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Rochdale Football Club Becomes Mortgage Free

7 June 2022

Rochdale Association Football Club is pleased to confirm that it has repaid the March 2016 mortgage originally taken out when the club acquired Spotland Stadium outright.

As our fans are aware, the Spotland Stadium asset benefits from both longstanding Companies Act protections of the 1987 Morris Resolution enshrined within our Articles of Association, as well as being listed as an Asset of Community Value.

In November 1987, the then Board of Directors passed a special resolution under the Companies Act to ensure the club enjoyed permanent protection against Spotland Stadium ever being sold, transferred, or charged via mortgage by any future party.

The November 1987 resolution - which is freely and publicly available at Companies House and which was signed by current Club President Graham Morris - requires that to sell, transfer or mortgage charge any property assets ever owned by the club, any Board of Directors of the club need the agreement of 75% or more of voting shareholders at an Extraordinary General Meeting to be granted the authority to act.

Furthermore, in July 2019, Spotland Stadium achieved a listing as an Asset of Community Value as the provisions of Section 88 of the Localism Act 2011 were met.  As a fan owned and fan-led football club, our home’s use as a sporting venue for the playing of professional football meets the eligibility criteria as land of community value and which furthers the social wellbeing and/or social interests of the local community.  Should any owner of any Asset of Community Value ever wish to attempt to sell an asset the owner must inform in writing their local authority.

Simon Gauge, Rochdale AFC Chairman commented:

“As a sustainably run club proud to be operating at the heart of its local community, building the club’s long-term future starts with ensuring complete security of our stadium.

“Thanks to the work of the late David Kilpatrick, Graham Morris and the Board of Directors in 1987, the subsequent 2019 listing as an Asset of Community Value and the work done by our Finance Committee over the last year, we are ahead of plan and in a good position allowing us to become mortgage free.  The annual cost savings achieved by being mortgage free are being redeployed into our first-team playing squad.”

Chris Harrison, Non-Executive Director and Chair of Rochdale AFC’s Finance Committee commented:

“Thanks to the immense foresight of our club president Graham Morris and the Board of Directors in amending the Articles of Association in 1987, the outright ownership of Spotland Stadium achieved in 2016 allied with these exceptional legal protections guarantees Rochdale AFC complete security in its future. Put simply, our ground cannot be ever sold, transferred or mortgaged without formal agreement from a significant majority of duly notified shareholders of the club and a formal notification provided to the local authority.

“The collective responsibility undertaken by our club’s Finance Committee is to ensure the fiscal prudence and financial integrity of the club for the long-term benefit of our club, its fans and its community stakeholders.”

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