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www.ClubsInCrisis.com 07 April 2009 - 20:31

AFC Bournemouth

Bournemouth accept League penalty

08-Aug-2008

Bournemouth will play in League Two in the new season after agreeing to the Football League's conditions.

From BBC Football:

The club had to accept a 17 point deduction and agree not to appeal against the decision.

The Football League ruled that as the club has been unable to agree a Company Voluntary Arrangement they had not met their terms for exiting administration.

Chief executive Alastair Saverimutto told BBC Radio Solent: "We're delighted to be able to move forward."

He added: "The initial announcement from the Football League was negative, and took us by surprise a little. But the latest news came as a great relief really I suppose.

"This announcement has put us where we want to be, and now we can move forward and take this club to the next level."

In a statement explaining the penalty, the Football League said it was "prepared to exercise its absolute discretion under the 'exceptional circumstances' provisions of its insolvency policy."

The Cherries, who will start their season at home to Gillingham on Saturday, are the second club to be handed a 17-point penalty in as many days.

Rotherham accepted a deal essentially the same as Bournemouth's, though theirs included an extra caveat that they must return to the town within four years.

The club were forced to leave Millmoor, their home for more than 100 years, and play games at the Don Valley Stadium in Sheffield from the start of 2008/09.

Below both clubs in the table are Luton, who have been deducted 30 points for misconduct and for failing to satisfy the League's insolvency rules.


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Cherries takeover 'a month' away

24-May-2008

The takeover of Bournemouth is unlikely to be finalised for another month, according to the relegated League One club's administrator.

From BBC Football:

Cherries chairman Jeff Mostyn is the preferred bidder to purchase the club, after a number of other false dawns.

But administrator Gerald Krasner told BBC Radio Solent: "I'm optimistic that we'll reach a successful conclusion, but it won't be for a month yet.

"The transfer of the football share will be the last thing to happen."

The Cherries raised 250,000 this week with the sale of teenage striker Sam Vokes to Wolves, but have been in administration since early February.

Mostyn was announced as the preferred bidder by Krasner on 29 April, and the administrator commented at the time: "I envisage the process will be three weeks going on four weeks while we do the fine print."

A Mostyn-led group did have an offer accepted in principle by Krasner, subject to the club's creditors voting in favour of a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), but that bid fell apart in early April.

A rival consortium involving company EU UK Ltd were subsequently announced as preferred bidders - only to withdraw their offer several days later.

The Cherries suffered relegation to League Two thanks to the mandatory 10-point deduction for entering administration.

They could begin the 2008/09 season with another points deduction, as they look set to follow Leeds' example of coming out of administration without agreeing a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA).

A CVA complies with the Football League's insolvency policy - but while Leeds were deducted 15 points at the beginning of the 2007/08 season, the League has stated that it was not a binding precedent for other clubs, and each case will be decided on its merits.


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New bids come in for Bournemouth

19-Apr-2008

Two new bids to buy Bournemouth were lodged with the League One club's administrators on Friday, with a third set to follow in the next 24 hours.

The news follows the collapse of a proposed takeover by preferred bidders EU UK Ltd earlier this week.

Administrator Gerald Krasner told BBC Radio Solent: "I have two bids in writing and could get another.

"Whoever lodges their deposit monies with me first will get exclusivity on the deal."

He added: "I'm not going into who the bids are from, or the financial details involved, but when the deal moves forward and the monies are in the bank, then we'll go public."

After the EU UK Ltd deal fell through, Krasner had warned that he may have to sell players if no new deal had materialised by the end of the week.

The Cherries, who are battling to stave off relegation to League Two as well as battling to stay afloat off the pitch, travel to Walsall on Saturday - where they will be relegated if they lose and Crewe avoid defeat against Cheltenham.


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Cherries takeover bid collapses

14-Apr-2008

Bournemouth's administrator Gerald Krasner has revealed that preferred bidders EU UK Ltd have withdrawn their bid to buy the League One club.

From BBC Football:

Krasner had announced last week that a consortium - later unveiled as EU UK Ltd - had made a successful bid and had until Monday to complete the purchase.

However, they withdrew after Krasner asked them to deposit funds in order to be given an extension to the deadline.

Krasner is now set to meet another potential bidder on Tuesday.

However, he has warned that he may have to sell players if no new deal has materialised by the end of the week.

Krasner told BBC Radio Solent: "The bidder was due to lodge the money by 1700 BST today [Monday] which they haven't.

"Over the weekend they asked for an extension - I said if they lodged the money even if it was to their order, and released me enough to do some funding, they could have the extension until 22 April.

"They seemed to be upset at this and have withdrawn their offer. I am now talking to one and a half people - I know what that means! - about putting in a bid and I'll be seeing part of them on Tuesday.

"If I get nowhere this week I will seriously review player sales. If there's no bid on the horizon, the club should start worrying about folding at the end of this week."

Bournemouth, who have debts of around 4m, have been in administration since early February - a move which cost them a mandatory 10-point deduction, and may be a crucial factor as they battle to avoid relegation to League Two.

The Cherries are currently six points from safety with just three games remaining.

Krasner had originally accepted in principle a bid from a consortium led by current club chairman Jeff Mostyn, and also containing vice-chairman Steve Sly and businessman Marc Jackson - subject to a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA).

But before that bid could be put to a creditors' vote, the bid was withdrawn when Jackson left the consortium.

Two fresh bids - one from Mostyn and Sly, and another fronted by Jackson - later revealed to be the EU UK Ltd bid - were then submitted.

Last week, the administrators initially announced in a press release that Mostyn's group had won the bidding - only to announce later that day that Jackson's group had won.

However, Jackson is no longer involved with EU UK Ltd - whose four directors include former football agent Ian Mathison and fellow directors John Frost, Gary Oates and Simon Jordan.

Mathison and Frost were unveiled to the media at a news conference last Thursday, having distanced themselves from Jackson.


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Jackson bid for Cherries accepted

08-Apr-2008

A consortium led by businessman Marc Jackson has won the race to take over Bournemouth after a bid fronted by the club's chairman fell through.

From BBC Football:

Jackson and chairman Jeff Mostyn both tabled bids for the club and initially it seemed Mostyn's group had won.

But a statement from the administrators said, on closer inspection, "it was apparent it was not acceptable to the joint administrators".

They added: "As a result, Mr Jackson's bid has been accepted."

Jackson has until Monday evening to lodge the money into a bank account, and no further announcement will be made until all the legal documentation has been completed.

Administrator Gerald Krasner explained to BBC Radio Solent the chain of events which led to the Jackson bid being declared the winner.

"Both parties as agreed put in final best bids by 2pm," he said.

"We then considered them and on the face of it, by a very small margin, the Mostyn consortium appeared to be the best bidder.

"We phoned both the bidders and told them what had happened. We then later received a call from Mr Mostyn wanting to clarify one or two matters.

"Having discussed it at length with him, it was apparent that his understanding and my understanding was slightly different and that his bid could not proceed.

"He had paid his 100,000 deposit and as a result of that his bid has lapsed and the MJ consortium bid have been notified that they're successful and that we are now proceeding to do all the legal paperwork to move this forward."

A previous Mostyn-led bid to buy the Cherries had been accepted by administrator Krasner by way of a Company Voluntary Agreeement (CVA), but it was withdrawn after Jackson left the consortium because of "contractual issues".

As it happened, the CVA was defeated on Monday because HM Revenue & Customs voted against the deal.

However, the tabling of the two bids on Monday ensured the south coast club will see out the season without having to sell any players.

Bournemouth, who have debts of 4m and had faced liquidation, entered administration in early February.

Under Football League rules, the move cost them a mandatory 10-point deduction and plunged them into the League One relegation zone.


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Cherries face threat of closure

03-Apr-2008

Bournemouth are facing possible extinction after the collapse of a consortium led by chairman Jeff Mostyn.

From BBC Football:

Administrator Gerald Krasner confirmed that the original 1m offer to buy the Cherries, who are more than 4m in debt, is no longer on the table.

He said: "If people in the area do not wish to support the football club by making a bid, one of the options is to close the club down."

A meeting with the club's creditors planned for Monday still goes ahead.

Krasner has revealed that he will now consider the sale of players, but the administrator will make no further announcements until after next week's meeting.


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It's a Split Admits Mostyn

01-Apr-2008

JEFF Mostyn has confirmed his consortium's alliance with Marc Jackson has broken down due to "contractual reasons".

From Bournemouth Daily Echo:

Mostyn says the spilt came about because Jackson failed to meet certain funding criteria - a claim strenuously denied by Jackson.

A consortium involving Mostyn, Jackson, Steve Sly and other unnamed investors were hoping to finalise a deal for the club after having a bid accepted, in principle, by administrator Gerald Krasner last month.

But speaking to the Daily Echo last night, Mostyn said: "I can confirm that the proposed consortium, including Marc Jackson, has broken down for contractual reasons.

"A pre-requisite of Gerald Krasner accepting an offer was threefold - a fully signed confidentiality agreement, supplying a proof of funds and for me to continue to fund the administration, thereby allowing the club to continue trading.

"We fulfilled all the requirements of placing a bid to Gerald Krasner, which was subsequently accepted, subject to contract.
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"While we are all certain that Marc Jackson had the best intentions when he set out his plans for the future of the club and also provided by way of a solicitor's letter an acceptable proof of funding, this letter was not only acceptable to Steve and myself but, of more importance, it was accepted by Gerald Krasner as being bona fide.

"Regrettably, like many others before him, and as Gerald Krasner said at his press conference, everyone wants to buy a football club but it is handing over the cheque that is the acid test and, in this case, the funds have not been forthcoming.

"With the proposed creditors' meeting due on April 7, this has left a very short time frame with which to fill the financial void left by the lack of promised funding."

Jackson, who claims to specialise in business strategy, was understood to be utilising his vast network of contacts, both in the City and around the world, to bring investment to the table.

He was unveiled as the third member of the consortium last month.

When contacted by the Daily Echo last night, Jackson said: "There was a contractual breakdown, however, conditions critical to the transfer of the funds were not met by Jeff. That's what happened."

Jackson went on to express his disappointment at the breakdown and added: "The plans I have for this football club are unbelievable and I did very much try to supply something which is viable for the long-term future of the club.

"However, funding conditions have to be met before funding comes into any deal and contractual agreements have to be agreed. If they are not satisfied then funding isn't released. Our consortium has broken down but that doesn't mean I've walked away."

Mostyn and Sly are understood to be pondering their next move, while Kraser has said he will not be making any statements until after next week's creditors' meeting.


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Consortia bid to save Bournemouth

06-Mar-2008

Bournemouth administrator Gerald Krasner has confirmed two consortia have submitted a joint bid to buy the financially stricken club.

From BBC Football:

Krasner refused to be drawn on the exact financial details of the deal but has set a deadline of 1500 GMT on Tuesday for other interested parties.

The Cherries are reported to be between 4m-5m in debt.

"As of last night two consortiums have got together with a joint offer in writing form," said Krasner.

Former Bournemouth manager Harry Redknapp, local businessman Eddie Mitchell and current Cherries vice-chairman have all been mentioned as names set to save the club.

"I'm not at this stage going to name who they are or give the value of the offer made.

"The offer is of sufficient quantity to allow the administrators to seriously consider it with a view to proposing a voluntary arrangement to the creditors by way of an exit strategy.

"This is most important as to escape the 15-point penalty Leeds got you have to obtain an exit strategy through a voluntary arrangement to get the share in the club transferred to the new company. I am not at this stage accepting that offer."

Bournemouth have already received a 10-point penalty and face relegation as a result.

Krasner, also revealed a creditors meeting has been provisionally arranged for Monday, 7 April.

He said: "We will then accept the highest bid on the basis that the money is immediately deposited in full with our solicitors until such as time as a voluntary arrangement has been agreed, or otherwise with the creditors and the share of the club can be transferred."


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Mitchell lines up Bournemouth bid

14-Feb-2008

Dorset property developer Eddie Mitchell is planning to join the race to buy cash-strapped Bournemouth.

From BBC Football:

Mitchell is also the majority shareholder at nearby Dorchester Town, where he bought a majority stake in the Blue Square South club last summer.

The 53-year-old told BBC Radio Solent: "I like football and, if there's anything of interest that works for me, then I'll have a go at it.

"I'm local and of course I'd be interested, but it's early days yet."

Mitchell stresses that, as yet, he has had no contact with the administrators at Dean Court, but he has ideas about how things could be run.

"I think you need half a dozen businessmen that are interested in supporting football, not just at first team level but down the chain, that would invest in it and were happy to invest in it," he said.

"I would have my own personal reasons for doing it but I'm sure other people would have theirs as well."

Last month, Mitchell saw seven of his Dorchester Town directors step down from their posts at the Avenue Stadium over differing opinions on where the club was going.

The Cherries were put up for sale last week after entering administration with debts in excess of 4m.

Mitchell recently featured in Piers Morgan's ITV documentary on Sandbanks.

He also hit the headlines for his part in building the 'Thunderbird House' in nearby Branksome Park.

Other exotically named houses he has been associated with include 'Utopia,' ' Bowie,' and 'Moonraker.'


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Bournemouth enter administration

07-Feb-2008

Struggling Bournemouth have gone into administration and will be docked 10 points, reports BBC Radio Solent.

From BBC Football:

Bournemouth's debts are believed to total around 4m and the points deduction will send them to the foot of the League One table.

A press conference has been called for Friday where chairman Jeff Mostyn is expected to detail the club's plight.

Business recovery specialists Begbies Traynor have been appointed as the club's administrators.

The club were handed a winding-up petition by HM Revenue & Custom earlier this week but they disputed the situation.

Although BBC Solent understands there are ongoing discussions with parties committed to its long-term future, Bournemouth have had no choice but to enter into administration.

Bournemouth are currently third from bottom of League One and face fellow strugglers Luton on Saturday.

The club made five members of staff redundant on Wednesday as part of its cost cutting.


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AFC Bournemouth hit by winding-up order

06-Feb-2008

CHERRIES chairman Jeff Mostyn has this morning moved to reassure fans after the Echo revealed the club had been issued with a winding-up petition from HM Revenue and Customs.

From Bournemouth Daily Echo:

In a statement on the club's official website, Mostyn confirmed the petition had been issued, but claimed that, following a third successful notice of intention to appoint an administrator being lodged on Monday, the club was in another period of protection from its creditors.

He said: "It is our understanding that HMRC has issued a winding-up petition against the football club.

"We are extremely disappointed at the stance taken by the Revenue in issuing the petition without any consultation or negotiation to reach a reduced settlement.

"We understand the stance taken by the Revenue applies to all football clubs in as much as they will not negotiate unless they receive preferred status.

"Supporters can rest assured however, that a further notice of intent to appoint an administrator was lodged and accepted by the High Court on Monday, February 4 2008, therefore affording the necessary protection to the football club from its creditors."

The Echo can confirm this notice was lodged at Leeds District Registry on Monday.

Mostyn added: "In the circumstances, HMRC will be asked to withdraw their petition.

"I would once again like to reassure all supporters that I am working non-stop to bring my negotiations with both investors and individuals interested in purchasing the club to a satisfactory conclusion.

"All my efforts are geared towards securing the future of AFC Bournemouth."

See also: Times Online


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Court gives Bournemouth more time

21-Jan-2008

League One strugglers Bournemouth have been given more time to try to stave off the threat of administration.

From BBC Football:

A second notice of intention to appoint an administrator has been accepted in court - giving them a further period of protection from their creditors.

Accountancy firm BDO Stoy Hayward are already working with the Dean Court club's board in an advisory capacity.

A club statement insisted: "It is not a foregone conclusion that the club will go down that (administration) route."

It was revealed last week that the Cherries had recently filed their first notice of intention to appoint an administrator, after taking professional advice.

Chairman Jeff Mostyn said at the time that "this action was taken to prevent our current negotiations being frustrated by aggressive and unhelpful creditors".

Following the second notice, the club statement added: "This will allow the club a further period of time in which to bring our current negotiations to what we all hope will be a satisfactory conclusion in terms of securing the future of the football club."

Bournemouth are bottom of League One with only five league wins this season and have debts of around 4m, despite selling their stadium to London-based property company Structadene in December 2005 and leasing it back.

Mostyn and co-owner Steve Sly, who bought the club in March 2007 after nearly a decade under the ownership of a supporters' trust fund, have recently been in talks with new investors.

However, last month, Mostyn refused to rule out administration "if it was in the club's best interests".

Clubs entering administration are automatically deducted 10 points by the Football League - a move which would leave the Cherries in even deeper relegation trouble.

However, in June last year, the League closed a loophole that had allowed clubs on the brink of relegation to take the 10-point deduction when they were already almost certain to go down.

The new rules state that clubs going into administration after the fourth Thursday in March would have the 10-point deduction suspended - and imposed immediately after the end of the season if the club stays up, but deducted at the start of the following season if the club is relegated.


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One Last Bid For Survival

16-Jan-2008

Administration now looks almost certain for Cherries after yesterday's explosive revelations.

From Bournemouth Daily Echo, By Neil Meldrum:

And while the club could still technically avoid falling to the same fate as Luton Town and Leeds United before them, miracle' and Cherries' are two words long-suffering supporters are not used to seeing in the same sentence.

Next Monday's expiry of the 10-day period of protection gleaned from the club's submission of a notice of intention to Bristol County Court last week would appear to be Cherries' latest D-Day'.

The club could still opt NOT to appoint an administrator and submit a second notice of intention, but with time very much of the essence, chairman Jeff Mostyn will be well aware of another date that could be key to AFC Bournemouth's future.

After the Leeds United situation last season, when the Yorkshire outfit fell into administration AFTER they had been relegated from the Championship, the Football League moved quickly to ensure other ailing clubs could not follow the same path.

So Cherries effectively have until the Football League's March 27 cut-off to make the biggest decision in the club's history - or, should they miss it, start next season in League Two with a 10-point deficit from the off.

The Echo understands several of the club's more pressing creditors have upped the pressure in recent weeks - possibly forcing Mostyn's hand sooner than he would have liked.

It is believed one creditor, former president Stanley Cohen, is owed in excess of 150,000 - a pretty substantial single figure when looking at the club's overall debt of around 4.5m.

And with Mostyn yesterday describing the club's creditors as "aggressive" and "unhelpful", their looming presence is unlikely to disappear any time soon.

The club is certain to press for a percentage' agreement with the creditors should it fall into administration, meaning they would only receive a fraction of the money owed - leaving some of the more generous in that group severely out of pocket.

Of course, it is no secret that Mostyn and co-owner Steve Sly have undertaken a painstaking search for additional investment since they took over the club in March last year.

Mostyn revealed back in December that four potential investors were deep in negotiations with himself and Sly and it would now appear that that consortium's most likely role would be as a potential bidder for the club as a going concern from the administrators, should the directors choose to follow that path.

But that outcome is far from a certainty, with the creditors' agreement required to sanction any potential offer for the club prior to the sale's completion.

In a statement issued to the Echo yesterday, a club spokesperson said: "BDO Stoy Hayward (accountancy firm) is currently dealing with the directors of AFC Bournemouth in an advisory capacity only.

"At this stage there has been no formal appointment of administrators.

"The chairman, Jeff Mostyn, commented that this action was taken to prevent our current negotiations being frustrated by aggressive and unhelpful creditors. We were professionally advised to serve a notice of intention to appoint an administrator which we have done.

"However, the chairman stressed that the club is not in administration and it is not a forgone conclusion that it will be."

The Echo was unable to contact Mostyn for a further comment last night.


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Bournemouth ponder administration

06-Dec-2007

Bournemouth chairman Jeff Mostyn has refused to rule out entering the club into administration, despite holding talks with potential new investors.

From BBC Football:

BBC Radio Solent understands that they could be placed into administration, to help clear debts of around 4m.

Mostyn told the club website: "If I felt administration was in the club's best interests I would consider it.

"But we are confident that next week's meeting with potential investors will result in a firm proposal being made."

With debts cleared, potential new investors would have a clean slate from which to start from.

A string of poor results have left the Cherries struggling at the bottom of League One and a 10-point penalty for going into administration would leave them nine points adrift of Port Vale who are currently bottom.

Mostyn added: "We are in advanced talks with potential investors and during the past two weeks we have met to discuss a number of options.

"The financial position of the club is no different to the vast majority of clubs in the Football League and this has been clearly demonstrated at Luton and Coventry."

Luton went into administration in November and are one point ahead of Bournemouth after their 10-point deduction.

On Monday, Coventry's board announced its intention of taking the club into administration but are hopeful of completing a takeover offer from Ray Ranson and Sisu Capital.


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Bournemouth Saved!

13-Nov-2005

AFC Bournemouth moved into extra time on November 11 after shareholders agreed to a plan to sell the club's stadium to a property investor.

From the Bournemouth Daily Echo:

Chairman Peter Phillips said the controversial proposal to sell Dean Court to the London company Structadene will buy the club much-needed time to sort out their 7million debt mountain.

When the 3.5million sale goes through in early December, all the major secured creditors will be repaid and the club will be able to repay its 500,000 debt to an increasingly impatient Inland Revenue.

But the decision was not without drama. The saga took an unexpected twist when the Community Mutual board threatened to use its 51 per cent golden shares to block the sale and leaseback scheme.

Only an outcry by fans, who were overwhelmingly in favour of the plan, and a warning that any delay could sound the death knell for the club, forced board members to back down.

At the end of the meeting, Mr Phillips said supporters now had to pull together.

'It's important that we go away united not divided,' he said. 'We have to see this as an opportunity not as a disaster or a crisis but as a real opportunity for the club.

'We do have a future, we have got a really good future if we work together to make it happen.'

Vice-chairman Abdul Jaffer, fans' representative Dave Stone and acting chief executive Laurence Jones all backed Peter and said refinancing was the only way the club would survive.

They also assured fans the club would be able to meet the 300,000 rental payments.

But the meeting was overshadowed by the CM's threat, which would have prevented the board from selling Dean Court until CM board members were satisfied that robust and realistic business plans were in place.

Mr Jones revealed he resigned from the CM board after they voted by five to four to block the sale and leaseback scheme until further financial information was provided.

And many supporters erupted in anger after it was revealed that former chairman Norman Hayward was one of the five that voted to block the scheme - even though he is not a member of the CM but co-opted onto the board.

The meeting had to be adjourned for ten minutes to allow the board to reconsider its stance.

CM board chairman John Lewis hinted that further board members had resigned as a result but said: 'We've taken on board the mood of the shareholders meeting here.

'We accept that there is overwhelming support for the sale and leaseback and that some people feel that the caveats that we put on were not applicable.

'The CM will not use the golden shares on this issue and my understanding is that, as a result, the motion will go through.'

Mr Jones hailed the CM board for its 'brave decision' and said people should respect that they, like all fans, had the club at heart.

'This is a supporters' club,' he said. 'And it will always be a supporters' club.'


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Bournemouth fighting for their survival

10-Nov-2005

Bournemouth, who went out to non-League Tamworth in the FA Cup first round last Saturday, could be out of business by Friday. Two votes - today and on Friday - will decide the future of the 106-year-old club.

From Telegraph Sport, by Mihir Bose:

Peter Phillips, the Bournemouth chairman, said: 'We could go into administration or even receivership if these votes go against us.'

The votes are to approve a sale and leaseback on the Fitness First stadium which would give the club 3.5 million. Although not enough to wipe out the entire debt of 6 million it would, Phillips hopes, provide breathing space for the club to restructure.

Today's vote is by the members of Community Mutual, the supporters' trust whose two golden shares in the club give them 51 per cent of the voting shares. The trust have three directors on the club board and this vote will instruct the directors on how to vote at the extraordinary general meeting on Friday.

Then all the other shareholders, including directors and other investors, will vote. Phillips said most of them favoured the resolution but even if they voted for it, should today's vote by the supporters' trust go against the sale and leaseback, Bournemouth's only chance of salvation would vanish.

The main problem for the members of the trust is that the sale and leaseback proposal is shrouded in secrecy. They are not even being told the name of the investor. But Phillips said he could not name the investor for fear he would be scared off by some supporters hostile to the idea.

For the full story, see Telegraph Sport.


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Chairman and Board Threaten to Quit Cherries

13-Oct-2005

Bournemouth chairman Peter Phillips says the board of directors may quit if the sale of Dean Court falls through.

From The BBC:

The Cherries are in talks with a property company who want to buy the ground and lease it back to the club.

The plan has apparently not gone down well with members of the supporters' trust, Community Mutual, who could have the casting vote on the sale.

Phillips told the Echo: 'If the CM vote against the position of everybody on the board becomes untenable.'

He added: 'There is no dispute within the board that this deal is right for the club.

'If the CM decide they are against refinancing then they will have to take responsibility for their decision. They have a great deal of power now, and with power comes responsibility.'


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Handover puts fans in charge

22-Feb-2005

CHERRIES fans who have raised more than a million pounds to keep the club afloat will tonight be given a vital role in the club's future.

From www.thisisbournemouth.co.uk

The AFC Bournemouth Trust Fund, which saved the club from extinction in 1997, will hand over its golden shares to the fans' organisation, the Community Mutual, in a ceremony on the Dean Court pitch tonight.

It means that the 2,500 fans who are members of the Community Mutual will have majority voting rights in the club. And it is an important step in making AFC Bournemouth a true supporter and community-led football club.

Since 2000, Cherries fans have raised more than 1,075,000 for the club through share ownership and a whole raft of fund-raising schemes. The Community Mutual itself holds 85,000-worth of ordinary shares in AFC Bournemouth and ongoing fund-raising will soon see this figure top 100,000.

The trust fund board, set up by former chairman Trevor Watkins, will now be disbanded and its 51 per cent of voting rights transferred to the Community Mutual.

John Lewis, chair of the AFC Bournemouth Community Mutual and member of the club's board of directors, said it was an 'honour and great responsibility' to be entrusted with the golden shares.

'It places on our shoulders the heavy burden of safeguarding the future of our club so that further generations can enjoy professional football in Bournemouth,' he said. 'We shall endeavour to live up to this task whilst keeping accountable to our membership. We now hope that supporters can relate better to the inner workings of the club and understand that it belongs to all of us and that we can all have a say. Ultimately, major decisions at the club will now be down to the fans.'

With no financial saviour on the horizon, the debt-ridden club will continue to face a constant struggle to survive and fans are being urged to dig deep to support the club.

'Please continue buying your shares in the 10 a month scheme, donating to Playershare, to the Bristol and West project and to Cherry Change,' Mr Lewis added. 'The club's finances are still very precarious and only with the fans' continued help are we going to get out of debt.'


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Cherry share deadline extended

30-Jan-2003

The club have announced that the deadline for CherryShare will be extended until Friday February 14th. Over 650 forms are still to come in and the club are urging fans to send in their application papers as soon as they can.

(Reported on Red n Black)

So, if you have a form sitting on the desk at home and have yet to fill it in, we urge you to do so now. If you pledged money but didn't receive a form, then get in contact with the club as soon as possible. You need to talk to Roger Hawkins at the club on 01202 726317 or email cherryshare@afcb.co.uk

The same applies if you did not pledge money during the CherryShare campaign but have now decided to buy some shares in the club. You need to talk to Roger quickly.

Remember, Feb 14th will be the last time for the foreseeable future that fans can buy shares in our club. Once you become a shareholder then it is easy to invest in more shares at any time but if you do not hold any shares, then getting hold of any after the end of January will be virtually impossible.

For example, a supporter could put in the minimum investment of 100 now and then increase this to any amount he/she wanted. If you wanted to invest 1,000 but could not afford it right at this very moment, then you could put in an initial 100 before the deadline then increase the stake later on.
And the club still urgently need extra money. The revenue raised from CherryShare is going to help pay off major debts owed by the football club.

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Bournemouth's ability to sign players could soon be restored following a magnificent donation from a local businessman. The supporter, who wishes to remain anonymous has pledged the sum of 125,000 to the club. The money would pay off the vast majority of the 164,000 that is still owed to the PFA, after the club was loaned a total of 200,000 to help players' wages during past months.
Chairman Peter Phillips told www.afcb.co.uk 'He's a local businessman who has pledged this money because he sees the embargo as the biggest problem for the club at the moment and wants to do everything he can to help us get over it.' The money, which will come from the proceeds of a property sale is expected to be released to the club once the deal has been completed - which should be in March. In the meantime, Peter Phillips will try to see if there is anyone able to make a short term loan to the club against the pledged money. 'Unfortunately, the funds from the sale of the property are not likely to be available until mid-March and we would like to get it into the PFA's hands before then, so I will be looking for someone to loan us the money for a short period of time to enable us to act quickly.'

The combination of the CherryShare scheme with success on the pitch and a new adminstration off it has seen the club begin to turn the corner financially - and without the need for the sale of the stadium. The acheivement in coming this far is enormous, but Phillips explains that there is no room for complacency. 'We are beginning to emerge from the deep financial problems we had at the start of the season, and the threat of the club being forced into receivership are much less than they were just a few weeks ago. We can now start to turn our attention to what we are all here for, the football, and this pledge is a huge boost... The CherryShare application forms go out this week and if everybody who has pledged turns their promise into hard cash, we could be there sooner rather than later,'

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Chairman Peter Phillips has announced that Bournemouth will not be going ahead with the proposal to sell and lease back the stadium.
He said 'We all know that our club is in serious financial trouble and that we have to find a new source of funds quickly,' We have made our decision, and we have decided to trust the fans 'We have two feasible alternatives. A sale and leaseback deal would bring in 4m. 'This would pay off most of our outstanding debt, but we would have sold our most valuable asset, and you can only do that once. 'We would also leave ourselves with potentially crippling rental payments of 30,000 a month, every month into the distant future. 'If we were to go ahead with the share issue, I will have to trust each supporter who has made a pledge will deliver on their promise. 'The response has been phenomenal - but it is not enough. 'We will also have to trust that if we continue this campaign over the next few weeks, we can reach out to all the other supporters who love this club but have not yet joined CherryShare and persuade them to join us and take the total beyond 1m. 'We have made our decision, and we have decided to trust the fans. We will go ahead with CherryShare, and there will be no sale and leaseback. 'The Fitness First Stadium is our home, and it is not for sale.'

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Chairman Peter Phillips has announced that there are only two weeks left to save the club. The Cherries must raise as much as possible in 14 days to stop the sale of the stadium. Phillips also indicated that Bournemouth need at least a million to survive - so far only just over 500,000 has been raised.

the Red n black website reports that Peter Phillips told the official club site, www.afcb.co.uk: 'We only have two weeks before we have to make a decision on the sale and leaseback. Between now and then we need to raise as much money and pledges as we can towards CherryShare to give us a real viable option to avoid selling the stadium.'

'In real terms we have about half a million in pledges so far. We need to at least double that and get as near to the 2 Million objective as we can.'

'We're getting close to a decision point so anybody out there that wants to support CherryShare, but hasn't got round to filling in a form yet, there will be forms in the Echo, web sites and here at the club.'

'Please get hold of a form and get it back to us. Alternatively, you could telephone us and give us the information on the phone. If you already have committed, see if you can find others that might be interested in doing so and persuade them to help.'

'As everyone knows, we are reluctant to do the sale and leaseback although it has the merit of bringing in four million pounds.'

'It has the significant downside of saddling us with what could be a crippling rent payment. I'm keen to avoid it and although we've set a target of 2 Million, I believe a figure above a million could be enough with a viable business plan to keep the club alive and help to make solvent while avoiding having to sell the stadium.'

'In the long run, the only way this club can become successful is by becoming profitable on a day-to- day basis. If we do a Sale or Leaseback or anything else like that, we would always be in trouble by losing significant funds every year so we need to bring in talented successful business to the board and we need those to be fans of the club.'

The club need to make a decision about whether they will have to go through with the controversial stadium sale in two weeks. Speaking on the RednBlack message board, Phillips said that the deadline had been set because 'legal documents will be ready to sign then and the potential buyer is impatient to complete.' Phillips also commented that the club were planning to bridge a funding gap saying 'I'm putting together a new business plan to enable us to get by on less.'

Many fans are questioning the viability of the sale and leaseback scheme with regards to our falling gates at home matches. The Club said when the stadium sale was first mooted, that it would take an average gate of 6,000 to pay for the rent and keep the club going. We haven't yet even come close to that figure of support in the third division. CherryShare, looks to many to be our only option - it has to succeed, but to do that, everyone has to get involved and pledge money.
More details on the rednblack website


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