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Hull City ST lift the lid on ownership bid

This is a story from the SD archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.

Following on from the press release issued at 5pm on Monday 8th October about a potential bid for Hull City Football Club, we spoke to Geoff Bielby from Hull City Supporters Trust (HCST) on the recent announcement made and what this means for the trust.

What is the story so far?

“HCST have and remain focused on improving the Club and supporters’ relationship on numerous issues, all of which have been well documented previously.

The Trust Board have been aware of various levels of interest from 3rd parties for a considerable period of time in making approaches to purchase the Club, and earlier this year, HCST were approached by a representative on behalf of SportyCo in relation to their own proposal.

SportyCo were keen to understand the background to the current issues affecting the supporters and discussed a model that could result in an opportunity for Hull City supporters to invest in the Club to generate funds and an element of fan ownership, as well as a place on the Club Board for supporter representation”

Where is the funding coming from for this potential bid?

“HCST understands that there is funding available from SportyCo and other US & UK based investors to facilitate the purchase price offered. Blackbridge Sports are actively working with all parties to support the process.”

Who will be leading the meetings with the current owners?

“The meetings and negotiations with the Allam family will be led wholly by SportyCo and their representatives, and only when any deal reaches an agreement between both parties will the opportunities for supporter investment materialise.”

What is the main aim for HCST in liaising with SportyCo?

“HCST are keen to ensure that the trust will always wish to promote a positive supporter’s relationship with the Club and remain open to doing so with any responsible future owner whom we hope are in place over the coming months.

We welcome the direct approach made by SportyCo to assist them in their proposal and are encouraged by their willingness to offer greater supporter representation than the current owners and hope this is a move that is replicated by alternative owners should their offers be accepted by the Allam family.”

When will SportyCo representatives be presenting their offer?

“SportyCo and their representatives will present their proposal to the Allam family over the coming weeks, and until the outcome of those negotiations are known, further details of potential working capital and investment opportunities will not be available.

Geoff added “I was approached by the agent for potential investors to involve Hull City Supporters Trust in a bid for the club.

Negotiations from all parties are on going and HCST are supportive of any new potential investors exploring options which could involve supporter ownership at some level.”

You can read the full HCST press statement here.

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Funding partners

  • The Football Association
  • Premier Leage Fans Fund

Partners

  • Gamble Aware
  • Co-operatives UK
  • FSE
  • Kick It Out
  • Level Playing Field
  • Living Wage Foundation
  • SD Europe