Community shares are a way of raising finance by offering shares, but in a secure, co-operative legal form. As opposed to ordinary shares in ordinary companies, they seek investment from people that are most interested in the long term success of the Club as a community asset – with the added bonus that it is cost effective way that avoids the red tape that a private company would face.
By giving our fans and the community the chance to invest in the Club it strengthens their connection with it, and it can also open up significant grant funding opportunities.
It is the same model that helped Portsmouth supporters take control of their club, supporter-owned Wrexham build a new shop and offices at the Racecourse Ground, and FC United of Manchester raise almost £2 million towards a new facility in Moston that will cost about £5.5 million. Outside of sport, more than 300 pubs and small shops which are now owned by their customers, many relying on community shares to raise the finance.
Darlington FC have so far run two rounds of Community Share Offers to the fans and wider community, the primary aim of which was to raise funds to build assets and infrastructure that could then be used to payback the investors in the long term.