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With the deadline fast approaching for the community interest company interested in buying Saints fast approaching it's time for a quick look at what they've been up to in the last week or so.
The consortium selling the 52 per cent controlling interest in the club have given 10000Hours - being led by current Saints director Richard Atkinson - a deadline of tomorrow to make their bid. If it's accepted then they'll be running the show from July 4. To do that they need to reach certain targets, including having fans chipping in £7,500 a month via direct debits.
On that score they are almost there - impressive going considering the count was effectively reset the other week and everyone asked to re-pledge. At the time of typing they have £6,450 pledged - 86 per cent of their target. It's not impossible they could get the remaining cash needed - the equivalent of 105 fans pledging £10 a month - before the deadline. The direct debits are needed partly to pay off the selling consortium over the next few years but also repay a £500,000 loan from Big Issue Invest (which everyone seems to have started calling Bii for some reason).
With the direct debits in good shape it seems the problem is getting the upfront cash that would be handed over in the next few weeks. Obviously the £500,000 loan is there but an additional £400,000 or so is needed. This is due to come from members of the 87 club (with 87 people paying a one off £3,000) and the 1877 club (nine people stumping up £25,000). The counters for these have vanished but when they were last displayed there were around 33 pledges for the cheaper package and none for the rather more expensive package. I would be surprised to say the least if these targets come close to being met - if they do, where have these pledgers been hiding for the last wee while?
A number of other CIC titbits have emerged in the last 10 days or so but partly due to being busy and partly due to not finding them particularly interesting I didn't bother writing an article. There was more stuff about how important it is to back the CIC in a bid to stop the club falling into bad hands which smacks of scaremongering the Daily Mail would be proud of. There is still no hard evidence anyone else is interested in the club and it's alarming the number of people who seem to have signed up in a bid to protect the club but still don't seem quite sure how the thing is going to work.
Other news is that Gordon Scott will be chairman of the new club board with Tony Fitzpatrick as vice, neither of which is a shock. What was a surprise is that current general manager Brian Caldwell will be on the board, with Atkinson and Chris Stewart keeping their places. Elections have also been opened for the first CIC board. It's also been announced that if everything goes through then the members of 10000Hours will get to vote on whether a newco Rangers should be allowed into the SPL.
It's anyone's guess whether or not this will go ahead. If the CIC pulls this off I'll be impressed and shocked, not least because they'll have shifted some of the rather expensive packages at short notice. I just hope everyone who signs up knows exactly what they are getting and what they are putting money into, but at the moment I don't think that is the case.
I have still seen nothing to convince me this is the way forward and am still not signing up, but if anyone is interested or wants to find more go to www.10000hours.org
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