Northamptonshire County Cricket Club members asked to give up their vote - to attract investors

More than 1,000 members of Northamptonshire County Cricket Club are being asked to give up their say in the way it is run to make the club more attractive to investors.

Thursday, 25th August 2016, 6:15 am
Northants County Cricket is calling on members to give up their vote in the way the club is run, to make it a more attractive investment.

The board of directors at the Wantage Road club are recommending its members vote in favour of a resolution allowing control of the club to pass to a limited company, NCCC Holdings.

If approved at an extraordinary general meeting on Thursday, September 8, the members will no longer have a say in how the club is run and will no longer be its legal owners.

But chief executive of the 1878-established club, Ray Payne, says it is a necessary move to attract the £1 million of outside investment needed to clear “short term debts” and reduce the interest it pays on them.

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He said: “It’s a change of ownership of the club essentially, and it will inject a substantial amount of cash into the club quickly.

“It has been well documented, the trouble we’ve had.

“This is part of us climbing out of that.

“If it is rejected then we’ll have to consider what we do next.”

If the motion is passed, members will have the option to buy shares, with a minimum investment of £250.

Those who buy season tickets will simply become season ticket holders, but the club says they will continue to have the same “match day privileges.”

Season ticket holders will be entitled to attend and speak at an annual general meeting, but they will not be entitled to vote.

However, they will be entitled to elect a person to represent their interests on the board.

Mr Payne has dismissed suggestions the membership is simply being moved aside to make it easier for new owners to take crucial decisions at the club.

He claimed that members have been broadly supportive of the scheme, arguing that only a small portion currently use their vote at meetings.

He said; “You become a member of a cricket club because you have an interest and a passion for cricket.

“The members want to see the best cricket they can, this will allow them to do that.”

Back in April, club chairman Gavin Warren said he was trying to attract 10 to 15 wealthy shareholders to enable the club to become a limited company.

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