Supporters' Trust Press Release

Tue, 9th Mar 2004 12:00am

Clyde Supporters' Trust is fronting a bid to take control of Clyde Football Club and keep its ownership in the hands of supporters. The trust, along with other fans, aims to buy out the 125-year-old club and clear its debts, including rent on its North Lanarkshire Council (NLC) owned home ground at Broadwood Stadium. The NLC has already accepted an offer for payment following talks with the trust-led group on Monday.

"We are aiming to secure Clyde's future as a community club in whatever division we are playing next season through an offer to satisfy all creditors of the club even if that has to be over time," said Clyde Supporters' Trust chairman Alan Henderson. "The next step for us is to launch a "Back the Bully Wee" campaign to secure outstanding funding for our plans," he added.

If the bid succeeds, Cumbernauld-based Clyde would be the first senior club in Scotland to be run by a trust of its supporters.

Clyde FC director Gerry Dunn said: "We have been told that another bid is being prepared and we will obviously consider it when it arrives."

Currently tabled is an offer for the club from a consortium headed by Glasgow businessman Lawrence Ihle.

At the club's last annual general meeting, chairman Billy Carmichael, aged 70, said he would like to stand down when a new structure was in place. Under his chairmanship during which he has ploughed his own money into running the club, Clyde have risen from the brink of relegation to the third division to the top of the first and the verge of promotion to the Scottish Premier League.

The Clyde Supporters' Trust is registered as an industrial and provident society and aims to raise money to initiate youth and coaching programmes and boost the standing of Clyde FC in the community.

The UK Government introduced the concept of supporters' trusts in 2000 and several have been formed in Scotland since then. The Clyde Supporters' Trust was launched in September last year and has grown to 264 members.