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PurpleCanary

FUTURE OWNERSHIP

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Looking for something else I came across a fascinating thread from 2007, entitled No local investors - yes their are - but they are being blocked

The title pretty much says it all, but nice to encounter some old faces seemingly no longer with us - canary cherub, with her conspiracy theories that were light on facts but thankfully that didn''t stop her; Good News Gordon, whose "news" was rather questionable; Salahuddin, of the emails from Peter Cullum. This may be wrong but I seem to remember one in which Cullum derided NCFC shares as worthless. If so, boy did he get that wrong. But then the thread offers a fair number of "facts" and opinions-as-facts that turned out to be well wide of the mark.

Moving on, the above bit of fun is by way of pointing up how attitudes have changed over the last few years from that thread, and many others of that era, which not only saw Smith and Jones as obstacles that had to be removed but which regarded investment - any investment, from anywhere - as A Good Thing. Not far short of a 180-degree shift now, with many posters either not regarding investment (I am using the word in the football sense, which includes putting money in without expecting a return) as necessary and/or being wary of the motives of investors, and particularly overseas investors. Added to which there is a belief among some that the ideals brought by Smith and Jones to the club are so important that some kind of trust structure as opposed to a powerful new owner would be the ideal way to replace them when the time comes.

How justified is this change of opinion? Firstly, is all investment bad? Take homegrown. Swansea was saved by such. No-one regards Whelan as having been anything but a force for good at Wigan. Ditto Jack Walker at Blackburn. Ashley has had his ups and downs at Newcastle, but more through bad judgment than bad intentions. WBA seems sanely run.

And overseas investment? To be sure there are several horror stories, with the new people at Nottingham Forest apparently bent on succeeding the Venkys as laughing stocks of the football world. The jury has hardly left the room on Henry at Liverpool and the Cardiff lot, but Berylson at Millwall, Lerner at Villa and Fayed (a Michael Jackson staute apart) at Fulham appear to know what they''re doing. As does the uber-ruthless Cortese on behalf of a trust at Southampton. And the answer to the question, what good has Lerner''s £200m done for Villa, or Fayed''s £200m at Fulham, is simple; that money has kept those clubs in the Premier League.

But that was then. With Financial Fair Play do clubs need investment any more. Is it not ony irrelevant but effectively outlawed? The answer to the question I posed in June 2012:

The wild card here is the Financial fair Play rules, and whether they will work. In other words will it still be an advantage to have a mega-rich owner?

As if life wasn''t complicated enough there are three kinds of FFP. Uefa''s version, which essentially says clubs can only spend what they earn, and applies to those wanting to play in Europe, the Championship version, which is as I understand it is roughly the same, and now the Premier League''s version (PLFFP for short), which applies to top-fight clubs who don''t care about Europe. Break even? Not exactly. Clubs can without penalty make a combined loss of £105m over a three-year rolling cycle. In other words clubs with rich owners can lose £35m a year and be fine. How so? Because the political (footballing politics and political politics) impetus behind PLFFP was never to reduce, let alone eliminate, the existing financial inequalities throughout the league. No, no, no. It was to curb the spending power of Chelsea and Man City. Hence the strange-bedfellows alliance of Man Utd, Liverpool, Spurs and Arsenal.

Since our owners'' wealth at its highest was put at only two-thirds of £35m it''s a fair assumption they could not possibly make up annual losses of anything like that. You can argue that breaking even is the sensible way to go, as would WBA. But it is still an unfair fight when it comes to competing against the likes of Fulham, who are our real rivals. Frankly it doesn''t matter to us how much Chelsea or Man City spend, but the amount available to Martin Jol or Pochettino at Southampton, is highly relevant.

There is also a non-playing argument for wealth, as expressed in the second part of my post from June 2012:

There is one obvious way in which it still will be [useful], and that is infrastructure. which is not covered [by any kind of FFP]. A billionaire owner could write a cheque for £20m and that would be the expansion to a 35,000-seat stadium paid for without going back into debt.

The short history of stadium expansion is as follows. A bit over two years ago Bowkett and McNally said that wthout a rich owner we would need a 35,000-seat stadium (which they plainly envisaged would be full or close to full for most games) to break even. They were confident there were 8,000 extra fans out there. A very few of us were dubious from the outset, but that bullish public attitude continued until last September, when a close reading of an online Q&A answer by McNally showed a significant lessening of optimism. That was backed up by later comments by Bowkett. The project has been kicked into the long grass. Why? This is supposition but I doubt that the directors are intrinsically less keen in the longer run. Even if there are not 8,000 extra fans there are a few thousand who could be accommodated. But the UEA socio-economic survey may well, despite what McNally said about it publicly, have not been so helpful, given the economic outlook. In addition the Red Queen reality of the Premier League has probably loomed larger:

"In our country," said Alice, still panting a little, "you''d generally get to somewhere else - if you run very fast for a long time, as we''ve been doing."
"A slow sort of country!" said the Queen. "Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!"

Fulham, where Fayed feels able to convert £212m of loans into shares because he is worth around £800m, can pay for a new 4,300-seat tier to take Craven Cottage to 30,000. But it is hard to see when there would ever come a time when our directors could justify putting aside a few millions as a down-payment on a new stand. No matter where we are in the PL the logic will always be to plough every last penny into the playing side.

So that settles that. All we need to find is a billionaire with the business sense of Richard Branson, the ruthlessness of Genghis Khan and the morals of the Dalai Lama and who knows Julian of Norwich was a woman and regards Normal for Norfolk as a compliment.

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Cue endless pages of Delia worshippers and Cullumites reigniting pages of arguments from years back. What is the point of digging up the past again when there is little prospect of any change in ownership at the club until the death of our majority shareholders?

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Now this is interesting. Will the whole thread go? Or just Louis attempt to take it off topic? Or my reply?

 

Answers on a postcard....

 

 

 

 

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Peter Cullum owned Towergate, a well known Local Finance company... Andrew and Sharon Turner are the top bods at Central Trust.. another well known local finance company...The Turners left around the same time the Cullum bid was rejected....of course, "we''d need to ask them the reason they left" the EEN were told at the time.....not that the 2 events are in anyway linked.. I was just saying....

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Here''s a funny thing. If you saw the thread which turned into a capitalism/communism debate, I mentioned that some despots had actually improved things for the general populace. The problem being, of course, that the next despot might equally be an absolute bar steward. That''s why a democracy, even a flawed one, is better for most people in the long run.

Football clubs are in the same position. PC mentioned some who were good for their clubs, but we all know of some who were plain awful. The nearest we can get to a democracy in footballing terms would be a trust. This really appeals to me.

Some people wouldn''t get the club they wanted, naturally, but at least you could try to do something about it, at the least by voting, or rallying support for you or your chosen representative.

However, you''d be stuck with your own resources alone, no sugar daddies, but wouldn''t that be preferable? More grown up?

We shall see what transpires.

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[quote user="Louis Cyphre"]Cue endless pages of Delia worshippers and Cullumites reigniting pages of arguments from years back. What is the point of digging up the past again when there is little prospect of any change in ownership at the club until the death of our majority shareholders?
[/quote]

 

If you think my post is about the past and not the present and the future that can only be because you haven''t read beyond the first two paragraphs. I don''t blame you; some don''t get that even far with my posts.

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Purple,Each to their own (after this is a board for sharing opinions), but hypothesising about future ownership is juts like guessing what the first 11 will be in five years time. Good luck with your discussion and lets hope that you dont get bogged down into the ususal entrenched positions!

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Mr. Cyphre, I believe you are calling for posters not to be insulting, & use the same standards of behaviour as you would if your interlocutor were present? So why do you start labelling people as "Delia worshippers"?

I''ve never seen any evidence of people who "worshipped" Delia in any way, shape or form. So could you please abide by your own standards, otherwise you are in danger of starting to sound like a hypocrite.

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Ron,I dont want to distract from Purples'' discussion, so this will be a quick over and out post from me. All I can say is that you must be reading very different threads from me, but I will concede that I used the term ''delia worshippers'' in the descriptive rather derogatory sense to describe two very distinct positions which have been debated endlessly to death on this site many times before. So I apologise  if anyone was offended by my terminology.

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[quote user="jas the barclay king"]Peter Cullum owned Towergate, a well known Local Finance company... Andrew and Sharon Turner are the top bods at Central Trust.. another well known local finance company...The Turners left around the same time the Cullum bid was rejected....of course, "we''d need to ask them the reason they left" the EEN were told at the time.....not that the 2 events are in anyway linked.. I was just saying....[/quote]but the Turners didn''t invest in City, they lent us £2M interest free which they asked for back when the recession began to bite. were they true fans? i have my doubts, they are much richer than Delia and Michael but were not willing to really help the club. probably was just a cheap publicity exercise on behalf of their company.

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I wish I had a crystal ball Purple, we could then answer the fundamental question of what path is best for the club.

 

One thing for certain, Delia & Michael are fast approaching the end of their tenure as the current bastions of our great club.

 

What their departure might bring is very questionable, the current TV deals will ensure that with the right management at the helm in the guise of MacNally & Bowkett our finances will be strong and sound for a certain level to be achieved, maybe we have reached that level, maybe we are the next, Fulham, Wigan or WBA always destined to be lower mid table sides, with an occasional cup run and foray into the top 10. Would we all be happy with this, or would we still have cause to moan?

 

Could some real life Billionaire look at the Little Ole City with a soft spot in his heart for those lovely yellow shirts and find that additional 200 million to fund sponsorship and payment deals outside the fair play system as the big boys will, to maybe push us being the next Man City?

 

Or will the end of Delia & Michael mean no further investment and a slow slide down the table, back into championship obscurity?

 

I for one have no control over the above and won’t get worked up about it. I am pleased that we have our second season at this level, maybe pushing into a third consecutive season in the big league and enjoy watching the big boys come to FCR and lose 1-0. I am very pleased to have left those uncertain days of relegation to the third division and potential financial ruin, long may those day stay in our history as a reminder that without structure and experience anything is possible even relegation to the third division.

 

Long may Delia & Michael be the figureheads or our great club, long may MacNally be employed, nay allowed to become part owner, to keep him here for the time being. I like the make up of who we have right now, we have a great board, one who supports the club, ruthless and yet will not be pushed into making bad choices like paying over the odds for an unproven striker like Hooper.

 

I love our club as it stands, Hughton has done the job we all called for last season, making us more solid, yes we have faltered of late, but we are unbeaten in 3 games and let’s not forget, we have played Spurs, QPR away and Fulham at home, I bet if you asked everyone of you would you expect to get three points from these games, you would all say yes, 2 losses and a win against Fulham……..

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I''m with Ron Obvious on this one - run the club as a business and what it can earn through gates and TV and live within its means.  If the club is run properly this should be sustainable in the long term.    DS and MWJ have helped the club back to its feet - and things are rosy.   If the club ever got into debt again it would be because it is being badly run.   If it did ever get to that stage again - then someone would be needed to be found to bail the club out again.   But it doesn''t have to happen, if the club is run properly. 

Chasing the dream is all very well, but if you gamble with the club''s future you run the risk of ending up selling your soul, getting a club you can''t relate to and on a downward path.   Even if it means spending more time in the Championship, to my mind that would be preferable than selling out to an investor just for the dosh he can provide.   

We are lucky to have the club we''ve got.   I think most of us realise that and don''t want to sell out to just to raise a few million.   Money isn''t everything, it really isn''t.

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Anyone waiting for Financial Fair Play to adjust the balance of power in the Premier League will be waiting a long time. Turkeys don''t vote for Christmas. Looking at the present proposals, I can''t see them making one iota of difference to our situation.The present owners are getting long in the tooth. It will be interesting to hear what plans they have for handing the club on to new owners. If we remain in the Premier League we should be a decent prospect for someone with a bit of cash.

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Something more constructive,

But isn''t every club which is now promoted from the Championship forced to abide by their FFP rules forever more? I am sure I read that when the championship one was being detailed online.

If so wont this:

A) Make it a lot harder for promoted clubs forced to adhere to these rules when clubs that have not come up aren''t.

B) Mean that theoretically the amount of clubs not affected by the Europe FFP and not constrained by Championship FFP will slowly dwindle? but for the lucky few that avoid relegation and have zero European ambition.

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[quote user="Monty13"]Something more constructive, But isn''t every club which is now promoted from the Championship forced to abide by their FFP rules forever more? I am sure I read that when the championship one was being detailed online. If so wont this: A) Make it a lot harder for promoted clubs forced to adhere to these rules when clubs that have not come up aren''t. B) Mean that theoretically the amount of clubs not affected by the Europe FFP and not constrained by Championship FFP will slowly dwindle? but for the lucky few that avoid relegation and have zero European ambition.[/quote]

 

I don''t believe so, Monty. I don''t see how that could possibly be enforced while a club was in the PL. What you may have read is that if a club breaks Championship FFP rules in a season it gets promoted to the Premier League then it can get sanctioned (ie fined) in retrospect as a one-off measure by the Championship authorities. But that seems to be all.

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How does the championship fit the PL parachute payments into their FFP rules? Surely clubs being financed by a completely different league isn''t fair?

 

 

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[quote user="nutty nigel"]

How does the championship fit the PL parachute payments into their FFP rules? Surely clubs being financed by a completely different league isn''t fair?

 

 

[/quote]

 

nutty, I THINK the answer is that the parachute payments count as genuinely earned income, and so are allowable in the Championship, just as TV income in the PL is allowable. The basic point of FFP is to eliminate unearned income - ie subsidies from rich owners. I suspect also that what has been discovered is that relegated clubs have to use a great of their parachute money to pay off debts and pay off high-earning players, so the playing field may be less uneven that might have been imagined. The clubs relegated last season are currently 8th, 17th and 21st!

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Your right purple as far as I am aware, I went and had a look after posting, very bad of me not to check, and can only find reference to the season post promotion.

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It''s a good answer Purple. And true to an extent. But I reckon the other factor is that the premier league presumably could stop championship clubs being promoted if they didn''t agree with their terms for relegated clubs. Greed was what forced the break away premiership in the first place. I suspect the football league would be a fairer competition if they''d cut them loose but too many clubs want to hang on to their coat tails. Allowing one division to break away from the football league is probably the main reason why the FFP rules are so difficult to implement.

 

 

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