Community ownership of a sustainable Bath City football club took a big step forward today. A large debt, owed to previous Chairman, Manda Rigby, and payable in full on 30 April 2015, has been partly paid, and partly renegotiated.
Jon Bickley, chair of BBCB said 'We are very grateful to Manda for allowing the club an extension on the repayment date of half her loan. This has bought us the time to launch our share prospectus, and raise the money we need over the Summer. Getting funds in before the launch of the prospectus has been tricky as we are fundamentally about completing the club purchase through the community share offer, so we are also grateful to those who have pledged money early on.'
Paul Williams, chair of Bath City FC added 'Manda has had the right to have all her loan repaid at any stage during the past 16 months, and was due final repayment in full on April 30 2015. If she had exercised her right to repayment during last season, the club would have found it difficult to have continued at this level, and possibly the successful Trophy run would not have happened. I am very grateful for Manda’s continued support, pushing her repayment date back, allowing the club time to refinance.’
Manda Rigby continued, 'Although I had been promised repayment in full on the due date by the action group, I understand that they are behind where they had aimed to be by now, and so will give them the time they have requested of me to offer shares to the community. Were I to stick by the agreement in place for the past 3 years, which would be in my best interests, the club would be harmed, maybe irreparably. I look forward to seeing the prospectus and business plan for the Bid, hope that they form the basis for a long term sustainable Bath City, and am continuing to support the club financially in the interim.'
All three people emphasised the importance to the club of a successful fundraising drive to put the club on a more long term sustainable community based footing.