To All Supporters of Birmingham City Football Club
We are, and we are sure you are, dissatisfied with the financial situation that prevails at our club. Do you want to see a change in ownership of BCFC to an alternative that could offer more long-term stability and a sustainable future for our club?
Blues Trust is a registered society under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014 (CBS) and registered under the Industrial and Provident Society (IPS). Under IPS legislation there are two main forms of society – a Co-operative Society and a CBS.
What is a CBS?
The defining features are that it:
- Has a purpose to benefit its community.
- Is based on one member one vote, regardless of how much members have invested.
- Has a membership that is open to anyone to join.
- Is registered with and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority mutual register.
- Is non-profit distributing.
- Allows for a “statutory asset lock” which means a clubs assets cannot be sold for private (members) gain.
Supporters Direct in England recommends the CBS form of society because it is better suited to community ownership of football clubs as it provides for a unique form of share capital called Community Shares (or otherwise known as “Withdrawable Shares”.
- Are a critical element because they allow supporters to invest in supporters trusts (like Blues Trust) in the knowledge that they can in the longer term probably have opportunities to cash-in their shares, subject to conditions set out in the rules of the society.
- Are different to transferable shares issued by companies where it can be extremely difficult to find a buyer for a relatively small number of shares.
A major advantage of a CBS is that it is exempt from financial regulations when promoting the sale of community shares to the general public.
You may already be aware of Portsmouth Supporters Trust that raised in excess of £2m in community shares to take a majority stake in their club.
Why are we telling you this?
Blues Trust will shortly be launching a survey to try to measure the level of appetite in investing in the Trust’s community shares, with a view to acquiring a collective investment in shares in BCFC, should they become available.
Look out shortly for the questionnaire which will be available either on this website or from our representatives near St Andrews.
You can find Guidance for supporters at http://communityshares.org.uk/find-out-more/guidance-supporters