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Time for a re-think


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With the fallout from the proposed European Superleague washing across Europe, perhaps this is the time for a re-think on the part of our owner as regards American, or other foreign, investment into Bristol City.  With ideas from increased state involvement coming from France, through recognition of the social community importance of the sport to be recognised coming from Spain, and the German ownership model proving successful, thought must surely now be given for the club to be part of football’s future rather than past and create a club with strong democratic roots, acknowledging both fans and the wider social importance of the club.

 

Your thoughts, people?

 

 

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23 minutes ago, Ivorguy said:

With the fallout from the proposed European Superleague washing across Europe, perhaps this is the time for a re-think on the part of our owner as regards American, or other foreign, investment into Bristol City.  With ideas from increased state involvement coming from France, through recognition of the social community importance of the sport to be recognised coming from Spain, and the German ownership model proving successful, thought must surely now be given for the club to be part of football’s future rather than past and create a club with strong democratic roots, acknowledging both fans and the wider social importance of the club.

 

Your thoughts, people?

 

 

So basically you are saying the investment that SL is looking for should be local and give the fans an involvement / ownership of the club, so assuming SL would be looking for someone to stump up £30+ million at a guess to make it even worth considering (put possible much more), where is this money coming from? you have had a quest to rid BCFC of SL for years, but never provide how this would be financed or how the club would survive and not be just another tin pot bristol rovers without his money. Now with this suggestion, you don't have to cover all the money SL would want for the club, just an investment, so over to you on how this can be done, its only £30 million?

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8 minutes ago, sh1t_ref_again said:

So basically you are saying the investment that SL is looking for should be local and give the fans an involvement / ownership of the club, so assuming SL would be looking for someone to stump up £30+ million at a guess to make it even worth considering (put possible much more), where is this money coming from? you have had a quest to rid BCFC of SL for years, but never provide how this would be financed or how the club would survive and not be just another tin pot bristol rovers without his money. Now with this suggestion, you don't have to cover all the money SL would want for the club, just an investment, so over to you on how this can be done, its only £30 million?

5000 fans each investing £6000 or 2500 investing £12000 each.  That way we would really have a stake in the club!

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2 minutes ago, Bat Fastard said:

5000 fans each investing £6000 or 2500 investing £12000 each.  That way we would really have a stake in the club!

If people thought their £6K would genuinely mean something (and there was a workable system in place to withdraw your money should the need arise) after a certain period of time) you might well be able to achieve that. It's certainly got to be a better prospect that laying down in resignation and waiting for a Yank Asset Manager mate of Steve's to come on board making all the right noises INITIALLY.

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2 minutes ago, Numero Uno said:

If people thought their £6K would genuinely mean something (and there was a workable system in place to withdraw your money should the need arise) after a certain period of time) you might well be able to achieve that. It's certainly got to be a better prospect that laying down in resignation and waiting for a Yank Asset Manager mate of Steve's to come on board making all the right noises INITIALLY.

It would have to be a question of buying and selling shares.  SL would have to decide at the outset if the infrastructure was to be included.  There would have to be a launch document that outlined how profits could be made.  Many on here would struggle with the concept!

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I think this needs to be looked at more broadly than just the owners.  The whole financial model of excessive wage demands and fees which keeps increasing is driving this greed.   

Like it or not some sort of wage cap needs to be introduce as well as limits on fees and other incentives too.  It may not be perfect to start with but can evolve to improve the controls. Things need to change. 

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34 minutes ago, sh1t_ref_again said:

So basically you are saying the investment that SL is looking for should be local and give the fans an involvement / ownership of the club, so assuming SL would be looking for someone to stump up £30+ million at a guess to make it even worth considering (put possible much more), where is this money coming from? you have had a quest to rid BCFC of SL for years, but never provide how this would be financed or how the club would survive and not be just another tin pot bristol rovers without his money. Now with this suggestion, you don't have to cover all the money SL would want for the club, just an investment, so over to you on how this can be done, its only £30 million?

And therein lays the problem. Here in BS3 and in football in general.

Through lemming-like in action BCFC supporters and supporters across the UK have been blinded by the tempting sweet taste of the promised land and allowed “the men with money” to takeover football.

Lansdown, Levy and the bloke from Starsky and Hutch. They’re all the ******* same. No real interest in football. Only interested in making money.

We sell out and sell our soul. And they buy it. And everything in sight.

Too late. The horse bolted years ago.

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42 minutes ago, sh1t_ref_again said:

So basically you are saying the investment that SL is looking for should be local and give the fans an involvement / ownership of the club, so assuming SL would be looking for someone to stump up £30+ million at a guess to make it even worth considering (put possible much more), where is this money coming from? you have had a quest to rid BCFC of SL for years, but never provide how this would be financed or how the club would survive and not be just another tin pot bristol rovers without his money. Now with this suggestion, you don't have to cover all the money SL would want for the club, just an investment, so over to you on how this can be done, its only £30 million?

Thanks for your response.  Your answer will be echoed by many.  But the truth is football must return to its roots, ie local community, and build from there.  Other replies seem to agree with this.

All this shows is, as many experts have said, over the last few days, for football across Europe this is a watershed moment.

To answer your specific point there are numerous steps that could be taken to democratise football.  Some have already posted about transfer and wages caps.  There are existing models to explore such as the German 50+1 model.  
 

There are no easy fix solutions as the problem has been building to this point of decision for decades.  
 

 My point is simply that the crisis across football as a whole comes at a time when our own club is at a crossroads and, to use that dreadful modern phrase, a ‘roadmap’ needs to be laid down for where we are going, not in on pitch terms (many are sick to death of broken promises on that score) but in terms of the whole structure and ethos of OUR club

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42 minutes ago, Numero Uno said:

If people thought their £6K would genuinely mean something (and there was a workable system in place to withdraw your money should the need arise) after a certain period of time) you might well be able to achieve that. It's certainly got to be a better prospect that laying down in resignation and waiting for a Yank Asset Manager mate of Steve's to come on board making all the right noises INITIALLY.

It really wouldn't work.

The point about the German model is that it applies to all the clubs.

If Bristol City in isolation followed the German model then it would be goodbye to the Championship forever as so many clubs within it, like us currently, have owners that are prepared to write off £10m+ year after year.  We would have to drop down to the level where that isn't happening around us.

What is required is a much stricter version of FFP applying to all clubs or a change in the law regarding allowed ownership of English football clubs.

Exeter was doing fine, last I looked, as a fan consortium-owned club but they are not going to rise, other than briefly, above L2.    If we go the same route, without the clubs around us also doing that, then we will be their equivalent in L1.

You need to reform all the clubs; not just one.  Alan Sugar tried to do this wth a much more powerful club in Spurs and he eventually gave up.

 

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57 minutes ago, Bat Fastard said:

5000 fans each investing £6000 or 2500 investing £12000 each.  That way we would really have a stake in the club!

Didn't we do something like that in the mid nineties? 

I know I was a "Silver" share subscriber, £600 bought me discounts off my season tickets for 3 years; and a load of shares. I think there was Gold ones as well.

These shares were x10 (in quantity) of what the 1982 shares were. So over time, when they were administrated by Cartwrights, and then Burgess Salmon; I made quite a bit of money on them. Selling them to people that were listed on the share register as wanting to buy them.

Of course Pula Sports have now bought up all of the remaining shares through some sort of compulsory order. I've kept a few shares for sentimental reason (1982 ones).

I'm not sure that Pula, after doing the above, will want to open up the share register again.

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54 minutes ago, BigAl&Toby said:

And therein lays the problem. Here in BS3 and in football in general.

Through lemming-like in action BCFC supporters and supporters across the UK have been blinded by the tempting sweet taste of the promised land and allowed “the men with money” to takeover football.

Lansdown, Levy and the bloke from Starsky and Hutch. They’re all the ******* same. No real interest in football. Only interested in making money.

We sell out and sell our soul. And they buy it. And everything in sight.

Too late. The horse bolted years ago.

That's really insulting to compare SL with the US owners, Levy, etc. He's certainly not in it for the money. Be very very careful what you wish for. And no, I'm not connected with him (or MA or any other of the hate figures that have delivered a fine stadium and achieved what was just a dream of establishing us in the Championship). 

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9 minutes ago, Banned User said:

You think any owner, in this country at least, will sell a % of their club to 5000 clueless fans rather than 1 highly successful businessman? No chance

Hence why Pula Sports bought out all the other shareholders, to do away with the necessity for an AGM each season.

 

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16 minutes ago, red panda said:

That's really insulting to compare SL with the US owners, Levy, etc. He's certainly not in it for the money. Be very very careful what you wish for. And no, I'm not connected with him (or MA or any other of the hate figures that have delivered a fine stadium and achieved what was just a dream of establishing us in the Championship). 

You sure? Absolutely sure?

He’s not in it for the money?

As I said. Like Lemmings.......

If Lansdown had any interest whatsoever in the football or the supporters why have complete control? Why buy up all the BCFC 82 shares? Why acquire ownership through an offshore multi-layered company?

How is that so different to any other foreign or non-dom owner?

I’d love to know......

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1 hour ago, Numero Uno said:

If people thought their £6K would genuinely mean something (and there was a workable system in place to withdraw your money should the need arise) after a certain period of time) you might well be able to achieve that. It's certainly got to be a better prospect that laying down in resignation and waiting for a Yank Asset Manager mate of Steve's to come on board making all the right noises INITIALLY.

If SL included only the playing operation in the IPO and kept a controlling interest, that he could sell if JL did not want to continue with his involvement, that would seem to tick some of the boxes.  It would give a huge boost to the finances, but it would be difficult to come up with a business plan that was seriously designed to make a profit.  If the infrastructure was included, it would mean that the fans (probably) would struggle to come up with sufficient funds.  The prospect of a new and wealthy partner would seem favourite, but it would not take long for the fans to turn against the new partner unless there was an unbroken spell of success. And then, some on here would condemn it as the "wrong kind of success"!

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One way to do it would be to set up a new company (or a trust) possibly a community interest company*, let's call it "FanCo" for the purposes of this post. Fans get sold shares in FanCo, and FanCo then buys shares in Bristol City Holdings Ltd**. FanCo has a small board of directors/trustees and one of them is appointed as the corporate representative of FanCo for general meeting or written resolution purposes. That avoids the issue of hundreds of fans being entitled to go to an general meeting or to be sent ordinary or special resolutions. Note that as a private company there's no obligation on BCHL to hold an AGM.

The shares that FanCo gets would be different to the shares that Lansdown/Pula own. FanCo's shares would hold only voting rights (and rights on a winding up) but confer no right to a dividend or other economic benefit. Lansdown/Pula hold all economic rights. In addition you'd amend the articles of association to give FanCo a right to appoint one director to the board, but I'd probably live with an observer only if that was a sticking point.

You could also have other provisions in the articles or have a separate shareholders agreement to govern certain other matters. 

*I cannot remember if those are allowed to act as holding companies.

**I can never for the life of me remember the exact corporate structure so it might be better to buy in one of the the other companies.

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I've always been proud that we have a British owner, who's also a fan.

I hope it continues for as long as is possible, and ideally I'd like to see all 92 league clubs with UK owners.

But the days of the local bloke who owns a haulage company, with cigar clamped  between his teeth are long gone.

I  think its pretty inevitable that SL will look to overseas investment to secure the future. Which wouldn't necessarily be bad in itself, although it would worry me from the outset. 

 

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1 hour ago, ncnsbcfc said:

Didn't we do something like that in the mid nineties? 

I know I was a "Silver" share subscriber, £600 bought me discounts off my season tickets for 3 years; and a load of shares. I think there was Gold ones as well.

These shares were x10 (in quantity) of what the 1982 shares were. So over time, when they were administrated by Cartwrights, and then Burgess Salmon; I made quite a bit of money on them. Selling them to people that were listed on the share register as wanting to buy them.

Of course Pula Sports have now bought up all of the remaining shares through some sort of compulsory order. I've kept a few shares for sentimental reason (1982 ones).

I'm not sure that Pula, after doing the above, will want to open up the share register again.

 

Just to correct this it was very much not a compusory order and they have not bought up all remaining shares; it was entirely people's personal choice whether or not they wanted to take up the offer.

It was a generous offer of the Lansdowns making good upon an earlier promise to repay shareholders at the price they paid for the shares when the actual valuation was about a thirrd to a quarter of that.

I had about two grand back I thought I wouldn't see again and was very grateful for that.

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How about banksy knock up a few murals, say one in london for chelsea and one in cornwall for man u? Then the clubs or owners would want to buy the sides of the houses they are on for billions, and we can then pump that money into BCFC. I think that'll work.

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2 hours ago, Bat Fastard said:

5000 fans each investing £6000 or 2500 investing £12000 each.  That way we would really have a stake in the club!

Sorry but only in your dreams, its easy to just knock out figures and whilst maybe a few wealthy individuals could buy in with much more than that, to get the numbers you are talking about is pie in the sky and that's even if the £30m I said was of interest, it may need to be much more.

Most fans moan about the cost or value for money of a season ticket, robins TV or food and drink at the gate, so to somehow suggest you could even find 5000 with a spare 6k let alone prepared to invest so that a collective group (which they may not agree with) would have a voice is farcical

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51 minutes ago, BigAl&Toby said:

You sure? Absolutely sure?

He’s not in it for the money?

As I said. Like Lemmings.......

If Lansdown had any interest whatsoever in the football or the supporters why have complete control? Why buy up all the BCFC 82 shares? Why acquire ownership through an offshore multi-layered company?

How is that so different to any other foreign or non-dom owner?

I’d love to know......

The post below addresses the second part of your question better than I could.  As to the first, haven't you noticed how many millions we (and almost every other EFL club) LOSE each year?  I really really don't get the hate for someone that has ploughed many many millions of his own money into our club (supporting annual losses as well as investing in hugely upgraded infrastructure).

But I realise this won't convince you.  Just continue with your irrational hatred .... 

 

11 minutes ago, Eddie Hitler said:

 

Just to correct this it was very much not a compusory order and they have not bought up all remaining shares; it was entirely people's personal choice whether or not they wanted to take up the offer.

It was a generous offer of the Lansdowns making good upon an earlier promise to repay shareholders at the price they paid for the shares when the actual valuation was about a thirrd to a quarter of that.

I had about two grand back I thought I wouldn't see again and was very grateful for that.

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1 minute ago, sh1t_ref_again said:

Sorry but only in your dreams, its easy to just knock out figures and whilst maybe a few wealthy individuals could buy in with much more than that, to get the numbers you are talking about is pie in the sky and that's even if the £30m I said was of interest, it may need to be much more.

Most fans moan about the cost or value for money of a season ticket, robins TV or food and drink at the gate, so to somehow suggest you could even find 5000 with a spare 6k let alone prepared to invest so that a collective group (which they may not agree with) would have a voice is farcical

What if the hypothetical £5,000 covered your ST for a number of years? It's also possible to structure payments over a number of years through vesting schemes or Options - although options might not give the voting power that's desired.

Also, for the shares to be considered "paid for" for accounting purposes the company only needs to receive "cash". That's cash as defined in the companies act 2006, and a promise to pay is deemed to be as good as paying, so you would not necessarily need to find people with a literal was of £50 notes in their hands.

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2 minutes ago, ExiledAjax said:

What if the hypothetical £5,000 covered your ST for a number of years? It's also possible to structure payments over a number of years through vesting schemes or Options - although options might not give the voting power that's desired.

Also, for the shares to be considered "paid for" for accounting purposes the company only needs to receive "cash". That's cash as defined in the companies act 2006, and a promise to pay is deemed to be as good as paying, so you would not necessarily need to find people with a literal was of £50 notes in their hands.

Not sure how the club be any better off, that's not new extra investment, but a loan against ticket sales. SL does not need to raise capital, he is looking for new investor

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1 minute ago, sh1t_ref_again said:

Not sure how the club be any better off, that's not new extra investment, but a loan against ticket sales. SL does not need to raise capital, he is looking for new investor

I was coming at it more from a perspective of getting us to 50+1 ownership. 

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41 minutes ago, BigAl&Toby said:

You sure? Absolutely sure?

He’s not in it for the money?

As I said. Like Lemmings.......

If Lansdown had any interest whatsoever in the football or the supporters why have complete control? Why buy up all the BCFC 82 shares? Why acquire ownership through an offshore multi-layered company?

How is that so different to any other foreign or non-dom owner?

I’d love to know......

If he's in it just for the money then it is pretty poor and slow return on his investment. Appreciate you don't like the set up or clearly the individual as these are views you've expressed reasonably regularly, and I suspect that no-counter argument however valid will change your view.

There are probably more educated people than me posting on here who might better describe the company structure and why it has been set up in different ways, but I would argue that this is perhaps more to do with tax efficiency and how his monetary input is counted with regard to the financial rules clubs have to follow.

If you are the sole source of the financial input, would you rather have slightly more than an opinion on how it is used, or just come up with the cash and say to the board "don't waste it lads"?

His idea for the club to be successful and self-funded through player development and ultimate horse-trading might be naive, and would agree that collectively some of the decisions behind the scenes in the past have been wrong, but I genuinely think that his involvement has been overall positive and with some success (Ashton Gate, High Performance Centre) and his intentions have been perhaps more philanthropic than he is given credit for.

Would we be in the same place had he not been involved? I rather suspect not, and perhaps we would essentially a L2, L1 YoYo club, which you can argue might provide us the supporters with more regular entertainment and more open top bus tours in the summer.

I'm not a lemming but I'd certainly prefer Lansdown as a benefactor than some murky Asian based holding company or consortium. 

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