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Cherries: Club's plea to fans to help tackle debt
Published : 06 Mar 2010 07:00:00
CHERRIES chairman Eddie Mitchell has unveiled the club's latest initiative aimed at helping to overcome the Dean Court debt mountain. Having yesterday laid bare the extent of Cherries' financial problems, Mitchell has outlined details of the new AFC Bournemouth Dedication Scheme, which will officially launch early next week in a bid to raise £800,000. Under the terms of the scheme, supporters are given the opportunity to donate money which would go solely towards helping the club meets its outstanding liabilities, as detailed in yesterday's Echo, of £846,924. Should that debt be wiped out with the help of this scheme and through other revenue streams, donors would then have the potential incentive of receiving a possible return on their money if the club sells any of its assets, although there is no guarantee of receiving any cash back. If the £846,924 gets cleared, the club has pledged to use net proceeds from the sale of any of its assets, such as income from player sales, to repay contributors to the scheme on a pro rata basis to the contributions made. So those making donations could see a return, but only once the current debt has been satisfied, both through this initiative and other money-making ideas. Revealing details of the scheme, Mitchell said: It will allow us, if we can get enough funds in, to clear the debt once and for all, which I think is a necessity. It has to be done and we've got to find a way to do it between us. We've used the obvious to raise funds which, along with my initial input and schemes which were staring us in the face, we've halved the debt. What really made us think was after the fans' forum, where I was approached by two people. One chap offered to donate £2,000 and another, a pensioner, offered to donate £1,000. We opened the post the following Monday and we had received a £25 cheque from a Fulham supporter and we received £125 from somebody else who donated. It led me to believe that there were a great deal of people out there that would like to join me and help get the club back to where it should be, with no or very little debts. I don't feel it is prudent for us to actually ask for money, but if we pledge to return the money from selling of our assets, however long it takes, then people are perhaps not donating, but they are more helping the club. Mitchell insisted the scheme would not create pressure to sell players, adding: The players will be sold when we get the right offer and when it is the right time. We will still be in control of when they are sold. All money pledged would be placed in a separate account and a running total would be available for members to see via the club's official website. People interested in taking part in the scheme can make further enquiries at the club shop this afternoon, when Cherries host Morecambe at Dean Court in League Two. Cherries have raised almost £300,000 from their early season ticket sales drive, but this latest scheme is the first since Mitchell revealed the level of debt.