The board of directors would like to provide an update to all supporters ahead of Tuesday’s AGMs and EGMs.
A statement from Chairman Andrew Kelly and the board was issued to shareholders last week, outlining the board’s view that to move the club forwards there is a need for outside investment. We now wish to extend that update to all of our supporters.
As a Football Club operating at an elite level of professional football, we cannot compete and thrive without the injection of significant amounts of money that are not available to us in the traditional way that we have been funded throughout our history.
We have been approached by a number of outside parties who have presented varying levels of interest and proposals to become the club’s new owner/investor.
The current board would not contemplate entering into an agreement that could potentially take us down the unsustainable path that other football clubs have sadly found themselves on.
Until very recently, none of the proposals put forward by interested parties were sufficiently detailed, credible or funded to a level necessary to ensure that the club is stabilised and developed to move us forwards.
In the last four months, there has been a concentration by the board to bring a conclusion to talks with genuinely interested parties that, if they were to acquire the club, would be to the betterment of RAFC.
The resolutions proposed by the club at Tuesday’s EGM, if they were to be passed, would allow negotiations with any interested parties to be taken to the next level.
All parties wish to continue negotiations and due diligence in a confidential manner, which the board understand and respect.
However, it is suffice to say that the board have been greatly impressed by the professional and knowledgeable approach taken at all times by the interested parties.
The level of investment and the short, medium and long-term plans that have been put forward represent something that the board has been seeking and that the club has been in need of for several years.
The plans discussed to date have featured the urgent need to invest in club facilities, primarily the need to develop first team training facilities, which ideally can become a first team, Academy and Community complex.
Also featured in the plans is the need to invest in stadium refurbishments, both for football and non-football related development, and to invest in on-the-field matters to achieve our ambitions of an immediate return to League One and to achieve greater sustainability as a football club.
At all times during the ongoing negotiations, we have been impressed by each party’s total understanding and respect for the fact that the supporters are the lifeblood of any football club.
Should the resolutions put forward by the club be passed by shareholders, it would ensure that any investment will come directly into Rochdale AFC through the issue of new shares, which would be put directly into achieving previously mentioned ambitions.
The board considers that this is an essential next step to allow development of the discussions with interested parties, who, with their vision, professionalism and passion, will be exactly what RAFC needs to not only secure the future, but to develop the club for the benefit of the supporters, the community and the town of Rochdale. Without having the authority to issue new shares, the board is effectively stifled in its ability to seek new investment and we are left in a situation where the status quo prevails.
If we can all work together to bring the passion, vision and investment on offer to the club, we are sure that RAFC will be in a very different place in years to come.
Last week, it was also announced that Nick Grindrod had joined the main board of directors. We can confirm that Nick acquired his shareholding via a private share transfer. He has already proven that his expertise and experience will be of huge benefit to the football club as we begin to move to a post-Covid world, and we look forward to working even more closely with him moving forwards.