When news happens get involved. Send your pictures, views and video to us by text and email
TERRAS: Board propose u-turn on share ownership
THE board of Weymouth FC is proposing a dramatic U-turn in a bid to attract new investment to the Bob Lucas Stadium.
Just 16 months after signing the club’s majority shareholding over to a community trust to safeguard it from the unpredictability of sole ownership, the Terras’ hierarchy are bidding to lift the restrictions on the amount of shares any one person can hold.
It is an extremely debatable move for the current directors to take and inevitably has led to speculation about a potential investor already lying in wait in the background.
The motion is set to be scrutinised at this Sunday’s EGM when the board is scheduled to explain its thinking to the club’s shareholders. A board statement reads: “Following discussions at a board meeting held on Sunday the following motion has been agreed, which will be the subject of Sunday’s EGM.
“The board of Weymouth Football Club recommend that this EGM shall vary the terms of Paragraph 5(a) and Paragraph 5(b) within the Deed of Trust signed on April 9, 2012, so that there shall be no limit upon the shareholding which can be held by any person or body.
“As previously advised, the meeting will take place at the Bob Lucas Stadium on Sunday, October 13, commencing at 11am.
“Obviously this represents a major change in the stance of the board and we would urge as many supporters as possible to attend the meeting.
“Should you not be able to attend a form of proxy is available on the club’s website or from the club office between 9.30am and 2.30pm today, Thursday and Friday.”
For current chairman Nigel Biddlecombe, such a development would have appeared unthinkable not so long ago.
The lifelong fan was the driving force behind putting the club’s majority shareholding into trust following his much-publicised takeover from controversial ex-owner George Rolls.
When questioned about the situation, Biddlecombe replied: “When looking at how best to take the club forward, the board of directors must consider all avenues of investment in Weymouth FC and because of that, we feel the 7.5 per cent share embargo is currently holding the club back and would like to see it removed.
“It would obviously be a major change in direction that could prove vital for the club and that is why we would love to see as many shareholders as possible at the EGM.”
The community trust is fully opposed to the board’s proposal. A statement from the trustees reads: “One of the primary reasons for the setting up of the Weymouth FC Community Trust was to ensure that no one individual or party could ever again own more than a 7.5 per cent stake in the club.
“We as trustees, remain committed to the principles of that deed of trust and are fully opposed to any changes to that deed, which would effectively dismantle the community trust structure of the club and may recreate the situation where the club can be owned and controlled by a single person.”
Echosport understands the board of directors have been holding talks with potential investors but speculation that ex-Rushden & Diamonds chairman Steve Beasant is one of them has been dismissed.
Biddlecombe has also confirmed that the club has no major financial concerns.
Comments are closed on this article.