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Revised 1895 Fund Proposal

The 1895 Fund – Proposal (Revised following member consultation)

Following our recent consultation on the 1895 Fund proposal we sent you an email on 02/02/22 asking for you to vote to ratify the results. we have noted that the number of responses is not as high as in previous consultations and have received feedback from some members relating to the clarity of some of the points you have been asked to vote on. Thank you to those people who have raised points.

Your participation in this vote is critically important, therefore we kindly ask you if you have opened the email and not voted "yes" or "no", to read the proposal below.

We have highlighted in blue the key points and we hope this post will help us clear up those concerns for you. One critical thing to remember is that you will be consulted to approve when and how the money is spent regardless.

If you haven't voted, we have extended the time you have to vote until 11pm on Wednesday 2nd March 2022.

If you are happy that you have enough information to vote, please do so from the link in your email dated 22/02/22.

Thank you.

What is The 1895 Fund?

The aim of the fund is to raise a substantial sum of money, which will enable us to act in the best interests of the town and the club, in case of potential future scenarios, as laid out below.

The Fund is a collaboration between OASF, PTB and the wider fan base, who are working together to ensure that the views and considerations of as many fans as possible are acknowledged ahead of its roll out. Members and fund contributors will be consulted before any final decisions are made (a member is anyone with an active membership status on our website). Your involvement in this process is absolutely vital.

Supporters should feel assured that collectively, we feel that we have thought about possible concerns and eventualities but appreciate that you may have additional questions, queries or concerns, which we warmly welcome. In the proposal below, we will attempt to outline the benefits of the fund as well as allay any potential concerns.

To date, we have sought professional financial advice on how to constitute the 1895 Fund and asked relevant questions regarding it’s uses and withdrawal mechanisms.

If you have any further questions or comments, please contact us here or via the website.

What could the 1895 Fund be used for? We propose that the 1895 Fund would only be utilised in one or more of the following scenarios, with any action being put to vote for final sign off by our members and contingency fund contributors (bracketed information refers to feedback from our initial survey):

  • To purchase a controlling stake in the football club. Funds will therefore not be released to purchase anything less than a 51% share hold of Oldham Athletic Football Club (92% of respondents were in support of purchasing a controlling stake.

  • To purchase the club outright as a single entity (93% of respondents in support) or part of a consortium (92% of respondents in support)

  • Purchase of the stadium and surrounding land (97% of respondents in support)

  • Administration costs in the event of the club entering administration, funding ‘could’ be made available to stave off liquidation (88% of respondents in support)

  • Associated costs directly related to the acquisition of or in preparation of the above (87% of respondents in support)

It is noted that 54% of respondents were in support of purchasing less than a controlling stake in the club significantly less support than other proposed actions, as such we do not feel this is a clear mandate to pursue this course of action. Therefore, we would not seek to purchase any less than 51% of the club whilst the club is under its current ownership.

However, should the time come when new owners purchase the club, we may seek to explore this option if it is felt it would be beneficial to the fans and our members. As with all other options above, any spend would be put to vote for final approval.

How is the 1895 Fund ring-fenced within OASF prior to use?

The fund will operate as an OASF bank account (96% of respondents in support) but any transactions will require the signature of one of the four founding members of PTB, an OASF director and an external (impartial) professional. These will be known as the “1895 Fund Committee”.

How will the fund be managed – what is its make up?

The fund will sit in a separate bank account from OASF’s main account (96% of respondents in support), OASF & PTB will manage the fund through their representative on the 1895 Fund committee. It will be the intention of all parties to act in the best interests of both Oldham Athletic Football Club and its supporters (80% of respondents in support). Any final decision would be made using a member vote (see “How will a decision be made to access the fund” below).

Who are the 1895 Fund committee?

Having taken financial advice on the subject, the committee is to be made up of a minimum of three people (99% of respondents in support). At this stage, we propose the three committee members would consist of the following:

  • 1 OASF Director 

  • 1 PTB signatory (79% of respondents in support)

  • 1 external impartial signatory - Ideally of a legal profession (90% of respondents support OASF & PTB working to identify a suitable person, we will consult on any person identified before they are added as a signatory)

All three will be required to sign for withdrawals (98% of respondents in support). While this may seem prohibitive, withdrawals will not be frequent due to the withdrawal conditions laid out earlier in this document.

How will the 1895 Contingency Fund be managed?

The 1895 Fund committee will report back to the OASF board with monthly account updates. These will be reported in published OASF meeting notes and the totaliser will be updated on the OASF website.

How will a decision be made to access the fund?

Initially, any funds release will be discussed between the OASF board, PTB and the 1895 Fund committee. If a consensus to release funds is reached, an OASF EGM would be called and a member vote taken (84% of respondents support OASF members and 1895 fund contributors being consulted in the vote). Fund contributors will be granted additional votes to reflect that their funding is being voted on.

Will the money be used to fund the club under the current ownership?

Under no circumstances will the Contingency Fund be made available to, or utilised by the current custodians of Oldham Athletic Football Club.

Can I support in any other way?

Yes. The 1895 Lottery is a separate fundraising initiative, and this can be accessed via our website.

Will OASF research additional funding?

We’ve already made a start on identifying alternative funding streams and we will be appealing for and utilising the help of OASF volunteers to move this forward.

What other funding are you considering?

Leave a Latics legacy in your will, merchandise, events and other plans are in the pipeline and further details will be released in due course.

We would like to say thank you to the FSA, Push the Boundary and independent fans Mark Airey and Dave Ogden (financial compliance and governance specialist) for their observations and input into this proposal.

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