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Hull supporters’ trust part of new takeover bid

Hull supporters’ trust part of new takeover bid

Hull’s owners will meet next week with a consortium claiming it is ready to buy the club for £45million in partnership with Hull City Supporters’ Trust.

The Tigers’ owners, the Allam family, have already received one takeover bid, understood to be £40m, from a Saudi-backed consortium fronted by former club chairman Paul Duffen.

A third mystery bidder, understood by Press Association Sport to be US-based, is also due to meet with the Allams, but HCST insists any new owner must put a fans’ representative on the board.

“I understand the meeting is some time next week,” HCST chairman Geoff Bielby told Press Association Sport.

“We’ll get involved with any responsible owner that gives supporters a voice in how the club is run and that’s what we’ve been saying all along.

“By putting this out now and getting involved with this we’re making a very clear line in the sand – any new owner of Hull City must talk to Hull City Supporters’ Trust.”

HCST is in partnership with SportyCo, a sports crowdfunding company which specialises in blockchain technology, and Blackbridge Sports, owned by Alexander Jarvis.

“The bid is for £45million,” Bielby said. “That’s on the table subject to due diligence. The fans will fund some of that, Alexander Jarvis’s institutional investors are putting substantial funds in and Sportyco will also be putting funds in.

“The intention is that there will be a supporters’ director on the board, the fans will have board representation. Every club should have that as a matter of course anyway.”

When asked what percentage of the £45m the fans would have to contribute, Bielby said: “We don’t know yet, it could be quite a small amount.

“It might be £4/5million. It’s absolutely all in the air at the moment. That isn’t key to it because the institutional investors will fund the bulk of this and there will be no crowdfunding for fans.

“Sportyco are a blockchain company and they do do bitcoins, but it’s not going to be a coin offering because that’s too complex and takes too long.”

SportyCo, who sponsor LaLiga side Espanyol, hope to outbid the Duffen consortium, whose exclusivity agreement with the club ended after weeks of negotiations on September 30.

“As far as the Trust is concerned we’ve already achieved our aim, which was to put Hull City Supporters Trust at the forefront and get them involved with new owners,” Bielby said.

SportyCo said in a statement: “SportyCo, backed by UK/US investor consortium and Hull City Supporters Trust, is preparing a £45million bid for Hull City AFC.

“The deal structure will see a consortium of UK/US investors and Hull City AFC fans working together to ensure the club’s future success, by including fans into the ownership structure of the club.”

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