Jump to content
Note to existing users - password reset is required Read more... ×

Buncey

Members
  • Content Count

    2,846
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

1 Neutral

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. Buncey

    What was the point of Ed Balls?

    OK I'll bite... There is a way to read it. That is, the words I have written. Not your inference of it. If I wanted to say "he made the decision" - I would of. I did not. If you have misunderstood what I've said, that's off your back not mine. (p.s. definition of instrumental: "serving or acting as an instrument or means;useful; helpful.") Again, I never said the corporate governance issue was 'unusual'. That's your interpretation. I really have no idea how you leapt to that conclusion. Perhaps you have some perceived notion of what I was trying to say. I've got no idea why you seek to twist my words. I don't think I've wronged you at any point. Neither do I think I've said anything unreasonable. I've only tried to give a balanced viewpoint mixed in with some of my professional and personal experience. I'd hoped that readers might have found that interesting or helpful. Perhaps not. It seems I've touched a sore subject with a few posters for whatever reason.
  2. Buncey

    What was the point of Ed Balls?

    With respect Purple I am not. NCFC is a public company with a significant number of minority shareholders. I don't care for what other clubs do. We're not talking about Man City or Chelsea 100pc owned by billionaires and to which some consider a 'plaything'. In fact, the NCFC cannot act in the same way as those clubs precisely because it has a duty to shareholders other than the 'owners'. Regardless, good governance is good governance. I'm sure fans of Coventry, Bolton and even Ipswich would likely agree with that. I can't be alone in wanting Norwich to be run with more oversight than those clubs. Least of all as a shareholder! I also did not say Moxey was Balls's decision. It's very disappointing for you to say that. In fact, I'm saying quite the opposite! I trust you said it in error rather than to distort my words. You should know me better than to be some troll. Regardless, we don't know how the decision was made. But we know at the time Balls was performing both executive functions and chairman functions (which were never clarified). It's clear that he would be heavily involved in that decision. That is not some leap of logic. Maybe instrumental wasn't the right word. But I am only trying to give balance to some of the other comments (such as, the DOF was his idea and he made it happen). Anyway, that's enough for me for another year. I've gone well over my yearly quota of posts and have very much come to regret it.
  3. Buncey

    What was the point of Ed Balls?

    No offence Mr Squit but no need to be rude. I know for a fact (ITK) that he wasn't contactable for most of that specific day.
  4. Buncey

    What was the point of Ed Balls?

    Well I was coy with my wording. But deliberate. Which comes down to the rather boring topic of corporate governance. (I'm a forensic accountant by trade). At the time of the Moxey hiring, Mr Balls was acting both as Chairman and doing 'some executive roles' for paid remuneration. It was never made clear what exactly those roles were. Regardless that's a big red flag in corporate governance and, in my view, in contravention of the UK Corporate Governance Code. Something Mr Balls would have been very familiar with given his previous role as Shadow Chancellor. (I made those views clear on this forum years ago). The reason it's an issue is the chairman's role is to provide critical oversight to the decision making of the company. It becomes very blurry when the chairman becomes part of that decision making. It's a stretch to say that the Moxey fiasco was down to this governance issue. But I certainly think it was a contributing factor in why it was such a dog's breakfast. Mr Balls has himself admitted that hiring Moxey was a mistake at a previous AGM. With regards to transfer deadline day. I don't, and that should be very obvious given what I've said above, expect the Chairman to be calling the shots. But, they should be there to critically challenge any major operational decisions. If, for example, we received an offer to sell our best player at well above market price, I'd want the Chairman to be making sure we as a club were making the right call by asking questions and analysing the options. Not something you can do when you are spending all day filming in a studio. None of this should be read as if I don't appreciate the role Mr Balls has performed. He appears to have done well given he stepped into the role during a difficult time for the club. However, any assessment must incorporate the good and the bad and avoid being clouded by our current short-term (though hopefully long-term!) success on the pitch. With all that said, one final point. This forum, and the public in general tend to lionise the senior management in companies. Few companies are run as dictatorships (and none should, it often ends very badly which I can professionally attest to). Decisions come down to the hard work to a collection of people. I was always very wary of the cult that built around McNally. And equally sceptical of the septic criticism Delia gets for that reason. Anyway, Mr Balls has come and gone. So will a new Chairman. Our fortunes will ebb and flow. Plus ca change.
  5. Buncey

    What was the point of Ed Balls?

    There'll be a few who will over egg his contribution. After all politicians are good at self-promotion. Granted he has a good network of contacts and people in the right places. That said on transfer deadline day 2016 he was busy dancing and not in Norwich seeing to business on arguably the most important day of the season. He was instrumental in bringing in Moxey which was a very costly mistake. Of course, he was also part of bringing in Webber and moving us towards the director of football model. How much that was 'his idea' is open to debate. Given Delia's historic statements advocating that model and our failed attempt with Joe Royle et. al in 2014.
  6. Oh for an edit button for my typos...

    In retrospect, "minor miracle" is perhaps too strong a word. More cutbacks and players sales are required. I''d imagine once the financial transition to a Championship club is more complete (i.e. most of the highest earning players have moved on) breaking even is a good possibility (that''d be, not in next year''s accounts, but the year after).

    That''s my bi-annual post done for now.
  7. After backing out the £12.2m for onerous contracts then total wages and salaries are at £34.0m.(£12.2m is a lot of money! This figure almost definitely Martin and Naismith. From my fag-pack maths, it probably Jarvis and Wildschutt and Oliveria too. My maths being: £39k pw = 12.2m / 52 weeks / 6 (that is, 6 years of contract payments, 1 for each, 2 for Oliveria). I think it clearly illustrates how painful bad transfers can be.

    Overall, the wage bill shows the club has been cost-cutting well. But as Purple says, there is still some way to go.

    This was a bumper year for player sales, £48m in total. This being coming from the sale of, amongst others, the Josh and Jacob Murphy, Maddison, Pritchard, Howson, Dorrans and Jerome. I very much doubt we will reach anywhere near that figure next year.

    That combined with the end of parachute payments (c.£17m) means the club will need a minor miracle to be profitable next year.

    One slight area of concern is the consistent decline in both our commercial and catering income. Perhaps understandable as we spend longer outside the PL. But historically, it''s been a feather in our cap compared to other Championship clubs. Careful stewardship of that part of the business is required.

    I think it''s worth crediting Webber and co. with some good work in getting money for players. Of those c.£48m in player sales, we''ve already brought in c.£25m in cash which has given us good leeway to reinvest into the squad. We''re due another c.£20m or so in cash within the next year, a further c.£22.5m thereafter. On the other side, we owe c.£8.8m in the coming year and c.£5m thereafter. This gives us a bit of room to pump into the squad if the right opportunity comes up. In short, I would say that ''the committee'' has done a good job balancing the conflicting cash and investment needs of the club.

    We''ve impaired (written-off) the value of players by about £9m. I suspect this is Wildschutt and Oliveria (I''m pretty sure Naismith and Jarvis have already been written down entirely). Generally speaking, the club has been pretty active in writing down players (the benefit of not having to ''worry'' about loses). This puts us in good stead going forward as any player sales are likely to result in accounting profits on disposal.

    The net current book value of the squad is £14m (down from £30m) and save for some big purchases, will likely tick down further. Our amortisation (the annual reduction in player values) was still high last year at c.£14.5m. As the value (purchase cost) of our squad moves towards the single-digit millions, I imagine this will be the last year of such a high charge.

    Some minor notes, director costs are also well down £100k vs £1.1m (£400k salary plus £700k pay-off to Moxey). There may be no, or nominal costs next year given that Steve Stone has left the club. As Purple notes, he still put £20k into the Canaries Bond. Though it appears Smith & Jones did not, they did however, loan the club £250k last year.
  8. Great news for the club.

    Two comments:

    1. On the number of investors/money raised; a rule of thumb is called the pareto principle (which applies to many walks of life). Broadly, roughly 80% of the money would have been raised by roughly 20% of the investors.

    2. A thanks to Van Wink on the waiting list. The information wasn''t explicit on what would happen if the bond was over-subscribed. Looks like first-come-first-serve. Bear in mind all that the club does have the ultimate right to reject your application (if something is wrong in your application for example).

    Thanks to all who put money in!
  9. If you''ve pre-registered you will now have access to the investment documents and be able to invest.

    I''ve read through the two documents: (i) Invitation Document; and (ii) Bond Instrument. I though I''d share some comments. Do bear in mind, I''m not an FCA-authorised IFA and I provide my comments for information purposes. It shouldn''t be considered a recommendation to either invest or not invest in the bond. While I believe all the information is accurate, it may include errors or inaccuracies. If you are considering investing, I would recommend speaking to a IFA and you should also consider your tax position. If you have questions about your tax position, think about speaking to a chartered accountant. With that out of the way...

    [Where I give a clause number, like 2.2, I''m referring to clause 2.2 of the Bond Instrument, the legal doc for the bond. Where I give a page number, like p33, I''m referring to the Invitation Document.]

    Some comments:

    - You''ve got to be over 18 to invest

    - If you decide to invest you have 14 days in which you can change your mind (statutory "cooling-off period")

    - You have to invest in multiples of £500

    - There''s no maximum (up to £5m)

    - The club has to raise £2m to issue, if it doesn''t it''ll return your money

    - There is no stated mechanism if the bond is over-subscribed (i.e. it doesn''t say if it''ll use first come first serve or proportionality). It can do what it pleases.

    - The use of proceeds is set out on p24 and p25 of the Invitation. If the club gets more than the £3.7m it plans to spend it on further works at Colney.

    - The intention of the raise appears to be pretty clear - the investment is to maintain Category 1 status for the Academy (mentioned numerous times, p21 p22 etc.)

    - The financials are at p26-30 in the Invitation. I won''t go on about finances but of note, the club has negative cash for the last two years. On p31 the Club states its a going concern, but to have a positive cash balance the Club will have to sell players in 18/19. The club is aiming to be cash neutral from 19/20 onwards excluding player sales (by reducing wages etc.)

    - The risks are set out on p36-38 of the Invitation.

    Bond terms:

    1. The bond is unsecured (that is, it is last in line for paying out and has no claims against the fixed assets of the Club). It''s issued by Norwich City Plc which is the parent company of the Club''s operations. On the other hand there are some relatively strong covenants to protect the bond holders (p33). These are:

    1a. Protection against extra dividends - the club can''t suddenly start paying extra dividends to the owners (5.1 and p34)

    1b. Protection against non arms-length transactions over £1m - the club can''t undertake to make less favourable transactions that aren''t arms-length (5.2 and p34). For example (and completely made up), paying Delia £2m for a guest appearance on TV on behalf of the club or buying all of Mr Foulger''s chickens for double the market price.

    1c. The club has to offer to redeem the bonds (at 101% of principal) if it sells "material assets" i.e. Colney or Carrow Road (6.2.2 and p34).

    1d. The club also has to offer to redeem the bonds (at 101% of principal) if the club has a change of control - roughly speaking if Delia and Mr Wynn Jones no longer control more than 50% of the shares in the club (6.2.1 and p34).

    2. Interest - is paid annually and in arrears (4.2). 5% in cash, 3% in club credit for a total of 8% on the OUTSTANDING principal. Both are considered interest for tax purposes. Your interest will be paid net of 20% tax (p35). The club interest can be used on tickets, hospitality, refreshments, merchandise and special events. It cannot be used towards season tickets. The credit lasts for 12 months and does not roll-over, "you use it or lose it" (p10).

    3. Promotion bonus - is 25% of the OUTSTANDING principal held as at 30/09 of the year the club is in the Premier League. It''s payable once only (4.4).

    4. Redemption - The bonds can be redeemed by the holder on the later of 5yrs or on the anniversary each year after the 5yrs (6.1.1). But if the club gets relegated in the 5th year, the club can push out the redemption to 6yrs (6.1.2). You have to give electronic notice (i.e. through tifosy website/portal) AT LEAST 6 months prior to the repayment date (i.e. before 4 and a half years are up) if you want your money back on the 5th anniversary. You''ll be given notice 1 month before the four and a half years as a reminder (6.1.2). You don''t have to redeem but...

    4a. The club can pre-pay up to all of the principal and accrued interest after one year. i.e. it can reduce the outstanding principal to nothing after one year is up. If the club has repaid all the principal, the outstanding principal is nothing and you''ll get no interest and no bonus. In short, the club can pay you back whenever it wants after year 1.

    5. The bonds are not transferable - you can''t buy and sell them (2.35). The mechanism by which they are transmitted via inheritance or bankruptcy is set out in clause 12. The bond cannot be held by more than one person except you can hold the bond in joint names if you are spouses (2.3).

    6. The bonds become immediately payable on default (administration, wind up or default on payment) (8.1).

    7. The bonds are probably SIPP-able, you need to contact your SIPP adviser and go via them to get the bonds in SIPP (p34).

  10. @GP''s Beard - you make some very good points. And its something I alluded to in my second post. The Club are looking at this bond issue because they need money. And they need money because they don''t have money. Now I''m not being facetious here, but if everything was hunky-dory and we were rolling in cash I doubt the club would want to spend all this money raising debt.

    If the bond is subscribed enough, then the club will get a bunch of money. Which it will then spend on the academy leaving the club again with no money. Except in 5 years, they''ll need to pay the bond holders back their money.

    So if you are going to invest in the bond, you need to believe the club is going to find someway to make money such that it has enough to pay you back in 5 years. The academy by itself isn''t going to make money - it doesn''t sell anything. As you point out, there''s only two real ways (that I can see) the club can make back the money needed: promotion or selling players.

    This is part of the reason why this bond is a difficult investment to fully understand. I have no idea whether we will get promoted in the next 5 years. And whilst we have some quite marketable players right now we could sell, you can''t guarantee you are going to be able to sell them at a good price. I think a lot of people''s decisions will come down to how much you ''believe'' in the club.

    I''m entirely speculating here, but this is my guess at why the club is doing this. The board have decided that our Academy facilities are vital to the sustainability of the club and that they need to be improved immediately. We don''t have the cash available now - but we will when we inevitably sell players in the summer. But using transfer receipts isn''t viable because: (1) the works need to be started asap, and we can''t wait to get the money in; and (2) the board are concerned it will look bad to the fans if sell, say, Josh Murphy and instead of reinvesting in the squad we build some new buildings with it. (even though, as you suggest, to pay back the bonds we may end up needing to sell players!)

    I also agree on the 3% credit interest. I don''t like these types of thing, because they are confusing, tricky for tax purposes and you aren''t really getting money, just some money off in the club shop.

    @Diane - You will be able to transfer the bond, the money won''t be lost.

    If a bond holder dies then it would go into their estate for inheritance tax/probate. At that point the executors of the estate should contact the trustees (Tifosy), asking either to transfer the bond to a new person or to redeem. Usually, when you subscribe for the bond you''ll receive a bond certificate. Attached to the certificate will be a form which you fill in and send to the trustees when you want to redeem your bond. There is also usually a slip which you can use to update your details (change of address etc.). Some issues are now all electronic - you can do all of it online - you can also often call to arrange for amendments, but usually you must redeem via the certificate form. I''m looking at prospectus I have on my computer and there was term setting out what you have to do if a bondholder dies.

    @Supermarket Sweep - usually the bonds are prohibited from being saleable on the open market. It will depend on the terms and conditions. For example, the bond prospectus I have on my computer says the following:

    "The Bonds are not transferable and cannot be sold or traded. The Bonds may only be redeemed by the original Bondholder."
  11. @Tilly - Thanks for this. And that sounds about right. I was thinking of putting a guess at the cost to the club, but I was worried I''d be plucking numbers out of thin air. Typically the costs of these types of issues are around 10% sometimes going up to 15-20% for more challenging ones. But, Tifosy are new on the block, and this issue brings a lot of publicity. If you had put a gun to my head I''d have said about 8% - 10% at the high end, 5% at a lower end. It''s even possible that we are getting this raise for a nominal fee, although I think that''s unlikely.

    @Platonic - As quoted from the Godfather: "One lawyer with a briefcase can steal more than a hundred men with guns."

    You always have to read the small print. I don''t think there will be any ''nasties'' in there, but you never know - never make assumptions. There was a very big legal case between Lloyds and bondholders. Lloyds raised some bonds during the financial crisis to keep it afloat at a very steep price. With things going well they wanted to early reedem the bonds and used a controversial mechanism in the agreement to redeem them at a lower price. Went all the way to the Supreme court with Lloyds winning - analysts estimated that it netted them a £1bn windfall.
  12. Sorry all, no idea why is keeps sending out all that garbled text - I''m only using the quote function (which used to work!)
  13. [quote user="Sooty"][quote user="BarclayWazza"]So much for self funding... they already want to borrow £3.5m which will cost approx £5m to repay. If we don''t get promoted, where is this coming from?

    Delia... Just accept for the greater good of the club that you do not have the resources to make us competitive and relinquish the club to someone who does. It''s your mismanagement that didnt sort this while we had Premier League money.

    I''m not committing any of my money purely because this is something that she should be funding as owner so it enables her to cling onto control which she has neither the finance or acumen to do us justice.[/quote]eh ?Do explainBunceyI cannot really see any risk ie the club going bustAs you said, banks would almost certainly not stump up (note to another post), even then the cost (interest) would be far higher.Once ''risk'' not mentioned is that at the moment 5% sounds a good return. Who knows where interest rates will be in the future so you bond may look a lower return come 3 years down the line.Even with £5m raised the interest paid out would still only be £250,000, plus the cost of the £5 in goods - truck as it was known in years gone by.however if this keeps the Cat 1 academy going those costs will be more that met by the FA funding of Cat 1. Looking at the quality (value) of players coming through Godfrey, Lewis, Cantwell, Mathews et al I can''t see this as being anything more than keeping that ''gold mine'' going whilst allowing as much as possible for the first team squad

    ps for the numpties .......... Delia/Wyn are the majority shareholders so why are you not whining that the rest of the ownners (shareholders) are not funding this ?[/quote]

    Hi Sooty, you raise a good point regarding interest rates. I''m often asked what I think will happen with interest rates and much to the annoyance of everyone I always say I have no idea. Even Mark Carney (Governor of Bank of England) doesn''t know (if the rest of the Monetary Policy Committee disagree with him!)

    Each person will have to look at their current circumstances, their mortgages, savings, other investments, not to mention their own feelings towards the club, to work out if investing is the right thing to do.
  14. [quote user=" Badger"]Thank you Buncey - very helpful.I don''t suppose you know whether it is possible to hold a mini bond within a SIPP?[/quote]

    Thank you Badger.

    Mini-bonds can usually be held in a SIPP. However, you will need to speak with your SIPP provider as not all providers allow it.
  15. [quote user="nutty nigel"]A question if yiure still around Buncey...

    Is it possible to buy these bonds as a syndicate dividing the cost among friends and family? If so are there any obvious drawbacks?[/quote]

    Thanks for the kind words Eddie.

    It is sometimes possible to buy these bonds in a syndicate (or via a company). However, sometimes these bonds are opened to individuals only as the are few more regulatory hurdles you have to go through if you want to issue to companies.

    There are two ways you could do a ''joint investment''.

    One is that you set up a limited company, each contribute money for shares and buy the bond through the company. This can be quite expensive, there''s quite a bit of paper work. And as mentioned before companies might not be able to buy (i.e. it''s individuals only).

    The second way, is for everyone to loan the money to one person who buys the bonds. Two issues with that - friends and family can fall out over money (it does strange things to people) so writing a short signed agreement is wise. Secondly, there are tax issues to consider around the interest as it will depend on your individual circumstances (and whether the money given to the bond holder is a gift or a loan).

    Either way, it would be wise to speak to an accountant about it.
×