Fans' group close to completing takeover at Ebbsfleet

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The Independent Online

Ebbsfleet United, vying for a first-ever promotion to the Football League this season from the Blue Square Premier, are virtually certain of being under the full control of a internet-based fans' consortium within a month after due diligence on a £635,000 takeover was completed yesterday.

As The Independent first revealed in November, MyFootballClub, a collective with more than 27,000 paid-up members in more than 70 countries, agreed in principle a ground-breaking deal with Ebbsfleet two months ago. With due diligence complete, MyFC has announced financial details of the takeover, and put it to a "yes or no" vote.

Members have until midday on 23 January to accept or decline, but with an initial "yes" vote of around 97 per cent from more than 600 votes cast in the first few hours, acceptance appears to be a formality.

MyFC members paid £35 each for the first year's subscription, with £27.50 of that going directly to buying and running a club, and £7.50 going to operator's costs involved in running MyFC's website, myfootballclub. co.uk. When the takeover is complete and after an "acclimatisation period", members will be able to pick the team, on a one-member, one-vote basis, from March.

MyFC's football fund stands at £742,500 and rising. The deal, for a 75 per cent controlling stake, will see an initial outlay of £400,000, with the balance to be paid over two years. All the money will wipe out debt, with current shareholders handing over their stake in return.

Ebbsfleet currently lose between £26,000 and £28,000 per month, but MyFC are confident that increased gates, merchandise sales, advertising, sponsorship and TV revenues will make it viable.

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