Community shares can fund football clubs, build new facilities and above all, build stronger, more vibrant, and independent communities.
Football clubs and community groups need money to grow, in particular to build better facilities to generate more money. The problem is that clubs are limited in what cash they can raise from fundraising, donations, loans or grants. Too many of us know that relying on loans from individuals or companies can be very risky for the club. Enter community shares.
Community shares are a way of raising finance by offering shares, but in a secure, co-operative legal form. As opposed to ordinary shares in ordinary companies, they seek investment from people that are most interested in the long term success of the Club as a community asset – with the added bonus that it is cost effective way that avoids the red tape that a private Company would face. By giving your supporters and community the chance to invest in the Club it strengthens their connection with it, and as we have seen with FC United it can open you up to significant grant funding opportunities.
It’s the same model that helped Portsmouth supporters take control of their club, Supporter Owned Wrexham build a new shop and offices at the Racecourse Ground, and FC United of Manchester raise almost £2 million towards a new facility in Moston that will cost about £5.5 million. Outside of sport, more than 300 pubs and small shops which are now owned by their customers, many relying on community shares to raise the finance.
The guidance prepared with the support of the Community Shares Unit explains in more detail what community shares are, how they fit and what the benefits are over other finance raising options. It also gives practical advice on the steps required to buy a club using community shares and engage with the community to get the best out of an offer.
Interested in launching a community share offer? We can help you and are licensed practitioners having raised more than £6 million through community shares to date. Contact us now for more information.
Alternatively, check out more by reading our guidance to Community Shares.
A list of the Community Share offers we’ve been involved with is listed below:
|Club||What for||SD involvement||Av. home gate||Approx. raised|
|Pompey ST||Take principal shareholding in PFC||Co-ordinated offer||16,391||£2,530,000|
|FCUM||New ground & community facilities||Helped secure
SITR tax relief
|Wycombe Wanderers ST||Working capital for the club||Co-ordinated offer||4,004||£680,000|
|Bath City ST||Take majority control of BCFC||Co-ordinated initial offer,
advised on second
|Newport County ST||Take majority shareholding in NCFC||Co-ordinated||2,731||£237,000|
|Lewes FC||Artificial pitch development||Helped secure
EIS tax relief
|Wrexham ST||Working capital for football club, including club shop redevelopment||Coordinated offer||4,616||£165,000|
|Darlington ST||Towards ground move||Co-ordinated offer||1,205||£100,000|
|Peacehaven & Telscombe FC||Save/rebuild the club as a community sport club||Co-ordinated offer||110||£56,000|
|Grays Athletic ST||Save/rebuild the club as a community sport club||Co-ordinated offer||189||£56,000|
|Banbury United||Take control of Banbury United FC||Co-ordinated offer||327||£12,000|
|Enfield Town||Working capital, clubhouse refurbishment||Co-ordinated offer||369||TBC|
|Hyde United||Working capital for the newly acquired club||Co-ordinated offer||357||TBC|