After a lot of deliberation and a years worth of work already, we’ve decided that we will start to offer a means to an end. There’s two projects we’d like to get working on. They are described below and donations using each button is held in a different pot. If you choose to share your details with us we will look to add you to the list of heroes when we get the projects off the ground. All donations only work through Paypal. It also occurred to us that people might want something to show for their donations too, so coming shortly we will have a section that contains branded products that can be ordered. We haven’t quite got the logistics of this worked out right now, but the intention would be that – for example – if you wanted a t-shirt and to contribute towards these projects, that we’d send the t-shirt to you at cost with all extra going towards these projects. Damn tricky to try and set up for us luddites though so we’ll keep you posted.
Football Community Ownership Within All Clubs
The first is the establishment of a Community Interest Company or Trust that will hold shares in a number of Scottish (and Berwick Rangers) football clubs on behalf of ALL Scottish football fans. The aim would be to ensure that there will always be representation of the ‘greater good’ at the AGM’s of clubs who historically would only have had the their own fans and investors interests represented. A balance or concience if you like for the combined fitba fanbase. Our founders have already committed to transferring in the shares they hold in clubs when things reach a scale that makes the project worthwhile launching (starting with enough to buy at least some shares in each premiership club as they become available). Should this project not get off the ground, all committed funds will go towards the second project. Should neither raise enough to meaningfully get off the ground, the funds will go to the Scottish Football Supporters Association with the express instruction it should only be used for their work to help clubs acheive Fan Trust ownership or significant shareholdings for clubs in financial trouble.
It is anticipated that all funds received for this purpose (minus payment fees for paypal etc) will ultimately be transferred into another entity – probably a CIC – and held for the long term, not any kind of investment performance.
TOTAL RAISED SO FAR: £19.12
Last updated 21/11/2019 at 14:08
Facilitating Club Transformation into Fan Ownership
The second project is for the creation of an alternative financing operation to help with the transformation of football clubs from private ownership to community ownership (primarily through Community Interest Companies or Fan Trusts, though alternate legal structures may be appropriate). The intention behind all of this would be to help facilitate the transfer of significant stakes in clubs into the hands of appropriate fan organisations. An understandable example might be to look at what the Foundation of Hearts was able to acheive through the willingness of wealthy supporters to front the needed money and the fans to receive ownership over time. Since there is no such requirements in Scotland (such as there are in Germany with the 50%+1 rule) it is not possible to predict for which clubs such opportunities may arise but if a substantial amount of capital is raised and either loaned directly or used as security for the Fans Trust itself, it should help facilitate the eventual transfer of clubs into the hands of Fans Trusts either directly or indirectly without the need to raise substantial amounts of cash up front. Such funds would always be repaid into the fund to be re-used. There will be no return on investment for those putting money in, other than to hopefully see our game transformed. The pool of funds available will only grow by further donations paid in (no interest charged to clubs or only at inflationary rates depended on time frames so the pool doesn’t deplete over time). Should this project not get off the ground, any funds raised will be used for the first project instead. Should neither raise enough to meaningfully get off the ground, the funds will go to the Scottish Football Supporters Association with the express instruction it should only be used for their work to help clubs acheive Fan Trust ownership or significant shareholdings for clubs in financial trouble.
It should be stressed that neither of these projects is a commercial enterprise or to be run for gain. Funds will be applied ONLY in the advancement of Fan Representation within the Scottish game. Money provided should be considered donations to this worthwhile cause and together we can hopefully start making a meaningful difference to the lot of Fans within our game. At such time as funds raised reach the levels needed to launch the intended programme, applications will be sought from volunteers to help with the running of the programmes. In the event that such endeavours can be combined with other organisations with similar aims – providing the increased advantages of scale with sharing of the administrative burdens – avenues will be sought to do so.
TOTAL RAISED SO FAR: £19.12
Last updated 21/11/2019 at 14:17
Restriction on Use
As covered in the Finances page, any funds raised will be exclusively used for these projects and their aims as described and held and applied for those purposes only. The finances relating to both will be transparent and regularly updated here in order that those contributing can see the benefit they help create. The administration costs of our operations beyond these two specific projects will continue to be privately funded by the same four individuals that write, research and otherwise pressure for a more meaningful say for fans of all clubs within their clubs themselves and within the governance of the game.
Potential Third Project: Professional Fees
In a bidding situation, particularly when a club is in administration, a significant barrier for Supporter Groups is a lack of access to funds in order to pay for professional fees – often needed at short notice – to aid with developing a credible bid, raising finance and promoting community ownership.
To help remove this barrier, we would like to help arrange a Fund to apply for assistance with urgent and timely professional fees when a club faces a crisis. This Fund should also be available for urgent fees for a ‘consented bid’ from an existing owner planning to sell the club. It would help tremendously with this if fans of a professional standing were able to volunteer pro bono or heavily discounted fees in exchange for acknowledgement and thanks of the public service provided for our Communities. If this is something you or your firm would be interested in participating in, please get in touch via the contact page as its a project we would also like to get off the ground.