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25% => The Boardroom => Topic started by: doversparkred on Monday, January 15, 2024, 16:53:15



Title: Fan ownership
Post by: doversparkred on Monday, January 15, 2024, 16:53:15
Keen to hear everyone's thoughts on fan ownership; principally if you think it would work, and how much you'd be prepared to pay for a one-member, one-vote share in STFC.


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: Nemo on Monday, January 15, 2024, 16:56:18
One off or per year?


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: fuzzy on Monday, January 15, 2024, 16:59:50
I've gone for £500 (thought higher might be possible in the right circumstances).

We've out a fair amount (for us) of dosh into the club over the years, what with buying into the share thing many years ago, plus season ticket purchases so, I don't see any reason to stop now.


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: doversparkred on Monday, January 15, 2024, 17:02:32
One off or per year?

one-off.  Idea would be to raise enough funds to buy 51% minimum of the club through a community share offer, with enough working capital to cashflow the first 6-12 months of running the club.


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: doversparkred on Monday, January 15, 2024, 17:04:45
I've gone for £500 (thought higher might be possible in the right circumstances).

We've out a fair amount (for us) of dosh into the club over the years, what with buying into the share thing many years ago, plus season ticket purchases so, I don't see any reason to stop now.

I worked on the community ownership campaign for Bath City FC a few years ago, and the share offer was £250 - but this was a minimum amount and plenty of people (including football fans from around the world) paid more than this.

This video from Ken Loach's mate helped - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wg1mQ1SmFLo


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: swindonmaniac on Monday, January 15, 2024, 17:05:00
one-off.  Idea would be to raise enough funds to buy 51% minimum of the club through a community share offer, with enough working capital to cashflow the first 6-12 months of running the club.
So, what would be the target amount to even to make it feasible ?.


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: doversparkred on Monday, January 15, 2024, 17:06:28
So, what would be the target amount to even to make it feasible ?.

That's a key question - who knows?  But 10k shares at £500 is £5 million... which might be enough to buy the club, but would need working capital to fund it for at least 12 months I imagine.  Just keen to gauge how much Swindon fans would be prepared to pay up front for a share.


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: Arch Stanton on Monday, January 15, 2024, 17:07:41
I always thought the Trust would eventually push for something like this. They still might, but I suppose whilst they're still all chummy-chummy with Clem they'd be no chance.


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: Nemo on Monday, January 15, 2024, 17:09:13
It's really tough. I love the concept of fan ownership, but the amounts involved feel too high now with the economy as it. End of Black/Wray was the moment in hindsight and we weren't ready.


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: doversparkred on Monday, January 15, 2024, 17:09:52
I always thought the Trust would eventually push for something like this. They still might, but I suppose whilst they're still all chummy-chummy with Clem they'd be no chance.

The Bath City community takeover was structured so you bought shares in the supporters society, who then took majority control of the club, and elect a board of directors with every director in post for three years when they can then stand for re-election if they wish.


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: doversparkred on Monday, January 15, 2024, 17:11:55
It's really tough. I love the concept of fan ownership, but the amounts involved feel too high now with the economy as it. End of Black/Wray was the moment in hindsight and we weren't ready.

I agree, but what are the alternatives?!


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: doversparkred on Monday, January 15, 2024, 17:16:05
This was the fundraising page for Bath City FC.  I realise, of course, there is a BIG difference between raising £300k and £5million+.  I guess that comes down to having a really strong and compelling proposition for fans, and there being enough of them to support it.

https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/bigbathcitybid


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: Bob's Orange on Monday, January 15, 2024, 17:16:39
If I recall correctly, the Trust were looking into doing something like this. I recall (but can't find the interview) they had a discussion with the foundation of hearts (supporters group of Scottish club Hearts) who had done something similar to what I think you are proposing back in 2014. They now have the majority shareholding in the club.

https://www.foundationofhearts.org/we-are/


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: The Artist Formerly Known as Audrey on Monday, January 15, 2024, 17:26:47
You need an individual to stump up 50% with fans/Trust having 50% + the golden share.

Havenít heard from Bathford since the balloon went up.


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: doversparkred on Monday, January 15, 2024, 17:39:11
You need an individual to stump up 50% with fans/Trust having 50% + the golden share.

Havenít heard from Bathford since the balloon went up.

That depends on the specifics of the share offer - could be matched funds, loans or just a financial target that is hit by whatever means.


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: ChalkyWhiteIsGod on Monday, January 15, 2024, 17:44:09
I put £250. Maybe that is the amount per share and the better off can buy more.


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: The Artist Formerly Known as Audrey on Monday, January 15, 2024, 17:47:17
Everyone is hoping for a change of ownership but weíve got steadily worse with each of the last 3 owners. The club is dead if it stays within the clutches of any of the present hangers on.


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: doversparkred on Monday, January 15, 2024, 17:50:53
I put £250. Maybe that is the amount per share and the better off can buy more.

you might be right.  We debated this at length for the Bath City bid, Ken Loach inevitably wanted it lower than £250 so it was affordable for the many and not the few, but £250 felt about right for people (like me) who weren't Bath City fans per se but wanted to support it anyway.

The financial target for STFC would be much higher, so the share offer might need to be priced higher than £250, but I realise most people are skint!


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: Steak supper on Monday, January 15, 2024, 18:13:31
 i can put in a few grand if i get a percentage of profits on player sales


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: ChalkyWhiteIsGod on Monday, January 15, 2024, 18:17:01
Well we're over £3k at least. Is Clem selling yet?


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: tans on Monday, January 15, 2024, 18:17:44
The majority of our fans hate each other so its a no from me


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: Quagmire on Monday, January 15, 2024, 18:41:55
Well if that twat Tans isnít doing it, then Iím in.  ;)


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: Riddick on Monday, January 15, 2024, 18:48:21
Judging by the number of fans i see on twitter that want Joey Barton as manager i would be very worried about fan ownership!


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: tans on Monday, January 15, 2024, 18:54:30
Judging by the number of fans i see on twitter that want Joey Barton as manager i would be very worried about fan ownership!

Or Ian fucking Holloway

Wayne Rooney also been mentioned by some :Ride On Fatbury's Lovestick:


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: theakston2k on Monday, January 15, 2024, 19:22:57
Depends on the payment model. If itís the stupid subscription system the same as the ground then no thanks.

If itís a genuine share purchase Iíd probably put a wedge in. Needs to be shares incase a Wrexham or Pompey scenario happens so fans get the potential to get their money back.


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: ChalkyWhiteIsGod on Monday, January 15, 2024, 20:09:27
Well if that twat Tans isnít doing it, then Iím in.  ;)

 :D


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: ChalkyWhiteIsGod on Monday, January 15, 2024, 20:10:20
Depends on the payment model. If itís the stupid subscription system the same as the ground then no thanks.

If itís a genuine share purchase Iíd probably put a wedge in. Needs to be shares incase a Wrexham or Pompey scenario happens so fans get the potential to get their money back.

This.


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: ron dodgers on Monday, January 15, 2024, 23:37:30
50k up front then 5k a year


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: doversparkred on Tuesday, January 16, 2024, 07:18:26
50k up front then 5k a year

For 50k you'd get a statue, name in the hall of fame in the Legends Lounge, 5% off in the club shop and five 'free games' as part of your season ticket.


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: BambooToTheFuture on Tuesday, January 16, 2024, 14:22:31
For 50k you'd get a statue, name in the hall of fame in the Legends Lounge, 5% off in the club shop and five 'free games' as part of your season ticket.

Don't forget 50% off Fanzai, as well as a 'free' subscription to Cre8 Publishing  :naughty:


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: doversparkred on Wednesday, January 24, 2024, 17:17:17
thanks to everyone who entered this poll.  93% of those who responded would buy a community share, and by my maths those 53 people would buy shares worth £26k.  Multiply that by 200 (!) and that's £5.2m.  I wonder what could be achieved if the fans, OSC, Trust, community and local businesses worked together to make this happen?


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: Bob1978 on Wednesday, January 24, 2024, 17:21:57
thanks to everyone who entered this poll.  93% of those who responded would buy a community share, and by my maths those 53 people would buy shares worth £26k.  Multiply that by 200 (!) and that's £5.2m.  I wonder what could be achieved if the fans, OSC, Trust, community and local businesses worked together to make this happen?

Iím not sure Iíd be interested if the trust were involved!


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: RedRag on Wednesday, January 24, 2024, 18:34:24
Just a hunch but I think fan ownership would be weak in terms of managing liquidity and every bit as naive as the current ownership and that it would also alienate non-owner fans and ultimately become as internally divided as the present ownership once the going got tough.

My gut would counsel me against bothering with the present STFC as part of a Supporters Trust. The present example of the Trust has not been a positive other than working alongside the Eady Will Trustees - and there our the Fans' Trust has had all the financial heavy lifting done for it in terms of professional advice etc.

Perhaps I'm too negative?  Not sure about the AFC Wimbledon story or about Bath or Exeter etc.  Perhaps there are positive examples out there.  If ever STFC had to re-start as low in the pyramid as AFC then I'd input for sure.  Nothing to lose then and pure desperation.


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: Oaksey Moonraker on Thursday, January 25, 2024, 10:59:17
Maybe there was an opportunity missed when season ticket holders gave up their 2020/2021 refunds to exchange that money for shares in the club.

That money was effectively a cash injection to the club with no say or control as a result compared to the shares Clem handed.


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: Power to people on Thursday, January 25, 2024, 12:41:59
Take a look at Exeter - fan ownership is sadly not the way to go - the Trust (yes, I know) should be ideally having a discussion with any interested parties to see how they can aid a takeover and smooth the way as well as doing the due diligence on anyone.

Lets hope the reincarnation of the Trust is able to do this type of thing instead of jumping for Clem then asking if he minds if they jump a bit higher.


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: Cookie on Thursday, January 25, 2024, 13:13:52
What's the problem with Exeter? They appear to be doing much better than us.


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: DiV on Thursday, January 25, 2024, 13:34:31
I mean - they are 19th in L1 with a manager they hate, 4 points from safety and will probably get dragged into a relegation scrap.

Sure, better than we are doing but not what anyone really should be aspiring tooÖ
Whilst they might be stable financially (again better than us) they wonít ever compete any higher than they already are under fans ownership - thatís a depressingly low ceiling Ďbottom half L1 teamí


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: The Artist Formerly Known as Audrey on Thursday, January 25, 2024, 13:51:14
What if the Trust could scare up the funds to buy the gruesome twosome 22,%  and get a place on the board


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: RobertT on Thursday, January 25, 2024, 13:56:27
I mean - they are 19th in L1 with a manager they hate, 4 points from safety and will probably get dragged into a relegation scrap.

Sure, better than we are doing but not what anyone really should be aspiring tooÖ
Whilst they might be stable financially (again better than us) they wonít ever compete any higher than they already are under fans ownership - thatís a depressingly low ceiling Ďbottom half L1 teamí

Exeter <> Swindon

Our starting base is much higher, so any imaginary ceiling should be higher as well.  They also offer one type of ownership model, full, but that doesn't have to be the only way.

It's the same as people discounting the Crewe model - a club that has half our attendances.  Imagine if Crewe could get 10k in this division with the youth set-up they have, they'd be able to get higher up the Divisions and ask for more money for some of their talent (as it will be proven at a higher level more regularly).


Title: Re: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: Cookie on Thursday, January 25, 2024, 14:15:56
I mean - they are 19th in L1 with a manager they hate, 4 points from safety and will probably get dragged into a relegation scrap.

Sure, better than we are doing but not what anyone really should be aspiring tooÖ
Whilst they might be stable financially (again better than us) they wonít ever compete any higher than they already are under fans ownership - thatís a depressingly low ceiling Ďbottom half L1 teamí
Fair points but we should have more revenue in a similar position. Bottom half of league one is fantasy for us at the moment so if a change to fan ownership achieves that I'd be satisfied in the short term. Worry about the next bit if you get there.


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: RobertT on Thursday, January 25, 2024, 14:21:58
What if the Trust could scare up the funds to buy the gruesome twosome 22,%  and get a place on the board

As a minimum, this would be my goal for the Trust right now.  I've said it before - it's a no brainer and a great way to get inside the club while Clem not really having much he could say against it in public. 

It relieves Clem of the cash burden to purchase back the shares
It ensures the fans have ownership in the club - a goal the Trust should aspire to
It should be leveraged as a way of getting a vote on the Board - Clem has publicly said he is good to have fans reps, well, make him have to decide for real (I know a higher % is needed to force his hand legally).
Clem has made it public knowledge they were worth around 1.45m - a number that could be obtained with the right sort of campaign, project team and resources applied.


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: Berniman on Thursday, January 25, 2024, 14:22:49
The only reason I would back 100% fan ownership is if it was a mechanism to get this lot out and that clears the path for a sale to a credible owner that can provide longer term financial "stability", heck just getting close to a semblence of a well run club that puts the product on the pitch at the forefront of it's priorities.  Would I trust the Trust in it's current form to be able to get this done and identify a potential credible owner? No..  but things can easily change..


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: RobertT on Thursday, January 25, 2024, 14:28:03
The only reason I would back 100% fan ownership is if it was a mechanism to get this lot out and that clears the path for a sale to a credible owner that can provide longer term financial "stability", heck just getting close to a semblence of a well run club that puts the product on the pitch at the forefront of it's priorities.  Would I trust the Trust in it's current form to be able to get this done and identify a potential credible owner? No..  but things can easily change..

Hence why going after the 22% is a goal they could aspire to.

Set-up a separate group (likely using the existing legal entity of the Trust still though) designed to focus all their attention on purchasing those shares and then managing them once transferred.  Similar to how the JV is designed to work, a person or two people, get voted onto a 'Board" which in turn operates as the conduit to the clubs actual Board.  Negotiations would be needed with Clem to get on the clubs Board and determine the % voting rights they would receive, because 22% will not deliver anything on its own.

Those who remain on the general Trust Board can then focus on whatever else is left.

The Club Share ownership rep/duo will likely then need to arrange a team to support them.

I'd also pay for someone to come onboard with the Trust to ensure they do this full belts and braces.  A Fixed Term contract for two years let's say.  Enough to manage it through to implementation and a bit beyond.


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: Berniman on Thursday, January 25, 2024, 14:41:37
Hence why going after the 22% is a goal they could aspire to.

Set-up a separate group (likely using the existing legal entity of the Trust still though) designed to focus all their attention on purchasing those shares and then managing them once transferred.  Similar to how the JV is designed to work, a person or two people, get voted onto a 'Board" which in turn operates as the conduit to the clubs actual Board.  Negotiations would be needed with Clem to get on the clubs Board and determine the % voting rights they would receive, because 22% will not deliver anything on its own.

Those who remain on the general Trust Board can then focus on whatever else is left.

The Club Share ownership rep/duo will likely then need to arrange a team to support them.

I'd also pay for someone to come onboard with the Trust to ensure they do this full belts and braces.  A Fixed Term contract for two years let's say.  Enough to manage it through to implementation and a bit beyond.

Oh I 100% agree with you, i just don't think it will be straight forward due to the people we would be negotiating with.  I wouldn't be against those that manage the Eady foundation being involved with the fan ownership part, they seem like savvy people and have done a great job in protection the Eady legacy so far.  I think Nick Watkins is involved with it from what I remember.


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: Tails on Thursday, January 25, 2024, 14:43:58
Fan ownership is a terrible idea. Especially at this club.


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: ChalkyWhiteIsGod on Thursday, January 25, 2024, 15:36:43
What if the Trust could scare up the funds to buy the gruesome twosome 22,%  and get a place on the board

Most realistic way of getting fans involved I suspect.


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: TailBetweenLegs on Thursday, January 25, 2024, 15:37:21
Doubt they would sell that 22%.


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: RobertT on Thursday, January 25, 2024, 15:40:24
Doubt they would sell that 22%.

Which is why you press for it, get them on record.  You said you welcome fan engagement, well' we'd like to buy the 22% of shares you sold off, helping you keep your own cash and ensuring the fans have a real voice at the same time.  Over to you Clem and Co.


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: Nemo on Thursday, January 25, 2024, 15:42:26
Am I right in thinking that minority shareholdings are a bit vulnerable to being diluted via new share offerings though? Isn't that how Fitton cleaned out all the small shareholders way back when?


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: The Artist Formerly Known as Audrey on Thursday, January 25, 2024, 15:45:37
Doubt they would sell that 22%.
Who knows what they are getting back for their 22%. Plus I doubt Clem et al would be happy with Ďoutsidersí sticking their noses into the club.

Itíd have to all or nothing unfortunately.


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: RobertT on Thursday, January 25, 2024, 15:46:05
Am I right in thinking that minority shareholdings are a bit vulnerable to being diluted via new share offerings though? Isn't that how Fitton cleaned out all the small shareholders way back when?

Yes - you need the rules in the Articles and Memorandum of Association of how such event can be carried out.  You'd need to ensure the shares were indeed protected from being diluted - although, to do that, the other party would need to be in a position to buy-up the new shares.  Hence why I think the Trust should pay for expert support.


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: ChalkyWhiteIsGod on Thursday, January 25, 2024, 15:57:58
Doubt they would sell that 22%.

Doubt the hangers on at the club want full transparency it would bring either and wouldn't allow it to happen.


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: Power to people on Thursday, January 25, 2024, 16:19:39
What's the problem with Exeter? They appear to be doing much better than us.

They have just recently sold a majority of the club shareholding to Huw Jenkins ex Swansea owner after coming to the realization that the money that the club needed to survive was going to be tough to find, so the Trust agreed to sell and are now minority shareholders.

They have done well over the years but owning a football club is not easy, at times does require a cash injection to keep it running, yes, I'm sure stfc income is better than Exeter but still not enough at the moment to be debt free and able to wash its face freely.



Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: Wobbly Bob on Thursday, January 25, 2024, 16:23:33
They have just recently sold a majority of the club shareholding to Huw Jenkins ex Swansea owner after coming to the realization that the money that the club needed to survive was going to be tough to find, so the Trust agreed to sell and are now minority shareholders.

They have done well over the years but owning a football club is not easy, at times does require a cash injection to keep it running, yes, I'm sure stfc income is better than Exeter but still not enough at the moment to be debt free and able to wash its face freely.



Newport.


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: Power to people on Thursday, January 25, 2024, 16:24:41
Newport.

Same thing applies though  :Ride On Fatbury's Lovestick:

I know what I meant


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: doversparkred on Thursday, January 25, 2024, 22:14:41
Hence why going after the 22% is a goal they could aspire to.

Set-up a separate group (likely using the existing legal entity of the Trust still though) designed to focus all their attention on purchasing those shares and then managing them once transferred.  Similar to how the JV is designed to work, a person or two people, get voted onto a 'Board" which in turn operates as the conduit to the clubs actual Board.  Negotiations would be needed with Clem to get on the clubs Board and determine the % voting rights they would receive, because 22% will not deliver anything on its own.

Those who remain on the general Trust Board can then focus on whatever else is left.

The Club Share ownership rep/duo will likely then need to arrange a team to support them.

I'd also pay for someone to come onboard with the Trust to ensure they do this full belts and braces.  A Fixed Term contract for two years let's say.  Enough to manage it through to implementation and a bit beyond.

No reason why an independent working groups of fans shouldnít start this process, and consult with the Trust and OSC. If either organisation wanted to adopt community ownership as a strategic objective (in full or part) then this group could become affiliated with them.


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: doversparkred on Thursday, January 25, 2024, 22:21:56
Hence why going after the 22% is a goal they could aspire to.

Set-up a separate group (likely using the existing legal entity of the Trust still though) designed to focus all their attention on purchasing those shares and then managing them once transferred.  Similar to how the JV is designed to work, a person or two people, get voted onto a 'Board" which in turn operates as the conduit to the clubs actual Board.  Negotiations would be needed with Clem to get on the clubs Board and determine the % voting rights they would receive, because 22% will not deliver anything on its own.

Those who remain on the general Trust Board can then focus on whatever else is left.

The Club Share ownership rep/duo will likely then need to arrange a team to support them.

I'd also pay for someone to come onboard with the Trust to ensure they do this full belts and braces.  A Fixed Term contract for two years let's say.  Enough to manage it through to implementation and a bit beyond.

Plenty of local fans with direct experience of this, me included, who would do it for free.  A few years ago I introduced Clem to Supporters Direct (now Football Supporters Association) who helped broker the Bath City takeover, but he was still Vice Chair and had no meaningful influence at the time. Buying the 22% shares and getting a fan on the board feels like a no brainer to me. Has any fan group suggested this to the club?


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: Bob's Orange on Friday, January 26, 2024, 09:03:05
Plenty of local fans with direct experience of this, me included, who would do it for free.  A few years ago I introduced Clem to Supporters Direct (now Football Supporters Association) who helped broker the Bath City takeover, but he was still Vice Chair and had no meaningful influence at the time. Buying the 22% shares and getting a fan on the board feels like a no brainer to me. Has any fan group suggested this to the club?

So you know Clem?


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: BambooToTheFuture on Friday, January 26, 2024, 16:42:12

So you know Clem?


I read it more that they have associated with Clem in terms of referring him to SD but ''know'' him - probably not  :sherlock:

Cue, post containing extensive knowledge of Clem's pet cats and his obsession with farming stick insects...or something  :pint:


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: doversparkred on Saturday, January 27, 2024, 15:39:18
So you know Clem?

A few meetings in 2017/18 when he was vice chair - I sent him a message on LinkedIn and he called me! - but v little contact since he took over. He was very generous and listened to all my ideas, and always replies to messages. But I havenít seen or spoken to him for ages.


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: Bob's Orange on Wednesday, January 31, 2024, 14:48:27
A few meetings in 2017/18 when he was vice chair - I sent him a message on LinkedIn and he called me! - but v little contact since he took over. He was very generous and listened to all my ideas, and always replies to messages. But I havenít seen or spoken to him for ages.

Thanks. You can give Bamboo the information about Clem's pet cats now. :)


Title: Re: Fan ownership
Post by: BambooToTheFuture on Thursday, February 1, 2024, 04:11:44

Thanks. You can give Bamboo the information about Clem's pet cats now. :)


I'm more interested in the Stick Insects tbh  ;)