Alternative finance helps ex-footballer

Sam Cordon

June 28, 2013

The Academy has been set up in Leeds by former Liverpool defender and Leeds United Captain Dominic Matteo and will give keen secondary school football players the chance to be coached by former Scotland international footballer.

Having been turned down for funding from mainstream banks Matteo turned to alternative finance and was able to arrange a privately funded loan via West One Loan’s peer-to-peer lending scheme and introducers Intelligent Loans.

Duncan Kreeger, director at West One Loans, said: “Every week we see reports that businesses are struggling for mainstream finance.

“This example makes things all the more real. It’s a shocking example of a solid business plan that was simply rejected by mainstream lenders.

“But now, peer-to-peer finance has enabled an economically sound business to get off the ground. It’s an uplifting business that will really benefit the local community.”

Matteo is already coaching 80 promising youngsters and expects the Academy to be running at full capacity by July, when it will offer up to 100 places on its summer football courses.

Matteo said: “Projects like this are a great way for sportspeople to get involved with the next generation.

“Hundreds of kids are going to get a chance to stretch their game to another level. But we all need the right equipment to play at the top of our game.

“With busy school schedules – and the British weather – that means indoor facilities are vital for quality coaching. We need to offer a year round facility, with all the right equipment.

“However, just like so many small businesses, we were turned away by the mainstream banks. No business can get started without basic finance.

“Now, with this loan, I can really look forward to doing what I do best and, as an academy, offering a seriously competitive package.

“We’ve already got 80 really promising youngsters signed up, and the few remaining spaces are really filling up fast.”

This is the latest example in a long line of small businesses that have been able to get started with the help of alternative finance.

A recent poll of financial intermediaries found that business loans by alternative lenders have significantly outpaced mainstream commercial finance in the last twelve months.

Bank of England figures released in April revealed a 5.2% drop in mainstream business loans in the first quarter of 2013.

Meanwhile, financial intermediaries reported a 16% quarterly growth in short-term commercial loans secured against real estate assets, according to a recent survey of 350 brokers carried out by West One Loans. This expansion brings commercial alternative lending to a new record high.

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