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Club News

An update for supporters from CEO Erik Samuelson

30 October 2018

I know fans are concerned about the recent run of results, which have clearly been disappointing. You won't be surprised to hear that the Dons Trust Board and Football Club Board are equally concerned.

We are aware also that fans feel there has been a 'radio silence' about the current situation and this note attempts to respond to that in an honest an open way – while avoiding the classic 'vote of confidence' that characterises many such situations. So, I am setting out for you as transparently as possible what discussions we've had about how we turn things around and where our thinking is at the moment.

The DTB and FCB have discussed all options to improve results and we'll take whatever steps we believe will help the club. The FCB is currently focused with Neal on what might be done to remedy the current position. In holding those conversations we have taken the following into account:

  • We're very confident Neal continues to carry the dressing room with him.
  • The track record of clubs appointing a new manager mid-season is at best mixed and as often as not makes no discernible improvement in performance – all of last season's relegated clubs changed manager at least once during the season.
  • We can't add to the squad until January and Neal is best placed to bring out the best from the current squad.
  • Football is a matter of fine margins and in many games this season our overall performance has been good and the result could easily have been different. We think these will even out over the season.

The FCB has kept the DTB up to date on its analysis of the current position. The DTB has, in turn, continued to exercise its role diligently on behalf of the Trust's members by challenging the FCB's thinking and analysis.

Meanwhile, Neal and his management team are working very hard and exploring all options including, for example, asking Steven Sylvester, our sports psychologist, to spend a substantial amount of time this week, getting the players to challenge one another to bring out the best in their performances.

We are also aware of the financial implications of any decisions. Obviously, if we make a change to the management team there will be a cost to bear, but it's always been the case that if we need to make a change, we will. Also, as we have always done in the past, we have plans in place to provide the manager with funds to use in the January transfer window.

Finally, thank you for your fantastic support so far this season. Please do get behind the team on Saturday and beyond. It really does make a difference.


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