Youth body bids for soccer club

Youth charity Weston Spirit is leading a £5 million bid to buy Nationwide Football League club Tranmere Rovers.

Fans group Tranmere and Wirral Football Supporters' Trust voted last weekend to set up a feasibility study into the plan, which will be chaired by the charity's project manager Kylie Noonan.

A community consortium of supporters, local residents and the local council will raise funds for the buyout bid.

Weston Spirit, which was founded in 1988 by Falklands veteran Simon Weston, wants to use the club as a "focal point of community regeneration" through a variety of services and activities including a youth centre.

"At present the football club is only used once every two weeks, but we want to use it 365 days a year," said the charity's strategic director and co-founder Paul Oginsky. "There could be a youth centre, a conference centre, a restaurant and a cinema. We want to build a cluster of different voluntary groups, giving people a reason to come all the time."

Tranmere Rovers is being sold by businessman Peter Johnson following the drastic fall in income caused by the collapse of ITV Digital. He wants to recoup his £5 million investment in the club.

Oginsky said the community bid could become a model for other professional football clubs.

"The collapse of ITV Digital was seen as a disaster but it could be good for football clubs and local communities. It could also be the most exciting development in youth work in 20 years as 80 per cent of Tranmere's fan base is under-25," he said.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in
RSS Feed

Third Sector Insight

Sponsored webcasts, surveys and expert reports from Third Sector partners

Third Sector Logo

Get our bulletins. Read more articles. Join a growing community of Third Sector professionals

Register now