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Valley Gold, 30 years old today

‘I never thought that 30 years later it would still be playing such a massive role…’ Steve Sutherland, Founder of Valley Gold looks back at how the scheme, which launched on 20th August 1989 has provided vital support to Charlton Athletic and continues to remain as relevant today as it did 30 years ago.

https://www.valleygold.org.uk/2019/08/20/valley-gold-celebrates-30-years/


We'll have some celebrations throughout the year, fittingly marking the scheme's 30th anniversary in the same year the Valley celebrates its 100th.
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Comments

  • But we'll done VG. Congrats.
  • Wish I could be a member again, but not gonna happen until the old spunkmuffin has done one.
    this

    church-lane said:But we'll done VG. Congrats.


    and this 

  • I understand the money doesn't go to him, but I left at the time we had little chance of academy players coming through as network players were foisted upon us and I resented the fact that Roland wouldn't put his hand in his pocket. I agree that it's probably more important now than ever but....not a penny more in any way shape or form.
  • Congrats. Looking forward to restoration of ticket priority for those of us who have hung on in there (latterly against better judgment at times).
  • Did this pay for the team the young lads to play on the new Milk Cup a few weeks ago

    and did it pay for the trip to Argentina 

    both fantastic tic opportunities for the lads and something that should hopefully raise the appeal of our academy

    well done al involved
  • Swisdom said:
    Did this pay for the team the young lads to play on the new Milk Cup a few weeks ago

    and did it pay for the trip to Argentina 

    both fantastic tic opportunities for the lads and something that should hopefully raise the appeal of our academy

    well done al involved
    Yep. The Argentina trip was hugely significant, and we did very well in Ireland, in big part due to that trip from which both the kids and coaches took a lot away. 
  • Look forward to celebrating, an important part of the culture of our club. 

    Plus I won £50 at the Stoke match (my first ever prize!).
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  • I thought it was 30 years old on Tuesday 20th not ‘today’...
  • Swisdom said:
    Did this pay for the team the young lads to play on the new Milk Cup a few weeks ago

    and did it pay for the trip to Argentina 

    both fantastic tic opportunities for the lads and something that should hopefully raise the appeal of our academy

    well done al involved
    Rhys Williams, a lead academy coach, made a full report on the NI Super Cup, where we made the final beating Man U on the way:

    https://www.valleygold.org.uk/2019/08/15/supercupni-2019-a-huge-success-for-the-academy/

    Worth drawing attention to his comments at the end of the piece, because since I persuaded the board to give the money to projects rather than blanket donations into the club's coffers it's focused our sponsorship on things that wouldn't otherwise happen:

    "The experience that the boys gained from this trip was incredible. The support of Valley Gold to enable both trips to Northern Ireland in the last twelve months has offered a real development opportunity for our young players...

    "A number of the group also attended the Valley Gold funded South American tour last February. In enabling our attendance at these tournaments, the Valley Gold membership is not only offering incredible memories for our players and staff, but also th,e ability to develop key cultural, life and football experiences that will enhance their career opportunities in the future. Without this support, we would otherwise be unable to offer these experiences. We are incredibly grateful for your support."

    I hope he won't mind me adding that he included a note about how much he valued his and the other coach's own learning opportunities.

    This is why for me at least VG isn't a good target for boycotting. What opportunities we give these kids now makes a real difference to the players they will become, and we're talking 5-10 years away.  If RD does manage to sell in the next year or two, it will be the next owners who will be most affected by what we put in today, not him. I get that he could be putting more in, but even if the budget was doubled we'd still be looking to do the extra things. It makes a real difference. Targeting the scheme risks damaging the opportunity for potential first teamers, and that doesn't hurt RD at all. 

  • Surely any owner worth his salt would be investing in the academy and paying for these said trips ?
    who are the opponents in these matches , are they funded by VG equivalent schemes elsewhere .
    these are costs the football club/ Roland should be undertaking .
    it is I’m sure cutting off your nose to spite your face but this filthy ownership has taken the piss out of our academy with unfinished training facility’s, watergate, flogging off what VG has invested in on the cheap ...

    You’re prolly right by continuing to subsidise our Academy (which  Roly may possibly continue to benefit from)  is better for us long term but to me I can’t do it FairPlay to those who can turn the other cheek .


  • We have one of the best academies in the country.

    Yes it grates that divvy bollocks is indirectly/ directly (dependent on your pov) profiting from it but ultimately it keeps the academy going and allows us to compete even with an owner who completely lacks any football ambition outside of the parameters of his failed experiment.

    It isn't merely  a case of turning a tap off and then back on again under a new ownership as the momentum would be lost and we could even lose the likes of Avory not to mention the attractiveness of Charlton as a club to develop at for promising local youngsters.

    Our academy and track record is what has kept the pipeline of quality coming through even in the relative recent wilderness years.

    Lose that and no reason why the kids won't sign for millwall, west ham or palace if we lose our usp.

    The Belgian has done enough damage to the essence of our club and VG is something we should safeguard to ensure it prospers long after he goes regardless of whether he'll regrettably benefit from it in the interim.


  • I left VG, the same time as I didn't renew my season ticket a few year back. I could handle losing young players in the past as most of them had played a season of two for the first team before moving on. Since Roland has been here, we were lucky if they had 1/2 a season before Roland cashed in on them.
  • Well done to Steve Sutherland and to all concerned.

    I joined the scheme at its inception and have thought about terminating my membership from time to time over the last few years, usually after Duchatelet has flogged off yet another of our young talents on the cheap. His failure to agree a sell on clause for Ezri Konsa and his decision to slash Joe Aribo’s contract offer last summer are recent, stark examples of his egregious negligence. His half finished building work at Sparrows Lane (including, as Seth Plum puts it, ‘The Ademola Lookman memorial ditch’) also reflect his dismal ownership.

    I have, however, always come back to the great job that Steve Avory and his team are doing and the quality of the players and young men that they are turning out. Indeed, prior to the appointment of Lee Bowyer as manager, the Academy was the one beacon and area of consistent quality amidst the dross Duchatelet’s chaotic ownership.

    Looking forward to the 50th anniversary. By then, I am cautiously optimistic that we shall have a new owner....
  • Been in from the start and will stay until the good lord says I cant.
  • Congrats. Looking forward to restoration of ticket priority for those of us who have hung on in there (latterly against better judgment at times).
    What part of ticket priority would you like restored ? As a member of Valley Gold & supporter with 800 loyalty points do you think you should be ahead of 10,000 season ticket holders & other regular away supporters in the queue for Fulham/QPR /Brentford & Millwall away tickets.
    As has been mentioned on the Reading ticket thread there are anomalies with the loyalty point scheme & Valley Gold which could be solved with a bit of tweeking with the ticketing system but in my opinion for £120 per annum the priorities for Valley Gold members should not be the same as they were 30 years ago.Maybe Valley Gold should increase the price of membership if they think that members should enjoy the same ticket priorities as when the scheme started.
  • Whilst having a pee at half time last night their was a poster advertising Valley Gold in the Gents. It listed out 5 benefits of joining. Ticket priority was not 1 of them
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  • JohnnyH2 said:
    Whilst having a pee at half time last night their was a poster advertising Valley Gold in the Gents. It listed out 5 benefits of joining. Ticket priority was not 1 of them
    It was prior to this season 
  • clive said:
    Congrats. Looking forward to restoration of ticket priority for those of us who have hung on in there (latterly against better judgment at times).
    What part of ticket priority would you like restored ? As a member of Valley Gold & supporter with 800 loyalty points do you think you should be ahead of 10,000 season ticket holders & other regular away supporters in the queue for Fulham/QPR /Brentford & Millwall away tickets.
    As has been mentioned on the Reading ticket thread there are anomalies with the loyalty point scheme & Valley Gold which could be solved with a bit of tweeking with the ticketing system but in my opinion for £120 per annum the priorities for Valley Gold members should not be the same as they were 30 years ago.Maybe Valley Gold should increase the price of membership if they think that members should enjoy the same ticket priorities as when the scheme started.
    Or maybe the club sees it as fair enough for sponsorship that over 30 years has literally been in the millions, and not least because priority has been a long standing benefit. 

    What's changed is the fans forum request to recognise the loyalty of regular away supporters in the priority scheme. VG is not recognised in the ticketing system as a club membership - because it isn't one, and for GDPR it keeps it separate from the club's privacy policy.  In this state loyalty points can't be applied, so it's simple binary logic for priority.

    We're looking into how we can work with all these constraints and fulfil conflicting requirements to restore a level of priority, but actually it's correct it's not an advertised benefit - it is, however a long established practice that we don't want to lose, not least because it is an incentive for which people join VG. 
  • rikofold said:
    clive said:
    Congrats. Looking forward to restoration of ticket priority for those of us who have hung on in there (latterly against better judgment at times).
    What part of ticket priority would you like restored ? As a member of Valley Gold & supporter with 800 loyalty points do you think you should be ahead of 10,000 season ticket holders & other regular away supporters in the queue for Fulham/QPR /Brentford & Millwall away tickets.
    As has been mentioned on the Reading ticket thread there are anomalies with the loyalty point scheme & Valley Gold which could be solved with a bit of tweeking with the ticketing system but in my opinion for £120 per annum the priorities for Valley Gold members should not be the same as they were 30 years ago.Maybe Valley Gold should increase the price of membership if they think that members should enjoy the same ticket priorities as when the scheme started.
    Or maybe the club sees it as fair enough for sponsorship that over 30 years has literally been in the millions, and not least because priority has been a long standing benefit. 

    What's changed is the fans forum request to recognise the loyalty of regular away supporters in the priority scheme. VG is not recognised in the ticketing system as a club membership - because it isn't one, and for GDPR it keeps it separate from the club's privacy policy.  In this state loyalty points can't be applied, so it's simple binary logic for priority.

    We're looking into how we can work with all these constraints and fulfil conflicting requirements to restore a level of priority, but actually it's correct it's not an advertised benefit - it is, however a long established practice that we don't want to lose, not least because it is an incentive for which people join VG. 
    When the loyalty point scheme was being set-up the club invited supporters to attend meetings with the ticket office staff to discuss how the scheme was going to work,as i have mentioned previously myself & a member of the C.AS.T committee attended one of the meetings,why didn't you or somebody from Valley Gold attend the meeting?
    Before the meeting i posted a thread on this forum asking people if they had any  for ideas/suggestions which i could put forward,which i then did at the meeting,Valley Gold was discussed at length at the meeting because i could see problems some Valley Gold members may suffer in the future.I learnt  that Valley Gold get an influx of new members paying £30 before games when tickets are going to be on restricted sale,after they get their tickets they then leave Valley Gold.
    Why has the loyalty point system suddenly become an issue? Why should loyal supporters like me who attend matches home & away costing thousand of pounds have to pay an extra £120 to subsidise a mad Belgian billionaire just to guarantee getting a ticket at AFC Wimbeldon?
    Were there any games last season when Valley Gold members missed out on tickets? Do you foresee any games this season when Valley Gold members fail to get tickets?
    I notice on the Valley Gold website you are on the  committee as supporters representative,who elected you or how did you get in this position.
  • the funding for the youth teams has made the club a lot of money .. Valley Gold members/contributors are pretty much unsung heroes/heroines .. an 800 point 'credit' on the ticket allocation ladder is scant reward
  • the funding for the youth teams has made the club a lot of money .. Valley Gold members/contributors are pretty much unsung heroes/heroines .. an 800 point 'credit' on the ticket allocation ladder is scant reward
    Supporters who have purchased season tickets every season for the same period have put far more into the club's bank account but they do not seem to have anyone going on about their entitlement 
  • rikofold said:
    clive said:
    Congrats. Looking forward to restoration of ticket priority for those of us who have hung on in there (latterly against better judgment at times).
    What part of ticket priority would you like restored ? As a member of Valley Gold & supporter with 800 loyalty points do you think you should be ahead of 10,000 season ticket holders & other regular away supporters in the queue for Fulham/QPR /Brentford & Millwall away tickets.
    As has been mentioned on the Reading ticket thread there are anomalies with the loyalty point scheme & Valley Gold which could be solved with a bit of tweeking with the ticketing system but in my opinion for £120 per annum the priorities for Valley Gold members should not be the same as they were 30 years ago.Maybe Valley Gold should increase the price of membership if they think that members should enjoy the same ticket priorities as when the scheme started.
    Or maybe the club sees it as fair enough for sponsorship that over 30 years has literally been in the millions, and not least because priority has been a long standing benefit. 

    What's changed is the fans forum request to recognise the loyalty of regular away supporters in the priority scheme. VG is not recognised in the ticketing system as a club membership - because it isn't one, and for GDPR it keeps it separate from the club's privacy policy.  In this state loyalty points can't be applied, so it's simple binary logic for priority.

    We're looking into how we can work with all these constraints and fulfil conflicting requirements to restore a level of priority, but actually it's correct it's not an advertised benefit - it is, however a long established practice that we don't want to lose, not least because it is an incentive for which people join VG. 
    When you go back to the club will you be suggesting that all Vally Gold Members are treated the same. I.e those who pay £30  are the same as the long term members?
  • JohnnyH2 said:
    the funding for the youth teams has made the club a lot of money .. Valley Gold members/contributors are pretty much unsung heroes/heroines .. an 800 point 'credit' on the ticket allocation ladder is scant reward
    Supporters who have purchased season tickets every season for the same period have put far more into the club's bank account but they do not seem to have anyone going on about their entitlement 
    I don’t know but I would imagine a VG member would quite often be a season ticket holder as well. I was for many years. I’m no longer a season ticket holder, I haven’t felt it value for money with the present owner and even today I’m not convinced things are permanently better.
    But I remain a VG member for a variety of reasons reasons, getting to the front of a queue not being one of them. I do think there should be some traditional benefit for being a member and someone like me who has put in £120/year X 30 the least they should expect is being able to buy a ticket with a bit of priority.

  • edited August 26
    JohnnyH2 said:
    the funding for the youth teams has made the club a lot of money .. Valley Gold members/contributors are pretty much unsung heroes/heroines .. an 800 point 'credit' on the ticket allocation ladder is scant reward
    Supporters who have purchased season tickets every season for the same period have put far more into the club's bank account but they do not seem to have anyone going on about their entitlement 
    I don’t know but I would imagine a VG member would quite often be a season ticket holder as well. I was for many years. I’m no longer a season ticket holder, I haven’t felt it value for money with the present owner and even today I’m not convinced things are permanently better.
    But I remain a VG member for a variety of reasons reasons, getting to the front of a queue not being one of them. I do think there should be some traditional benefit for being a member and someone like me who has put in £120/year X 30 the least they should expect is being able to buy a ticket with a bit of priority.

    Exactly what the club are doing. The highest priority goes to those with the most points + Valley Gold. The 3rd level of priority goes to the next level of points + Valley Gold. So the club are rewarding those with points + Valley Gold.

    What seems to be an issue for some is the club now prioritise those in Valley Gold with not as many points as a current season ticket holder. In my opinion this is reasonable as both the club and Valley Gold Committee have confirmed that just paying £30 is enough and in some instances £10. A season ticket holder may have paid towards £500+ for the same level of priority 
  • * In order to qualify for £15 Season Ticket discount and priority tickets, you must have paid at least £30 towards your Valley Gold membership
    https://www.valleygold.org.uk/why-join-valley-gold/

    For example somebody could join Valley Gold for £30 at the beginning of August get a discounted season ticket,discounted replica kit from club shop & qualify for priority tickets for matches at Fulham,Millwall & Luton & then leave the scheme,whereas a non-member Season ticket holder would have payed full price for season ticket,shop purchases etc & be behind them in the queue for the above mentioned tickets.
    This cannot be fair or reasonable.
    My suggestion is only people who have payed £120 qualify for ticket priority,maybe 100 loyalty points.
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Roland Out!