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Ipswich Takeover Complete. What does this mean for us?


headhunter
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If you don’t like conspiracy theories stop reading now!!!

With Steve Lansdown revealing on the 3 Peeps Podcast interview that he is actively looking for new investors I thought I would check out the status of the Ipswich Town take over by an American backed group with, allegedly, some connections to Mark Ashton.

This article from the local paper on 30th March confirms it hasn’t happened yet through some sort of stumbling block but that a recent Land Registry search suggests the deal might be back on: https://www.eadt.co.uk/news/ipswich-town-takeover-rumours-latest-update-7861492

The company conducting the search was Gamechanger 20 Ltd.  A free of charge check on Companies House shows this company was formed last year and while most of the named directors are US Citizens there is one Brit on there by the name of Michael Kevin O’Leary. This link shows he has 3 current directorship appointments and another 35 in the past: https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/officers/Brxiejo2pDlcMx711-DW-WZ_0bE/appointments

Scrolling down on that link you will see that O’Leary was a Director of West Bromwich Albion from 5/02 – 12/03 which coincides with Mark Ashton’s time there before the latter left to join Watford. Move forward to 2014 and this list of O’Leary’s past appointments shows that he was, in the summer of that year, appointed a Director of 2 companies, Alycidon Ltd and Oxford United Football Club. He resigned from both on 30th October 2015.

This is Mark Ashton’s Companies House listing of appointments: https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/officers/qoejyvFelWmTZsZ99NjiaO44bh8/appointments

His LinkedIn Profile says he was a Director of WBA from 1990-2004. That does not appear on Companies House which itself is not unusual – you can have Director in your job title but not be registered. For the latter part of his time there he would, as noted above, had regular contact with Michael O’Leary.

In May 2014 ALYCIDON Ltd [name changed from Ensco 1070 in 2019] was formed and its two founding directors were Mark Ashton and Michael O’Leary. On 4th July 2014 both were appointed Director at Oxford United F.C. As stated above, O’LEARY resigned in October 2015 and Ashton two months later although I reckon it was on the same day, the date discrepancy due to late filing perhaps.

So, clearly, Ashton & O’Leary have a business relationship that extends back to 2002 and whilst it hasn’t been denied anywhere that I’ve read, there is substance in the claim that our CEO must have had some involvement in the Ipswich takeover even if it was just helping out a mate!!!

Now bringing things right up to the present, if you are a bunch of US guys looking to invest in an English football club [not the whole Bristol Sport thing] who would be your preferred choice: City or Ipswich? The Suffolk side had their successes over 30 years ago and, compared to Ashton Gate, Portman Road is a stadium that needs overhaul. Both sides can pull crowds of c24000. On balance, I think City would be most peoples’ choice – agree?

So the question is can we see Mark Ashton leading these Americans down to the west country and give Steve Lansdown the investment that he wants so that he can exit all the hassle of running a football club but still retain the infrastructure and bask in the joy of taking the credit for a rugby club that is poised to be among Europe’s elite for a lot less grief and a lot less money?

We said on FBC Podcast several weeks ago that we felt Lansdown might be looking for an out on the football side of things. We also said it was either folly or part of some curious masterplan to let so many contracts run down allowing a complete overhaul of the squad this summer.

Chairman Jon Lansdown appears out of the loop in terms of key decisions – unless someone can confirm otherwise he has been enjoying his life in sunny Bermuda for at least 6 months.I am becoming concerned that Ashton has more power than we think. Why do I say that? It was disturbing to hear Steve say that he has yet to meet Pearson in person. This could and should have already happened. Wouldn’t you want to meet the guy in person who has the track record to take the main element of the Bristol Sport brand, and that is BRISTOL CITY, to the “next level” [his words when firing Lee Johnson]. OK, on return to Guernsey their Covid regime is that he would have to stay at home for 10 days – no hardship when you see his home there and he’s probably not come off the island this year?!!!!

Is it Ashton who is responsible for this dragging of feet when it comes to confirming Pearson who yesterday said it will be too late to defer a decision to appoint him full time until the summer - give him a 3 year contract NOW? Could we find, come August, that the entity which is BCFC is under a new board composed of Americans plus Michael O’Leary [?] with Ashton at the helm as guardian of their investment and Michael Appleton, not Nigel Pearson, in charge of things on the field – it’s a nightmare scenario for me but it will be very interesting to see what plays out on & off the field in the 118 days between now and 1ST August!!

If you’ve read this far you are as mad me and need to get out more!!!!

 

 

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Good story on a par with the usual conspiracy theory stories. It should have been released on 1 April. (By the way, SL lives on Guernsey so he can’t travel to Bristol to meet Nigel Pearson in person because of the strict Covid isolation rules on his return )

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9 minutes ago, pongo88 said:

Good story on a par with the usual conspiracy theory stories. It should have been released on 1 April. (By the way, SL lives on Guernsey so he can’t travel to Bristol to meet Nigel Pearson in person because of the strict Covid isolation rules on his return )

If you got as far as the penultimate paragraph you will have read that I put, "...on return to Guernsey their Covid regime is that he would have to stay at home for 10 days – no hardship when you see his home there and he’s probably not come off the island this year"?!!!!

It is not a case that he can't, as you assert in your post - as I see it has has chosen not too.

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13 minutes ago, Davefevs said:

Keep up Dave P 🤣🤣🤣

9B52D409-5D55-40E7-B795-8F8F7DB525F7.jpeg

I bow to your more thorough investigative skills and it shows that I missed this on OTIB in February. 

So, are you of the opinion that the scenario painted in my post or something similar could actually happen in the light of Lansdown's comments.

When speaking of outside investment did he mean for Bristol Sport or just Bristol City?

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3 hours ago, headhunter said:

If you got as far as the penultimate paragraph you will have read that I put, "...on return to Guernsey their Covid regime is that he would have to stay at home for 10 days – no hardship when you see his home there and he’s probably not come off the island this year"?!!!!

It is not a case that he can't, as you assert in your post - as I see it has has chosen not too.

As someone who lives on an island similar to Guernsey and with similar rules on quarantining incoming travellers - I can tell you that many people just cba with the rules and have found that doing stuff remotely is perfectly fine. I'd read very, very little into SL staying put on Guernsey. Plus of course he only has 90 days a year to spend on English solid.

On the wider thing - is "business people who have worked together in the past possibly planning new venture" a 'conspiracy theory'? A theory yes, and a fine use of Companies House, but really it would surely be stranger if any outside investments,in either City or Ipswich, weren't the result of old relationships.

I skim read so may have missed details in your OP.

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I don’t think it is a conspiracy theory at all... at this stage a very educated guess at what is going on behind closed doors. 

We went on a pre-season tour to the US in 2019 - I am quite sure we didn’t go for footballing reasons. During the tour Mark Ashton talked about links with the USL, he had previously presented to them at a winter summit. The same league contains Phoenix Rising, a club co chaired by Brett Johnson - the American named in the Ipswich bid as owner of Benevolent Capital who specialise (among other things) in sports franchise investments. I don’t know who owns Bradenton Gulf Islands but there may be somewhere in that as well. 
 

It would explain SL’s recent enthusiastic backing of Mark Ashton, if he is the key to bring inking in US investment. If so, we can expect MA to maintain his grip on power at AG should this happen. 

As intimated in other threads this saga could well be holding up any permanent move for NP. Recent results will have muddied the waters even further. And could - along with CoVid’s hit on income - have explained the ‘Holden’ move (sorry!) of promoting our assistant coach as last summer, as well as the obvious intention to run down any existing contracts. 
 

There does seem to be a real feeling of limbo (and not the dancing kind) to the club on and off the pitch atm. So much so I haven’t watched the last three games on Robins TV - which means I get to miss Rene Gilmartin telling us how good the players have looked in training and his breathless tactical summaries (‘midfield tree’: where, on the pitch? ‘attacking turd’: harsh, but accurate). matches seem devoid of meaning or excitement at the moment, even more so when played in front of empty seats. The players look like they would rather be somewhere else - and most of them probably will be sooner rather than later. 

Watch this space...

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2 hours ago, headhunter said:

I bow to your more thorough investigative skills and it shows that I missed this on OTIB in February. 

So, are you of the opinion that the scenario painted in my post or something similar could actually happen in the light of Lansdown's comments.

yes.

When speaking of outside investment did he mean for Bristol Sport or just Bristol City?

I’m assuming predominantly BCFC, but a bit of BS too

 

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5 hours ago, headhunter said:

If you got as far as the penultimate paragraph you will have read that I put, "...on return to Guernsey their Covid regime is that he would have to stay at home for 10 days – no hardship when you see his home there and he’s probably not come off the island this year"?!!!!

It is not a case that he can't, as you assert in your post - as I see it has has chosen not too.

You’ve missed the real conspiracy theory as to why he can’t come back. Maybe those who know do not speak. Those who speak do not know 

PS - Elvis is alive on the dark side of the moon 

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18 minutes ago, pongo88 said:

You’ve missed the real conspiracy theory as to why he can’t come back. Maybe those who know do not speak. Those who speak do not know 

PS - Elvis is alive on the dark side of the moon 

That’s a funny name for a chip shop!

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18 minutes ago, pongo88 said:

You’ve missed the real conspiracy theory as to why he can’t come back. Maybe those who know do not speak. Those who speak do not know 

PS - Elvis is alive on the dark side of the moon 

The credits say Walters, Gilmour, Mason and Wright, now that is a conspiracy theory but it doesn't sound much like him..

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7 hours ago, headhunter said:

If you don’t like conspiracy theories stop reading now!!!

With Steve Lansdown revealing on the 3 Peeps Podcast interview that he is actively looking for new investors I thought I would check out the status of the Ipswich Town take over by an American backed group with, allegedly, some connections to Mark Ashton.

This article from the local paper on 30th March confirms it hasn’t happened yet through some sort of stumbling block but that a recent Land Registry search suggests the deal might be back on: https://www.eadt.co.uk/news/ipswich-town-takeover-rumours-latest-update-7861492

The company conducting the search was Gamechanger 20 Ltd.  A free of charge check on Companies House shows this company was formed last year and while most of the named directors are US Citizens there is one Brit on there by the name of Michael Kevin O’Leary. This link shows he has 3 current directorship appointments and another 35 in the past: https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/officers/Brxiejo2pDlcMx711-DW-WZ_0bE/appointments

Scrolling down on that link you will see that O’Leary was a Director of West Bromwich Albion from 5/02 – 12/03 which coincides with Mark Ashton’s time there before the latter left to join Watford. Move forward to 2014 and this list of O’Leary’s past appointments shows that he was, in the summer of that year, appointed a Director of 2 companies, Alycidon Ltd and Oxford United Football Club. He resigned from both on 30th October 2015.

This is Mark Ashton’s Companies House listing of appointments: https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/officers/qoejyvFelWmTZsZ99NjiaO44bh8/appointments

His LinkedIn Profile says he was a Director of WBA from 1990-2004. That does not appear on Companies House which itself is not unusual – you can have Director in your job title but not be registered. For the latter part of his time there he would, as noted above, had regular contact with Michael O’Leary.

In May 2014 ALYCIDON Ltd [name changed from Ensco 1070 in 2019] was formed and its two founding directors were Mark Ashton and Michael O’Leary. On 4th July 2014 both were appointed Director at Oxford United F.C. As stated above, O’LEARY resigned in October 2015 and Ashton two months later although I reckon it was on the same day, the date discrepancy due to late filing perhaps.

So, clearly, Ashton & O’Leary have a business relationship that extends back to 2002 and whilst it hasn’t been denied anywhere that I’ve read, there is substance in the claim that our CEO must have had some involvement in the Ipswich takeover even if it was just helping out a mate!!!

Now bringing things right up to the present, if you are a bunch of US guys looking to invest in an English football club [not the whole Bristol Sport thing] who would be your preferred choice: City or Ipswich? The Suffolk side had their successes over 30 years ago and, compared to Ashton Gate, Portman Road is a stadium that needs overhaul. Both sides can pull crowds of c24000. On balance, I think City would be most peoples’ choice – agree?

So the question is can we see Mark Ashton leading these Americans down to the west country and give Steve Lansdown the investment that he wants so that he can exit all the hassle of running a football club but still retain the infrastructure and bask in the joy of taking the credit for a rugby club that is poised to be among Europe’s elite for a lot less grief and a lot less money?

We said on FBC Podcast several weeks ago that we felt Lansdown might be looking for an out on the football side of things. We also said it was either folly or part of some curious masterplan to let so many contracts run down allowing a complete overhaul of the squad this summer.

Chairman Jon Lansdown appears out of the loop in terms of key decisions – unless someone can confirm otherwise he has been enjoying his life in sunny Bermuda for at least 6 months.I am becoming concerned that Ashton has more power than we think. Why do I say that? It was disturbing to hear Steve say that he has yet to meet Pearson in person. This could and should have already happened. Wouldn’t you want to meet the guy in person who has the track record to take the main element of the Bristol Sport brand, and that is BRISTOL CITY, to the “next level” [his words when firing Lee Johnson]. OK, on return to Guernsey their Covid regime is that he would have to stay at home for 10 days – no hardship when you see his home there and he’s probably not come off the island this year?!!!!

Is it Ashton who is responsible for this dragging of feet when it comes to confirming Pearson who yesterday said it will be too late to defer a decision to appoint him full time until the summer - give him a 3 year contract NOW? Could we find, come August, that the entity which is BCFC is under a new board composed of Americans plus Michael O’Leary [?] with Ashton at the helm as guardian of their investment and Michael Appleton, not Nigel Pearson, in charge of things on the field – it’s a nightmare scenario for me but it will be very interesting to see what plays out on & off the field in the 118 days between now and 1ST August!!

If you’ve read this far you are as mad me and need to get out more!!!!

 

 

Partridge Cloud | you're wasting your life.

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3 hours ago, pongo88 said:

You’ve missed the real conspiracy theory as to why he can’t come back. Maybe those who know do not speak. Those who speak do not know 

PS - Elvis is alive on the dark side of the moon 

Bollocks, There is no Dark side of the Moon as a matter of FACT it's all dark.

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I'd say Ipswich would the better investment prospect right now as the purchase price would be lower because they're in League 1 and very likely to stay there this year. 

Long term potential of both clubs would be similar. 

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12 hours ago, fgrsimon said:

I'd say Ipswich would the better investment prospect right now as the purchase price would be lower because they're in League 1 and very likely to stay there this year. 

Long term potential of both clubs would be similar. 

Investment of facilities at city would be lower, will Portman road need updating anytime soon? Their training ground?

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On 04/04/2021 at 14:32, downendcity said:

If you want conspiracy theories, I reckon Mark Ashton could be "H" in Line of Duty. 

 

line-of-duty-martin-compston-DS-Steve-Ar

0_JMP_QPR_v_Bristol_City_Carabao_Cup_RT0

 

.....have they ever been seen together in the same room?

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8 hours ago, Lrrr said:

Investment of facilities at city would be lower, will Portman road need updating anytime soon? Their training ground?

Always been a fine stadium, current capacity 30,300 two stands rebuilt in early 2000s.

No idea about the training facilities though.

Always been a pretty well run club but getting rid of Mick McCarthy was a truly catastrophic decision, they were 12th when he left!

 

 

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