An interview with Phil Wallace regarding the Share In Our Future equity raise...
- Why are you offering supporters the chance to buy shares?
"I have been thinking of taking on new investors for a while now, people know that. Since I made that known, I have been approached by a number of people wanting a minority stake or to buy the club off me. Some of them were pretty serious, but I don’t think I want to move on yet – I think there’s a lot more to come from this club and I want to be part of that.
"I also think we like to do things differently at Stevenage – we have shown that with a lot of things, like doing the first ever mini-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."
- Why should someone think about investing in the Club?
"I think there are two sides to it. Number one is we are a club on the up. A new 1,500-seater stand is currently under construction, automated turnstiles, new shirt sponsor, a new CEO driving us forward, an Academy producing fantastic players – it is all going in the right direction. We have also made a record profit on player-trading, we have control of our finances and we have a stable board making the right decisions.
"The second part is what we’re going to do with the money that people invest. We have missed the playoffs this year by just one point, so we are not far off. But we want to start competing more seriously for promotion and we need to invest to do that. So the money we get from this new investment will go into the playing budget and help us achieve our targets on the pitch."
- So if someone buys shares, what do they get?
"First off, these are real shares, with voting rights. People get to be real shareholders. They may also trade their shares – we are working with Tifosy, who managed our bond in 2017, and they have an Exchange on their platform where people can express an interest to buy or sell these shares.
"Obviously the first reason you buy shares is to get a return. Our intention through investing into the squad is to make that happen – if we get promoted to League One, the club is worth more. If we get to the Championship, it is worth even more. On top of that, we are offering Dividends for promotion. If we do get to League One, shareholders get 25% back, and they get the other 75% back if we get to the Championship and get to keep their shares. Investors will also be able to trade shares between a willing seller and a willing buyer through the Tifosy online platform. So it is really a way to share our success with our supporters."
- What about these voting rights? What can people vote on?
"We want to bring people closer to the club, give them more access and get them involved like never before. So they will be able to vote on real things that matter, like kit design, stadium design and facilities, as well as things that are part of the identity of the club – our name, our colours, where our stadium is. As well as voting, our new shareholders will get a copy of our accounts and will be invited to a yearly meeting for an update on club business and strategy."
- What should people do if they’re interested?
"Like with the bond a couple of years back, the offering is being done through Tifosy, who did an excellent job last time. Right now you can pre-register to invest – it’s worth doing that because you get priority access to buy the shares."
- Anything else you’d like to say to anyone thinking of investing?
"Just that I am looking forward to welcoming them as a Stevenage FC shareholder and having them on this exciting journey with us!
"Pre-register now for priority access to invest in Stevenage FC."