31 May FSS TO BECOME MAJOR SHAREHOLDER IN FFC AFTER SUCCCESSFUL APPLICATION TO SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT FOR £350,000 FUNDS
Falkirk Supporters Society (FSS) are pleased to announce that following a successful application to the newly formed Scottish Government Fan Bank an interest free loan of £350,000 has been approved to allow FSS to buy 875,000 shares in Falkirk Football Club and collectively become the largest shareholders in the club.
This means that FSS will soon reach its target of collectively owning 26% of the shares in Falkirk Football Club. By owning such a significant stake in the club, our supporters will have a major say in the future direction of the club, be able to protect the club from unwanted external threats and help the club to return to where it belongs in the higher levels of Scottish football.
The Club also welcomes this development – the purchase of these shares will not only cement the important role of supporters in the governance of the club but also mean investment in the club’s priorities of infrastructure investment, community engagement and youth development as well as improving the club’s performance as a football team.
FSS was selected to be the the first supporters organisation to be given such a loan by the Scottish Government. The Fan Bank will be in operation as an official government body from now on and other clubs’ supporter organisations will be welcome to borrow from its funding in the future – but it is worth pointing out that FSS was chosen as the first successful applicant to the fund because it is regarded as a well run, democratic, transparent organisation with a commitment to diversity and fairness in football. FSS passed a due diligence investigation by the government and the loan agreement agreed after months of behind the scenes negotiations.
It is understood that the investment in the club will help in the development of the stadium infrastructure including helping the installation of a new pitch and improvement in the floodlighting. This will have a direct impact on the local community via the Falkirk Foundation charity which is based in the stadium and utilises the pitch for many of its activities. The recent signing of four young players by the club as modern apprentices will also be supported.
Paul Robertson, FSS executive committee member said:
“We are proud to be the first supporters’ organisation in Scotland to be granted such a loan by a government body to buy collective shares in our club. Falkirk has always been a progressive and forward thinking football club and our greater shareholding will allow ordinary supporters a say in the future direction of the club. We are grateful to the Scottish government for their recognition of the Falkirk Supporters Society as a democratic, transparent and worthy recipient of these funds.”
The local community will benefit from improvements to infrastructure such as a new pitch and the future of the club assured by a commitment to youth development and a wide range of initiatives to get Falkirk back where it belongs in the higher levels of Scottish football.
This could not have been achieved without the current support from the FSS membership that we have and the future commitment of supporters to be involved in the club’s future successes.
FSS will continue to raise money for Falkirk FC by collecting monthly subscriptions – the loan will be repaid over 20 years with over 80% of all new money raised by FSS continuing to be given to the club as further share purchases or other investment. FSS has recently signed a formal agreement with Falkirk Football Club to be recognised as the official supporters organisation and to have two “fan directors” on the Board.