I speak on behalf of the Shankly family when I say that we are wholeheartedly behind The Spirit Of Shankly. - Karen Gill, March 2008
Spirit of Shankly has joined forces with Partners Credit Union to offer a number of financial services, including an SOS Season Ticket Loan, to its members and associate members. Members are also able to save a regular amount of money towards the anticipated £500 "entry level" for a supporter investment proposal to Liverpool Football Club.
It’s a not-for-profit, co-operative, financial institution which is owned and controlled by its members – one member, one vote. All members must share a common bond, often the area in which they live or their place of work. Members join and save money together, and this then becomes available to lend out to other members only, at affordable rates.
Credit Unions offer an easy way of saving as well as access to affordable loans – plus they are local and ethical. In addition, Credit Unions insure your savings and loans at no cost to you and offer various other products and services. If the Credit Union has any surplus funds at the end of the financial year, after taking into account running costs, taxes and reserves, then this is shared equally amongst the members in the form of an annual dividend.
To become a reality, our supporter ownership campaign has had to address the issues of affordability and establishing a secure mechanism for holding supporters’ funds. A Credit Union complements the Spirit of Shankly’s aims and principles and will enable everybody to get involved in the supporter ownership of Liverpool Football Club. You can save as little or as much as you like and take advantage of many of the other benefits of being a Credit Union member.
Any money being saved with the Credit Union is totally safe, secure and protected and because it is a co-operative organisation, it works for everybody who is a member and not external shareholders.
It was far too lengthy, complex and costly for SOS to establish its own Credit Union, so we contacted Partners, one of the largest Credit Unions in the country which has been established for over 17 years. They are a successful, stable and sustainable organisation and currently any SOS members or associate members who live or work in Merseyside can join. It is hoped that Credit Union legislation will be revised later this year at which point we hope to be able to offer Credit Union membership to all SOS members, wherever they live.
Membership of the Liverpool Supporters’ Union (SOS) is our common bond and by joining the Credit Union you automatically become an associate member (full membership is £10 per year). We have worked together for a number of months to offer organisational membership of Partners via SOS and as a result of this we will be known as ‘Partners Credit Union – Spirit of Shankly Division.
You can join the Credit Union by completing a simple form and opening your main Credit Union Share Account, agreeing to save at least £2.00 per week in that account. This is your own personal savings account and can be used for whatever you wish. This is also the account linked to Partners' Multiplier Loans.
By opening your main Credit Union Share Account you become eligible to open the SOS Share Account (again saving as little or as much as you like). Because it was set up to enable supporters to save towards a share in a supporter ownership scheme or, in the meantime, season tickets and other one-off expenses, the SOS Share Account only allows one withdrawal of funds per calendar year and will not attract a dividend. Pending developments, these restrictions may change in due course.
The SOS Share Account and Season Ticket Loan are only available to members who join the credit union through the SOS partnership.
Once your application has been received you will be sent all the relevant information you need.
Members of SOS will be consulted on the details of any investment negotiations and any proposals for a supporters' share in Liverpool Football Club that may subsequently emerge. Without the approval of our members, no proposals will be agreed or acted upon.
Once our members have agreed to approve a supporter investment, it is completely your decision whether you choose to use the money that you have saved in your SOS Share Account to invest in that supporter ownership scheme. The money you have saved remains yours and cannot be released unless you give your permission for this to happen to Partners Credit Union.
SOS believes that £500 represents a viable "entry level" for supporters wishing to invest in a supporter ownership scheme. As such we envisage our proposals will be based around a sum of £500 per share. In the event of an opportunity arising for supporters to invest in a stake in Liverpool Football Club, those members of the Credit Union paying into an SOS Share Account who have not yet managed to save £500 will be able to, if eligible, borrow the balance they require from the Credit Union or they may choose to carry on saving in order to purchase their share at a later date.
While the Credit Union provides an opportunity to save towards an investment in supporter ownership, SOS hopes it will also provide a means of making other major expenses, such as season tickets and European finals (in due course!) more affordable to supporters. Towards this aim, we have been able to work with Partners Credit Union to offer our members Season Ticket Loans.
To be eligible for this loan you need to have been a member of the Credit Union for 10 weeks and to have been paying money into your SOS Share Account on a regular basis. Up to £2,000 (per family) is available to borrow and the loan must be repaid within 12 months.
Loans will be paid direct to Liverpool Football Club or, if you prefer, directly to a credit card account if the season ticket has been purchased in this way. The rates available for the loan are much cheaper than those of credit cards.
Please note that documentation or a credit check will be required to verify the loan and no cash payments are available.
As a Credit Union member you will be able to take advantage of other Partners products and services.
In addition, because of the uniqueness of credit unions, your savings and loans are covered by FREE insurance. This means in the event of your death, your next of kin will receive double what you have in savings and your loan will be paid off. As with all of our products and services, terms and conditions do apply and you should check upon application what those are.
The money you save in the Credit Union is safe and secure and cannot be accessed or used by anyone else. This money is yours and yours alone.Members can close their accounts at any time (unless they have a loan in force which they must pay in full at the time of closure).
The information Partners hold about you and your accounts is totally confidential and they will not divulge details of your accounts to anyone but you.
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