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Haggerdoo

£3.5m Academy Fund - who's in?

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I like the idea and think that it benefits all parties.

One question: The target is 3.5 million, however the maximum limit is 5 million pounds. If we were to reach the limit, what would we spend the extra 1.5 million pounds be spent on?

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[quote user=" Badger"][quote user="Making Plans"]Would anybody invest in something that Ed Balls probably had a hand in dreaming up?[/quote]Perhaps because they trust his financial judgement more than yours?[/quote]My financial judgement says don''t go there if the offer is "unsecured", which it is, and Ed Balls is involved in it, which, given his "financial expertise" and his position within the Club, he probably is.

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[quote user="Mello Yello"]Would anybody invest in something that Ed Balls probably had a hand in dreaming up?

Perhaps because they trust his financial judgement more than yours?

Yeah that''s why Ed''s still a majority elected Labour hard nosed well admired and respected politician.......Oh wait?.....[/quote]

Currently - Senior Research Fellow at Harvard; Professor of the Policy Institute at King''s College London, Privy Counsellor

Previously lead economic writer for the Financial Times at 23; Chief Economic Adviser to the UK Treasury; Cabinet minister; Spectator Parliamentarian of the Year.

Yeh, he''s a real dummy! [:^)]

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I didn''t say he was a dummy.......so why spit yours out?

If he''s ''still all that'' - then why wasn''t he re-elected and retain his ''safe'' seat?.....Is it because the electorate are all ''Dummies''.....

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[quote user="Mello Yello"]I didn''t say he was a dummy.......so why spit yours out?

If he''s ''still all that'' - then why wasn''t he re-elected and retain his ''safe'' seat?.....Is it because the electorate are all ''Dummies''.....[/quote]
Well...for the most part...[:D]

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I thought I''d share some thoughts. As an introduction I''m a Chartered Accountant and a Member of the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments. And my professional career has been principally in advising private equity clients. Please note I''m not an FCA authorised financial adviser. The rest of my post is for information purposes and should not be considered to be advice recommending or not whether to invest in the bond. If you are considering making an investment, you should ensure you read all the documents yourself and conduct your own research. You should think about getting advice from and FCA authorised independent financial adviser. With that out of the way...

Bonds like this, often called "mini-bonds" are an increasingly popular way for small private companies to raise money. In this post I''ll talk about the details of the bond. I''ll do another post about why the board may have gone down this route. At the moment, the bond prospectus isn''t available, so we don''t have all the information - it looks like it will be published on the 28th March.

The first thing to note about the bond is that it offers 8% interest paid each year. This is a high rate compared to high street fixed savings deposits. However, there are three major drawbacks to this.

Firstly, 3% of the "interest" is in the form of credit with the club - and it appears, from the limited information available, that it can''t be used towards Season Ticket costs (the major expenditure for the majority of fans). Secondly, at a high street bank you have the protection of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) which means that if you bank goes bust you get up to £85,000 back. This bond has no such protection.

Secondly, it appears (although there isn''t enough information yet to be certain) that this bond is unsecured. i.e. even though you''ve lent the money to fund the Academy''s development, you have no collateral over it or any other assets of the Club. If the Club goes into administration, you''ll be the last people owed money, and would likely get little to nothing back.

Is it likely that the Club would go under? That of course is a very difficult question. The club, as discussed when the finances were released, is having cash difficulties since relegation. Also, given the historical position of the majority owners towards debt, the club wouldn''t likely be issuing this bond if it had the cash available to develop the Academy facilities. I have personally invested in a mini-bond of a company that has recently gone into administration (I successfully redeemed before the fall of the company, many others have not). And there have been numerous instances of other companies failing and leaving bond holders with a loss.

Thirdly, you have to tie up this money for 5 years. Usually with mini-bonds, there is absolutely no way you can get the money early (unlike with some savings accounts where you can, with a penalty). We don''t know the terms yet, but if you are thinking of investing, you have to be prepared to not have the money invested for at least 5 years, with no way of "getting it out".

Another thing to consider is tax. As other have noted, lower rate tax payers (20%) have a savings allowance of £1,000; higher rate (40%) have an allowance of £500. Any aggregate savings interest below this amount is tax free. If, when you add up all your interest for the year, it is above the allowance you will have tax to pay. This will probably (although I can''t say for certain) include the 3% credit, as this is counted for interest for HMRC''s purposes (not that, if it doesn''t meet certain criteria the whole 3% credit may be taxable as it won''t be covered by the allowances). The interest is payable each year. Also, it''s not clear whether the 3% credit rolls up (i.e. if you don''t use it, you lose it). If you currently earn significant interest income, you should carefully think about your tax position, as you may need to do a self-assessment tax return, please speak to an accountant (preferably a charted accountant!)

The 25% bonus is a particularly unusual element of this bond. It would appear quite generous as there is a possibility (depending on how pessimistic you are!) that the club will reach promotion in the next 5 years. Do bear in mind however, that if the Club is promoted, then the need for this bond likely disappears and the club may redeem the bond early. We don''t have the details yet, but read carefully about the early redemption clause - I''m speculating here, but conceivably the club could redeem the bond the day / match before we are promoted making no bonus payable (although that would be a pretty odious thing to do... but I''ve worked for many companies that do that kind of thing).

Finally, there is of course the emotional element to this bond. You would be helping the Club we all love, at a particularly difficult time. There is an element of pride in seeing us build facilities for our Club''s future. In addition, there are a number of "Investor Privileges", some of which are things that are not generally commercial available and may attract a large sentimental value for many fans. When it comes to these sentimental things, do try to weigh up how much the are worth financially to you, and what price you''d be willing to pay for them were it not for this investment. That way you can try to work out what the return on the investment is and compare that to the risk you''d be picking up.

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Thanks for posting this Buncey. I''m sure everyone appreciates your time. Please post more as the details are known.

On a personal note hope you are well buddy and it''s great to see you are doing so well ☺

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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?

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This is post number 2 -

why would the board issue this mini-bond?

In short, you issue bonds like this because you need money. The club has been in a difficult cash position since relegation, requiring at times overdrafts to cover times when cash is low.

Why now?

The club could possibly fund the development out of transfer fees. But there are two problems with this. 1. Fans like to see money from player sales invested in the team, not into "bricks and mortar". 2. The transfer fees we receive are likely to be towards the end of August (when the transfer window closes) and we may not receive some fees for a year/number of years as many transfers are now on structured payments (i.e. you don''t get all the money upfront). By raising money now, the club can do the developments perhaps before the start of next season and therefore get the benefit earlier on.

Why don''t the club issue shares like they''ve done in the past instead of this bond?

The first answer is cost, share-issues are much much more expensive than debt raises. For a small amount (which this is) a share-issue would be prohibitively expensive. Secondly a share issue has the added complication that if a shareholder doesn''t want to put money in, they will get "diluted" by the people putting new money in. That means some shareholders would end up a larger percentage of the company after the issue, which may cause "political issues".

Delia is rich, why doesn''t she stump up the cash herself?

Firstly, we should be careful what we mean by rich. Delia is rather wealthy, but relative to other football club owners she is a pauper. The Sunday Times estimated her net worth at around £55m, by comparison Marcus Evans is estimated to have a net worth of around £700m to £1bn! This leads to the second point, a large percentage (if not a majority) of Delia''s worth is tied up in Norwich City - both financially and from a branding point of view. Putting more money into the club, would mean putting more eggs in a single (rickety) basket. Thirdly, Delia has been reluctant to charge (or take) any interest on loans she has given to the club. Putting her own money towards the development, and not charging interest would mean some pretty hefty losses for her to swallow. Finally, all the above assumes Delia has the cash floating around. Given a lot of her worth is tied up in the club, and no doubt in other areas and investments, she might not even have the cash on hand.

So no to shares and Delia lending the cash, why not a bank?

There are probably three big reasons why we''ve not gone to a bank. Firstly, banks are increasingly reluctant to lend money to football clubs - they see them as really bad deals (and to be fair, they are). Football clubs usually have to pay a very high cost to get a bank onside. Secondly, a bank would want to secure the loan onto the Academy as collateral. This could mean the Club loses Colney if it gets into financial difficulty (see Ipswich and their ground). A bank would also likely ask for various covenants (i.e. financial stats the club must adhere to) which if the club were to break, the bank could demand repayment. These can often be quite onerous - some clubs have been forced to fire-sell players to meet cash covenants. Which leads to the third point, our club''s history with the banks. Whilst we have generally had a good relationship with our banks, there have been a number of times where the banks have almost pushed us into administration (end of the Chase era, Collapse of ITV Digital and funding the South Stand redevelopment). The club just doesn''t need the headache of dealing with bankers.

What about the positives of a mini-bond?

Well to begin with, the people lending the money typically like you (unlike bankers) and will be fans of the Club - displaying a strong sense of loyalty. Secondly, from my experience, lots of mini-bond holders don''t automatically redeem their bonds when they are due - often they are left for a long time after they can be redeemed - the bank will demand their money back as soon as they can. Another bonus (mentioned in my previous post) is that the bonds are typically unsecured (i.e. the Academy won''t be used as collateral).

Mini-bonds like these are becoming increasingly popular. And Norwich are being particularly pioneering in teaming up with Tifosy which is venture by former Chelsea player Gianluca Vialli and an ex-Investment Banker who specialised in Sports and Media. It''s an interesting area, and I personally think we will see more crowdfunding-type investments in the football area.

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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.

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[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.

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Thank you Buncey - very helpful.I don''t suppose you know whether it is possible to hold a mini bond within a SIPP?

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[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 ?

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[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.

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[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.

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Sorry all, no idea why is keeps sending out all that garbled text - I''m only using the quote function (which used to work!)

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[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]I would have thought soIt might be worth checking the bonds status in regard to the club ie subordinated etcThat just lets you now where you stand if the club goes tts up - however if there was any risk then I doubt anyone would be investing, or the club would be setting this up

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Buncey - many thanks for comprehensively explaining this venture to us far less clued up souls on here.I suppose there is a slight chance that the club could go into administration but it''s pretty unlikely. The interest rate offered here is generous when compared to 5 year bonds on the High St that are protected but then there is that element of risk, however small.For those of a nervous disposition who think NCFC are on a terminal slide after every defeat I would say this probably isn''t for them.

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just been thinking about this

how much will we have to pay the company setting this bond up for the club ?

and also what happens if we are taken over by a investor ?

i think TOM should pay or get a loan that would mean he has only paid 3.5 million for the football club when it is handed to him ;-)

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Buncey, thanks again for the detailed thoughts.

It will come down to the fine print, but if there is a way that the club can renege on the 25% bonus for promotion by paying out just before the event then the bond, to me, does not appear to be a worthwhile investment.

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[quote user="norfolkngood"]just been thinking about this

how much will we have to pay the company setting this bond up for the club ?[/quote]Tifosy charge between 5%-7% according to articles i have read about them.

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@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.

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I should imagine that £1bn was the guiding factor for LloydsHowever I am not surprised that the usual suspects have popped up to suggest that there might be something ''dodgy'' about this.My view is.. participate if you want, and can. Don''t if you don''t want, or cannotBut either way spare us the endless whining

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[quote user="Supermarket Sweep"]I should imagine that £1bn was the guiding factor for LloydsHowever I am not surprised that the usual suspects have popped up to suggest that there might be something ''dodgy'' about this.My view is.. participate if you want, and can. Don''t if you don''t want, or cannotBut either way spare us the endless whining[/quote]

I wouldn''t say it is ''dodgy'' as such, but for me it is:

a)morally reprehensible

b) has a degree of risk higher than some fans may realise

That said, if fans want a part of it, then that is there prerogative.

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[quote user="Supermarket Sweep"]"a)morally reprehensible"do explain[/quote]

The club has wasted HUGE sums of money through a combination of mismanagement and naivety and yet have the audacity to ask the fans for more money, without giving up ANY power themselves (i.e shares)

They could fund the academy out of the transfer kitty, but want YOUR money without any stake in the club from those that are willing to participate.

I''m in business and in local circles Delia is not - and has never been - particularly highly regarded and this scheme is pushing the extremely loyal fans that almost sell out CR week in and week out to and above the limit.

For those who want to get involved - that''s absolutely fine - but why should the typical fan have to fund what is financial mismanagement of a club run by amateurs?

If Delia wants to sell some of her shares, then I know there would be plenty of fans that would be interested, but this ''concept'' shows a lack of respect for all NCFC fans.

No money from me.

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Buncey if you are still around - I''d love your views on my thoughts - and I certainly wont take anything you say as advice (I am an "Approved Person" - under FCA so I completely understand your position)

I don''t quite follow how a bond - without any security - can sensibly promise a return that is so much higher than the current similar issues. The only potential returns / income streams that I can see are Promotion to the Premiership (this is easy enough to follow) - or perhaps a sale of another Josh Murphy (complete with Tax issues) which seem highly unlikely in the 5 year time frame.

So in order to give 5% back (the other 3% is a bit of a red herring from an open market investment point of view) it must rely on simply investing the money? The trouble is they wont have the cash to invest , because it will go into capital projects such as new facilities ?

So, on the face of it , it doesn''t quite make sense?

Add in the charges of Luca Vialli''s company (why else would they do it) and this is one hell of a leap of faith ? Most higher rate bonds seem to be linked to property, or Renewables that have a value and or an income stream.

So what am I missing here Buncey?

[quote user="Buncey"]I thought I''d share some thoughts. As an introduction I''m a Chartered Accountant and a Member of the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments. And my professional career has been principally in advising private equity clients. Please note I''m not an FCA authorised financial adviser. The rest of my post is for information purposes and should not be considered to be advice recommending or not whether to invest in the bond. If you are considering making an investment, you should ensure you read all the documents yourself and conduct your own research. You should think about getting advice from and FCA authorised independent financial adviser. With that out of the way...

Bonds like this, often called "mini-bonds" are an increasingly popular way for small private companies to raise money. In this post I''ll talk about the details of the bond. I''ll do another post about why the board may have gone down this route. At the moment, the bond prospectus isn''t available, so we don''t have all the information - it looks like it will be published on the 28th March.

The first thing to note about the bond is that it offers 8% interest paid each year. This is a high rate compared to high street fixed savings deposits. However, there are three major drawbacks to this.

Firstly, 3% of the "interest" is in the form of credit with the club - and it appears, from the limited information available, that it can''t be used towards Season Ticket costs (the major expenditure for the majority of fans). Secondly, at a high street bank you have the protection of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) which means that if you bank goes bust you get up to £85,000 back. This bond has no such protection.

Secondly, it appears (although there isn''t enough information yet to be certain) that this bond is unsecured. i.e. even though you''ve lent the money to fund the Academy''s development, you have no collateral over it or any other assets of the Club. If the Club goes into administration, you''ll be the last people owed money, and would likely get little to nothing back.

Is it likely that the Club would go under? That of course is a very difficult question. The club, as discussed when the finances were released, is having cash difficulties since relegation. Also, given the historical position of the majority owners towards debt, the club wouldn''t likely be issuing this bond if it had the cash available to develop the Academy facilities. I have personally invested in a mini-bond of a company that has recently gone into administration (I successfully redeemed before the fall of the company, many others have not). And there have been numerous instances of other companies failing and leaving bond holders with a loss.

Thirdly, you have to tie up this money for 5 years. Usually with mini-bonds, there is absolutely no way you can get the money early (unlike with some savings accounts where you can, with a penalty). We don''t know the terms yet, but if you are thinking of investing, you have to be prepared to not have the money invested for at least 5 years, with no way of "getting it out".

Another thing to consider is tax. As other have noted, lower rate tax payers (20%) have a savings allowance of £1,000; higher rate (40%) have an allowance of £500. Any aggregate savings interest below this amount is tax free. If, when you add up all your interest for the year, it is above the allowance you will have tax to pay. This will probably (although I can''t say for certain) include the 3% credit, as this is counted for interest for HMRC''s purposes (not that, if it doesn''t meet certain criteria the whole 3% credit may be taxable as it won''t be covered by the allowances). The interest is payable each year. Also, it''s not clear whether the 3% credit rolls up (i.e. if you don''t use it, you lose it). If you currently earn significant interest income, you should carefully think about your tax position, as you may need to do a self-assessment tax return, please speak to an accountant (preferably a charted accountant!)

The 25% bonus is a particularly unusual element of this bond. It would appear quite generous as there is a possibility (depending on how pessimistic you are!) that the club will reach promotion in the next 5 years. Do bear in mind however, that if the Club is promoted, then the need for this bond likely disappears and the club may redeem the bond early. We don''t have the details yet, but read carefully about the early redemption clause - I''m speculating here, but conceivably the club could redeem the bond the day / match before we are promoted making no bonus payable (although that would be a pretty odious thing to do... but I''ve worked for many companies that do that kind of thing).

Finally, there is of course the emotional element to this bond. You would be helping the Club we all love, at a particularly difficult time. There is an element of pride in seeing us build facilities for our Club''s future. In addition, there are a number of "Investor Privileges", some of which are things that are not generally commercial available and may attract a large sentimental value for many fans. When it comes to these sentimental things, do try to weigh up how much the are worth financially to you, and what price you''d be willing to pay for them were it not for this investment. That way you can try to work out what the return on the investment is and compare that to the risk you''d be picking up.[/quote]

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