Causeway Chronicle

Friends of Coleraine to hear takeover proposals

By Michael Anderson 

D Day is looming as Coleraine take a potential step towards moving full time.

The Board will meet with the management committee of the Friends of Coleraine on Monday night.

The nature of the meeting? To discuss the potential takeover of the club and a move to a full time model. It’s been the worst kept secret around town since last May.

Two different potential investors want to plough significant funds into the club and take them to the next level. Two London businessmen originally from the town and a US consortium are the bidders.

Sunday Life has named the English duo as Ranald McGregor Smith and Patrick Mitchell. The investment is believed to be as much as £2 million.

A real game changer for the Bannsiders.

But it’s not just as clear cut as that.

“There is a lot to consider and we won’t just jump at the pound signs,” a Friends of Coleraine management committee member told me. As the owners of the club, Friends of Coleraine will have the final say.

“The Board will put their recommendations to us and ultimately we will decide what’s right for the club. It’s a huge investment. So the first question to be asked is why? Why do they want to get involved and what do they want in return?”

The Friends will hear the full details and Board recommendations at Monday’s meeting.

They will then take that to their members to vote on at their annual general meeting on August 29.

There’s a lot to be considered but I’d be very surprised if one of the potential bids isn’t accepted after due diligence is carried out.

Exciting times ahead at the Showgrounds!

Maurice Bradley, MLA said the proposal on paper is a good one. But fans should not get carried away. Compared to what is happening at Larne where owner Kenny Bruce has many many millions at his disposal. as has Glentoran owner Ali Pour, this is quite a small pot of money being talked about, and unlike Larne and Glentoran, the proposal seems to be advocating a cocktail of funders. It is also unclear what happens after 2018.

This is only my opinion based on what I read in then press and social media. Rumours have been wide-spread since May about investment into the Club.

But is it investment in. playing staff? Investment into infrastructure? Investment into the Academy and Ladies Football, not knowing the details it is hard to have an opinion.

Any deal I am confident will be legally scrutinised by the Friends of Coleraine. owners of the club. I would expect legal opinion to be sought before they hand their club over to investors, or sell their club to investors. I for one remember all too vividly the prospect of losing Coleraine in 2005, I am confident such a scenario would not be allowed to happen again.

As a supporter of Coleraine, I would support any action the Friends of Coleraine take, either to accept or indeed to reject, as long as their decision is in the best interests of Coleraine Football Club.

Michael Anderson

Michael Anderson