Rochdale AFC Community Trust has officially announced the purchase of shares in Rochdale AFC as part of the recent share issue.
The Community Trust, a registered charity that delivers community projects across the Rochdale Borough focussed on sport, health & inclusion and education & employability, have invested in 12,500 shares with the aim of bringing the wider community closer to the club.
An integral part of the club's recent past, the Community Trust has built a strong reputation locally of engaging people young and old in various projects, using the power of football to ‘make Rochdale a better place to live, work and play’. It is this mission that inspired the charity to invest in its parent club.
“Without Rochdale AFC the charity would not be as impactful as it is today, therefore when the chance came to invest in the future of the club we jumped at the chance,” commented Ryan Bradley, Community Director.
“The Community Trust has healthy reserves and the trustees felt that the community deserves a bigger say in the goings on at the club, alongside fans, and we hope an investment of this size will bring the club and the wider community closer together,” added Bradley.
Rochdale AFC Community Trust sought specialist advice from solicitors and accountants, as well as the charity commission, before passing a motion to invest at “Director Level” was passed unanimously by trustees.
“Similarly to the way in which the Dale Trust represents fans, we will represent the wider community, as well as use our shareholding to ensure that the work of the Community Trust can continue to prosper alongside the football club,” he finished.
The club's official charity currently employs 16 people, supporting thousands of people annually.
Funding is received through grants from bodies such as the Premier League, EFL, PFA and Football Foundation, as well as commissions from organisations such as Your Trust, Rochdale Borough Council, National Lottery, Action Together, DWP and CCG.
However, it is trading income from sports activities, fundraising, sponsorship and donations that has made the share purchase possible.
Simon Gauge, Rochdale AFC Chairman and Trustee of Rochdale AFC Community Trust, said: "When the Community Trust first asked about applying to purchase shares we were over the moon!
"Since we took over as a new board we have made it clear our vision to be fan owned and the role this club has to play in the wider community.
"The board view the club primarily as a community football club so it makes perfect sense for the Community Trust, that does so much to promote the club in the community, to own shares.
"We aren’t just a business - the club is a part of people’s family and work lives and through the Community Trust we really want to strengthen those links.
"I’m delighted to welcome Rochdale AFC Community Trust onboard as official shareholders."
To find our more about the work of Rochdale AFC Community Trust click here: