Ian Holloway, Jason Dodd and Lewis Moody spoke in support of the bid, which aims to tackle the broken model of British football by moving to members-owned, not-for-profit structure similar to that of AFC Wimbledon, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid.
The Big Bath City Bid has set a minimum target of £750,000 to get a deal done, based on on-going negotiations with the club’s current board. The optimum target of £1.25m, however, would see all major debts cleared. If the minimum target is reached by the deadline of 4 September, the club’s existing shareholders will be asked to vote on whether to convert Bath City FC from a private company to a community benefit society.
BBCB chair Jon Bickley, MD of local publishing firm Anthem Publishing, said:
“We’ve chosen a minimum share purchase of £250 to make this bid as widely accessible as possible. It would be an incredible achievement to raise £1.25m in the club’s 125th year, erase the debts and create a sustainable future. Let’s give Bath the football club it deserves.”
Investors can buy online, by cheque or bank transfer. The full prospectus can be viewed at bigbathcitybid.org.uk.
Bickley stressed that those with deeper pockets will need to invest more than the minimum if the bid is to succeed. With this in mind, the community club will offer extra perks and incentives to larger investors, including businesses, while sticking to the “one member, one vote” principle.
If the bid is successful, members of the Bath City Supporters Society, the democratic members’ organisation that set up the Big Bath City Bid, will be asked to vote on whether to merge with the new community club. The Supporters Society is the club’s largest shareholder with 17.65% of existing shares.
Martin Powell, chair of the Supporters Society, said:
“Becoming a members-owned club will throw open the doors to more involvement and input from both supporters and the wider community. We can build a club that really matters to the people of Bath.”
THE BIG BATH CITY BID IN NUMBERS
· £250 – minimum individual purchase of community shares
· £750,000 – absolute minimum target
· £1.25m – optimum target, clearing nearly all debts
· 3 – number of months to hit target
· 1 – a community club will be run on a “one member, one vote” basis