What a footballing week it’s been – three wins, seven goals scored, Wesley missing another penalty, all culminating in an away win from a goal behind; very controlled and all positive.
Looking back, it’s hard to imagine that all that was proceeded by a social media frenzy and message board mutterings of protests over ownership, lack of ambition from the boardroom (because there are no “For Sale” signs outside Carrow Road) being broke, together with the questioning, in some quarters, about the manager’s inexperience and ability to attract the right players to the club and getting the best from the squad.
All of the above, as you would expect, has already been comprehensively covered by various writers on MyFootballWriter, and commented upon (I’m still waiting for the “gifting of tickets” to this particular columnist, by the way) in great detail.
However, there are a couple of issues worth revisiting.
The “not for sale” comment – despite the accompanying social media outcry – if given some considered thought, really shouldn’t come as any great surprise to anyone. The heir apparent is already in place; the club, despite the financial challenges following relegation, isn’t on the point of running out of cash and, therefore, in no immediate, or desperate need, for additional investment.
Would we like additional investment? Stupid question – of course.
Mick Dennis has already given insight into the Peter Cullum offer – there’s nothing further to add.
However, moving on a few years, there was, apparently, what could, perhaps generously, be phrased, an “expression of interest” from a certain Tony Fernandes – which pre-dated his involvement at QPR.
At the time, City were, of course, in League One, the banks wanted their money back (something we couldn’t do at the time) and, without knowing any of the details – so there’s an element of personal presumption here – the aforementioned gentleman probably sensed an opportunity to pick up a football club which, at the time, was perilously close to financial collapse.
What may not be appreciated, the only open available would have been an outright purchase of the majority shareholdings – although that would have given cash to them, not the club – followed by personal loan funding from the new owner.
Whatever discussions did, or did not, take place, we can only speculate but – and here’s the important bit, the club recognised that it was constrained at the time in its ability to issue new share capital. And, importantly, at the next AGM, shareholders approved a resolution for the club to be able to issue new ordinary shares up to an aggregate nominal amount of £1,000,000.
That’s one million new ordinary shares. Or, put another way, potentially, up to £100,000,000 new cash, always assuming you can find a punter willing to purchase those shares at £100 a pop!
That would now be more than enough right there to rebuild the City Stand – plus a Ross McCormack if you fancied it – and give the purchaser a 60 per cent controlling interest in the club.
The markets have, apparently, been trawled before for potential investors – perhaps, now, with City in a much better position financial health than previously, is a time to revisit the options?
There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that nothing beats an actual match day experience. Watching your team live beats any Sky subscription hands down. Every. Single. Time.
Therefore, Rick’s recent exploration of the opening up the match day experience to a wider fan base made me recall how challenging this would, in practice, actually be.
A few seasons back, me and two others decided to change our season ticket seats. However, getting three together proved impossible. The best we could do was a pair, with the third seat three away to the right.
No problem, we thought. At the first match we’d ask the intervening occupants – who were also season ticket holders – if they’d mind shuffling one seat to their right.
What we hadn’t anticipated, among a sea of yellow seats, one of the two intervening seats was actually green, forming part of the huge Canary motif which dominates that particular stand. Our request for a “shuffle” on match day one, was therefore met with the surprising reply: “I love my green seat, I’m not moving for anyone!”
The opportunity for further meaningful negotiation was promptly curtailed by one my colleagues responding; “FFS, it’s a piece of plastic. Does it matter what colour it is?”
Notwithstanding the nature of the above incident, it does, in all seriousness, highlight two problems – the limited availability of “non-season ticket” seats on match days (unless you’re prepared to take restricted view seat) and just how “precious” many season ticket holders are about their existing seats.
Any proposal by the club to reduce the season ticket cap downwards is likely to be hugely unpopular with existing season ticket holders and could only probably be done if a significant number suddenly decided not to renew, or, preferably, thorough a significant increase in capacity.
All of which, rather nicely, leads me back to the preference for additional investment, given the club’s current policy of investing very spare penny – whether in the Championship, or Premier League – in the playing squad.
There’s a conundrum for our new CEO to get his teeth into now the transfer window is closed.
Over to you Jez!