Community invests to save Aldershot Town football club
Fan power kicks-off a share offer to steer Aldershot Town out of receivership.
David Cameron is hoping to tap into the growing power of community ownership. He revealed plans this week to give grants to communities to buy and run local pubs, shops and other amenities under threat of closure.
His announcement on Thursday didn't mention football clubs, but they are getting on with it without the need for government intervention. Already this season, recent FA Cup winner Portsmouth have been saved from going bust by fan power and becoming community owned.
This week it was Aldershot Town's turn. In a move that should cheer football fans everywhere, supporters of the club kicked-off a share offer to bring the club out of administration and into community ownership.
The club went into administration last month just days after being relegated from the Football League. But fans fought back and have set up the Shots Trust to launch a share offer – with support from the Co-operative Enterprise Hub – to raise £500,000 and demonstrate the reality of the supporter-owned model to the club's administrators.
"The last few months have been a difficult time for fans with relegation and then administration," said Terry Owens, chair of the Shots Trust.
"Considering all the uncertainty, the loyalty and passion shown has been incredible – the fans deserve more and that's what we believe community ownership would give them.
"Launching this pre-share offer will allow us to show there is more than just goodwill to offer and allow us to progress plans for a community purchase of Aldershot Town."
With investors needing to stump up from just £100, the share issue has every chance of success, judging by similar moves across the country. Some 33 clubs in the UK are now in community ownership or controlled by supporters' trusts, including the Football League sides AFC Wimbledon, Exeter City, Portsmouth and Wycombe Wanderers.
It's a trend that is welcomed by many football fans. Adam Smith of VoucherCodesPro is a Manchester City supporter, but says: "Having fans set up a co-operative share offer to take the club out of administration and into community ownership shows Aldershot has tremendous support.
"German clubs are a prime example of fan ownership. Look at their dominance in world football and the profits they make. Aldershot Town is making a step in the right direction."
But the football clubs are just part of the community movement which has seen several important amenities saved by local investors keen to put their savings into ventures they can support and from which they can benefit.
There has been a 10 per cent increase in UK co-operative enterprises over the last two years, rising from 5,450 in 2010 to 6,000 last year.
Michael Fairclough of the Co-op said: "Co-operation can be key to safeguarding much-loved local assets. Communities working together are a powerful catalyst for change that can overcome many of the challenges facing today's society."
Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown
- 1 James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – and warns Obama of more to come
- 2 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns aged 27
- 3 Cilla Black defends Cliff Richard: 'I am positive that the allegations are without foundation'
- 4 Nicki Minaj finally releases predictable 'Anaconda' video
- 5 James Foley 'beheading': Met police warn public watching murder video could be criminal offence
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish Independence Referendum: Salmond described as 'arrogant, ambitious and dishonest' by Scottish women
iJobs Money & Business
£45000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Quantitative Analyst (Financial Services, ...
Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Application Support Engineer (C++, .NET, VB, Per...
£450 - £600 per day: Harrington Starr: AIFMD Business Analyst / Consultant - I...
£450 - £600 per day: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Solvency II SME (Pilla...
Day In a Page
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens
A seven-bedroom Grade II-listed property with a separate self-contained apartment
A five-bedroom Victorian house with three reception rooms and galleried landing, £695,000
A six-bedroom farmhouse with five acres of land in a former cloth-making village
A secluded seven-bedroom detached house with large private garden, £490,000
A three-bedroom cottage overlooking Sarratt village green with open fires and solid oak floors
A three-bedroom maisonette flat in a Grade I-listed, Georgian townhouse in a sought-after location
A one-bedroom apartment located within a private gated development, north of Turnham Green
Look forward to a brighter future at two-bedroom Sunny Cottages, ideal for Londoners looking to downsize
A three-bedroom red-brick cottage with outbuildings and pretty gardens, £200,000
This three-bedroom flat within a former textile factory spans the corner of the fourth floor and has a balcony