Monday, May 27, 2024

Meeting votes overwhelmingly in favour of Grays Athletic football club being supporter-owned

By Eric White

IT’S been nearly three weeks since the meeting with supporters about the Supporter Owned Football Club and here is a brief update on progress since then.

The meeting voted overwhelmingly to support the concept of supporter ownership and a group of Trust members has been working with Supporters Direct, the organisation that helps clubs like Grays who wish to pursue this route.

The Ryman League and FA at national and county level have now been informed of the club’s intentions.

There are some legal aspects which are being addressed and once they are agreed, there will be a launch event to explain how supporters can help the club.

A share offer will be proposed and there will be a 4/5 week period when supporters can buy a share for £1 and pay an initial membership fee of £30 to become part of the “new club”.

Other grades of membership will be invited to pay a higher contribution to provide working capital to the new business, but as explained previously, the club will remain

as a one person, one share, one vote community benefit society.

Once a minimum agreed amount has been raised, the Ryman League and the FA will be asked to approved the transfer of membership from the previous owner to the “Grays Athletic Community Football Club”.

After this period and once all the necessary approvals have been given, donations to the new club and £1 shares to more supporters can be issued without limitation.

The rules of the existing Supporters Trust will be amended to incorporate the changes required for community ownership.

A special meeting of the Trust will be called to allow Trust members to vote on the changes and the election of a new Board to run the club.

Once the Supporters Trust members vote to change its constitution to allow it to become a Community Based Football Club, fans will then be invited to buy a share in the new Community Club.

Shareholders will then be able to vote on a variety of issues concerning the club, including the election of a new board.

The hope is to move to the final stage by the start of the season, but this depends on completing all the necessary legal, financial and administrative work by then.

Those involved are doing all they can to secure the necessary agreements as soon as practicable.

More news will be given as soon as we reach the share offer stage.


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