Aldershot Town: Terry Owens proposes fan ownership model

Aldershot Town's EBB Stadium

Aldershot Town supporters' trust are advocating a community ownership model for the club.

The relegated League Two side are in administration with debts of £1m.

Shots Trust chairman Terry Owens told BBC Surrey: "We need to find out whether the Aldershot supporters and the community have the stomach for it.

"We have launched a survey to find out what the appetite is. If sufficient funds are not pledged we may seek board representation from any new owner."

Owens founded Aldershot Town in 1992 following the liquidation of the old Aldershot FC.

Quantuma Restructuring, who were appointed as administrators of the Hampshire outfit on 2 May, said on Monday that "there have been on-going and productive conversations with a few interested parties and we are interested in talking to anyone with a genuine interest in buying the club."

Owens believes fan ownership similar to Portsmouth, AFC Wimbledon, Exeter and Wycombe would benefit Aldershot.

"The reason we are doing it is simply because we believe community ownership works," he said.

"Clubs like Pompey, AFC Wimbledon, Exeter and Wycombe Wanderers, along with Wrexham and Chester in the Conference, have all turned this model into positive ownership.

"There is no guarantee of success on the pitch but when things do not go well they can recover because they are run sustainably off the pitch. That is the key issue."

Owens said the Shots Trust "have had great success" since they launched an appeal on Tuesday for fans interested in the model to come forward.

"You'd probably need half a million pounds to really come to terms with the administrator," he said.

"We have had 300 responses from supporters, of which 97% were Aldershot fans and 95% were willing to invest to support the community ownership.

"Within 24 hours we raised pledges going into a six-figure sum.

"We are going to do more. This thing will roll and the wave will get bigger."