Look out for more comprehensive detail on this later on today on the Spurs Future website. Included here is a high level overview of what is being proposed.
If you're unfamiliar with Spurs Future, they're a group of supporters who wish to make a positive contribution towards the club, specifically birthed out of all the drama and confusion the OS bid and the non-viable nature of the NDP undertook during that rather draining time last season.
End goal is for them (us) to see a top drawer stadium built within Tottenham and hopefully on the site proposed for the NDP. Obviously something we're all in support of as the perfect conclusion to this difficult journey. They're in discussions with both the club and local government so the natural progression from the initial fan survey they conducted was to reach a point beyond the shrugs of despondency many of us got lost in whilst emotions run high.
Not so much to find a soultion (that's the club's responsbility) but rather a supportive hand and gesture of goodwill to aid Levy and co in what boils down to matters of a fiscal nature. Can I be emotive? It's our club we all have a right to be involved in it's future.
So where exactly are Spurs Future proposing?
The mission statement is as follows:
"In light of the club's concerns about the financial viability of the Northumberland Development Project ('NDP') and it not being awarded preferred bidder status for the Olympic Stadium, we, the supporters of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, wish to assist the club by Proposing a Community Share/Investment opportunity to aid development of a World Class football stadium worthy of the club and its ambition in our current home, Tottenham"
If you're unaware of what exactly a community share is, it's a way of raising money from within the community through the sale of shares or bonds to finance (in this case the NDP) an enterprise that serves the community. This is not a brand spanking new idea by any means, it's one that has proven to be successful in recent years in cases where community investment has helped finance community initiatives.
Can investors get their money back? Yes. They can also receive interest or dividends on any money invested. So how will this work exactly for Spurs? Spurs Future are looking to define the community share in terms of investment in the following way:
"The sale, or offer for sale, of up to £50,000,000 of shares or bonds to a community of at least 2500 people, to finance ventures serving a community purpose"
The definition used is not too dissimilar to the one in place at FC United of Manchester (on a far smaller scale compared to what is being proposed for the NDP). Spurs Future have used their share model as a blueprint to push the same ethos across to all involved (with the potential for alternatives very much present and up for discussion).
The proposal currently is as follows:
- 250,000 shares valued at £200 per share
- Minimum investment, 1 share (£200)
- Maximum investment 100 shares (£20,000)
- No withdrawals in first 3 years of investment (as defined by the "start" date of construction)
- No interest payments in first 3 years of investment
- Maximum withdrawal in any one calendar year is 10% following 3 year investment
- Potential interest payments up to 2% above base rate from year 4
In addition there's potential for further investment opportunities based on this offering (relating to local council grants and Football Foundation funds).
The small print includes investors having to be One Hotspur members (at any level) and 16 years of age or older to hold a share. The reason Spurs Future have asked for One Hotspur as a pre-requisite is to secure the investment more so from the THFC Community rather than fly by night profiteers. It keeps with the ethos of all of us playing our parts in supporting our clubs future.
There's some other details concerning interest on investment, voting rights, risks, tax benefits, details on capital funding shares etc that will included in the pdf version to be made available later on this afternoon.
It's a positive step, it's pragmatic and constructive and I look forward with interest to see how the club respond to this.
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It's coming soon...