Second company confirms interest in buying Rochdale AFC after shareholders vote at EGM

Date published: 08 March 2024

Following last night's (7 March) Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM), where shareholders approved the issue of nine million new shares, Rochdale AFC has said that a Letter Of Intent (LOI) to purchase the club has been received from another American firm, The Football Club LLC.

The club has confirmed that all five resolutions proposed at the EGM have been passed by shareholders, although the final figures for each resolution have not yet been confirmed, the threshold for each was confirmed to have passed at the meeting.

The club directors announced last month that the club is looking for an investor to gain 90% of the club at a cost of £2 million so it can continue.

Chairman Simon Gauge – who became involved in the club in June 2021 – has put in more than half a million pounds over the last few months to keep the club going, but says he has now reached his credit limit.

Without investment, the fan-owned club will be forced into liquidation after years of “perilous” finances.

In a statement released last month, Gauge said Dale’s “major asset” was the stadium, but had “little else of financial value.”

Describing the club as “asset-rich and cash-poor,” he revealed he and his family have subsidised the club with £566,000 to “buy time to find investment to take the club forward.”

Gauge explained there have been several barriers to investment, including “club management, level of debt, the financial situation and uneconomical leases.”

Gauge said: “We are in talks with interested parties, but they will not move forward until the conditions for investment are in place. This EGM is essential to achieving the required conditions that an investor wants.

“If it isn’t passed, the threat of liquidation at the end of March is very real. The passing of this resolution does not guarantee saving the club, but it will certainly give it a fighting chance.”

The club announced last week that an American firm with a 'track record in sporting investments' had submitted a letter of intent to buy the club, making this latest announcement from The Football Club LLC the second group to reach this stage.


The Football Club LLC has released the following statement:

The Football Club LLC (TFC) is a collective of professionals from the US and UK with a love of football and expertise in management, property development, tech entrepreneurship, finance, data science, business development, law, marketing, and more. It is led by two passionate footballers Justin Corrado and David Dwyer.

"Rochdale AFC has a storied legacy and a loyal fanbase, including devoted shareholders who have made a sacrifice in support of their club,” said Justin Corrado, managing partner of TFC. “Our goal is to rejuvenate Rochdale AFC in partnership with the fans and community. TFC proposes to provide financial investment, support for players and coaches, and to put a football and business plan in place that will drive results on the pitch.”

TFC looks forward to releasing more information on its strategy for the club on 14 March 2024. It includes a plan to return 5% of the club’s shares to the Dale Trust. They also plan to grant the Dale Trust a golden share, which would allow them to protect the name, colours, and badge of the club in perpetuity.

Justin and David worked with club leadership to develop their proposal over two months. In addition, they spent time in Rochdale in early February attending a match, meeting the club directors, and watching the team train. They look forward to returning to discuss their proposal and expand on their plans for the club with the board and the Dale Trust.

“As a Lancashire lad, I first stepped into Spotland when I was 10 to watch Dale play Manchester United. I recently attended the games against Dag & Redbridge and Wealdstone. I’ll be in the Sandy Lane End on Saturday, and I’m particularly looking forward to the away game at Oldham on 6 April,” said David Dwyer, Partner at TFC.

Adding, “TFC isn't driving a bottom line-based strategy across a portfolio of clubs – we’re a group of business leaders who prioritize transparency and accountability who are committed to seeing Rochdale AFC succeed.”

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