Evo-Stik League Southern AFC Totton are set to follow in the footsteps of Hampshire neighbours Eastleigh to attract new investment and keep on growing by becoming a limited company.
Stags chairman Wayne Mew announced plans to make the transformation from a members’ club before Louis Langdown’s side secured a 3-1 win at Yate Town on Saturday to leapfrog their hosts and climb to fifth from bottom in the EVO-STIK League Southern Division One South & West table.
Selling the Testwood Stadium, pictured below, to AFC Totton Leisure Ltd in the summer of 2014 helped wipe out a mountain of club debt but the Stags still have significant overheads and members have already given the green light to the proposal.
After talking to AFC Totton Leisure Limited directors Steve Brookwell and Pete Harding about setting up the limited company, Mew is convinced the move is the best way to attract much-needed investment and boost their future financial stability.
The Stags chairman, who succeeded Andy Straker before Christmas when ill health forced his predecessor to stand down, told The Daily Echo: “When the previous regime resigned we weren’t financially destitute but it was obvious that increased funding was needed. But all the time Totton remained a members’ club, it was going to be difficult to entice in new investment.
“We felt the best way to go was to transfer from a members’ club to a limited company. We called a members’ meeting and they approved the motion and the timescale we’ve given the League and the FA is to have it done by the end of the season.
“The landlords are doing due diligence to see if they can come in and form the limited company for us. They’re looking through the accounts and myself and my wife Carolyn are sorting out all the finances. Hopefully, by the beginning of March, we can move things forward.
“We’re trying to ramp up use of the facilities on a daily basis and we’re beginning to operate more as a business so the club starts paying for itself. By becoming a limited company we will hopefully bring in more sponsorship. People won’t invest money if they’ve got no control over the club.”
He added: “We’re also trying to get the club’s name out in the community, sending out a monthly flier about what’s going on at AFC Totton. Not everyone’s on social media and a lot of people don’t even know we’ve got a function room here. We’re planning an open day and a sponsors’ day to get our name out there and ten members of our executive club have said they’ll pay up for next season.”