Clyde FC
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Budget Development Fund

Sun, 22nd Sep 2013 5:49pm

The club's investment and commercial directors, Bobby Gracey and Gary Ballantyne have launched an ownership development plan on behalf of the board. They issued a joint statement to the official website, detailing the background behind the new scheme:-

"Everyone involved and attached to this great club have endured the pain and frustration over the last decade, as we embarked on a journey to save and preserve our famous club and compete as best we can in lieu of our financial burdens. 

"We have had to remain stubborn and financially prudent in order that we did not jeopardise the club's status within the game. We can all safely acknowledge that where we find ourselves at present is certainly not a place we wish to remain. The aspirations and expectations from everyone associated with the club seek to see it develop, prosper and compete successfully within all competitions.

"The previous season appeared to have presented us with an opportunity to bolster our club finances with the two Rangers fixtures at Broadwood, however during last season we lost two major individual investors and therefore these incomes merely balanced one another out.

"We therefore go into this new season, once again, with our historical debt to service and an investor void to fill, which impacts dramatically on our ability to support the existing player squad and add further quality personnel accordingly.

"We are therefore pursuing all commercial and investment avenues available to us and we will endeavour to meet all of our financial commitments.

"That said, we will not achieve this alone through the support of a very few dedicated individuals or groups. We therefore seek engagement from the club's ownership, season ticket holders, supporters and anyone else genuinely interested in assisting the fortunes of this great traditional family community club, to compete again for success in every competition available to us

"The club is unsure at this present time as to the revenues that will be provided to us from the new SPFL administration and, once again, we need to remain financially prudent in the interim period until the relevant authorities conclude their commercial and sponsorship deals for the Leagues.

"Therefore, we are openly seeking investment from our ownership and supporters directly in this player investment fund in order to sustain and develop a squad capable of achieving success from the fourth tier of the Scottish League structure. Generating a winning team and formulae will undoubtedly attract other investments and increase revenue streams.

"As part of protecting the long-term future of Clyde FC, as a club we elected to develop a wholly fan based ownership model and at the time of preparing this communication some 461 people have elected to support the club in this way.

"The current model is delivered at the very modest sum of £30 per annum and the levy has now been set at this amount for some time. Ownership income is circa £9,000 per annum against an overall operating cost of £350,000.

"In recent weeks we have also been reviewing other community ownership models in existence within Scottish Football. At St. Mirren and Hearts, we have established that their ownership model delivers average individual monthly contributions from their owners of around £14-£18 per month; i.e. £168-£216 per annum. Both models also provide access to significant ownership volume over and above what we can currently attract to Clyde FC.

"Based upon our current ownership numbers the model deployed at St. Mirren or Hearts could deliver somewhere between £60,000-£70,000 for Clyde FC and represent a substantial contribution towards the running costs of the club and ensure we are competitive on the park by having a more realistic player budget. 

"The model at St. Mirren and Hearts also introduces a clear alignment between individual ownership and individual responsibility/accountability. This issue has been raised at many previous ownership and fans meetings.  

"At this time we have set an individual investment target of raising £30,000 before the end of this season. With having an adult ownership model of over 400 and a fan base of between 500-800, we believe that such a target could be achieved and potentially exceeded.

"To look at it another way, if we can achieve a contribution of £100 per annum from 300 owners or supporters, or £50 per annum from 600 owners or supporters, this target becomes very realistic. Similarly, a one-off donation is very much appreciated or a direct debit of say £10 a month, depending on each individual owner or supporter's personal circumstances. 

"Clearly this request is not mandatory and we are hoping that in these extremely difficult economic times for the club we will receive universal engagement from our owners and loyal supporters to make a real difference.

"In order to improve our product on the park this requires financial investment to hopefully make every Saturday more enjoyable and see our club flourish and drive away from the lower end of the league. We should all work to avoid the major threat of the proposed pyramid play-off scenario that will be introduced next season.

"It should be all the more satisfying if you feel as though you have personally contributed to the club's recovery and together we can demonstrate to all in Scottish Football the power of a fan-based ownership model, where the club comes together to protect our club in the short, medium and long term. Contributions to the fund can be made by either; direct payment by cheque to the club, via the donations page on the website or by a standing order option.

"Thanking you all once again in advance for your continued commitment and dedication to The Bully Wee cause."