Bond issued to to 'buy-back' club assets
Turf Moor and Gawthorpe are set to return to ownership of a revamped Burnley FC group.
Burnley FC Co-Chairmen John Banaszkiewicz and Mike Garlick confirmed that after inviting support from private investors, the board believes it can generate sufficient funds to buy back the club’s “spiritual home”.
Turf Moor, Burnley’s home since 1883, and the Padiham-based training ground have both been owned by Longside Properties Ltd since 2006.
After completing a proposed restructuring, it is proposed to repurchase these assets from the current owner via a new property company, Turf Moor Properties Ltd.
This new property company will be owned by a new holding company named Burnley FC Holdings Ltd (BFCH), which is also making a recommended offer to acquire all of the issued shares in The Burnley Football & Athletic Co. Ltd (BFAC).
Shareholders in BFAC will be invited to exchange their share(s) in BFAC for the same number of shares in BFCH.
Once the bond issue is completed, shareholders who accept the offer will then own shares in the company which owns both the football company and the property company.
Mr Banaszkiewicz, who has been instrumental in driving forward the plan, said “We are delighted to be announcing this first step in the repurchase of Turf Moor and Gawthorpe, which marks the start of a new era in our illustrious history.
“This arrangement enables us to protect Turf Moor and Gawthorpe from the uncertainties of the football industry and its finances, which we have all seen hit other clubs very hard in recent years.”
The club plans to issue a bond - fully secured against the properties and paid back over seven years with interest - to bring the assets back under the umbrella of the club’s new group.
Indicative interest in the bond issue has been received from a selected number of Burnley Football Club supporters, each of whom will contribute a significant six figure sum.
Mr Banaszkiewicz added: “Having examined all the options, the board is confident that a bond issue represents the most cost effective finance option and enables a section of our fans to play a part in bringing our spiritual home back under the control of the club.
“In football today, it is important to maintain a progressive approach to training and development of players.
“This includes having a quality infrastructure and by re-acquiring the stadium and the training ground, we can ensure that we continue on the path to constant improvement.
“Additionally, buying both Turf Moor and Gawthorpe back makes sense financially and operationally for our long-term future plans.
“It will eventually see an end to rental payments and put the club on a firmer financial footing”
The planning and development of the bond issue has been undertaken with support from FIS Chief Financial Officer Paul Smith and Burnley Football Club employees Ken Stout and Anthony Fairclough, whom the Co-Chairmen thanked for their hard work on the project.
Below: A copy of the original BFC Share certificate