Tuesday 4th May 2021

”THE prospect of a bright new future.”

That was what Dumbarton chairman John Steele claims the club now have after the takeover by Cognitive Capital Ltd which was announced at the weekend.

Addressing club and local media ahead of tonight’s game against Peterhead, Mr Steele said he was “encouraged” by what he had heard from Henning Kristoffersen, who has been leading the takeover.

Cognitive Capital Ltd became the club’s major shareholder on Friday, with a further statement issued earlier today.

He said: “I suppose that it means that we now have the prospect of a bright new future.

“Now we have an opportunity to move onwards and upwards. It is fair to say we have been encouraged by the noises and input being given to us by Henning.

“Henning and the consortium have been leaving us to our own devices and have kept their distance all the way through the negotiations.

“Once the season has finished, whether good, bad or indifferent, there will be a Zoom call when we will look at the way forward and they will give us a lot more of their thinking on the project they have in mind.

“From the board’s perspective we have only had positive energy and it is far to say that what is being offered has to be something that we can embrace and endorse.

“After all of my own discussions with Henning and his wife (Kamila) , which have gone on between one and two years, I am personally persuaded that they do have good intentions for the football club.”

Mr and Mrs Kristoffersen are two new directors who will join the board of the club, along with architect Neil Dermott and financier Robert Roche.

One aspect of the plans for the club, as outlined today, is to reignite plans to situate a new stadium at Young’s Farm.

Mr Steele outlined that for anybody to become a director of Dumbarton FC, they must pass a fit and proper person test from the club and the governing bodies of Scottish football.

He continued: “There have been processes that have expended a lot of money. Not only have they (the owners) been engaging with us, but behind the scenes, they have tried to resurrect the original Brabco plans.

“They have invested a lot of time and money and I am personally encouraged. Even with the way the last few weeks have gone results-wise, they have remained committed and have now made the jump to ownership.

“They have told me they can make the proposed stadium viable. I am not privy to the nuts and bolts of the financial model but it is something they have had on the table and have been working on since they became interested.

“I am told that their discussions with West Dunbartonshire Council over the last few months have encouraged them to proceed with Young’s Farm, on the basis that the housing element has been deleted.”

And when asked if supporters would have the opportunity to engage with the new owners and directors, Mr Steele responded: “The answer to that is undoubtedly yes.

“I know already that one of their priorities is to engage not just with supporters and the Sons Supporters Trust, but all the elements that are the fabric of our club.

“They also want to engage with the local community and see the new facility as being community-led.

“Henning has a football involvement and has had football involvement not only in Norway but also in Scandinavia.

“My instinct is that it (the project) is deliverable.”

More from the Sons chairman on other matters relating to the club tomorrow.

Andy Galloway

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