Falkirk Football Club (FFC) and Falkirk Supporters Society (FSS) have recently signed a formal head of agreement that formalises the relationship between the two bodies.

The club accepts that FSS is the official organisation representing supporters to the club, that it will have the right to elect two “fan directors” to the club’s Board of Directors and that the club and Board will hold regular meetings to discuss issues of importance to both side.

FSS will remain completely independent of the club.

In return FSS has agreed that all funds raised by the organisation (after costs such as loan repayments) will be either donated to the club or used to purchase further shares in the club, The club in turn is willing to let FSS suggest how such funds might be used within the club’s budget.

This formal agreement comes after the announcement that the Scottish government has agreed to allocate £350,000 as an interest free loan to FSS (to be repaid over a 20 year period) to buy 875,000 shares in the club. That loan comes from the recently launched Fan Bank scheme.

Kenny Jamieson, Board member, said:

“Falkirk FC has always regarded our supporters to be an essential part of the future success of the club. The recent investment of £350,000 will be a massive boost to everyone – it will allow investment in the club’s infrastructure such as the laying of the new pitch, improvements to floodlights, support for youth development and improving the playing squad.”

Paul Roberston, FSS executive committee member added:

“The success of FSS means that the support will continue to have a major say in the direction of the club, collectively own enough shares to stop any unwanted predators from buying the club without our agreement and make a continuing boost to the club’s finance.”

While we will have to pay back the loan from the Scottish government, the lack of interest fees and the long period for repayment meant that accepting the offer was a “no-brainer” and, importantly, only 20% of our income will go in repayments – over 80% of all the money we raise from now on will still be invested in the club. Currently that is around £80,000 a year and we hope to continue to grow and raise even more money for Falkirk.”

This loan from the Scottish governments newly created scheme will be the first time in the UK (and possibly the world) a supporters organisation has been granted a large sum to invest in their football team and to ensure that Falkirk has a fan-led Board of Directors.

FSS had to go through a period of due diligence by the Scottish Government: the organisation’s commitment to being democratic, transparent, and demonstrating a commitment to diversity and fairness in football meant that FSS was the first of Scotland’s supporters organisations to be offered such a loan. Without FSS such a loan could not have been made.