The Trust and the Club

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The Supporters’ Trust’s long term aim has been for the club to have stable ownership with healthy, transparent finances leading to success on the pitch. When the Trust was first formed it’s objective was to raise money which would be invested in the club for the benefit of supporters, whilst also at the same time acquiring a significant shareholding that would enable it to have a meaningful influence on behalf of supporters in the way the club was run.  Since Hadley Property Group (HPG) took over control of the club in February 2014 the Trust’s objectives have evolved to include an ownership model that fully involves supporters (you can read the Trust’s objectives for 2014-2016 here).

Dulwich Hamlet FC Limited is a private company, which changed ownership in the mid-2000’s when the vast majority of its 300,000 shares were acquired by Nick McCormack. As well as the Football Club itself there are related businesses of the Health Club and the five-a-side pitches on Greendales behind the ground. At the current time, Champion Hill Stadium and Dulwich Hamlet FC Ltd (DHFC Ltd) are separate legal entities.  Greendale Property Company Limited (Greendale) owns the freehold of the Champion Hill Stadium and surrounding locale, and has an exclusive option, through its associated company Hadley Property Group, to purchase the majority holding of the issued shares in DHFC Ltd (the legal entity that runs the football club) from the Football Club’s current owner, Nick McCormack.  Since obtaining the option Greendale, through HPG, has invested considerable financial resources in DHFC Ltd and effectively runs the Football Club.  If HPG obtains planning permission for its proposed new development of the site, then they have committed to exercise this option in full and purchase DHFC Ltd, with the ultimate aim of transferring ownership to the Trust.

binary options india Work of the Fan-ownership Sub-committee

The Trust has set up a fan-ownership sub-committee to engage with HPG and fans to develop a model for the Club to be fully fan-owned in the future. The Club’s present position means that we are in a unique position to plan, consult and prepare for a managed transition to a fan owned club.

  • In January 2015 we held an open “Ask the Experts” meeting with representatives from 4 fan-owned clubs to give fans an opportunity to ask questions of those who have a wealth of experience of both the transition to fan ownership and running a football club.
  • We have established links with key personnel at fan owned clubs – Enfield, Portsmouth, Fisher, Wimbledon and Lewes – who have all been very supportive and generous with their knowledge and advice. We will continue to make use of these links for advice throughout the process.
  • We have worked closely with Supporters’ Direct, particularly with James Mathie, in relation to all aspects of fan ownership.  As well as advice and guidance on the process, they provide model documents for the transition to owning the club, carry out due diligence on the club prior to taking over, and provide training for board members in relation to running the club in the future.
  • We have had a series of meeting with HPG focusing on the issues surrounding the progression to fan ownership.  In April 2015 HPG issued a public statement confirming their intention to hand the club over to the fans if their planning application is successful.  Further they have recently announced the appointment of Kevin Rye, formerly of SD, as a consultant to deal with the fan ownership issue on their behalf, a very positive development and we look forward to working with him.  We will also work with HPG on the production of a business plan for the new facility which will form part of the planning application for the new development.


htttp www bfmmarkets com What is Fan-Ownership?

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Supporters Direct defines community ownership as a model where 50% +1 of voting rights are owned or controlled by a democratic entity with open membership, for instance a supporters’ trust.  There are two models :-

  • Community Interest Company (CIC) which can be set up as a Company Limited by Shares, a Plc, or a Company Limited by Guarantee but which has articles which put community purposes at its heart. It has limits on dividends to shareholders, currently 20%, but has a principle of one share-one vote which allows an individual or group of people to have overall control.  The shares can be bought and sold, as with any company, and this model is usually employed where large capital sums need to be raised at the outset, either to buy out an existing owner, or build a new ground, for example Portsmouth FC and AFC Wimbledon.
  • binaire opties programma Community Benefit Society (CBS)This is the model recommended by Supporters Direct, the advantage over a CIC being that the model ensures control remains in a democratic structure. There is one member-one vote so no matter how many shares a member buys they only have one vote. Further the shares are non-speculative in that they cannot be traded or increase in value, and interest payable on the shares is strictly limited and can only be paid from a trading surplus.  Likewise the withdrawal of shares can be limited so that only a certain amount can be withdrawn in any one year and can only be paid from a trading surplus.

The CBS model ensures the club is run sustainably and democratic control is retained.  It enables the maximum profit to be ploughed back into the club and prevents the shares being used as a vehicle for profit.  Given the value of the Champion Hill ground itself and the recent history of property speculation around the Club, protecting the Club from this in the future is one of the Trust’s main aims.  HPG’s plan is to hand the Club over as a sustainable operation with a business plan in place, without the need for large capital sums to be raised.  For these reasons the Trust is working towards the Club becoming a CBS which is 100% owned by DHFC Ltd.