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Clare Burnett

Not the end for Doncaster Rovers after Louis Tomlinson fails to hit £2 million crowd funding mark

Despite One Direction band member Louis Tomlinson falling short in his attempt to raise £2 million for Doncaster Rovers FC through crowdfunding - a leading lawyer has said that she wouldn’t be surprised if similar campaigns were launched in the future.

Last month Tomlinson announced that together with the football club’s former Chairman, John Ryan, he was launching a funding bid on platform Crowdfunder in order to raise £2 million in the process.

The Tomlinson Ryan Trust was launched last month and the money raised was intended to be used for player recruitment, youth development and marketing.

Fans who invested in the initiative were told that in return for their cash pledges, they would receive rewards including armbands, t-shirts, hoodies and meet-and-greets with Tomlinson at the Keepmoat Stadium if the total was reached

The crowdfunding campaign however closed yesterday having raised £757,796. According to reports, Louis Tomlinson and John Ryan pledged about £500k.

Andrea Cropley, corporate & commercial partner at law firm, Irwin Mitchell, said: “This is one of the most ambitious crowdfunding projects started and it will obviously be disappointing to the club that the £2 million target has been missed.

“It has however demonstrated that the crowdfunding method still has the power to raise substantial amounts of money.

“There are a lot of misconceptions and prejudices about these less traditional forms of finance, but crowdfunding can be very effective. In addition to it becoming more and more popular in the world of business, I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw more sports clubs using the platform in the future to raise new funds.”

A Football League spokesman said: “In any club takeover it is a requirement for the prospective purchaser to provide a business plan and to demonstrate that the funding is in place to deliver on that plan.

“This is part of the League’s ongoing efforts to ensure the financial sustainability of our clubs.

“In this case, this fundamental requirement has not yet been met.

“We are in close contact with the club and will continue our dialogue.”

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