There isn’t a conflict of interest between the owners or beneficiaries though is there? The only conflict is that you, I or almost everyone else doesn’t want us to pay the rent, but there is no conflict between JB, the club or the pension fund.
Ultimately we need to stop moaning or do something about it. If 2,500 supporters each put £2,500 that would be over the £6m asking price and the ground could be purchased. Trouble is most don’t want to give up their holidays, cars etc to spend the money on that and everyone has the right to spend their money how they wish…but that includes JB.
JB is 72, sure he would rather have £6m now than £400k a year. It will take 15 years, by which time he would be almost 90, to get the same money. Club has been for sale for years but who will pay £6m for the ground, £1.5m to pay off JB’s loans and whatever it’s worth as a football club on top for a club that’s never had gates of more than 6,000 to 7,000 (as well as everyone moaning if they don’t spend their hard earned cash the way everyone else wants them to)?
Err…I was merely trying to point out a fairly fundamental weakness in your own manufactured fantasy of the existence of further beneficiaries in this scheme beyond the Bonsers. Obviously wasting my time.
JB the club owner says to the pension fund “we’d like to borrow some money off you to make improvements”. JB the pension fund trustee says “no problem but we’ll have to increase the rent”. JB the club owner says “That’s fine”.
No conflict at all.
Guys, all I am saying is most small pension scheme (which this one is) are based around the pension fund buying the factory/office or whatever of the main shareholders. Why do you think this is any different?
Pension funds and private limited companies (such as The Walsall Football Club Limited) are there to increase the wealth of its owners. If I were to tell you how to spend your money I’m sure you would tell me where to go, why do you think you, me or anyone has the right to tell JB how to spend his?
You mention fantasy, but the reality is someone who owns a private company and a private pension fund can, rightly or wrongly, do whatever they want with those entities. I also didn’t realise you guys had seen the pension fund accounts and now all about how much was borrowed to finance the stadium, at what rate and all other financial details.
Well, there’s the land, and the stadium, which are separate entities, acquired separately, by JB or on his behalf, while the club didn’t get a look in. We owned Fellows Park, land and all, moved to Bescot and lost the lot. Since then there’s been several credible offers (and some complete mickey mouse ones, to be fair), so all the talk now is just that. There’s no point in passing the hat to get pledges to make an offer because Uncle Jeff won’t sell till he wants to - fact.
You’d be surprised at how much information is out there, by the way. A few quid at companies house gets you plenty, and talking to those with long memories paints a picture too.
Cheers, trouble is with Companies House (it’s free by the way these days to look at what’s filed) the pension fund, which is the key entity, isn’t a company and so only files figures with HMRC. Meaning they are a secret.
By no means do I fully support JB but if I were him I would point to the fact the club was heading into liquidation when he took over and is now more financially sound than at any time, the stadium and supporters facilities are way beyond anything we had before and we have a training ground which we also never had before him (though I would have put transfer fees received since then into a fund to buy the ground).
On the pitch we have spent 8 years, is it?, in second tier of football, 4 in 103 years prior to JB and 4 in 27 years since and have got as far in FA cup as we ever have on numerous occasions. I think JB does what’s best for him first (and mistakes have been made) and the club second, but to say his ownership has been a disaster just isn’t right.
It hasn’t been a disaster at all but it’s in danger of becoming one, that’s what worries the fans.
You can only give him credit for taking the club out of liquidation for so long. That was a quarter of a century ago now.
The world moves on and the club may have done things like use a training ground and put ■■■■ pantos on, but the wages are almost non league level, the attendances only ever bump for a few glory fixtures, like play offs, Chelsea and Wembley. One thing does move on though, every year. Rent.
We are run like a proper football club in 1995. It’s not 1995 anymore. That’s why it worked then and is in danger of not working now,
A lot of what you say is absolutely correct but I feel he has used up his credit for a lot of those things.
And to answer your earlier point about why do we get a say in how he spends it, it’s because, contrary to what he wants us to believe, this football club runs on it’s fans and it’s “other football related income” like sponsorship and TV Deals, not the odd jolly up with Nigel Benn. We are the ones lining his pocket in the first place. without the fans not only do the gate receipts disappear but so does all of that income.
Didn’t we have a group of posts last week bemoaning the lack of basic investment in the stadium facilities? Taps, kiosk service etc. Anything that doesn’t immediately generate cash has been run down. Things that can have been ‘upgraded’ - big screen for adverts, massive advertising hoardings, Bonser suite. I better not mention the Saddlers club and the state of affairs there.
It depends whether you think saving the Club all those years ago - restoring a consistent level of financial stability - and presiding over many a successful period (including the most successful under Colin Lee) gives JB the right to take his hefty annual slice.
I would argue the prominent issue is not the slice taken - but the size of the slice.