Greenock Morton have taken a huge step towards fan ownership from the summer of 2021, with the club’s owners Golden Casket rejecting a more financially beneficial offer.
An agreement in principle has been reached between the current owners and Morton Club Together for the latter to take on around 90 per cent of the shareholding for a nominal sum.
In addition, Golden Casket, which is led by the current Morton chairman Crawford Rae, will write off all the club’s debt, understood to be upwards of £2million, but will retain ownership of Cappielow, renting it back to the club.
“The Rae family’s final act of devotion to the club is to hand it over to the fans, marking their last involvement in the financial responsibility and stewardship at GMFC,” Rae said.
Extensive work will take place over the next 12 months with the club and MCT working in tandem to ensure the fan group are in a strong financial position to lead Morton in a viable manner.
They have already contributed £50,000 to last season’s playing budget and raised more than £30,000 for the club during the coronavirus pandemic.
The time between now and next summer will allow MCT, which has 440 contributing members, to develop best practice and gain experience of running a football club by working with and learning from key staff.
Graham McLennan, MCT founder and director, said: “Our goal has been clear from the outset – we want to move Morton forward. We want a better team on the pitch. We want a better match day experience for everyone attending Cappielow. We want to listen to the fans and to communicate effectively with all fans, stakeholders, and partners.
“We are all Morton supporters; we all want what is best for the club and now is our chance to be that best for the club through community ownership.
“In April 2019, MCT was just an idea. Now, with 440 members, we have achieved so much and have an exciting future ahead of us. We would like to thank every single one of our members who has supported us so far.
“As we have always said, we encourage Morton fans from everywhere to join us on this journey, and we hope this announcement will encourage many more to come on board.”
Gordon Ritchie, MCT director, praised the current owners and chairman.
,“The faith that Golden Casket and the Rae family have shown in all of us cannot be underestimated and we thank them for that," he said.
"Twenty years ago the Rae family saved the club, and now their legacy will be a club at the heart of Inverclyde, owned by the people who love it most, the fans.”
Morton will begin their Championship campaign in October following last season’s seventh place finish.