Stevenage FC’s ‘shoulder to shoulder’ new stand crowdfunding campaign succeeds, in English Football League first

PUBLISHED: 11:37 25 August 2017 | UPDATED: 11:51 25 August 2017

Ben Kennedy and teammates celebrate a goal for Stevenage earlier this season. Picture: Danny Loo

Ben Kennedy and teammates celebrate a goal for Stevenage earlier this season. Picture: Danny Loo

Danny Loo Photography 2017

Stevenage Football Club’s innovative mini-bond scheme has raised £500,000 in just a month to fund a new North Stand at the team’s ground.

The campaign for the club’s Lamex Stadium, launched alongside the Tifosy fanfunding platform co-founded by Chelsea and Italy legend Gianluca Vialli, attracted hundreds of backers – including author Ken Follett and many corporate investors.

More than 200 contributors put in between £500 and £25,000 each as the drive reached its half-million-pound target three weeks ahead of schedule.

Stevenage FC chairman Phil Wallace said: “We wanted to do this shoulder-to-shoulder for Stevenage, offering fans and the local community the chance to invest in the club to help us grow, but also get a benefit from their investment.

“There is a financial benefit to the people who invest and fans will be able to enjoy the new stand with great facilities for all.”

Stevenage FC chairman Phil Wallace asked fans and the community to stand shoulder to shoulder to make the redevelopment of the North Stand a reality. Picture: Gavin Ellis/TGS PhotoStevenage FC chairman Phil Wallace asked fans and the community to stand shoulder to shoulder to make the redevelopment of the North Stand a reality. Picture: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

The club has now said it is going to keep the scheme going until the fund reaches £600,000. As of Friday morning, the total stands at £546,000.

The existing north terrace at the Lamex – which is off the corner between Broadhall Way and Monkswood Way – is a relic of Boro’s non-League days, and much smaller than the rest of the ground.

The new 1,600-seater stand, on which work will start imminently, should be ready by the start of the 2018–19 campaign – and will encapsulate the progress Stevenage have made since their promotion to the Football League in 2010.

It will be partly funded by the mini-bond fundraising, with the Football Foundation also contributing with a £450,000 grant.

Stevenage FC say replacing the North Stand terrace will signify Boro's transition from non-League outfit to ambitious, forward-thinking EFL club. Picture: Danny LooStevenage FC say replacing the North Stand terrace will signify Boro's transition from non-League outfit to ambitious, forward-thinking EFL club. Picture: Danny Loo

Those putting money into Stevenage’s mini-bond scheme can choose either four per cent cash interest or eight per cent club credit interest per annum.

In addition, they will receive privileges such as having their name engraved in the new stand, taking part in the 2018–19 squad photo, and gaining access to matchday hospitality with club directors.

Tifosy founder and chief executive Fausto Zanetton said the success of the Stevenage mini-bond could pave the way for other clubs’ fans to support them in the same way.

He said: “We are delighted by the success of the Stevenage FC mini-bond.

Stevenage FC chairman Phil Wallace speaking about the investment scheme for the North Stand. Picture: Stevenage FCStevenage FC chairman Phil Wallace speaking about the investment scheme for the North Stand. Picture: Stevenage FC

“This is a transformative moment for the way fans can interact with their clubs.

“We are unleashing the passion of fans, giving them the chance to invest in clubs they believe in, and giving clubs the opportunity to raise funds deepening their relationship with their fanbase.”

To find out more or to invest, see tifosy.com/stevenagefc.

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