ACCRINGTON Stanley Supporters’ Fund will have a meeting with new major shareholder Dave O’Neill next Wednesday after handing in a proposal to give financial assistance in return for a stake in the cash-strapped club.
The ASSF was recently formed by a group of fans, backed by Stanley shareholder and multi-millionaire Ilyas Khan, to make sure there was money available to the club to stop a repeat of the winding up order after it was revealed the Reds had a tax bill of £300,000 last month.
Accrington-born Khan had put an initial £250,000 into the Fund.
"We have put a formal proposal into the club on Monday and we have an amount of money we are prepared to invest but it won’t be just a gift, we want a stake in the club as a return," said ASSF chairman Peter Shaw.
"We have asked for an independent valuation as, like any business, we won’t invest without looking at accounts and a business plan as it is a substantial investment."
The meeting is with businessman O’Neill - who finalised his takeover of Eric Whalley’s 52 per cent shares in Stanley last week - and other shareholders and directors have been invited.
"Dave is open and willing to listen and we are hoping to move forward next Wednesday when we speak to him and, hopefully, the other shareholders" continued Mr Shaw.
"We are not interested in the day-to-day running of the club - we shall leave that to the professionals - but we want a seat on the board so the tax issue can never happen again."
Chief executive Rob Heys said: "We have got the Fighting Fund’s proposal and we are largely happy with it.
"They have got some good people involved and we have no problem with giving them a seat on the board and I think that’s only right.
"We have had a couple of tentative meetings and agree with most of the things they want - openness, publishing our accounts monthly etc. It is the way we want to go forward.
"Our only stumbling block, and one which will be discussed on Wednesday hopefully, is they re-issue of shares.
"Dave O’Neill has obviously just put a substantial amount of money into the club for 52 per cent shares and, if we re-issue shares, it would dilute the current shareholders’ amounts. It doesn’t seem fair to do this.
"There is also Peter Marsden, who has 10 per cent shares. If there is a share re-issue and he wants to keep his 10 per cent, he would have to put another large amount into the club.
"But I am sure all this will be discussed and it is great that the Fund exists.
"It is a great way of going forward and hopefully everything will be sorted out.
"It is a new era for the club and we want to start off on a fresh footing. We need money into the club and hopefully, the people in the town will get behind us as well."
* IAN Cartledge and Robert Houseman are directors of ASSF while Idris Khan is the treasurer and Shabir Siddiq the company secretary.