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SWINDON TOWN: Watkins sees Town as unique investment opportunity
SWINDON Town chief executive Nick Watkins has branded the club as a “unique opportunity in football” for potential investors.
The Robins are currently up for sale, with majority shareholder Andrew Black keen to sell off a large chunk of his 98 per cent shareholding, and it is believed that new buyers could snap up the club for as little as £1, with debts owed only to current investors.
Town have no outstanding payments to make to the taxman, banks or other creditors while, according to Watkins, Swindon are currently 15 per cent ahead of their budgeted revenues - leaving the chief exec to suggest the club should provide an attractive proposition to interested parties.
“If you look at the opportunity, it is a fairly unique opportunity in football,” he said. “The club has no debt, we have debts that are due to the shareholders but those debts in the event of the club being sold will be treated very kindly. But there is no debt to HMRC, there is no debt to the banks, we have no bank overdrafts, we have no major creditor issues.
“It’s a little unfortunate that the word ‘administration’ appeared in the headlines and we all know that the word administration is a word that sends a shiver down many people’s spines but it is a word that hovers around most football clubs at any one time.
“This club is not contemplating administration, this club does not want administration, this club will do whatever it can to avoid administration. In the final analysis, if we can’t find another buyer and if Andrew Black draws stumps and takes his bat and ball away and we are left in an invidious situation then of course we have to count that in as an option.
“Like in any situation, we never count it in and we never count it out. As far as the club’s concerned, we agreed the playing budget. That budget is as forecast, the cashflow requirements are as forecast - they were adjusted slightly as a result of the tribunal outcomes but they were readjusted in January.
“In terms of revenue over the first six months, the club is 15 per cent ahead of its budgeted revenues across all areas and in terms of playing, the club is actually in strong contention for promotion to the Championship. That’s exactly the strategy we discussed with Paolo, and Paolo is fulfilling.
“To be able to come into the club and acquire the club for a very reasonable consideration, debt-free, and commit to the funding going forward is what we need to achieve and find parties to buy into this vision and enjoy what I believe is an amazing opportunity.
“We are looking for someone to acquire the club for a very nominal consideration and then to continue to commit to fund the club for this year and into next season and it’s onward journey.”