football
Rebecca Wayman

Stevenage FC offers chance to buy shares in football club

Stevenage FC is offering supporters and investors a chance to buy shares in the club, helping to fund a new plan to move up the EFL divisions.

Funds raised through the Stevenage FC equity offering will primarily be used to increase the club’s wage and transfer budget to make Stevenage FC more competitive.

This is said to have an immediate aim of securing promotion to EFL League One and, ultimately, into the EFL Championship. The club finished a point off the EFL League Two play-off places in the 2018/19 season.

Chairman Phil Wallace is aiming to raise £1.2m by offering 12 per cent equity in the club. A minimum subscription of £1,000 is needed for 40 shares.

Phil said: “Since I made it known that I have been thinking of taking on new investors, I have been approached by a number of people wanting a minority stake or to buy the club, but I think there’s a lot more to come from Stevenage and I want to be part of that.

“We like to do things differently at Stevenage and we have shown that with a lot of things, like launching the first ever online bond in English football. It’s hardly ever possible to buy shares in a football club, but we are offering people the chance to do that.”

He continued: “We want to start competing more seriously for promotion and so we need to invest. The money we get from this new investment will go into the playing budget and help us achieve our targets on the pitch.

“These are real shares, with voting rights. People get to be real shareholders. The first reason you buy shares is to get a return which is why we have included promotion dividends. We believe that by investing in the squad we can make that happen. It is really a way to share our success with our supporters.”

Phil, who has been involved in the Club for 20 years, believes the time is right to involve supporters and outside investors in the next phase of the club’s development.

The offering is available through sports investment platform Tifosy, which successfully launched English football’s first online bond with Stevenage in 2017, raising £600k in six weeks to build a new north stand.

Construction is due to be completed this summer, increasing the stadium capacity by 1,400 seats. Clubs that have previously raised funds through Tifosy include Norwich City, who raised £5m to build a new state-of-the-art academy, and Italian clubs Pescara Calcio and Frosinone Calcio who raised funds for infrastructure and Academy projects.

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