Buy-out update for Methil fans

Dave Marshall
Dave Marshall

East Fife fans will be brought up to date with developments on a supporter-led buy-out following Saturday’s game with Annan Athletic.

The East Fife Supporters Society (EFSS) has again invited the Bayview faithful to the Fife Renewables Information Centre across from Bayview for the meeting.

The EFSS’s last meeting attracted nearly 200 fans who were keen to hear of its plans to buy a majority shareholding and adopt a supporter led model to run it similar to Dunfermline and Stirling Albion.

The meeting will start at 5.05p.m. with a brief update on the bid.

A spokesman for the Trust said: “The next part of the meeting will be aimed at helping our supporters to be involved with our bid.

“We want to plan on the assumption than our fans will have some or complete control of the club for next season.

“This means we’ll need a huge amount of support in all aspects of running the club.

“We believe that it is right that all our supporters can be involved - not just by giving money - so we’ll be discussing what kind of help we need, asking for ideas about how the club should be run, and inviting as many as want to, to play an active part in the planning.

“We know it’s a while away but we want to run the club in a well planned way so we need to start on that now.”

However, four existing board members at Bayview, Jim Stevenson, John Donaldson, Dave Marshall and John Barclay have also made a bid for the majority shareholding and have asked the EFSS to support them.

Their plan is to create a holding company to buy the majority shareholding and sell the shares in that.

The four current directors have offered the EFSS the chance to buy an option to purchase the majority of the new holding company after five years, but they will have control until then.

The EFSS has said that it is considering the proposal but still has a number of questions about it including the time it would take to have a significant control over the club.

Discussions between the two parties are on-going with it suggested by the EFSS that a bid from one group would be better than two competing offers.

Despite this the EFSS is already planning the club’s finances for next season to ensure the club is run properly if its buy-out happens.

Included is a ‘safety fund’ for times when income drops.

“Our playing budget will be determined by how much we have available after this process,” added to spokesman.

“Management accounts will be prepared regularly and will be used as the basis for informed decisions.

“Once we have a first draft it will be checked and tested by our financial advisers.

“We still require some more details from the club and will be receiving them as part of the due diligence process being carried out on our behalf by Begbies Traynor.

“We know there have been some rumours circulating re the current financial situation at the club but we are not in a position to comment other than saying that the EFFC board have been very cooperative in our discussions.”