The Pre-Share Offer has yielded £80 000 into the Escrow account as of 26th June 2013. The Board recognises that this is a remarkable achievement in only 3 weeks. Some 200 people have made deposits ranging from £100 to £5000 – in our survey 750 people pledged to invest to support the idea of a community owned club (although 40% of pledges were between £0 and £100 and the minimum investment was set at £100). The minimum level was set in an attempt to accumulate funds quickly and to demonstrate credibility to the administrators. In order to present the administrators with a credible alternative offer to the one that they have, we would need to have substantially more funds in the account. To achieve this, we would need many more of the 550 supporters who pledged but have not yet deposited money into the account through the Pre-Share Offer to do so as soon as possible and, realistically, that needs to be within the next 7 days.
If there are any other individuals or businesses interested in supporting our ambition for a community owned club, we urge them to contact the Trust.
Whilst our ambition remains that we be in a position to offer a competitive bid, we recognise that the administrators already have what they consider a credible offer and that there is every chance that this other bid will succeed. However, we also need to continue the appeal for funds through the Pre-Share Offer in case the offer currently with the administrators does not complete for any reason. In this scenario, the Trust may be the only interested party remaining who might be able to prevent the club from being liquidated.
If our bid does not succeed at this time, we will consult with the members regarding the options for the future. In the first place, anyone who deposited funds would be able to have the money in the Escrow account returned. We will inform you of exactly how to do this. It may be that members wish to pursue community ownership as a longer term goal, in which case the Trust would launch a community share offer, with a view to building up funds over a period of months and years rather than weeks. No money would be transferred from the Escrow account into Community Shares without consent.
The Trust Board will consult with its members regarding any offer from a consortium regarding buying a minority stake in the club. We will be strongly negotiating representation on and influence with new board without the need for the Trust to buy such a share. We can confirm that the money in the Escrow account would certainly not be used for this purpose. We believe that any new owner should welcome and actively seek engagement with supporters and The Shots Trust. We would, of course, continue to work with any new owners in the best interests of the club, the supporters and the community.
Special General Meeting
The purpose of this meeting was to adopt a Special Resolution and Rule Amendments to enable the trust to launch the Community Share Offer. Unfortunately we only realised on 26th June that our Rules require that a minimum of 1/3 of members to vote on the Special Resolution and Rule Amendments in order for them to be approved. The Board apologises to members for not highlighting this point sooner which no doubt would have encouraged a greater response to the vote, either in person or by proxy/postal vote. We intend to bring forward the Special Resolution and Rule Amendments again at the AGM in July.
The purpose of these meetings has been to try to understand the financial situation of the Club, what kind of offer might be acceptable to creditors, whether any other interested parties would be interested in talking to the Trust and what other bids the administrator was considering.
The administrators have confirmed that:
- They do not currently have enough funds to run the club until the end of July and on current forecasts will run out of cash in early July
- They do not consider that the Trust currently has enough funds
- They have only one offer that they are currently considering (the only offer that they have received)
- The offer received currently is not enough to satisfy the Conference financial rules without either an increased offer (which is unlikely) or some creditors agreeing to write their debts down. Consequently, the creditors’ and shareholders’ meetings to consider the CVA will be adjourned on Monday to Thursday 4 July to enable further negotiations to take place with the proposed purchaser and relevant stakeholders.
- They were not in a position to confirm or deny that they had seen proof of funds from the consortium
We will continue to seek assurances from the administrators that any new owner will be in a position to act in the best interests of the club and the supporters.
Meetings with other consortium
A meeting took place on Tuesday 18th June 2013 between John Orme, Ian Goodwright and Peter O’Donnell (Directors of The Shots Trust) and representatives of a consortium bidding to bring Aldershot Town FC 1992 Ltd out of administration.
During the meeting we agreed on the following:
- Both parties agreed that they wished Aldershot Town FC to be brought out of administration as a going concern
- Both parties agreed that supporters and The Shots Trust should be more involved in supporting any new owner to run the Club successfully
- The directors of The Shots Trust confirmed that they would endeavour to work with any new owner of the Club including the consortium represented at the meeting
- The representatives confirmed that they would be open to considering further discussions should their consortium’s bid not succeed.
The directors of the Trust have met with one of the creditors, the majority shareholder Kris Machala. Mr Machala informed the Trust that he wished to support The Shots Trust in their bid to bring Aldershot Town FC out of administration as a community owned club. He stated that although he felt the club needed a fresh start, he did not wish to see the club liquidated and would not wish to jeopardize the future of the club.
The Trust would be interested in meeting with or talking to any other creditors who would like more information regarding the Trust’s bid.