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With our fantastic owners into their twilight years the question of future ownership comes to mind!

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As it is rather slow on the transfer front, but I wonder what the future will bring post Delia.

 

I mean who is going to pick up the club and run with it come the time?

 

Will we go the way of many clubs and have foreign investment, will someone local step in or will they come from within our current structure?

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This was something I posed in one of those mega slanging threads over the summer, but surprise surprise no-one bothered to explore this whilst they got on with the general bitching session.

 

As you say, Smith & Jones are in their twilight years.  They might not yet be considering the future too much due to Delia''s own youthful presence and the fact that her mother, god bless her, still attends every home match and must be fast approaching her Ton.  Given that, no surprise there has not been too much debate, despite my request on here to raise it at the last AGM.  However they have no children to hand their controlling interest on to, and there is not to my awareness an identification of an heir apparent.  On the other hand, as many have commented on here, there does seem to be any appetite for them to relinquish control / sell their shares at the moment.  Foreign investment seems very much off the agenda, but no sign of any other significant local interest.

 

But, what if the worse should happen.  In terms of good corporate governance, which Delia and Michael have always seemed to practise very well, the question of succession is usually discussed and well documented at Board level.  One assumes that this has been broached at Board level, probably every time either one of Smith & Jones gets poorly and has to miss a meeting etc.  However I am not aware of any corporate situation which is so high profile where the sudden death of the person with controlling interest brings an organisation into a crisis.  I would expect that a smooth handover has been planned somewhere, although the likelihood of it being required is remote at the moment.  It is one for an AGM or for Smith & Jones personally.

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Michael Foulger has a significant shareholding yet seems to always be the forgotten man. He would be very much part of decisions about the future. I can''t believe there are no contingency plans because that would be unthinkable. But with the continual change in football finance something that would appear workable now may not be workable a few years down the line.

 

Sheff - Can you not send a question to the AGM if you can''t attend in person?

 

 

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[quote user="shefcanary"]

This was something I posed in one of those mega slanging threads over the summer, but surprise surprise no-one bothered to explore this whilst they got on with the general bitching session.

 

As you say, Smith & Jones are in their twilight years.  They might not yet be considering the future too much due to Delia''s own youthful presence and the fact that her mother, god bless her, still attends every home match and must be fast approaching her Ton.  Given that, no surprise there has not been too much debate, despite my request on here to raise it at the last AGM.  However they have no children to hand their controlling interest on to, and there is not to my awareness an identification of an heir apparent.  On the other hand, as many have commented on here, there does seem to be any appetite for them to relinquish control / sell their shares at the moment.  Foreign investment seems very much off the agenda, but no sign of any other significant local interest.

 

But, what if the worse should happen.  In terms of good corporate governance, which Delia and Michael have always seemed to practise very well, the question of succession is usually discussed and well documented at Board level.  One assumes that this has been broached at Board level, probably every time either one of Smith & Jones gets poorly and has to miss a meeting etc.  However I am not aware of any corporate situation which is so high profile where the sudden death of the person with controlling interest brings an organisation into a crisis.  I would expect that a smooth handover has been planned somewhere, although the likelihood of it being required is remote at the moment.  It is one for an AGM or for Smith & Jones personally.

[/quote]

 

What can you mean?!

One nerdy point, shef, is that Smith and Jones own their controlling interest jointly. They don''t each have 26.5 per cent. So the death or incapacity of one would not change the ownership of the company. That, of course, ignores the human tragedy/reality and possible psychological impact of the situation. But even so if one of the two was able to carry on then that would provide stability, at least in the short-term. I can''t imagine that the survivior would own/run the club any differentlt to now. And, as you say, I can''t believe that some kind of longer-term plan has not been laid.

 

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[quote user="PurpleCanary"][quote user="shefcanary"]

This was something I posed in one of those mega slanging threads over the summer, but surprise surprise no-one bothered to explore this whilst they got on with the general bitching session.

 

As you say, Smith & Jones are in their twilight years.  They might not yet be considering the future too much due to Delia''s own youthful presence and the fact that her mother, god bless her, still attends every home match and must be fast approaching her Ton.  Given that, no surprise there has not been too much debate, despite my request on here to raise it at the last AGM.  However they have no children to hand their controlling interest on to, and there is not to my awareness an identification of an heir apparent.  On the other hand, as many have commented on here, there does seem to be any appetite for them to relinquish control / sell their shares at the moment.  Foreign investment seems very much off the agenda, but no sign of any other significant local interest.

 

But, what if the worse should happen.  In terms of good corporate governance, which Delia and Michael have always seemed to practise very well, the question of succession is usually discussed and well documented at Board level.  One assumes that this has been broached at Board level, probably every time either one of Smith & Jones gets poorly and has to miss a meeting etc.  However I am not aware of any corporate situation which is so high profile where the sudden death of the person with controlling interest brings an organisation into a crisis.  I would expect that a smooth handover has been planned somewhere, although the likelihood of it being required is remote at the moment.  It is one for an AGM or for Smith & Jones personally.

[/quote]

 

What can you mean?!

One nerdy point, shef, is that Smith and Jones own their controlling interest jointly. They don''t each have 26.5 per cent. So the death or incapacity of one would not change the ownership of the company. That, of course, ignores the human tragedy/reality and possible psychological impact of the situation. But even so if one of the two was able to carry on then that would provide stability, at least in the short-term. I can''t imagine that the survivior would own/run the club any differentlt to now. And, as you say, I can''t believe that some kind of longer-term plan has not been laid.

 

[/quote]

 

The "truth" is almost certainly already out there Purple. Most wills are written to cover the possibility of either one dying or both dying at the same time. That being the case, given the likely assumption that wills are in place for our majority owners, some course of action has already been determined and is documented. Of course, it''s not for access to the likes of us although, undoubtedly a few will think they have the right under the mantra of "it''s our club after all." There is, of course, the odd individual ( odd is the operative word ) who claims to have seen important documents relating to the club. Perhaps we should consult him. [;)]  

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I did raise this subject some time ago and it is probably time we (shareholders)  knew of any succession arrangements regarding shares in NCFC PLC. The shares presumably form part of D&Ms estate and unless they both die together will pass to the surviving spouse as there are no children. They may have estate duty considerations unless the shares are in trust or there may be an undertaking to let the plc have first option to market them at market value or even be gifted to the club but the board would then have to find a suitable buyer who would become majority shareholder.

I am sure all contingencies have been considered at board level if only for the sake of corporate governance  and FA rules but I would have thought shareholders have a right to know and as suggested it would be a good question for the next AGM.

 

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[quote user="shefcanary"] I am not aware of any corporate situation which is so high profile where the sudden death of the person with controlling interest brings an organisation into a crisis.[/quote]

The untimely death of Nigel Doughty at Nottingham Forest who had pumped £75 million of his own money into the club presented them with a major problem. The subsequent antics of foreign owners who saw fit to sack a perfectly competent manager whilst only one point off the play offs and install Alex McLeish makes me think how lucky we are. I am confident that Delia and MJW have plans to secure our long term future and that our club will not become the play thing of unsuitable owners.

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If there is no immediate family to leave the shareholding too when both have passed on then once possibility is to have the shares held in trust and the trustees run the club in accordance with the trust conditions laid down by Delia and MWJ. These conditions could well cover issues such as the type of investor the shareholding could be sold to or conversely that the shareholding will remain in the care of the trustees in perpetuity.

It is certainly something that one would hope has been discussed by the board as a well planned succession would remove the uncertainty that could otherwise destabilise the club.

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This is a really interesting issue and one that is arguably at the heart of the challenges we face as a club.

As has previously been discussed, DMcN is on record as suggesting that the club is now run as ''mutual''. From a company law perspective I don''t think this means terribly much but we assume by this (I think) that the owners are not seeking to maximise personal returns, and are particularly concerned about other stakeholder groups, notably supporters.

The undoubted benefit of these arrangements - especially since PL status has permitted us to repay most of the external debt - is that the club has stability and we can rest assured that we''ll have a match to watch this season and next.

The potential downside of these arrangements is that the owners do not have the significant financial resources of many of our PL and, indeed, championship competitors. If and when clubs with financial backing get promoted - Cardiff being a good example - it will become even more difficult for us to compete/meet the wage demands of better players. Because of the very strong correlation between wage spend and football position, it will become more and more difficult to retain PL status. (Of course it should be acknowledged that money alone does not necessarily guarantee footballing success).

If for the moment we accept this argument and the choice is between ''mutual'' ownership and Championship football, or foreign ownership and potentially PL football, the interesting question is which model is preferable. The former brings stability and continuity, the latter (potentially) more success but increased downside risk that it all goes horribly wrong eg Portsmouth.

Personally, I''d take stability and the continuance of the club everytime but we have to recognise that it is difficult to compete in the market even with clubs like Southampton or Reading, and such difficulties are likely to increase rather than lessen over time.

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[quote user="TIL 1010"]

[quote user="shefcanary"] I am not aware of any corporate situation which is so high profile where the sudden death of the person with controlling interest brings an organisation into a crisis.[/quote]

The untimely death of Nigel Doughty at Nottingham Forest who had pumped £75 million of his own money into the club presented them with a major problem. The subsequent antics of foreign owners who saw fit to sack a perfectly competent manager whilst only one point off the play offs and install Alex McLeish makes me think how lucky we are. I am confident that Delia and MJW have plans to secure our long term future and that our club will not become the play thing of unsuitable owners.

[/quote]

 

Doesn''t she have a little sh*t of a nephew waiting in the wings Til?

 

Now he IS a nasty bugger imo.

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[quote user="Wiz"]Doesn''t she have a little sh*t of a nephew waiting in the wings Til? Now he IS a nasty bugger imo.[/quote]Strange statement to make Wiz! What exactly do you know of him?

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[quote user="Wiz"][quote user="TIL 1010"]

[quote user="shefcanary"] I am not aware of any corporate situation which is so high profile where the sudden death of the person with controlling interest brings an organisation into a crisis.[/quote]

The untimely death of Nigel Doughty at Nottingham Forest who had pumped £75 million of his own money into the club presented them with a major problem. The subsequent antics of foreign owners who saw fit to sack a perfectly competent manager whilst only one point off the play offs and install Alex McLeish makes me think how lucky we are. I am confident that Delia and MJW have plans to secure our long term future and that our club will not become the play thing of unsuitable owners.

[/quote]

 

Doesn''t she have a little sh*t of a nephew waiting in the wings Til?

 

[/quote]

 

She''s got a Sister Wendy but I think she''s older...

 

 

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[quote user="lappinitup"][quote user="Wiz"]Doesn''t she have a little sh*t of a nephew waiting in the wings Til? Now he IS a nasty bugger imo.[/quote]

Strange statement to make Wiz! What exactly do you know of him?
[/quote]

 

He was acting the tough guy safely tucked behind the stewards mind you, after another Roeder defeat resulted in a fans mini flare up.

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[quote user="Wiz"]

[quote user="lappinitup"][quote user="Wiz"]Doesn''t she have a little sh*t of a nephew waiting in the wings Til? Now he IS a nasty bugger imo.[/quote]

Strange statement to make Wiz! What exactly do you know of him?
[/quote]

 

He was acting the tough guy safely tucked behind the stewards mind you, after another Roeder defeat resulted in a fans mini flare up.

[/quote]

What a strange post Wiz and i am sure i am not the only one who is thinking that this is the first we have ever heard of such an incident.

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[quote user="Highland Canary"]

This is a really interesting issue and one that is arguably at the heart of the challenges we face as a club. As has previously been discussed, DMcN is on record as suggesting that the club is now run as ''mutual''. From a company law perspective I don''t think this means terribly much but we assume by this (I think) that the owners are not seeking to maximise personal returns, and are particularly concerned about other stakeholder groups, notably supporters.

 

 The undoubted benefit of these arrangements - especially since PL status has permitted us to repay most of the external debt - is that the club has stability and we can rest assured that we''ll have a match to watch this season and next. The potential downside of these arrangements is that the owners do not have the significant financial resources of many of our PL and, indeed, championship competitors. If and when clubs with financial backing get promoted - Cardiff being a good example - it will become even more difficult for us to compete/meet the wage demands of better players. Because of the very strong correlation between wage spend and football position, it will become more and more difficult to retain PL status. (Of course it should be acknowledged that money alone does not necessarily guarantee footballing success).

 

 If for the moment we accept this argument and the choice is between ''mutual'' ownership and Championship football, or foreign ownership and potentially PL football, the interesting question is which model is preferable. The former brings stability and continuity, the latter (potentially) more success but increased downside risk that it all goes horribly wrong eg Portsmouth. Personally, I''d take stability and the continuance of the club everytime but we have to recognise that it is difficult to compete in the market even with clubs like Southampton or Reading, and such difficulties are likely to increase rather than lessen over time.[/quote]

 

I think you''re reading far too much into what was essentially a bit of PR guff. McNally described this alleged mutuality in this way:

“Once we have paid off all our debt, we run our football club as a mutual co-operative, all excess cash then, which used to pay down debt, can go into our football budget."

Any CEO of any club in England would say the same (even if it wasn''t true!), that all available money will be handed to the manager. That is not describing a mutual; merely an obvious way to run a hard-headed business. There is no indication at all that the club is somehow being run stakeholder groups in mind (as preference shareholders who have waited for a dividend would attest...), let alone that there is some kind of mutual ownership, German-style.

This is why your supposed choice, betweent mega-rich and succesful but also divorced from the supporters on the one hand and poor and unsuccesful but honest in a group-hug mutual kind of way is an illusion.

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Haha brilliant trolling thread as surely Delia is immortal.  You''ll be telling me that there''s no Father Christmas next  [:D]

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The transfer of shares is often regulated in a company''s constuitutional documents so I believe, so it might be worth checking to see if there is anything of interest.

 

I wouldn''t be surprised if the shares are placed in some sort of trust with an appointed body of trustess to exercise voting rights and make decisions on matters requiring shareholder approval. If Delia/Michael have no close relatives who they think could be a viable custodian of the holding and there isn''t the usual motivation of maximising returns for the estate as there are no close heirs, then some sort of supporters'' trust would probably fit the way Delia in particular seems to view the club. She is undoubtedly highly passionate and I sense would not want the club torn apart after their demise. But that is hopefully a long long way off yet.

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[quote user="Robert Ketts Yellow Army"]Towergate Insurance Group will float. This will raise a lot of money for Peter Cullum and his new-ish CEO Mark Hodges (ex Aviva UK CEO and a big Norwich fan). They will buy and run the club. That''s one option.[/quote]

 

Towergate MAY float. It seems as if that could be on the agenda, for a few years in the future. But then that was Cullum''s intention six or seven years ago. And that got scuppered by the collapse of the Candover deal and the global crisis. Events could get in the way again.

It is true a flotation, or a sale, would make Cullum rather rich, to the probable tune of hundreds of millions of pounds. But mere money isn''t everything. I suspect he would have to work hard to convince the directors he had a better plan for the long-term running of the club than the one he outlined last time.

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[quote user="PurpleCanary"]

I suspect he would have to work hard to convince the directors he had a better plan for the long-term running of the club than the one he outlined last time.

[/quote]
Correct me if I am wrong but wasn''t his plan to pump in £5mill for players immediatly followed by another £15mill or £20 mill (depending on if the initial £5mill was extra on included in the deal) to get us into the Prem. Wasn''t his plan was to get us up into the Prem and for us to become self sustainable. Isn''t that our plan now, to have a club that can be self sustainable in the Prem?
Davo

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[quote user="Davo"][quote user="PurpleCanary"]

I suspect he would have to work hard to convince the directors he had a better plan for the long-term running of the club than the one he outlined last time.

[/quote]


Correct me if I am wrong but wasn''t his plan to pump in £5mill for players immediatly followed by another £15mill or £20 mill (depending on if the initial £5mill was extra on included in the deal) to get us into the Prem. Wasn''t his plan was to get us up into the Prem and for us to become self sustainable. Isn''t that our plan now, to have a club that can be self sustainable in the Prem?


Davo

[/quote]

 

No. For starters his plan was to make available an initial £20m for everything. If he had to spend anything acquiring the club that would have come out of the £20m. And if he had to pay off any of the £20m debt, all of which would have become repayable, and at least some of which would almost certainly have been called in (Axa''s for example) then that would have come out of the £20m. There was never a guarantee of any money for players, let alone £20m. And no guarantee that whatever (if anything) was spent on players would have got us to the Premier League.

In addition he made it plain that he did not intend to keep putting money in for many seasons at all. You are right to say his plan was that the club should be self-sufficient, but that was because he didn''t intend to go on bankrolling it, and that was no matter which division the club was in. And there was indeed no certainty at all we would get to the Premier league. And even if we did, being in the PL does not guarantee self-sufficiency. Look around. The problem the board saw with Cullum''s plan was that there did not seem to be a fall-back of extra cash in the quite probable event that we didn''t at least break even after a very few seasons.

You are right that we may now be heading for a position of self-sufficiency, but the difference is that if that had not been the case, or proves not to stay so in the future, then the directors would almost certainly not hesitate to do what they''ve done in the past and help out. In other words, a fall-back plan. Cullum''s plan was essentially a hope more than a plan. That is not to be confused with what the directors can now plan on the basis of realised events.

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