When news happens get involved. Send your pictures, views and video to us by text and email
TERRAS: Legal concerns puts vote back
THE much-publicised vote to scrap the share purchase limit at Weymouth FC has been put back due to legal issues.
Shareholders were due to have their say on the proposed motion at yesterday’s EGM at the Bob Lucas Stadium but following concerns surrounding the legality of the meeting it had to be postponed.
The board of WFC want to lift the safeguard in order to attract new investment to help take the club forward but many people are concerned it would leave the Terras open to a possible takeover.
The club’s directors are currently in negotiations with NGS plc regarding possible investment and according to them, the multi-national company would want a 51 per cent controlling stake in the company as well as a seat on the board as part of any potential deal.
In return for that, the WFC board claim NGS plc would stabilise the club financially, provide better financial governance through their own accountancy team, and provide funds for new players, as well as a full-time CEO, who would oversee the day-to-day running of the club and also help boost commercial revenue.
Speaking to around 60 shareholders at the meeting, Weymouth chairman Nigel Biddlecombe, pictured, said: “We are making strides but cannot make major strides without investment. However, in order to attract outside investment, we need to be able to offer them something without selling our souls.
“We need to remove the 7.5 per cent caveat to move the club forward otherwise it will just continue treading water.”
As yet no firm offer has been made by NGS plc and it is clear that until that share purchase limit is lifted, talks will be unable to go any further. Director Shaun Hennessy added: “All we are asking for is a chance to negotiate.”
Shareholders listened intently to what the board had to say but they also raised their concerns about the motives for such an investment.
Board member and former vice-chairman Mark Coleman responded: “We are not going to sell this club down the river and you have got to trust us to put safeguards in place. We are not stupid, we know the potential pitfalls.”
Biddlecombe claims the community model he helped set up back in April 2012 has not worked and that the potential investors see WFC as a challenge.
He also reiterated that the club is not in financial trouble and that any legal action regarding the ongoing land issue at the Bob Lucas Stadium is not dependent on the investment.
He then refused to comment any further about a possible legal challenge for the land, claiming ‘the rest is not for public discussion at the moment’. However, he did admit that all options are still being considered in terms of the future of the club’s ground in the ongoing talks with NGS plc.
The board is now hoping to set up a fans’ forum in the near future so the proposal can be discussed further with the possibility of representatives of the investors also being present.
Other key information to come from the meeting included:
*The board claim NGS plc’s potential investment would not endanger Brendon King’s position as first-team manager or indeed that of the current directors on the board, who they want to remain in place.
*The club is currently at the top end of its playing budget and there is no more money available for new players.
*The club’s debt to HMRC currently stands at £12,000.
*Although 51 per cent of the shares would give NGS Plc a controlling stake in the club, as a Plc they would need 75 per cent to do ‘anything drastic’.
Comments are closed on this article.