Community club status

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Community club status

Post by City 'til we're relegated on Fri Aug 11, 2017 2:21 pm

Although it is often stated that we are a community owned club, I am sure that we are still a limited club with the community supporters being the largest group of shareholders. So, assuming we can say that we are a community owned club, then we cannot moan at anyone because, more than ever before, we ARE the club. It is like your local coffee shop. If you don't like the coffee you can stop going there. Now we own the shop, so we can change the coffee.

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Re: Community club status

Post by OliverH on Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:26 pm

City 'til we're relegated wrote: Although it is often stated that we are a community owned club, I am sure that we are still a limited club with the community supporters being the largest group of shareholders. So, assuming we can say that we are a community owned club,

Pedantry Corner: according to the definition laid out by Supporters Direct, any club where a supporters trust (e.g. the Supporters Society) has at least a 50%+1 stake in the club can be referred to as a community-owned club.

I sometimes say "majority community-owned club" as opposed to "fully community-owned club" but we are a community-owned club.

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Re: Community club status

Post by Peter Newman on Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:16 pm

I believe there is real confusion regarding the club's status.
Although, as Oliver has mentioned, we can be described as a community-owned club it does not alter the fact that we remain a limited company and on that basis must still operate in accordance with the requirements of the various Company Acts.
Supporters Direct may say we can call ourselves community owned but it's Company Law that defines our actual status. We tend to forget that Bath City Ltd still has around 400k shares that are non- community owned. The owners of these shares still retain their legal rights.


Last edited by Peter Newman on Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:49 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Community club status

Post by Marc Monitor on Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:18 pm

I am not sure that anyone has suggested they don't.
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Community club status

Post by OliverH on Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:57 am

Peter Newman wrote:I believe there is real confusion regarding the club's status.
Although, as Oliver has mentioned, we can be described as a community-owned club it does not alter the fact that we remain a limited company and on that basis must still operate in accordance with the requirements of the various Company Acts.
Supporters Direct may say we can call ourselves community owned but it's Company Law that defines our actual status. We tend to forget that Bath City Ltd still has around 400k shares that are non- community owned. The owners of these shares still  retain their legal rights.

Thank you Peter for raising this, I think it's important that all supporters have a grasp of the club's ownership structure. (Mods you may want to fork this thread as it's well off the original point).

Bath City FC is indeed a company limited by shares, with 54.6% of its shares owned by a community benefit society (a form of co-operative), the Supporters Society. In the same way that you might reasonably describe a company as being "state-owned" or "foreign-owned" even if the owner in question didn't have a 100% stake, clubs like Bath City, Exeter City and others are described as "community-owned". In other words, "community ownership" is not the same thing per se as saying "a co-operative" or "a community benefit society".

Minority shareholders will continue enjoy what rights they have under Company Law, as you point out - Bath City FC Ltd will hold AGMs alongside the Supporters Society AGMs each year.



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Re: Community club status

Post by davebart on Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:27 am

This topic was split off the topic 'good opportunity'.

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Re: Community club status

Post by SteveBradley on Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:12 pm

To be an uber-pedant/anorak, I believe Bath has a relatively unique ownership position even within the realms of football cooperatives.

Most cooperatively-owned clubs are essentially supporter-owned. The vast majority of those owning shares in it were the supporters who were there for the club in some way before, during and after the co-op was established. e.g. AFC Wimbledon, FC United, Exeter City.

With Bath City, from the very start of the process of striving for a new ownership structure there was a recognition that we simply didn't have enough fans to buy the club. And also that one of the major challenges the club faced was to broaden it's appeal into the rest of the city. So we went down the route of striving for community-ownership and involvement, not just supporter-ownership and involvement. A subtle but important difference in my book.

People may say that they're essentially the same thing, but they're not in my mind. The Bid persuaded a lot of people and organisations who had previously had no involvement with Bath City to buy shares in the club, because they believed in what we were trying to do. That's what makes us different than just a supporter-owned club IMO, and significantly stronger for it too.

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Re: Community club status

Post by Marc Monitor on Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:33 pm

Another minor point but worth stating is that the club was supporter-owned before. As far as I know all the previous directors were supporters before they became directors, during their directorship and still continue to be even if they aren't directors anymore.
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Re: Community club status

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