Lancashire County Cricket Club has announced the launch of its first retail bond to help it raise £3 million.
Cricket fans and investors would need to lock their money away for five years and have a minimum of £1,000 to invest.
In return, the bond offers 5% interest paid in cash and a further 2% in vouchers which can be redeemed against the club’s international and domestic tickets and hospitality products, including food and beverage packages and also membership fees.
The returns on offer compare well with the average rate available on a tax-free Isa. According to financial information website Moneyfacts, the average Isa rate has fallen from 1.66% to a “miserable” 1.53% over the last year.
But unlike cash held in banks and building societies, the bond does not have the protection of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) which pays out up to £85,000 to a consumer if the financial firm they have money with goes bust.
Explaining why it has launched the bond, the club said it is aiming to raise £3 million to help fund development of a new four-star branded hotel to replace the existing Old Trafford Lodge.
Lancashire County Cricket Club’s last financial year saw record operating profits of £3.54 million.
Club CEO Daniel Gidney said: “Our vision is for Emirates Old Trafford to provide one of the best sports, entertainment and business experiences in world cricket.
“An attractive, contemporary hotel that will appeal to corporate visitors and private customers alike is central to this aim.”
Lancashire County Cricket Club honorary treasurer Les Platts added: “The funds raised by the Cricket Bond will help us realise our ambitions while making a real difference to the future of cricket in this county.”
Applications for the bond are due to close at 1pm on Monday October 27 and will be considered on a “first come, first served” basis, the club said.
With large existing fan bases, launching a retail bond is becoming an increasingly popular way for sporting institutions to raise finance.