The deadline for the Supporters Trust to purchase Glen Henderson’s shares passed on the 4th of April 2023. The Trust Board want to provide some clarity regarding the rights the Trust still hold to influence any takeover process and provide clarity on how the football club will be run.
The Trust Board was happy to read Glen Henderson’s statement via the football club on 2nd April 2023 in which he confirms he intends to financially support the club and that his shares remain up for sale. This statement is welcomed by the Trust, and we have indicated to Glen that we are committed to facilitating the sale of his shares. This includes referring any interested parties who contact us to Glen.
The takeover process continues with Glen, who can now sell his shares on the open market. However, the Supporters Trust still retains certain rights & protections under the club’s Articles of Association and the Shareholder Agreement between the Trust and Glen. Both parties will have their parts to play to ensure the process goes ahead smoothly:
- Glen must provide 28 days’ notice to the Supporters Trust before being able to execute a transfer of his shares. This time will be used by the Trust to complete relevant due diligence on any prospective purchaser. We have advised Glen that in the best interests of the football club we will expedite this process as much as possible.
- Any exchange of football club shares must be approved by the Trust Board before it can be executed. However, permission can only be withheld where there are reasonable grounds to do so.
- Glen is unable to sell his 51% of the football club for less than he offered them to the Supporters Trust, £650,000, though the Trust may waive this if they believe it’s in the best interests of the club. The Trust has also made Glen aware that should it assist with the sale of his shares the Trust Board will consider selling a portion of its shares to a new majority shareholder.
The Shareholder Agreement is subject to confidentiality agreements, however, the Clubs articles of association are available on the Companies House website here. The Articles of Association contain a number of protections and rights for the Supporters Trust in addition to those mentioned above. The rights held by the Supporters Trust are considerable and are similar to, often exceeding, the rights fans up and down the country are fighting to establish at their own clubs.
Whilst the takeover process continues it must not be forgotten that there is a football club to run. With the win against Chesterfield yesterday Mikey and the team have taken considerable strides towards league safety. Behind the scenes the staff have continued to work tirelessly to ensure the club continues to function. There are no changes to how the football club runs following the deadline of the 4th April 2023. Paula Stainton remains as Interim General Manager responsible for the day-to-day operation of the football club as per the club statement issued on the 9th January 2023.
Since December, the two Trust appointed Directors have fulfilled mainly non-executive roles whilst focussing on working with prospective investors. The exception is the accounting and banking functions that Alastair Smith has continued to take responsibility for. As a CIMA qualified accountant, with many years experience we believe Alastair is best placed to fulfil this function for the foreseeable future.
The Trust appointees to the Football Club board, Trust Chairman Mike Brown and Alastair Smith are appointed in accordance with the Trust rights in the Articles of Association. The Trust Board was disappointed to learn that following the 4th of April deadline Glen Henderson has requested Trust appointed board members resign from their positions.
Both Mike and Alastair have worked tirelessly in recent months and just last week they worked together around the clock to ensure funding was secured and money available to meet the club’s payroll. These actions protected both the Trust and Glen’s continued investment in the football club.
The Trust Board continues to have faith in the work Mike and Alastair do at the club and their in-depth knowledge of the football club and its operations is vital at this time. The Trust Board will not consider changing their nominated club board members before a new owner is found as they’re best placed to assist through this transitional period.
With four games of the season remaining the Trust continue to be impressed by atmosphere created at the LNER in recent weeks and know it goes a long way to helping the team put on a show. We all look forward to Halifax at home on Monday. Keep the faith.