The sale of Aldershot Town Football club has been completed with a consortium led by former chairman Shahid Azeem becoming the new owners.
Following relegation last season, the club will kick-off the 2013-14 campaign in the Skrill Conference League. Plans for the new season, put in place by the new owners in anticipation of a successful outcome, will now proceed with Manager Andy Scott also now in a position to offer contracts to playing staff. Meanwhile operational plans are also underway with further announcements about the structure of the club to be released shortly.
Shahid Azeem and former board-members John Leppard , Tony Knights and Russ Howell who are also part of the new consortium would like to place on record their appreciation of all those who made it possible to save Aldershot Town Football Club:
“We are incredibly grateful to the Aldershot Town Supporters Trust for their backing and to fans, creditors, staff, volunteers and players for their patience during these uncertain times. We are aware of young supporters who gave their pocket money, pensioners who sold their premium-bonds and people who cancelled holidays so that they could contribute to saving the club. We will be working hard to repay this loyalty by creating a sustainable football club for future generations of Shots supporters.”
The new Board would also like to place on record its appreciation of Rushmoor Borough Council for its huge support and flexibility during lease negotiations. In Particular Chief Executive Andrew Lloyd, Director of Resources Peter Gardner and the council`s solicitor, Jeremy Rosen, all of whom worked tirelessly to help the consortium meet deadlines.
Councillor Peter Moyle, Leader of Rushmoor Borough Council said: “I’m pleased that the new consortium taking on Aldershot Town Football Club has been able to create a football-led sustainable future for the club. The club is at the heart of Aldershot’s community and we were determined to play our part by offering support and signing a new lease agreement.”
Councillor Sue Carter, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Youth at Rushmoor Borough Council said: “We’re delighted that the club has been able to secure its future and we are looking forward to working with the new management team. The club does a lot to support Aldershot’s young people through its football in the community programme which offers school’s coaching, clubs, summer holiday courses and much more. I’m thrilled that this work will be able to continue.”
The new owners also appreciate the hard work of the administrators, Quantuma restructuring and in particular Carl Jackson and Paul Goddard. They have worked incredibly hard to secure a positive outcome for the creditors by ensuring a future for the football club.
Commenting on the successful completion, Carl Jackson, Joint Administrator of Aldershot Town said: “I am delighted that we have managed to achieve a sale of the club to the consortium. The process has not been easy, but with the support of the creditors, fans, local council, staff at the club and football authorities, I believe that we have achieved the best outcome for Aldershot Town F.C. and what this now means is conference league football next season and a long term and hopefully successful future for the club.”
The club also confirms a two-year agreement with Chelsea Football Club whereby a significant number of Chelsea’s academy and reserve matches will be played at the Recreation Ground. The revenue generated from Chelsea for staging these fixtures will help fund creditors pursuant to the CVA as well as contributing towards general working capital for the club.
Chairman Shahid Azeem confirmed that the partnership will significantly benefit the club`s fortunes as part of the new board`s business strategy: “Our ambition is to see Aldershot Town Football Club move forward through strong community engagement. As well as contributing incremental revenue this initiative allows us to open our doors to existing and potential new supporters. Local football supporters will be able to visit our ground for a very small amount of money and see Premier League players along with Chelsea`s potential stars of the future.”