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The Office (UK): Ipswich Town edition


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1 hour ago, REDOXO said:

The idea that Ashton was somehow working on a deal with Americans/Ipswich while being employed by Bristol City and no one knew anything is absurd,

I'm not so sure. We'd need to work out a timeline of events but the big questions such as who said what and when I doubt we'll ever fully know.

I can guarantee though that when I'm not in work at my desk, my boss would have no idea what I'm doing. It's not all that absurd to believe Ashton was devoting some time prior to the announcement of his departure working on non City related projects.

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52 minutes ago, Midlands Robin said:

I'm not so sure. We'd need to work out a timeline of events but the big questions such as who said what and when I doubt we'll ever fully know.

I can guarantee though that when I'm not in work at my desk, my boss would have no idea what I'm doing. It's not all that absurd to believe Ashton was devoting some time prior to the announcement of his departure working on non City related projects.

Yes But I didn't say that he was not devoting some time working on non City projects, in fact I made it clear he was. Its a matter of knowledge!!!

The issue is did SL and the board not know what he was doing. The breach of confidentiality, not to mention the breach of trust to an employer paying him 500k would have been enough for any suiter not to have gone through with the deal with him as it would have been clear that the person they were doing business with was not to be trusted. When you are paying out that kind of money having trust in the person/s you are doing business with is key! The idea that all this went trough while Ashton THE CEO of a rival business was not being open with his employer/Ipswich/The Buyer is fantasy born out of the dislike for the man, that many of us, including me, have for the individual!

UK Fiduciary duty rules are in the link

https://www.diligent.com/en-gb/blog/main-fiduciary-duties-uk-company-directors/

Furthermore under IRS and regulations in the USA deals of this kind are scrutinized by the IRS and in the case of big deals the FBI, this is to minimize money laundering issues in sport which are rife. furthermore The FA and The EFL dont wake up one morning to be told...Oh by the way Ipswich have new owners....! 

If someone has implied that Ashton breached his fiduciary duty no wonder threats/cease and desist notices have been issued ALLEGEDLY!

Edited by REDOXO
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Tricky one isn’t it.

The facts are inconsistent in terms of validating a position. 
 

SL mentioning Ashton by name in opening the HPC, Nige saying some complimentary words about his then CEO -gives weight to parting on good terms vs no public departing message on the official Club site (to my knowledge), on/off the pitch leaving the Club in a perilous position- including losing £££ millions on players he signed, no slot-in replacement CEO, those issues makes you think he departed rapidly and under a cloud. 

 

Maybe someone could ask Nige at the forum what he really thought of Ashton. While his words probably wouldn’t give things away, his body language might. 

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12 minutes ago, RedRock said:

Tricky one isn’t it.

The facts are inconsistent in terms of validating a position. 
 

SL mentioning Ashton by name in opening the HPC, Nige saying some complimentary words about his then CEO -gives weight to parting on good terms vs no public departing message on the official Club site (to my knowledge), on/off the pitch leaving the Club in a perilous position- including losing £££ millions on players he signed, no slot-in replacement CEO, those issues makes you think he departed rapidly and under a cloud. 

 

Maybe someone could ask Nige at the forum what he really thought of Ashton. While his words probably wouldn’t give things away, his body language might. 

Largely platitudes for public consumption I think so as to avoid washing dirty linen in public.

I posted earlier in the thread that it may also be a question of SL's ego. Let's face it he was hoodwinked by Ashton and let him run amok but no way is he going to admit that. Least of all is he going to admit that the fans were right and he was wrong.

So SL is the one to put the questions to not NP but nobody is going to have the guts to ask him and he wouldn't answer them honestly anyway.

Though his comment about Gould not being one to recommend players gave us a glimpse of what he thinks of Ashton in hindsight.

Edited by chinapig
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5 minutes ago, chinapig said:

Largely platitudes for public consumption I think so as to avoid washing dirty linen in public.

I posted earlier in the thread that it may also be a question of SL's ego. Let's face it he was hoodwinked by Ashton and let him run amok but no way is he going to admit that. Least of all is he going to admit that the fans were right and he was wrong.

So SL is the one to put the questions to not NP but nobody is going to have the guts to ask him and he wouldn't answer them honestly anyway.

Though his comment about Gould not being one to recommend players gave us a glimpse of what he thinks of Ashton in hindsight.

Yeah but…. If someone had made me look a mug ,cost me £millons and left the Club on the precipice of relegation, I certainly wouldn’t mention him by name at a media event in a positive way.

If it was just a matter of trying to save face, I’d just erase him from the history of the Club. 

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40 minutes ago, REDOXO said:

If someone has implied that Ashton breached his fiduciary duty no wonder threats/cease and desist notices have been issued ALLEGEDLY

So ultimately we've several options.

1) The breach of rules option which we'll discount as it could involve legal ramifications.

2) Ashton was not involved in any of the big work but was aware of the goings on, perhaps acted as a point of contact and was offered the role at Ipswich prior to SL being aware.

3) Ashton informed SL that he was working with investors to buy into Ipswich town on behalf of a former colleague and SL was happy for him to do so as long as it didn't effect his City work, ultimately Ashton decided to put his notice in and leave at the end of the season. 

4) Ashton woke up one morning to find a group of investors involving a long time friend and work mate of his had purchased Ipswich and quite out of the blue they called him up and offered him the CEO job.

Personally, I'd say the least likely of all of those would be option 3. I just can't see SL being happy with his CEO working for someone else when he should be concentrating 100 percent on Bristol City. 

From what I recall when the initial threads appeared on OTIB, there was no suggestion that any impropriety had taken place. The poster simply pointed out that a company with a link to one of Ashton's friends had popped up in relation to football investment. 

There was nothing more concrete than that. It was that scrap of info that sent the hot line at OTIB towers off.

Either way, I'm sure enough rocks will eventually get kicked over to reveal more light on the subject.

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18 minutes ago, RedRock said:

Yeah but…. If someone had made me look a mug ,cost me £millons and left the Club on the precipice of relegation, I certainly wouldn’t mention him by name at a media event in a positive way.

If it was just a matter of trying to save face, I’d just erase him from the history of the Club. 

Perhaps, or if you are Steve you keep up the pretence until he's gone to save face. A bit like a manager leaving by alleged mutual consent when everybody knows he's been sacked.

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38 minutes ago, Midlands Robin said:

So ultimately we've several options.

1) The breach of rules option which we'll discount as it could involve legal ramifications.

2) Ashton was not involved in any of the big work but was aware of the goings on, perhaps acted as a point of contact and was offered the role at Ipswich prior to SL being aware.

3) Ashton informed SL that he was working with investors to buy into Ipswich town on behalf of a former colleague and SL was happy for him to do so as long as it didn't effect his City work, ultimately Ashton decided to put his notice in and leave at the end of the season. 

4) Ashton woke up one morning to find a group of investors involving a long time friend and work mate of his had purchased Ipswich and quite out of the blue they called him up and offered him the CEO job.

Personally, I'd say the least likely of all of those would be option 3. I just can't see SL being happy with his CEO working for someone else when he should be concentrating 100 percent on Bristol City. 

From what I recall when the initial threads appeared on OTIB, there was no suggestion that any impropriety had taken place. The poster simply pointed out that a company with a link to one of Ashton's friends had popped up in relation to football investment. 

There was nothing more concrete than that. It was that scrap of info that sent the hot line at OTIB towers off.

Either way, I'm sure enough rocks will eventually get kicked over to reveal more light on the subject.

I posted on here some time before anything got announced on any subject (M&A related) that the club at the time were not letting any information  out of the club and this felt like a quiet period before an announcement. (It’s in my posting history)  People at the time were concerned of the lack of info from the club! Subsequently  the Ipswich thing became common knowledge and SL went on a podcast stating his intent to look into investors/investment from outside. 
 

Your scenarios. Are thAt your scenarios. What has happened is relatively clear and has already put OUT there. No breach of rules has occurred to the best of anyone’s knowledge. The rule makers would include FA EFL IRS FBI HMIR UEFA FIFA et al.  Mark Ashton has not been charged with any kind of misconduct and has clearly complied with rules to the best of anyone’s knowledge as of today. He is not in any danger of being barred from holding future directorships to my knowledge and anything else that is stated/speculated on here or anywhere else to the contrary could get people into a world of pain!

Edit. I still don’t like him much, but have never met him so he could be a good bloke to have a beer with. Either way the man is not stupid enough to put his entire career in jeopardy particularly as he has been on the EFL board!

Edited by REDOXO
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47 minutes ago, REDOXO said:

UEFA FIFA

Two paragons of virtue right there.

🤣

It's still possible to be an asshole and not break the law. Just look at 99 percent of the MP's involved in the expenses scandal.

Yes, my scenarios were very general and I agree, anyone leveling the accusation of illegal activities needs to be extremely sure of what they're saying before claiming such. 

I'm also sure that posting of a link between person A, person B and an Investment company isn't enough to bring Perry Mason banging on your door. 

Whatever went on, the last 12 months turned out pretty badly for our football club but didn't seem to effect the career of our former CEO.

Edit - But our future is definitely looking better with NP and RG in post.

Edited by Midlands Robin
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To paraphrase  Blackadder, Mark Ashton is as a cunning as a fox that’s just been appointed Professor of Cunning at Oxford University.

If the opportunity arose to “facilitate” his friend's investment group’s takeover of ITFC and that offered him the potential for personal advancement ( both in status and financially) then I am pretty sure he would know how to go about it without alerting his current employers and without compromising his position at BCFC.

It might not just have been the opportunity for personal and financial rewards that appealed. It might just have been that he could see the wheels coming off at BCFC thanks to some of the decisions he had made, so the ITFC opportunity gave him an exit strategy so that he could jump before being pushed, if it came to that.

Long term I think most are agreed that the club will progress better without MA at the helm. The only shame is that we’ve had to suffer the last 2-3 years to come to that realisation.

 

 

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11 hours ago, REDOXO said:

Edit. I still don’t like him much, but have never met him so he could be a good bloke to have a beer with

No way would he have a beer. More likely one of those over the top cocktails that Del Boy used to drink!  

 

12 hours ago, Midlands Robin said:

Personally, I'd say the least likely of all of those would be option 3. I just can't see SL being happy with his CEO working for someone else when he should be concentrating 100 percent on Bristol City. 

Given the tailspin that we found ourselves in last season, for MA to have had any part of his attention anywhere other than BCFC would no way have been allowed by SL either formally or informally. Surely . . . 

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18 minutes ago, CyderInACan said:

No way would he have a beer. More likely one of those over the top cocktails that Del Boy used to drink!  

“J.D” apparently, according to the interview that Pete quoted.

🤢
I’m picturing a Cliff Barnes type character swirling his ice around the class 😖

Edited by exAtyeoMax
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7 minutes ago, exAtyeoMax said:

“J.D” apparently, according to the interview that Pete quoted.

🤢
I’m picturing a Cliff Barnes type character swirling his ice around the class 😖

Well fair play to him for avoiding the posh politician cliche.

You know the one, "look at me, man of the people with my shirt collar unbuttoned and 3/4s of a pint of bitter in front of me". 

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5 minutes ago, Port Said Red said:

Well fair play to him for avoiding the posh politician cliche.

You know the one, "look at me, man of the people with my shirt collar unbuttoned and 3/4s of a pint of bitter in front of me". 

…he’s the type who wear their ‘soccer’ scarf like a tie…yup, I’m down with the fans

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Companies House showed O'Leary registered as a director at Gamechanger20 on 23 July last year so that is the first documented evidence of Ashton's involvement with the Americans at ITFC even if that is by Proxy - i.e. O'Leary is his longstanding business associate.

Did he breach his fiduciary responsibility as a director at Bristol City? Cannot be proven unless there is the smoking gun of an email trail somewhere.

Was his heart in BCFC from last summer? I think not. I wonder when interviewing Cook as Holden's replacement IF he blew him out for us knowing that his credentials in lower leagues might help ITFC? Should he have had more of a grip on contractual matters ABSOLUTELY.

SL offering praise to MA for HPC is all a show to deflect from the naivety he and his son showed for not being on it.

Appleton in at Portman Road before the end of the month; ITFC have Lincoln away next I think 

 

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10 minutes ago, headhunter said:

Companies House showed O'Leary registered as a director at Gamechanger20 on 23 July last year so that is the first documented evidence of Ashton's involvement with the Americans at ITFC even if that is by Proxy - i.e. O'Leary is his longstanding business associate.

Did he breach his fiduciary responsibility as a director at Bristol City? Cannot be proven unless there is the smoking gun of an email trail somewhere.

Was his heart in BCFC from last summer? I think not. I wonder when interviewing Cook as Holden's replacement IF he blew him out for us knowing that his credentials in lower leagues might help ITFC? Should he have had more of a grip on contractual matters ABSOLUTELY.

SL offering praise to MA for HPC is all a show to deflect from the naivety he and his son showed for not being on it.

Appleton in at Portman Road before the end of the month; ITFC have Lincoln away next I think 

 

Great minds.  I was looking at CH last night and seeing if MA was now director at Ipswich, he is.  I had a look at Gamechanger quickly but didn’t check the year.

Mike O’Leary - West Brom, Oxford, Alicydon Ltd, Ipswich

Mark Ashton - ditto

As we know already.

There is no doubt that Mark Ashton took his eye off the ball here, and Steve Lansdown took his eye off of Mark Ashton.

 

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5 minutes ago, Davefevs said:

Great minds.  I was looking at CH last night and seeing if MA was now director at Ipswich, he is.  I had a look at Gamechanger quickly but didn’t check the year.

Mike O’Leary - West Brom, Oxford, Alicydon Ltd, Ipswich

Mark Ashton - ditto

As we know already.

There is no doubt that Mark Ashton took his eye off the ball here, and Steve Lansdown took his eye off of Mark Ashton.

 

And Jon Lansdown had his eye on a nice holiday home in the Bahamas...

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33 minutes ago, Davefevs said:

Great minds.  I was looking at CH last night and seeing if MA was now director at Ipswich, he is.  I had a look at Gamechanger quickly but didn’t check the year.

Mike O’Leary - West Brom, Oxford, Alicydon Ltd, Ipswich

Mark Ashton - ditto

As we know already.

There is no doubt that Mark Ashton took his eye off the ball here, and Steve Lansdown took his eye off of Mark Ashton.

 

It’s the perfect storm, everyone looking the other way and not at the problem. As a club we’re fortunate that we survived last season. 
 

Posted previously I would like the Lansdowns to come out and give an explanation to the huge number of players who were out of contract last season. Whilst I agree it wasn’t bad to see these players move on from a wages perspective, but not to recoup anything for those players in a covid environment and a club that makes a financial loss yearly is neglect if they didn’t give the approval. 

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1 hour ago, headhunter said:

Companies House showed O'Leary registered as a director at Gamechanger20 on 23 July last year so that is the first documented evidence of Ashton's involvement with the Americans at ITFC even if that is by Proxy - i.e. O'Leary is his longstanding business associate.

Did he breach his fiduciary responsibility as a director at Bristol City? Cannot be proven unless there is the smoking gun of an email trail somewhere.

Was his heart in BCFC from last summer? I think not. I wonder when interviewing Cook as Holden's replacement IF he blew him out for us knowing that his credentials in lower leagues might help ITFC? Should he have had more of a grip on contractual matters ABSOLUTELY.

SL offering praise to MA for HPC is all a show to deflect from the naivety he and his son showed for not being on it.

Appleton in at Portman Road before the end of the month; ITFC have Lincoln away next I think 

 

I get the impression that Appleton is tougher than people think. Do people really think he’d work with Ashton again? He has prior experience after all. Would he actually sell his soul to go to ITFC? 

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49 minutes ago, Davefevs said:

Great minds.  I was looking at CH last night and seeing if MA was now director at Ipswich, he is.  I had a look at Gamechanger quickly but didn’t check the year.

Mike O’Leary - West Brom, Oxford, Alicydon Ltd, Ipswich

Mark Ashton - ditto

As we know already.

There is no doubt that Mark Ashton took his eye off the ball here, and Steve Lansdown took his eye off of Mark Ashton.

 

A well respected poster on here made a comment well over two/three years ago that Steve was unhappy with the influence and control that MA wielded at AG. I don’t know their source and can’t remember the exact time and context in which we were discussing MA but I thought at the time things weren’t as rosy behind the scenes as they were portrayed publically.

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4 minutes ago, exAtyeoMax said:

I get the impression that Appleton is tougher than people think. Do people really think he’d work with Ashton again? He has prior experience after all. Would he actually sell his soul to go to ITFC? 

I agree.  Think he will’ve seen the light of working without Ashton.  He’d have come here last summer if so.

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Seems like a lifetime ago he was getting virtual pats on the back for getting £20m for Webster.

The Ipswich takeover and his move there would of taken months and months of work. He didn't just jump ship at the last minute. In a year where the club needed to be stronger together, he's busy lining up his next venture.

I honestly don't know too much about Richard Gould but from what i have seen and heard so far he seems the polar opposite of MA, thankfully.

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