Co-operative economy

Super feature by Larry Elliott in today’s Guardian on co-operatives – drawing on Barca, the report we published with Supporters Direct, and the Co-operative Economy 2010.

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    As the Club nears its 125th anniversary in September, it now begins an equally historic process taking it from private ownership to a democratic model of one member, one share, one vote.

    This is believed to be the first time that an English club has achieved a universally agreed, smooth handover from private to cooperative ownership.

    LCFC, the new Community Benefit Society which now assumes control, was formed by a group of local fans and business professionals: – Rooks125. It was this group who approached the club earlier in the year with proposals for community ownership.

    The initial membership of LCFC is, so far, composed of a group of around fifty people who have either come forward as significant benefactors for the new approach or who have been in the team running the club’s day-to-day operations over the last year. Membership will be opened up to one and all as soon as possible later in the season.

    The Rooks were featured on BBC South Today on Wednesday evening.

    The cameras turned up to cover the historic happenings at the Dripping Pan, showing how the club has embraced a new model of community ownership, going from private ownership to a democratic model of one member, one share, one vote.

    In the first month of the season, Lewes has already experienced a 46% leap in attendances, compared to last season. And this puts the Lewes fans top of the Blue Square Bet South league for increased attendances.

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