Falkirk Chairman Gary Deans delighted with outcome of shareholders vote
Falkirk FC Chairman Gary Deans says he is delighted with the result at last night’s AGM which opens the door for major investment in to the club.
Shareholders passed a resolutions which opens to door for American investors Phil and Carrie Rawlins to make a significant cash injection which will be crucial in securing the clubs aim of a return to the Championship this season and eventually the Premiership.
Speaking to the Falkirk Herald, Deans said: “I’m thrilled this motion has passed as it was essential to the future well-being of the club and gives us a great platform to build form.
"It's not just about investing in the first team though, it's about the vision for the club and the infrastructure around it, whether that's developing youth or the long term physical infrastructure and what we need to do to support that and the kind of club we want to be."
The financials from the previous season were positive for the club who made a profit over the financial year of £269k despite the season being cut short with a large part of income coming from residual deals as part of the transfers of Will Vaulks and Tony Gallagher.
Before the resolution was passed the directors had in place a plan to see the club through the current season, working on the ‘worst case scenario’ basis of fans not being allowed back in at all this campaign, and gaining promotion to the Championship.
Now with this new investment the medium term future of the club and its goals has been secured.
"We've got a plan to get us through this season,” said Deans.
"The new investment from the fans and the Rawlins will help that and it also opens the possibilities for next season.
"Several other clubs have said their worry is not for this season but for next, this money does give us a bit of leeway in going out and recruiting new players.
"When we get people in the infrastructure at the club is a huge selling point but at the moment we're League 1 and a lot of players want to play at a higher level so it's not as easy as just going out and bringing in whoever we want, Lee and David have a structured approach to recruitment.
"If you look at the kind of boys they've brought in this season they've done really well.
"We need to trust their process and not just fling money at it - that doesn't work without a good structured process.
"The new investment gives us financial security and breathing space, right now we're focused on the day to day basis and you just have to take it week to week as things change so rapidly.
“We don't know when fans will be back and when we can have hospitality back which is an important event stream for us.
“The situation we're in now could be what we face for the rest of the season and that's what we're are planning for.”
Deans also spoke of what the Rawlins bring to the club other than the financial backing in terms of their experience in the game once they take their seats on the board.
"The proposal at the moment is to have both sit on the board of directors, the knowledge they bring and the network they have will be as valuable as the cash investment.
"Phil has a lot of football experience from his years in the game while Carrie has a lot of external business experience as well.
"We need greater diversity on the board and look forward to having a female voice in Carrie joins us but we will still look to further increase the diversity on the board."
The passing of the resolution has also opened the door for the board to form a close working relationship with a new fan lead organisation which is currently being developed by a number of groups including Bairns Trust, Equity Bairns and Bairn for Life.
"A group of people are working on this,” said Deans.
"As a club we want to see a supporters group we can work in partnership with to take the club forward that isn't just seen as a source of money but a way of engaging with the fans that lets them have a say.
"It's about connections with the club that we can trust them to run, what do fans want to see and how do we enhance them to work on these kinds of things?
"We can't do everything and allowing that fans group to have more responsibility binds us together more and that can only be a good thing.
"It's in their hands at the moment, we're encouraging them and helping where we can and are optimistic to have a partnership in place with this group by early 2021."
Finally, Deans paid tribute to everyone who helped get this resolution passed and to every shareholder, supporter and member of the local community who have supported the club over a difficult few months.
"It feels like a real watershed for the club and I'm delighted to have been part of getting to this point.
"We've pulled people together positively and every shareholder has played their part here, It's put a lot of division behind us and gives us a platform going forward.
"I don't want to talk about the divisions of the past, this felt like a really unifying moment with the fans and shareholders willing this over the line.
"It gives us great confidence to take the club forward and make the steps that we need to.
"Whether it's from buying 50/50 tickets, season tickets, not asking for refunds when the season was cut short - it's all been hugely helpful in keeping us in a good place to take things forward.
"That also allowed us to tell David and Lee they could go and bring in the players they needed to win this league.
"The focus hasn't been on cutting costs, the opposite actually, it has been on building quality and giving us the best chance of winning the league.
"The fans and the local community have played a huge part in that - the club and the community are inseparable."