Thursday, 5 July 2007

I'M NOT SELLING

I`ve been a subscriber to KOTK for a few years now, and a City fan since 1962, and I`ll definitely be City till I die, despite the many downs and a few ups we`ve had over the years. I`ve also been a City shareholder for 7 years (so I`ve lost a lot of money on them.....)

However, I can`t support the current takeover bid, and I will not be selling my couple of thousand shares, although I doubt it will make a difference to the outcome.

The Premiership is all about money. Coaches and team owners are convinced that success is directly correlated to wages, and buying players is critical, so good ones get bid sky high. Gate receipts and TV money are just swallowed these days and ever demanding fans and managements want more and more money, and don`t care where it comes from. So we`ve seen Russian oligarchs who mostly benefitted hugely from political favours, Americans who have borrowed to the hilt to produce balance sheets so fragile that most regular businesses with this level of risk would never last five minutes with, Owners cynically taking their club into administration, leaving creditors with 1p in the pound, and then buying back from the Administrator in a cosy deal that even seems to have excluded other, higher, offers.

I love to watch football, but I do have a few moral guidelines as well, and now we have the prospect of a deposed Prime Minister, who made huge sums from Government deals with his own family, who appears to have had a policy of shooting suspected criminals rather than bring them to court, and who dare not return to his own country. Never mind that he was deposed in a military coup, that is relatively normal in Thailand, there were several in the 90`s,and the Generals will always respect the country`s King. Mr Shinawatra looks like damaged goods, and heaven knows what happens if all his money is frozen, or he is extradited and banged up in Thailand. There is one short sentence in the offer document saying that investment bank Seymour Pierce has satisfied themselves there is money to settle the offer in full. Not, you notice, money to meet the promised £50m for players, which as far as I can see is not mentioned anywhere in the document, so there must be a real risk that that money might not materialise.

Now we have statements from City officials saying small shareholders should accept the offer as quickly as possible, so the club must also be worried that the money will suddenly evaporate.

Well, much as City desperately need money, like all the other "chasing pack" clubs, so that they can aspire to 5th or 6th place, I am afraid that I do not support the view that we should just take money from anywhere, no matter where it comes from. I will keep my shares, I will continue to support City, but I am totally depressed at the culture in the premiership of ever more demands for money, and no questions about where it might have come from,

Graham Wood

4 comments:

  1. I'm not a share holder, but if I were I'd definitely wouldn’t sell, I think it's in the best interests of City to be a public company with the transparency that brings.

    I can only agree with the comments about the background of Mr Shinawatra and his money, shady to put it mildly.

    I'm not that clued up on the business side of football, but why does it require 75% of the shares to appoint a new manager? Surely the club can appoint Sven now and Mr Shinawatra can continue to buy shares a later date?

    We’ve got a friendly next week at Doncaster, do we have enough first team players for a starting eleven?

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  2. So you won't be showing up at a single game then, right?

    I mean, if you did, that you make you...what?

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  3. Excellent article, Graham. It is reassuring to see that some shareholders are not falling for this offer. £81.6m my arse! He is paying nmo more than £21m to take over the club, all the rest of the debt will simply be loaded onto the Balance Sheet. Shinawatra won't have to pay a penny more if things go pear-shaped.

    And how can anyone seriously believe that the widely touted £50m as a transfer kitty is a real figure? Even if it was, is Thaksin going to do an Abramovich and meet the real cost himself? Is that a large number of pigs I see flying over Eastlands?

    I think its highly likely that the vast bulk of any transfer kitty will, once more, find its way onto our club's Balance Sheet - I somehow doubt that Thaksin will be gifting much cash to MCFC, if any. If he was inclined to be munificent, wouldn't he have written off some part of the Makin/Wardle debt which he took on (and at a reduced price!), rather than stick it on the Balance Sheet?

    It is difficult to see why a lot of City fans are hailing this as the start of a new era. Personally, I find it impossible not to be cynical. Do we really want an owner who has, at best, a rather dubious track record?

    I hope I am wrong, but I see nothing but trouble ahead. Even if Eriksson keeps us in the Premiership, what will our finances be like in 3 or 4 yearts time?

    I'd rather not think about it...

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  4. Football used to be a sport. Clubs with good managers built teams and life was interesting. Arsenal, United and Liverpool have dominated for decades but never to this extent. It's money, money money.

    This takeover is meant to make us 'a contender' again. I tend to agree with those who are suspicious of the motives behind it.

    Tottenham have spent close to 100m over the past 3 years and are still not in with a proper shout of winning anything so you have to wonder what if anything is really going to change.

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