The open meeting took place on Wednesday 12th June at Potter’s International Hotel with over 300 people in attendance. The meeting was opened by Terry Owens, Chairman of The Shots Trust Board and Founder member Aldershot Town FC (1992) Ltd; he welcomed everyone and reminded those present that it was nearly 21 years to the day since a similar meeting in the same venue, after Aldershot FC was wound up.
Presentations were made by Graham Brookland, President of The Shots Trust and founder member of Aldershot Town (1992) FC; Peter O’Donnell, director of The Shots Trust, on the Pre-Share Offer; James Mathie from Supporter Direct, on their involvement; Colin Farmeby from Pompey Supporters Trust, on how Portsmouth FC became a community owned club; Nick Igoe, Finance Consultant working with the Trust and Supporters Direct, with projections on how the club could be run sustainably; and Sefton Owens, director of The Shots Trust, on the next steps and the vision for the future of a community owned club.
There were also 2 videos shown: “The Highs and Lows of ATFC” and “Calling The Shots”.
There followed an open question and answer session, with questions being taken from the floor.
The meeting was closed by Ian Goodwright, vice-chairman of The Shots Trust, with an appeal to supporters to get behind the trust’s bid to bring the club out of administration as a community owned club. “Let’s give it our Best Shot”.
Terry Owens and Ian Goodwright thanked all those who attended, with particular thanks to Frank Burt, who sponsored the evening and Bob Potter and Barbara Leitch for use of the venue.
Minutes from the open meeting, along with the powerpoint slides and videos will be posted later this week.
After just over a week, deposits continue to be made into the Escrow account, not only from people around Aldershot but from all over the UK and indeed from around the world. Deposits are broadly in line with pledges made, but in many cases either more has been deposited or a further amount has been pledged. Over 100 of the 750 people who pledged have now transferred money into the Escrow account and in addition, many people who did not pledge have deposited money.
On Saturday 15th June we opened up the club shop to provide access to a photocopier and the Pre-Share Offer document – nearly 50 people attended depositing over £15 000. We will be opening up the club shop again on Saturday 22nd June for anyone who needs documents copying or would like to bring their cheque in person.
We would appeal to anyone who pledged but has not yet deposited to make good your pledges to strengthen the trust’s position with the administrators, the creditors and other consortiums.
We do not plan to make public information on how much money has been deposited in the Escrow account. To do so would reveal our hand to the creditors and to other consortiums and enable then to negotiate accordingly. The Escrow account will demonstrate proof of funds to the administrator, as and when the trust are in a position to make an offer to the creditors. The more money that we have in the account and the more people that have deposited, the stronger our position will be. If you have not already done so, please respond to the Pre-Share Offer.
Negotiations with the administrators
Discussions continue with the administrators with another meeting scheduled for this week. Whilst we were were aware of the forthcoming meeting for shareholders and creditors regarding a CVA proposal, we were specifically informed by the administrator that this information was confidential and should remain so until all the relevant parties had been informed. We were also aware that the administrator planned to grant a 14 day period of exclusivity to one of the interested consortiums. The administrators have encouraged the trust to proceed with the Pre-Share Offer and are closely following proceedings in this regard.
Dialogue with other interested parties
The trust have been in contact with potential investors, major creditors and other interested parties (including other consortiums). We have made it clear during discussions that the trust’s aim is for the club to be brought out of adminitration a a community owned club – owned by the fans and run for the fans. We welcome interest and investment by other parties and will be happy to work with them to bring the club out of administration as a community owned club.
The Trust thanks the many supporters who have contacted us with offers of help and support. We are trying to identify the specific skills that we will need over the coming months and will provide further information about this in due course. In the meantime, please make good your pledges and let’s give it our best shot.