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Offer to buy Stirling Albion rejected

PRESS RELEASE

 STIRLING ALBION FANS OFFER TO BUY CLUB IS REJECTED

 FANS FEAR FOR CLUB’S FUTURE

 22 July 2009 - Fans of Stirling Albion FC have had a substantial offer to buy their football club rejected.

 The offer, from the Stirling Albion Supporters’ Trust, which met the sale price placed on the club by current owner Peter McKenzie, has been rejected. Fans now fear for the immediate and long term future of their club.

 The Stirling Albion Supporters’ Trust, which launched its ‘Bu­yS­tir­lin­gAl­bi­on.­org.­uk’ campaign two months ago, met the sale price requested by club chairman Peter McKenzie but following further consideration the offer was then rejected and a new, higher price was placed on the club.

 The Stirling Albion Supporters’ Trust, which is aiming for Stirling Albion FC to be the first UK league club to be 100% owned by football fans, has secured support from Soccerade and FIFA World Player of the Year, Cristiano Ronaldo, tennis superstar Andy Murray and 1970 World Cup winning captain Carlos Alberto.

 Paul Goodwin from Bu­yS­tir­lin­gAl­bi­on.­org.­uk said, “A substantial offer was made for the club at the full asking price placed by the Chairman.  For reasons unknown that was rejected and a new, increased price was placed on the club.  Given the hard work put in by Stirling Albion fans and support from football fans across the world we are extremely disappointed with this decision.  We have serious concerns about the future of the club as we are aware of significant creditors looking for settlement of existing debts.

 “The size of the offer was made in good faith and in recognition of the financial support Mr McKenzie has given the club over the years but the fact remains the club has no assets and has massive debts.  We firmly believe that this very generous offer is an exceptional sum of money for a business that has little or no value.  The figures now being quoted are simply not reflective of a club that has spiraling debt and no commercial plan.

 “The Bu­yS­tir­lin­gAl­bi­on campaign has been extremely successful in generating support from football fans across the world and in generating commercial interest in the club too which has put us in a strong position to open negotiations with the Chairman.  Also, the backing of a benefactor, who has offered to provide additional financial support in the form of a flexible interest free loan, has further enhanced the Bu­yS­tir­lin­gAl­bi­on campaign.  With all of these factors in place the Stirling Albion Supporters’ Trust’s vision for the future of the club is now a reality.

 “We would urge Mr McKenzie to reconsider our offer which would allow the Stirling Albion Supporters’ Trust to start implementing its plans before the potential commercial partners decide to walk away and the club dips further into difficulty.”

 Stirling Albion FC has been for sale for several years and, with no serious bids forthcoming, is at risk of going out of business with spiraling costs and little sign of any investment.  Formed in 1945, Stirling Albion finished in 5th position in Scotland’s Second Division last season.

 The ‘Bu­yS­tir­lin­gAl­bi­on’ campaign is offering football fans across the world the chance to become part of the first ever 100% fans’ owned football league club in the UK for just £40 with a guarantee that if the bid fails they will get £35 returned to them.

 For full details on the campaign to create the first 100% fans owned Scottish league club please visit www.­Bu­yS­tir­lin­gAl­bi­on.­org.­uk.

 For further information please contact Paul Goodwin on 07702-252519 or paulg@­bu­ys­tir­lin­gal­bi­on.­org.­uk.

 

Notes to editors:

 

‘Albion Trust Membership’ - Those who buy one will NOT be a shareholder in the football club but will be a member of The Stirling Albion Supporters Trust who will be the sole shareholder in the football club.

 Under this plan all monies committed will be used by The Stirling Albion Supporters Trust to buy the club which will remain the single shareholder in the club.

 Individual’s input into the running of the football club will only exist as long as membership of the ‘Albion Trust Membership’ is maintained.

 The first year’s ‘Albion Trust Membership’ will cost £40 to reflect the fundraising requirements to purchase the club.  In subsequent years the cost of the ‘Albion Trust Membership’ is expected to reduce with The Stirling Albion Supporters Trust pledging to reduce the cost of the ‘Albion Trust Membership’ to £10 in year 2010/11.

 Other Stirling Albion ‘Firsts’ - On the 24th of June 1966 the club was the first British professional team to play on Japanese soil.  A capacity crowd witnessed a 3-1 win over a Japanese All Stars XI and two days later they beat the Japanese National Select by 4 goals to 2 in front of the Japanese Crown Prince.

 History was also made on 8th of December 1984 when Stirling Albion defeated Selkirk 20 - 0 in a Scottish Cup tie, the first time 20 goals had been scored in the 20th Century.

 And in 1987 another piece of footballing history was created when they became the first Scottish club to install an artificial pitch.

 Senior football in Stirling - The city of Stirling has had a senior football club since 1875 and been represented in the Scottish Football League since 1921.  Firstly with King’s Park FC (which joined the SFA in 1881) and then by Stirling Albion FC which was formed in 1946 following the demise of King’s Park FC after its ground was destroyed by the only bomb dropped on Stirling during the Second World War in 1940.

 When the war ended in 1945 and plans were laid to reinstate the Scottish Football League (SFL), Thomas Fergusson, a coal magnate, offered to host King's Park in the brand new Annfield Stadium that he planned to build.  This offer was declined by the King's Park FC board who preferred to wait for war compensation so Fergusson forged ahead and formed Stirling Albion FC to play in his brand new stadium.  When the SFL was reinstated in 1946 the new club was elected in King's Park FC’s place.  By the time King’s Park FC received its war compensation in 1953 it was just enough to cover the club's debts and they went out of business.

 World’s oldest football - The football is made from leather on the outside and an inflated pig's bladder on the inside and has featured at an exhibition at The World Cup in Germany in 2006.  The ball can normally be seen at the Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum but is currently on exhibition at The Tower of London until January 2010.

 

World’s oldest football - Stirling is the home of the oldest football in the world which was found in the roof structure of the ‘Queen’s Chamber’ in Stirling Castle in 1981.  Historians believe it to date from circa 1540 (the bedroom ceiling was enclosed with wooden panels in the 1540s) making Stirling the first place ‘football’ was played in Scotland. 

 And as far back as 1497 the accounts at The Royal Court show a sum being given to buy footballs for King James IV.

 Soccerade – is a high quality sports drink that is relevant to every athlete be they beginners through to the elite performers.  Cristiano Ronaldo became a shareholder in 2008.  For further information on Soccerade please visit - http://­soccerade.­com/­web/­guest/­soccerade

 The city of Stirling - had a population of 41,243 at the 2001 census, which has risen to 44,460 according to mid-2004 population estimates.

 The wider Stirling Council area had a population of 86,370 in 2004. The city is reputed to be the third fastest growing area of Scotland in terms of population.

 The population is slightly younger than the Scottish average - the median age for males was 34 to the national average of 37; and the median age for females was 36, to the national average of 39. The population peaks and troughs significantly when the students come and go from the city.

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