Famous Fifers rally to crowdfund football club

Famous Fifers, including former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, have pitched in to help with East Fife’s crowdfunding effort to raise new revenue to improve facilities at Bayview.
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Glasgow - Scotland


Jan. 23, 2014 - PRLog -- The club, the first in the UK to use crowdfunding to pay for new facilities,  has already passed the three-quarters mark in aiming for its first target of £25,000 that will pay for the development of a new club shop at the Methil ground.

Among 68 investors who have so far contributed £20,200 towards the total, is Richard Gordon, the BBC sports commentator.

Other celebrity fans who agreed to help include Gordon Brown and his wife Sarah, who both donated signed copies of their books that will be auctioned by the club to raise funds.

Ian Rankin, the crime writer and Cowdenbeath fan, put local rivalries aside and donated a prize of a pie and a pint with himself at the Oxford Bar in Edinburgh, famous haunt of his most famous creation, Detective Inspector John Rebus.

Kircaldy-born Richard Jobson, the film director, producer and screenwriter has donated a walk-on part in his next film as a prize, while Sir Menzies Campbell, the former leader of the Liberal Democrats and MP for North-east Fife in whose constituency East Fife FC falls, has donated a bottle of House of Commons malt whisky

All of the prizes will be auctioned at an event to be announced by the club and the money raised will be added to the crowdfunding effort which has a

£100,000 target to pay for the development of a new club shop, a bar/café and a 750 seater-stand.

The Scottish League One club is using a novel form of investment that seeks to attract small sums from a large number of people. The minimum investment permitted is £100.

Under the scheme fans and members of the community are being asked to invest in one or more of the three individual development projects.

In return they will receive one ordinary share in the club along with a range of benefits including season tickets, hospitality packages with access to players and the directors’ box and club merchandise.

Lee Murray, the club’s chairman, said he was delighted with the way in which people from all over Fife, including celebrities, are rallying to help the club meet its target.

“We are a community club and it has been really heart-warming to see how people from all over the region are pitching in.

“We are well on our way to meeting our first target in a very short space of time but we are determined to keep the momentum going so that we fulfil our ambition to improve facilities at Bayview for the benefit of all of our loyal fans.”

The scheme is devised and managed by Squareknot, a Glasgow-based crowdfunding company owned by a group of entrepreneurial investors. They have since launched a similar crowdfunding scheme at Darlington FC and hope that successful implementation at both clubs will encourage others across the UK to adopt it.

Investment targets will be set for the three projects agreed between the club’s management and fans’ representatives. Raising £25,000 will see the club shop built, £50,000 will ensure development of the bar/café while £100,000 will result in all three facilities completed.

Derek Bond, managing director of Squareknot, said: “This is a novel approach to football finance which gives clubs and fans the best of both worlds, first class facilities and financial stability.

“It is designed specifically to allow fans to invest in individual projects rather than in the club as a whole. As well as giving them an opportunity improve facilities and their own match experience, it also gives them a say in how their club is run and other tangible benefits including tickets, hospitality and signed kit.

“This method of revenue raising is ideally suited to football clubs which, generally, do not operate conventional business models. We are already in discussion with other clubs about running similar schemes and we expect to see interest from a lot more.”

The first project is to replace the East Fife club shop, currently operating from a portable building, to improve sales of merchandise while extending the public bar in the main stand to create a café/restaurant that can be used on non- match days is seen as another way of increasing revenues.

The third project, to build a 750-capacity stand behind the harbour end goal, would generate additional revenue for the club from matches where the demand for match tickets exceeds the current capacity, including local derbies and cup matches against higher league sides.

“Funding pledges towards the three targets are invited not only from supporters of the club, but from members of the local community in Fife, and from anyone who has an interest in helping secure the future financial stability of one of the oldest football clubs in Scotland,” said Bond, a Chartered Accountant and former finance director.

The Ordinary Share gifted to those who pledge money to the funding projects will entitle the shareholder to attend and vote at the club’s Annual General Meeting. The share will not be viewed as a tangible investment either in terms of its resale value or the entitlement of the shareholder to receive dividends.


·         For more information or to invest in one or more of the East Fife development projects go to: www.squareknot.co.uk (http://www.squareknot.co.uk/)

·         Rewards to investors are as follows:

·         Amount Pledged          Rewards

>£100          1 Ordinary Share in East Fife FC Limited

         East Fife football top signed by a player

>£250          1 Ordinary Share in East Fife FC Limited

         East Fife football top signed by a player

         4 match tickets for a home match

>£500          1 Ordinary Share in East Fife FC Limited

         East Fife football top signed by a player

         4 match hospitality tickets for a home match

>£1,000          1 Ordinary Share in East Fife FC Limited

         East Fife football top signed by a player

         4 match hospitality tickets for a home match

         A season ticket for the 2014/15 season

·         In addition, the first 10 people to pledge £250 or more will have the opportunity to meet the players before a match, enjoy pre-match refreshments, and watch the game from the comfort of the Directors Box.

·         There are limited numbers of each reward available and match ticket and hospitality rewards are subject to availability.

Tags:Football finance, Crowdfunding, Equity Investment, Start Up Funding, Angel Investors
Industry:Investment, Sports
Location:Glasgow - Scotland
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