Share Scheme Tops &pound1/2 Million

March 9, 2006

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A big thanks to Gasheads everywhere over the past three years who have stuck with Rovers through some tough times through whatever way you have contributed, attending matches, buying merchandise and contibuting to the various fund raising schemes.

But a special thanks today to the Share Scheme subscribers as the Share Scheme has reached £500,000 in subscriptions. From the various people in the Football Club, Supporters Club and Gas Trust who had ideas about starting a scheme, to people like Roger Cooper and Steve Martell who galvanised the troops to get out on the terraces to sell it to the subscribers, to todays Share Scheme group working with David Brain now to move the scheme on. And thank you for the scheme giving me the opportunity to represent you at board level.

It’s a massive amount of money to be raised and a big contributor to Rovers still being here, but there is still much to do. If the funds continue the supporters should be the biggest shareholder in the club within the next three years. That is a great target to aim for and a lot of work, so for today we should just celebrate reaching a fantastic milestone for any football club in raising money for fans ownership.

From the Western Daily Press

DUNFORD HAILS FANS’ ‘CRITICAL’ CASH BOOST

Bristol Rovers fans are celebrating after handing over more than £500,000 to the football club through the Supporters Club’s Share Scheme. The successful money-raising project was launched three years ago with the aim of buying a stake in the Pirates.

The fans own 136,550 shares – 7.91 per cent ownership of the club – and have two seats on Rovers’ board through director Kim Stuckey and associate director David Brain.

Now, after reaching a landmark total, organisers are planning a further expansion of the scheme which has played a major part in helping to keep the club alive in recent seasons.

Up to 40 per cent of the cash raised goes on stadium improvements and maintenance, another 40 per cent on helping the football club’s day-to-day budget and 20 per cent on improving the team through transfers and wages.

The scheme was instrumental in paying the wages of striker Andy Rammell, who saved Rovers from the threat of relegation to the Conference in 2003.

It also helped fund the five transfer deadline-day signings who steered the club away from the drop the following season, as well as the signing of striker Junior Agogo.

Share scheme chairman Brain said:

“The £500,000 represents a magnificent achievement by more than 1,000 members, who have shown their commitment over the last three years.

“We need to build on that success by helping the board bring in more players and transform the Memorial Stadium into an all-seater venue.” Rovers chairman Geoff Dunford said: “This has been a tremendous achievement by the Supporters’ Club.
It has helped reduce the football club’s loans and keep us in business. The fans’ involvement has been critical and the beauty of it is that it enables everyone to share in the success of Bristol Rovers. We wanted the club to be run by businessmen and the supporters and I think the success of the scheme shows we have got the balance right. The potential is still there for the supporters to purchase a lot more shares.”

The Supporters Club is continuing its recruitment campaign for the scheme and planning a number of fundraising ventures.

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