Dewsbury Rams held a fans forum last week where supporters were able to answer questions.

Dewsbury Rams would like to update supporters on the key discussion points from Wednesday nights fans forum. 

Dewsbury Rams Chairman Mark Sawyer

The club would like to thank those who attended but understand not all fans could make it. So with this in mind it is important those fans are also kept informed through this article. 

Rams Chairman Mark Sawyer started the evening off with details of his involvement at Bradford Bulls. Mark confirmed his shareholding in the Bulls, which is 24.99% which is the allowed limit set by the RFL where by someone can have shares in another club. 

Mark gave a few examples where this has happened in the past and so it isn’t a new situation. 

Questions were asked, including ‘Where would Mark’s support be when the two sides meet on game day?’  Mark unequivocally answered by saying he is 100% behind a Dewsbury victory and although he now has shares in the Bulls he is first & foremost a Dewsbury fan.

Mark also spoke passionately about his 18 years so far as Chairman at the club. Mark stated he and others have helped to turn the club around from where it was when he took over to where it is today. He said how proud he was to be Dewsbury chairman and reiterated the fact he would not be going anywhere unless the fans decide otherwise. 

Mark spoke about the difficulties of running a rugby club and spoke about the realistic targets the club has. Due to Dewsbury finishing lower in the 2019 season the distribution money received by the Club is reduced.

However the budget will be the same for 2020 as 2019, with the gap plugged by shareholders, increased sponsorship & the benefits of Bradford Bulls using the Rams. Mark confirmed that head coach Lee Greenwood still had funds to bring in more players.

Mark also spoke about the advantages of why it is great that the Bulls are playing at the Tetley’s Stadium. Explaining how income streams could be increased whilst the Bulls are here. He also explained his reasoning for acquiring Bradford Bulls shares, saying it’d be good for Dewsbury, and the game as a whole. He did insist it was never his original intention to get involved with Bradford in a shareholding capacity, however due to events turning so quickly he felt he had to be part of the consortium.

The situation regarding pre-season friendlies were clarified. The Rams will play Batley at home on Boxing Day, also Bradford, with a date to be confirmed. Mark also revealed that their could be a third friendly announced with an unamed Championship side. Mark concludes the first half of the Forum by announcing the Championship league fixtures will be announced on Sunday 17th November. 

The second half of the forum started with an interview with Captain Paul Sykes by Steven Downes, Rams Media Manager. Paul commented of how he always wanted to carry on playing for his home own club. Questions were invited from the fans, these included questions about his new assistant coaching role. Paul also answered questions regarding Club facilities & how great they were.

Chairman Mark Sawyer then stepped back up to the mic to talk through some of the club’s off field projects. 
These included purchasing some reusable pint cups, the same ones they have at Batley. The club has been able to get supporter and volunteer Tom Coates to very kindly design the cups. A sleek design which shows off the club colours nicely with the club badge. Mark mentioned the positive comments he has received from various members of the Bradford staff on how good and professional the club badge looks, again designed by Tom & chosen by Rams supporters. Also appearing on the cup is Dean Austerfield Flooring who will be the Sponsor and their company logo will appear on the side of the beaker. 

Dewsbury Rams new reusable cup design

Mark spoke a lot about how the club has gained increased sponsorship from companies such as YBS and Dean Austerfield Flooring. He has said he has had very good feedback on how sponsors are being looked after on match day’s and beyond. Club representative Ady Marsh is also now heavily involved in helping to increase and improve the club’s commercial activities as well as other projects in and around the club.

Mark then spoke about the new club backdrops & explained how they will give the club an overall more professional look on match day and at club events. 

Club match day and events Backdrop

The next slide shown revealed the club’s new training shirt. For the first time ever the Rams will have their training top sponsored by YBS and Dean Austerfield Flooring. This again shows how the club is prepared to move forward and create new avenue’s for income and sponsor exposure. 

2020 Training Kit

Steven Downes answered various questions regarding the continuation of the Rampage club in 2020 and success in 2019. Also the media operations moving forward and also plans for the club programme. 

Finally Mark spoke about how important to the club are the volunteers. He insists that seeing the great work done by volunteers, which ultimately help the club run well throughout the week and on a match day gives him great heart amd makes it all worthwhile. He complimented the work all the volunteers do whether it’s selling programmes, half time draw tickets, sweeping the stand, fixing seats, mending doors, painting and maintaining various parts of the ground. He wants the club to be at the heart of the Dewsbury community and to continue to have a family feel. 

The evening ended with the announcement of the club’s 2020 kit launch & meet the players. The event will be for all ages and will take place on the 11th December with a 7.30pm start in The Royal Suite.