Peterborough United chose bond so fans can benefit from helping club improve 'no longer fit for purpose' Weston Homes Stadium

Giving Peterborough United fans the chance to benefit from helping to drive the club forward was the deciding factor in creating the new bond, Chief Executive David Paton has said.

By Ben Jones
Thursday, 12th May 2022, 5:02 am
Updated Thursday, 12th May 2022, 5:18 pm
The Weston Homes Stadium.
The Weston Homes Stadium.

Last week, the club, along with Tifosy Capital and Advisory, launched a bond scheme for supporters, as well as interested investors, to help raise funds to support the redevelopment of the West Homes Stadium.

The bond has a minimum investment of £500 and is effectively a loan to the club which returns interest fixed at 9% each year. There is also a 15% cash bonus on offer if Posh get promoted back to the Championship before the 2026/27 season.

A range of other perks, up to and including a VIP matchday lunch with the chairman and owners, as well as a meet and greet with the team, are on offer depending on how much is invested into the bond.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Pre-registration of interest is open until May 15. All of the details are available at: www.theposh.com/news/announcing-peterborough-united-bond.

Tifosy has carried out similar bonds with QPR and Norwich City and Posh hope to benefit by adding rail seating to the London Road End terrace; a requirement for the club’s Championship return, creating a new sports bar at The Venue as well as using any surplus funds to finance the planning application process for the new proposed arena on the Embankment. The initial target is to raise £1.5m.

Chief Executive David Paton has stressed the importance of these improvements and defended the club’s decision to install rail seating despite relegation to League One, where full terracing is permitted. The club had to make the decision in February and are firmly focusing on the future.

He said: “It’s important we invest in our stadium, we are here for at least five years, hopefully no more than that, and we have to make enhancements. It’s an old lady that needs some repair on a regular basis. The safe standing will help the fan experience in the LRE end, we’re also looking at additional resources to help fans get a pie and a beer at half time quicker and easier.

"The stadium is no longer really fit for purpose, it still clearly holds its own, as we saw against Manchester City, it can create a great atmosphere, however I can’t generate the annual revenue I want to from non-matchdays.

"We had to make a decision (on safe standing) before we knew where we were going to be next year. We’re absolutely aiming at being in the top six next season, ideally top two, with the view of being promoted back to the Championship. We have to follow a forward plan, we can’t just stand still.”

Peterborough United’s owners have financed several multi-million pound projects in the past couple of years, including the building of a new dome at the training ground to allow the club to attain Category 2 status for their academy and the purchase of the Weston Homes Stadium from the council.

This time though, the club will be seeking capital from fans/investors; a move Mr Paton has said is commonplace in any industry- with the added bonus of giving the club’s fans a chance to benefit from the club’s continued growth.

He added: “The reason we are going via the bond is to give the fans the opportunity to benefit from helping the club. We could have gone to an external institution, and we’d have had to pay an interest rate that would have gone to the institution but doing it this way, the fans are the beneficiaries. It’s not just for the fan base either, it’s for anybody that wants to invest in a fixed income instrument such as this bond.

“This isn’t for everybody though, it’s important to take some independent advice. If you don’t think you can afford it, you shouldn’t do it. You have to be financially responsible and we’re only asking those that are interested and willing to invest and take a level of risk that comes with investing in a financial instrument and all investments carry a level of risk.

“The owners have put a lot of money into the club already. This is a capital project; most capital projects in any business would be financed by debt of some description and we are doing nothing different on this occasion.

“In five years’ time, I want to be opening the embankment stadium venue, opening it to the fans and to the people of Peterborough; creating a community focused venue and also becoming a destination of choice for national businesses to hold their conferences and events and drive footfall into the city of Peterborough for the city’s benefit.

“Where the new venue will come into its own is conferencing and events, potentially a hotel, long-term rental of office space and a potential collaboration with the university, which could generate millions per annum that we just don’t have now."

RELATED