20 Questions With Stuart Morgan
By Dan Betts
As part of our look behind the scenes at Dial Square FC, we thought, just for fun, we would grill Club Chairman, Stuart Morgan!
So here he is, childhood memories and current thoughts on the direction of DSFC – and much more!
Q1: Hi Stuart, first things first – why start a brand new club?
SM: Well, starting a brand new club, or more to the point, Dial Square, was simple. I’d had enough of greed in the modern game and was sick of how Arsenal had become a victim of it. The owners had seemingly moved with the times and I believe it’s been of detriment to the values of the club. I wanted a release from it and to give like-minded Arsenal fans an option of a bit of respite from it too.
Q2: What’s the biggest pro and con when running a club?
SM: The biggest pro so far has been seeing how some fans have embraced what we are doing here. We have given them a sense of belonging and the commitment some have shown to turn up each week and support the team home and away, is the biggest reward. Quite easily, the biggest con is the amount of people who have wanted to become involved with the club, but don’t put the required work rate in, or simply don’t even try. It’s a tough job (running a football club) and it requires effort, commitment and dedication. Something that has been lacking from a lot of people who have been fortunate enough to get a chance of running the club.
Q3: You’re a Gooner like the rest of us. What was the watershed moment where you felt disconnected to the club?
SM: It’s been a build up over the last 10-15 years to be honest. I can’t pin it on one specific thing. Three kits a season, every season? Failure to invest in the team in the correct manner, the club becoming 100% owned by KSE. It all adds up.
Q4: What’s your favourite Arsenal memory?
SM: Thankfully, I have been lucky enough to witness many great memories. For me, it was when Arsenal won the league in 1991. At the time, it was the best I’d seen Arsenal play. My favourite league title win, too!
Q5: OK. Favourite Arsenal player?
SM: Ooh, tough one. Seaman, Adams, Limpar and Rocky were my favourite. If I had to choose, probably Adams
Q6: Where do you see DSFC in five years time?
SM: I am hopeful of being at Step 6 of the non-league pyramid, at the very least. We simply have to be, so that is a bare minimum for me.
Q7: How important is moving the club to South London?
SM: It’s absolutely imperative that we move into London as soon as possible. South London is the target, but it’s also one question we will ask our fan-owners to decide on, nearer the time. As we move up the league pyramid, we will also move further into London as we do so.
Q8: Getting a club off the ground can’t be easy – what’s a typical day look like for you?
SM: It’s non-stop (if you’re dedicated enough). Emails, meetings, paying bills, dealing with club matters, sorting kit, maintaining the website and social media platforms, hunting for sponsors; the list is endless. It can be a full-time job.
Q9: How many fans turn up for matchday? Is it higher than the league average?
SM: Due to the level we’re at, it’s not great, but as we move up the pyramid, we know this will increase. We’ve had highs of around 70- odd, which is great for this level, but we always ask for as many to get involved now, as it really makes a difference to the team’s performance.
Q10: Ex-Gunners like Ian Selley, Kevin Campbell and Anders Limpar back the club and what we stand for. Are there any plans for future events involving ex-players?
SM: We do talk about future events at board meetings, so hopefully we can get some of them down at the end of season party. I know Ian Selley and perhaps David Hillier are coming then, so that’s good news.
Q11: You have just one sentence to let people know that supporting DSFC is a worthy cause – go!
SM: “If you want the most affordable, inclusive football club, beholden to its members, that delivers clear and honest communication at all times and offers each fan an equal vote on club matters, in return for their long-term commitment, then look no further than Dial Square FC”
Q12: OK, back to you now. Favourite holiday destination?
Q13: Best and worst subject at school?
SM: Art was probably my best & favourite. The worst was definitely Religious Studies. It was basically just a free (yet boring) lesson to do whatever you wanted to.
Q14: What did you want to be when you were a kid growing up?
SM: Unfortunately, I had no idea. If I had my time again, I’d be spoilt for choice.
Q15: What three things would you tell your younger self if you could?
SM: 1 - Decide what you want to do when you grow up. It’s the single most important thing you will do as a child. 2 - Trust no one. 3 - Be more patient, with everything.
Q16: Biggest fear?
SM: Well, I have Arachnophobia, so I would have to go with that!
Q17: Tell us something that not many people know about you…
SM: Hmm, I wouldn’t know where to start! I like to keep my private life, private, so there are many things people don’t know about me. My closest friends however, know everything!
Q18: If you could sign one player – past or present – for DSFC, who would it be?
SM: Arsenal/professional? Whoa, that’s tough. Probably Patrick Vieira!
Q19: Simon Martin is doing a great job right now – is there any pressure for the team to play a certain way, given the Arsenal DNA?
SM: Jeez, if you knew exactly what we’ve had to endure from managers that have wanted to be a part of taking Dial Square to the next level, you’d fully understand that we are just happy that we have someone who is winning footballing games! We are happy to just let Simon get his squad sorted for now and we can then look at how it performs when it’s had time to gel. Discipline is one thing that the club will always monitor, regardless, so I guess that would be the only pressure we’d apply to him/the team.
Q20: Finally, the most important question of all; pineapple on pizza – yay or nay?
SM: I Love my food and drink. I eat at the very best restaurants as well as places like KFC, etc. I eat anything and everything. I like pineapple on a pizza. No problem with that at all, but I always opt for a meat feast option if I’m having one, so I never really have pineapple as a topping anymore.
Thanks Stuart for the reveal! Stay tuned to the site for more!