Behind the scenes roles have changed at Falkirk - but the Bairns are still assessing two offers for the club’s major shareholding.
Martin Ritchie updated fans a fortnight after his last ownership statement, but a decision which had been anticipated to be made this week, will have to wait.
In the meantime three of the club’s five directors have taken on roles within the club. Kieran Koszary is overseeing general management of the club while Andy Thomson continues to apply his background as a chartered accountant to the club;s finance and Lex Miller is now providing support to the Bairns’ football operations.
Former club chairman Mr Ritchie, who is acting as an impromptu spokesman during the transitional period the Bairns find themselves in, will leave the board next month once his tenure on the SPFL board ends at the league AGM.
His statement on June 1 pledged managerial changes with CEO Craig Campbell’s departure following just a few days after. It also revealed the Bairns’ cash reserve, which stood at more than £1m a few years ago, had run low, but this afternoon’s website briefing update claimed the potential gap in funds for new players will be made up by major shareholders and directors.
Mr Ritchie also pledged an update on ownership within two weeks of his statement at the start of this month and though there has been little public development he revealed the ‘small number’ on June 1 had become two interested parties, following the the decision postponement late last month and subsequent withdrawl of bids from American stockbroker Scott Davidson and a local consortium of fans, sponsors and business figures who were frustrated by the delays.
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His statement did not divulge the identity of either of the bids currently under consideration with rumours of interest from India, America and Italy.
It read: “The club had hoped to announce a preferred buyer for the club this week. Detailed discussions have been continuing apace with two interested parties, with the focus on ownership and leadership, structure and football strategy. The parties involved have clear plans for taking the club forward, both on and off the pitch.
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“The deal will require a future owner to give a legally binding commitment to a substantial investment in the club. Details of the negotiations remain confidential. As the outcome should lead to a change in control of the club to the new owner from the existing
shareholders, the major shareholders are taking the lead in these negotiations prior to making a recommendation to the board.
“Meanwhile, progress has been made regarding the player budget and player signings. In order to secure the signings of key players, the manager requested that his budget be increased beyond the amount generated in the break-even plan for next season. While it is expected that this increase in funds will come from the new buyer, to bridge any potential gap, major shareholders and directors have committed to put up the additional money if required. This means that the manager does not need to hold back on his plans until an ownership deal is concluded.
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“The departure of Craig Campbell, our former CEO, and role changes in then boardroom, have put pressure on the running of the club at our busiest time of the year.
“In this interim period until new owners are in place, Kieran Koszary has assumed a greater role in the general management of the club and directors Andy Thomson and Lex Miller have provided support in the areas of finance and football respectively.
“I would like to thank all our supporters for their continuing support. We fully appreciate the concerns after last season.
“These have been torrid times and uncertainty will remain until a new regime is in place. No-one is dragging their heels over change – the major shareholders and the directors want to see change in place as soon as possible.
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“But for the sake of everyone at the club, we have to be 100% sure that the new regime will deliver what our supporters deserve; a well-funded and sustainable club, with the ability to deliver a football strategy to get us to the Premiership.”
Pre-season training for the first team begins next Thursday.