One of the many ways to support the Club in it's efforts to rectify it's financial shortcomings is to buy share(s). For considerable legal and cost reasons, the club cannot solicit funds by a public offering. However, if you write to the Club Secretary stating that you wish to purchase shares (£50 each), I am led to believe that you won't be disappointed...
To put it bluntly, such a move is tantamount to a donation with bells on. As an investment, it is almost certain that you will receive no dividends or capital growth. There is no market for the shares and the only likely situation where you might receive a portion of the purchase price is in the event of a buyout of the whole club.
However, you will legally be a co-owner of the Club and will be invited to Shareholder Meetings where you will be privy to information that is not normally communicated to the public, supporters, etc. You will also be able to strut around the ground wearing a self-satisfied expression. When someone mutters, "Look at that pillock, you'd think he owns the joint!", you can then smugly respond in the affirmative.
On a related topic, I was informed that the Club's constitution prohibits any one person from owning more that 24% of the available shares. That means you need at least 3 people to cooperate to have a controlling interest.
And lastly, I was informed that the shares held by our ex-CoR amount to less that 10% of the 46 000 issued to date.
It is true that there is no official means of trading Albion shares, but there is nothing to stop like minded people getting together to sell and buy shares from each other. It doesn't help the Club at all except maybe act as a better incentive to investors if they think there is an exit route at some point.
A register of willing sellers could also be set up by the Company Secretary, Don Seymour, and the trade price could be agreed annually at the AGM.
It can be done.
Albion should make a rights issue now, but they know all that stuff.
Following on from one of the more technical points from Tuesday's meeting, there is a more interesting way to buy shares in the PARFC that is more lucrative for Club/purchaser.
Basically, instead of making an out and out donation, if you make a payment under the Enterprise Initiative Scheme (EIS), you can recoup a considerable (approx 30%) tax credit at the end of the following tax year. (Or you can allow the Club to reclaim it.) This is extremely useful as donations in excess of £50, ie the cost of a single share, made since the beginning of this "rescue" package can be converted into shares retrospectively. This makes you a part owner of Albion as outlined in my initial posting above. The scheme is endorsed by HMRC, apparently.
If you're re-mortgaging the house, you should consult a financial adviser. For more modest amounts, you should be aware that there is precious little chance of ever seeing a return or dividend or even a sale (bar a total buyout, of course). You will, however, be entitled to attend shareholders meetings, etc.
Having talked this through at the meeting, I'm sure the Club will produce some kind of guidance in due course. If you're interested, then the important thing is to write and specify that you want to take advantage of the Scheme, even if your donation has already been made.
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