DUNFERMLINE fans moved a major step towards saving – and owning – their team yesterday after Pars United was named preferred bidder for both the club and stadium.
The alliance of fans groups welcomed the “tremendous” news and called for supporters to continue donating funds to ensure Dunfermline can come out of administration in good health.
The group was competing with one anonymous party for control of the club and East End Park, which were in administration under different companies.
BDO’s Bryan Jackson, who is administrator of the club, said: “This means that we can now move the process forward with Pars United, who have worked hard over the last few weeks and are now in the driving seat regarding the club. We will work closely with them as we present their bid to the creditors and, hopefully, win their backing to push for a CVA (Company Voluntary Arrangement).”
Pars United had set a target of raising £500,000 to buy the club, who were relegated from the First Division after being hit with a 15-point penalty afor going into administration in March.
Bob Garmory, who has been instrumental in its efforts, said: “It cannot be understated what a monumental effort the Pars fans have undertaken to get to this stage. Financial backing for the club has been relentless since we were placed in administration; in the first instance to ensure that the club didn’t fall immediately into liquidation; then to provide vital income to ensure that the club continued to trade and complete last season; and, now, continuing to raise funds to ensure that if we become owners of the club it is in the strongest possible financial position. Hundreds of families in west Fife and, indeed, around the world have given financial support to save a club whose history is embedded in their hearts.
“With the help of the people of Dunfermline and people who have Dunfermline at heart we intend to rebuild a sustainable football club based on supporter ownership, transparency and accountability.”
Margaret Ross, chairman of the Pars Supporters’ Trust, said: “Receiving preferred bidder status is a tremendous achievement and is an indication of the hard work put in by all Pars fans to prevent our club from being lost.” KPMG’s administrator, Blair Nimmo, who was put in charge of the stadium, said: “Today marks a significant milestone in the search for new owners of both Dunfermline Football Club and East End Park. We will now be focusing on the detail of the deal and look forward to working with all parties in the weeks ahead.”
Total club debts are believed to be about £12million with most of that thought to be due to East End Park Ltd and other companies also associated with majority shareholder Gavin Masterton and his family.