York City Knights have responded to news of the imminent league restructure by launching a new share initiative aimed at a common ownership between supporters and members, enabling everyone who owns shares the chance to be more involved with the club.
In a statement released by the club, who currently lay in 10th place in the Kingstone Press Championship, said: The current board of directors of YCK Ltd are long serving members of the club and are fully committed to the cause, and the share initiative is to ensure that the club can be successful on and off the field of play, and to ensure the affairs are to the benefit of the shareholders and supporters with a unique identity and affinity with their club.
The relationship that the club enjoys with its supporters now needs to be enhanced and the intention of the Board of Directors is to make YCK RFL Ltd. a true community based club, with supporters having a voice in how the club is managed.
The vision is that all supporters become shareholders in their club. This will enable long term decisions to be placed in the hands of those who truly care about the success and future of the rugby club. Long term financial structures need to be in place to ensure the club remains successful on the playing field and prospers within the community.
The strategic aim of the Board is to ensure that ownership of York City Knights Ltd is held by many loyal supporters who turn up to watch the club through good and bad times, via an affordable scheme for supporters to purchase YCK Ltd. shares by means of a standing order of £20 each month from their bank account to be paid into a shareholders fund. Currently each share has a value of £240, and each supporter willing to commit to paying a monthly standing order of £20 will receive a share certificate from York City Knights Ltd every twelve months. A register of standing orders and shareholders will be maintained.
York City Knights Chairman John Guildford said: “Our target is to get 1000 supporters purchasing shares that will enable a monthly income of £20,000 per month. This sum combined with sponsors income, RFL grant and other funding projects will more than cover the shortfall from our reduced Sport England funding and enable long term financial stability and progress for the club, not only funding a successful team on the pitch, but also our fantastic community department off the pitch, ensuring that our Knights fans of the future get the best sporting start in life! It will also empower supporters to take part in shareholders meetings and have visibility of financial expenditure and income.”
“With the Super league restructure coming in 2015 and with it the welcome return of Promotion & Relegation throughout the game, combined with the delivery of a brand new community stadium in 2016, all of a sudden Super League has gone from a dream to a distinct possibility for the Knights. It is clearly now more crucial than ever that we ensure York City Knights is the best club it possibly can be, competing in the strongest ever Championship division week in week out will do wonders for our club and the game of Rugby League in York.”