East Fife FC: Club 'welcome' to investment as fan's community takeover bid moves forward at pace

An East Fife supporters’ group who are hoping to complete a community takeover of the Bayview club noted a crucial breakthrough earlier this week.
(Photo: Tam Pelan)(Photo: Tam Pelan)
(Photo: Tam Pelan)

The East Fife Supporters Society (EFSS) have won the support of the current East Fife FC majority shareholder in their attempt to return the club to fan ownership.

The majority of the 200,000 existing shares are owned by Bayview Fife Ltd, a limited company with a single shareholder. The EFSS, often referred to as “the Trust” have been negotiating with representatives of Bayview Fife to acquire the shareholding.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We have our legal people talking to each other and setting up the paperwork, a share price has been agreed and we’re now sorting out the fine details,” an EFSS spokesperson told the East Fife Mail. “In addition we have had a number of conversations with key people including the existing EFFC board and chairman and have made it clear that we want to work together with them to develop the club in the community and commercially.

“On the football side we’ve had chats with manager Dick Campbell who, along with his brother Ian, forms the new management partnership.

"We are completely aligned with the short term aim of ensuring our safety in the SPFL and then over a three to five year period moving towards the Championship.

“The professionally created business plan of the EFSS has been welcomed by the funders and contains a number of elements including proposals to add to the stadium structure, bringing in further local investment, the creation of site based income generation, strengthened links with local businesses and a determination to continue the great work being done in the community through youth development.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

EFSS chair Ian Lowson also confirmed to the paper that financial arrangements to support the bid are almost in place and that negotiations with Bayview Fife Ltd are continuing to move in a positive direction.

“We are delighted with the progress so far,” he said. “We are hopeful of retaining the experience and knowledge of existing EFFC directors for some time when we gain control of the ownership."

“It’s also a further mark of all fans working together for the better of the club and the community. The football club has a great record of community activities, and we will fully support these groups while bringing new investment and commercial input.

"Our prime aim of course will always be to progress East Fife FC as a senior Scottish football club.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Although no firm date for completion has been set, Lowson added that he is confident the change in ownership could be in place before the start of the next season.

“We already have over 100 people who have committed to a regular subscription to help finance our bid and of course welcome more.”

East Fife FC’s shares are controlled by businessman Neil Rankine but Bayview Fife’s sole shareholder listed on Companies House is Lorraine Twigg, a former friend of Rankine. Any buyout would involve taking over East Fife Football Club Ltd, Bayview Stadium and a 30-metre perimeter of land around it.

A spokesperson for East Fife FC commented: "The board of East Fife Football Club is aware of the potential purchase of the majority shareholding in the club by the East Fife Supporters' Society.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"As yet we have we have not received formal details of the society's plans once the buy out is finalised but as always any investment in the club is welcome.

“We look forward to receiving full details in due course but in the meantime, it is business as usual as all efforts are made to support Dick Campbell and his management team in securing as high a finishing place as possible in League Two before the end of the season."