More than 200 supporters packed into the MBA Lounge for the annual Q&A session with Paul Doswell, Ian Baird and Bruce Elliott and they saw Bruce present a frank and impassioned picture to supporters. We hope to be able to broadcast SUFCtv's edited highlights of the evening in the next few days.
Bruce claimed that Sutton United must be one of the original “fans owned clubs”, with the limited company dating back to 1953 and the original shareholders all being supporters or former players with a long attachment to the club. We now have almost 200 shareholders jointly owning the club, and this sense of togetherness is a major strength of the club.
Everyone is enjoying watching their splendid team compete in the National League, non-League's “top table”, but it is a very demanding and unforgiving competition and, ultimately, success and failure do inevitably become products of the financial resources that are available. The club and its supporters therefore need to be committed to the way ahead. The Board of Directors has explored various options but is well aware of the uncertainties and risks that come with third-party ownership and is therefore convinced that the existing business model of a club owned and run by its supporters is the best way ahead. But for this to flourish in such a challenging environment we need to explore and take advantage of a number of diverse ways in which to enhance our finances.
Although there are other initiatives under consideration for the longer term, our current focus is on six main areas:-
- Increasing our fan-base and match-day receipts; supporters signing up to our great-value “early bird” season ticket deal (which expires on 27th Apr) is a really important part of achieving this goal
- Exploiting new sponsorship opportunities
- A plan to grow our highly successful academy
- A prize draw, aimed at mitigating travel costs for away matches
- An appeal for more supporters to become shareholders in the club. “The directors would love to see more supporters buy into the club”, said Bruce, “We have 193 shareholders at present and there's no reason why we can't look to double that. Having a stake in your club really can help to feel a part of what's happening, to share even more in the successes.”
- We are always looking for help from our supporters right across the club's activities; SUFC Ltd would also like to expand its board of directors. We need new blood and new ideas to meet the exciting challenges which our excellent success on the pitch have brought; but we also need additional income and being a director would of course come with a financial commitment.
To enquire about purchasing shares please contact company chairman Dave Farebrother, email@example.com