BOARD UPDATE

We write to update Falkirk supporters on activity at the club since our last note post-AGM in October, and to also reflect on progress made since we were appointed in December 2021.

Two years ago, we embarked on a journey to fundamentally change our club’s ownership structure and operating model. This meant expanding our shareholder base to create a “broader set of shoulders” upon which the club could rely, making it more financially stable and sustainable.

Since then, the number of supporters who are part-owners of Falkirk FC has almost doubled, with £800,000 invested in the club. As a result, we’re now 84% fan-owned and an overall majority of shares (61%) are now held by small and medium shareholders.

The harsh financial realities of League One have meant that some of this investment was needed just to stabilise the club and maintain cashflow, but we’ve also been able to invest in growing the football budget and improving stadium infrastructure.

We now have a new pitch and a better team playing on it, increasing our chances of promotion to the Championship, as well as making steps towards re-opening our Academy. Off the pitch our financial performance has also improved, with no cashflow concerns if we continue to run to budget.

With all shares now sold, we have moved to an operating model based on a strong commercial performance topped up by direct contributions into the football budget, and Falkirk Supporters Society (FSS) are now the lead vehicle for “fan-funding” across all shareholders and supporters.

The response has been phenomenal, with over 850 fans now raising an extra £10k every month and there’s no limit to how many supporters can participate. There’s also still plenty of scope for further growth, with over 700 shareholders and 2000 season ticket holders not currently FSS members.

At the AGM we said that every new £ pledged by the end of December would go straight into the January budget and help us make contract extension offers to key players. Since October around 125 more fans have joined FSS and manyexisting members have increased their monthly subscriptions.

Without this additional support re-signing Ethan Ross would not have been possible and there are still funds available, so fans really can make a major impact on the outcome of this season and on our ability to retain the core of our squad for next season.

Such on-going support will remain essential if we are to continue to make fan-ownership work for us, as we’ll always have to compete against clubs with wealthy owners who may be willing to fund larger football budgets, and underwrite larger operating losses, than we can afford.

We’d therefore encourage every Falkirk fan, who can afford to do so, to join FSS here https://falkirksupporters.org/subscribe/ and to keep supporting the team in large and noisy numbers. Our biggest asset is the size and passion of our fan-base, and we should always try to use this to our competitive advantage.

This week two years ago, we had just lost 6-0 to Queen’s Park and fallen to 7th place in League One. We’ve come a long way since then, both on and off the pitch, but we’ve still got a long way to go to achieve our goal of getting back to the Premiership and staying there.

We need to start by getting out of League One and the next few months will be amongst the most crucial in our club’s long and illustrious history. Let’s all continue to get right behind John, Paul and the players, making as much noise and colour as we possibly can, and help push them over the line.

Please also join FSS if you can afford to and current members subscribing via Paypal are being asked to switch to either Total Tickets or a Standing Order, especially if their two-year Paypal anniversary is almost up. Contact FSS via admin@falkirksupporters.org if you have any questions.

Finally, we’d like to thank all Falkirk fans for their tremendous support in 2023. The staff and volunteers at the club all work very hard, so it’s hugely rewarding that recent initiatives, such as the Ultras singing section, the Heritage kit and the new Bairns Lotto, have all been so well backed.

Some supporters have said that it now feels like a very different club, compared to two years ago, and we’d agree. However, that isn’t just down to the board, staff, volunteers or players but to every single Falkirk fan. Not only is it our club, we are the club.

All of us, pulling together, are making a huge, positive difference. We should all be proud of that and resolve, for next year, to keep it going and drive it even faster. We wish all Falkirk supporters, all over the world, a fantastic festive period and hope we can all look forward to a happy, successful 2024.

Falkirk FC Board

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