters Club at Denaby, but had got some good supporters. He did not think there was anything special in a Supporters Club except that the members paid an extra shilling a mission to matches, and that really meant they were people were willing to do something more than merely by a membership card. Did they not think, however, that if the football was sufficiently good, they ought to supported by “gates”? Supporters Club, he thought they would be bleeding the same people every time. He did not think it was fair, and also he did not think such a club should be necessary for Denaby. Their members were supporters of the club, whether there was a Supporters Club or not. (Hear, hear).

Mr Jeffcote asked how it was they could not get the gates, the ought to get at Denaby. They gave did not come up to 60% of Mexborough, the gates, and he wondered if there was any particular reason.

A member: it is a very easy question, but we might hurt someone’s feelings, and I don’t mean anything against the officials in saying that.

The chairman said they gates were not as good as they ought to be. Why was, he did not know. He was firmly convinced that their supporters. So as good football. There is anywhere, and under as good conditions.

Another member: in this little village we are overpopulated with aliens. (Hear, hear and laughter.)

Another suggestion was put forward for increasing the revenue, and this was that programme should be supplied at all matches giving the teams. It was stated that the Worksop Club have made £100 out of programs during last season.

The chairman suggested that a Telegraph board should be placed on the ground and the result of matches in the first and second division should be shown.

It was decided to send the suggestions forward to the committee.

The chairman promised that the committee should consider it and, if it was proved a good thing, that it would be carried out.

Players already Secured.

In response to a question as to how many players the club had secured for next season, the chairman said they had obtained the services of the following:

Ekins, Calladine, Matt Taylor, Haslam (of Frickley) Johnson (Rotherham), Baxter (Hathersage), G Hill, Peters, Reed (Doncaster), Crummack (Goldthorpe), Robinson (Denaby Church), Hamilton, Godfrey, Harris and Powell (both from Pembroke Dock), Homer, McDonald, Bentley, Tinkler, Cauldwell and Pearson (the two latter from Malin Bridge Old Boys.

Old Players High Terms.

Mr J Hancock, the manager of the club, said that with regard to all players they had done everything possible to come to terms, but the terms asked was, such as would practically said the club to bankruptcy, and they had had to let them go. They had got to make being can meet the expenditure and he was not prepared to meet the players on their own terms. There was a feeling that those players had been subjected to a kind of boycott; there had been nothing of the sort. There was no player were left were not been approached four or five times.

The chairman said he had spoken to them all personally, but evidently they thought they could get better terms elsewhere. They had not been able to retain them, and they were not going to do it, as they could not afford it. They were not going to ruin the club into debt purposely to pay a player a fancy figure. They could get players at reasonable prices and they were getting them. He could add that some players who would not at set their terms had gone away and accepted les this s somewhere else.

Football was a business and must be run on businesslike lines. It could not be run on sentiment. They could not afford to run the club into bankruptcy on purpose to get players who might not be any good to them, and who were always on the “make haste” and look out for themselves.

“Generally,” concluded the chairman, “the first intimation that I get that that we have a new player is in the Press.” (Laughter.)

Mr H.Rose asked if it was proposed to run the “outing” next season.

The Chairman said they had an outing last season, and they went to Boston. Was it the wish of the members to continually outings?

A Member. We shall have to pick a team that we can beat this year. (Laughter.)

Another member: Pick Mexborough then. (Laughter.)

Vote of thanks to the retiring officials concluded the meeting.

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