I am pleased to say that further progress has been made in relation to the proposals regarding fan ownership.
As many of you will know we have been working closely with Kenny Jamieson and David White to see whether a model of fan/community ownership could be found for the football club that might be attractive to both the broader supporter base and the current major shareholders.
A key aim of this work would be to progress towards majority ownership by the supporters of the club. And also to identify new and ongoing sources of capital for direct investment into the First Team and the club as opposed to buying out or repaying existing major shareholders which tends to have been the model at other clubs.
Kenny and David have provided a detailed update in their message below.
Dear Falkirk fan
Further to our note of the 8th January we write to update you on progress to date.
To remind you our goal is to raise £800,000, every penny of which will remain within the club and be used to supplement the playing budget, with the clear objective of gaining promotion to the Premiership. Furthermore the money raised will purchase 2.4 million shares, broadening the shareholder base, re-energising finances and creating more democratic governance of the club.
We asked for pledges to test the appetite for the proposal and to understand the likely mix between ‘Supporters’ and ‘Patrons’. We will make a decision by the end of January whether there is sufficient appetite to make it worth completing detailed work on the share issue and new governance model.
Since the open forum to discuss the proposal we have been delighted by the positive response from Falkirk fans. To date over 800 Supporters have pledged to invest over £10,000 per month for two years. A further 27 fans have pledged a total of £270,000 to become Patrons of the club.
These pledges in such a short period of time are both excellent and encouraging, but do still leave us some £300,000 short of our goal. We therefore need to ask fans for further pledges.
While 800+ Supporter pledges in less than two weeks admirably reflects the passion and loyalty of the Falkirk support, we do have around 3000 Season Tickets holders and a regular home attendance of 4500-5000. This means there are many fans who haven’t yet pledged and, while we recognize that not everyone can afford to support this proposal, £10 per month (or £2.50 per week) is no more than the price of a cup of coffee so we hope that many more can.
If you’d like to pledge your support please visit www.backthebairns.com
Similarly we acknowledge that most people don’t have £10,000 or more to spare, yet many do and we’re very pleasantly surprised to have received Patron pledges from places as far-flung as Hong Kong and Alaska. There are Falkirk Bairns all over the world as well as those based locally, so please share this note as far and wide as possible. While £270,000 is a significant sum, Dunfermline raised more than treble this amount from just 40 Patrons back in 2013.
If you’d like to pledge to be a Patron please email David White email@example.com
If you’d like more information on the Fan Ownership proposal or have any questions please email Kenny Jamieson on firstname.lastname@example.org
We believe that this represents a great opportunity to Back the Bairns and to collectively create a better future for our club. Through their pledges both Supporters and Patrons have already shown a huge appetite for creating the change we all wish to see.
However reaching the £800,000 required is only feasible with further support and patronage, so we would urge all Falkirk fans who are able to contribute (whether £10 pm or £10,000 or more) to make a pledge by the end of January. We are ready and willing to do the work required to make this proposal a reality, but can only do so with the support of sufficient Falkirk fans.
Kenny Jamieson & David White