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QUESTION TIME: Midday-1pm
Updated 1:00pm Friday 15th February 2013 in Sport
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Thanks for your time, ladies and gents, hopefully that cleared up some questions you may have although I appreciate plenty remain unanswered.
Enjoy your weekends.
12:41pm Fri 15 Feb 13
Red Rascal says
Sam, seems to me that any owner will be looking at the financial equivalent of a black hole with ownership of Swindon until the facilities can generate more money. Do you know anything of their plans on that side of ownership and anything about the Councils current attitute to that?
I'm afraid this is one area I cannot give any insight to right now. We'll have to wait for official comment on this. Apologies.
12:40pm Fri 15 Feb 13
What is happening with the Luke Rooney situation?
It's in limbo until the situation regarding Marlon Pack can be resolved.
12:36pm Fri 15 Feb 13
Hi Sam, just out of interest, what is/was the agenda for the players / Di Canio today, and of course tomorrow since there is no game? Training and/or charity work etc., time off? Cheers
The players are due in training over the course of the weekend. They had a few days off after the game against Hartlepool.
12:33pm Fri 15 Feb 13
Super Mario TV says
Good Afternoon Sam, I understand you have already said that the new board will put putting some money into the club this season and next, but my question are the incoming board cash rich in terms of having available millions available to invest in the club?
The money is there to sustain the club in the immediate future. I am not convinced the board fall under the heading "cash rich" but that's not to say the consortium is made up of others who are.
12:29pm Fri 15 Feb 13
Ther has been some interesting debate on here lately about how to ensure the long-term stability of the club. Some feel that a rich benefactor like Andrew Black is the only way forward. Others think that sustainability should be our aim, including the possibility of the supporters' Trust owning a share of the club, like the Swansea model.
Do you think Swindon can be successful while staying within the financial fair play rules, and is fan ownership a realistic prospect?
Clubs are going to have to learn to be successful within those boundaries, although I imagine the majority will have already figured out where the loopholes are.
I don't think fan ownership is a realistic short-term objective but I believe it is crucial for a community club like Swindon to have the fans embedded in its heart and soul - therefore it would be terrific for the club to see a large percentage of its shareholding bought up by supporters.
In a way that protects it more for the future, but given the economic climate and the changing nature of football ownership only a handful of clubs have managed it.
12:28pm Fri 15 Feb 13
The Jockster says
Why did the FL reject McGrory's attempted takeover of Luton- are there any "warnings" the FL should need as a result in approving the same guy wanting to take over STFC?
I don't know the ins and outs of that matter. The Football League have been very thorough with this assessment, mainly due to Swindon's troubled financial history, and they are satisfied.
#stfcadver do u think this new board has been brought in as a stop gap until another interested party can get the relevant paperwork & money— @justinmorton74 15 February 2013
12:21pm Fri 15 Feb 13
pug ugly says
Being a cynical old git, I can't shake the feeling that the prospective owners are nothing but asset strippers.
Sure, they'll say the right things to placate fans but I can see our playing assets being sold one by one, replaced on the cheap, PdC being replaced by some non-entity of a manager and when the heat is really on they will disappear with pockets full of wonga, courtesy of STFC.
What's your take?
I don't think it's a feasible outcome. I understand the funds will be there to allow the club to strengthen in the loan window, while McCrory has already come out to back a working relationship with Di Canio - regardless of the terms of his NDA and the fact the manager has cast speculation over his own future.
In essence, the new owners prevented the club from being in a very dark place and for that I feel they need to be allowed the chance to settle in and express what they want to do for the community and the club.
From what I hear, I am impressed. Obviously it'll be for you to judge when they are able to speak publicly.
12:18pm Fri 15 Feb 13
Just how much notice was given to STFC by AB of his desire to sell and be out of STFC by the end of Jan?
If this was known well in advance of the end of Jan (i.e. when SWP was appointed) why was it left until the last minute (i.e. with respect to the transfer window) get things moving? This has left STFC in a depeleted state player-wise with no options until the deal is done.
To be honest I don't know when exactly the notice was served. I was first made aware of the discussions that the club would be put into administration unless it was sold the week of the Bournemouth away game, but I have not been able to establish when it was first talked about. Sorry I can't be much more help there.
12:17pm Fri 15 Feb 13
Despite uncertainty we reached 3rd place, beating Tranmere away could get us into the automatic places depending on other results, so reasons to be cheerful? I wonder what the new owners would feel / do if we were promoted this time?
I think the players haveto be given huge credit for the way they have conducted themselves through all this. Utterly professional, got on with the job and the result was a continued promotion push.
12:06pm Fri 15 Feb 13
Is there any news on the situation of ground redevelopment?
Quite simply, not yet no.
12:04pm Fri 15 Feb 13
Trying to restore some self respect now.
How much involvement has Phil Spencer had in bringing this consortium to the club?
I don't believe he was involved in the negotiations with this consortium.
11:59am Fri 15 Feb 13
STFC MARLOW says
I would like to know what type of investment can we expect with the new owners?
Will there be plays to redevelop the ground still?
The kind of investment that protects the club from imminent threats not worth considering. That's a good kind of investment. Regarding property development, that's an issue I have not got answers for just yet. Hopefully we'll hear more soon.
@sammorshead_SA - If Black is to keep 15% despite having got fed up/selling, should we assume he wants his investment back? #stfcadver— @talkinghawes 15 February 2013
@SamMorshead_SA You've seen us play more than most this season, can this threadbare squad get us up if no reinforcements arrive? #STFCadver— @MarnMoonraker 15 February 2013
11:18am Fri 15 Feb 13
Stratton Red says
How much do you estimate the Championship being worth compared to L1?
I have been told it is worth around £4million more on face value per year. However, with relevant cost increases that is likely to be closer to £1million to £1.5million. Still, not to be scoffed at.
11:22am Fri 15 Feb 13
With reference to the Terry Brady fiasco, do the oncoming board know that the ground cannot be sold for redevelopment other than for a sporting facility?
I am sure they will be well aware of the covenant on the ground, the discussions with the council, the ownership and freeholding of the land and the fact the lease is up for renewal next month.
11:16am Fri 15 Feb 13
Stratton Red says
Do the burgers at STFC contain horse?
It seems just about everything does nowadays! Of course I am no FSA investigator so I couldn't tell you.
@SamMorshead_SA what do you think about the price of a cadburys Freddos going up to £50p? #STFCadver— @blinkpip 15 February 2013
@SamMorshead_SA ... or will he retain a small percentage? Will any of the other current shareholders also retain an interest? 2/2 #stfcadver— @stfcrule 15 February 2013
@SamMorshead_SA Do we know if the new consortium will/have purchased all of Andrew Blacks shareholding ? 1/2 #stfcadver— @stfcrule 15 February 2013
11:11am Fri 15 Feb 13
Have the old/new/inbetween board turned down a recent request from a Championship team to speak to PDC ?
It's my understanding that no official approach has been made to Swindon Town to speak to Paolo Di Canio at any point during his tenure at the County Ground.
11:03am Fri 15 Feb 13
Is it true Thierry Henry is a member of the board , and will he be playing in a swindon shirt in the near future .
This is one of the best and most bizarre takeover rumours I've heard. And believe me, I've heard a lot over the course of the past month.
10:57am Fri 15 Feb 13
Will there be an improvement in the quality of half-time cuppas ?
Quite possibly. One matter that Jed McCrory was not constrained on by the terms of the NDA was the half-time cup of tea he had at the County Ground on Saturday.
10:54am Fri 15 Feb 13
Jaffa Cakes - cake or biscuit?
Cake. No argument on that.
10:52am Fri 15 Feb 13
Is Paolo staying ?
Has Paolo had his Swindon Town tattoo done ?
I don't believe he had had his tattoo of the Town crest done, I could be wrong of course.
@SamMorshead_SA Why was Jeds consortium preferred to the others said to be interested. Was it simply they could do deal quickest? #STFCadver— @MarnMoonraker 15 February 2013
10:38am Fri 15 Feb 13
Is this takeover actually going to happen
Why no response from the FL???
What finacial input will tis new Board put into STFC
Is Pdc staying or going?
Is the club now debt fee???after SWP´s comment it appears not yet we were told the club woulld start with new Board and clean sheet-
All the parties involved have been required to keep quiet until the process is complete. Hopefully that will be very soon.
Some debt, the secured debt, remains with the incoming owners. Until Di Canio actually comments on his future we will remain in the dark.
The financial input of the incoming investors is enough to keep the club afloat in the short term and sustain it in the medium term. For me, that's the most important factor.
10:35am Fri 15 Feb 13
35 year fan says
given that the club is thought to be losing around £50k per week, why do people seem to think that the first thing the new owners will do is add to that deficit by signing three new players?
I am guessing what you are referring to is the £250,000 a month reported wage bill at the club, which is not necessarily a running loss.
Football clubs are difficult financial models to come to terms with but I am under the impression that there will be the flexibility for Town to use the emergency loan market as and when the takeover is complete.
@SamMorshead_SA Given how close we were, and maybe still are, to Championship football, Mr Blacks hurry to sell now seems odd? #STFCadver— @MarnMoonraker 15 February 2013
10:27am Fri 15 Feb 13
Was another consortium made up of PDC's friends/contacts also in the running to take over the club?
Is there any indication yet as to whether Nick Watkins will be kept on as CE by the new owners?
In the likely event that you are not yet in a position to answer either of those, what do you prefer plain or milk chocolate? (it's not an offer, just a twist on the cheese question)
I'm not aware of any consortium involving Di Canio's friends or contacts being involved in discussions at any stage.
I understand Phil Spencer, the Italian's agent, did look into the possibility of putting a group of investors together but abandoned that idea pretty quickly.
@SamMorshead_SA Sir William Patey mentioned some of the new members have connections to Swindon, do you know in what way? #STFCadver— @steve23webber 15 February 2013
@SamMorshead_SA Sam, do you know if Nick Watkins will stay on as CEO? #stfcadver— @simontapscott 15 February 2013
10:29am Fri 15 Feb 13
What a pity that this Q &A is not taking place next Friday after all the dust has settled !
There'll be one as well next week.
10:22am Fri 15 Feb 13
STFC Higworth says
I got a question.
What is the point of this question and answer session??
Adver instead of getting people to ask questions do your job and ask the people in the know the questions that need answering.
Tin Pot Paper!!!!
Believe me, all the questions I have been asked today have already been asked to the relevant people. Many questions have not been answered because of the NDA hanging over the respective parties.
As there has been little by way of dialogue, for good reason, between the club and fans we at the Advertiser thought this would be something of a stop-gap until it is possible for there to be official comment.
It's a chance for fans and readers to discuss what's going on and what comes next. Harmless and hopefully slightly informative fun.
10:22am Fri 15 Feb 13
Will there be an immediate restructuring of the club to reduce the cost base? Who owns (is owed) the outstanding debt in the club? Will any of the directors be full time with the club and if so in what roles?
I understand money is being put in to take the club through this season and into the next. I would imagine that the incoming owners will want to trim some of the wastage off the club, it remains to be seen how they do that exactly.
The debt within the club is the secured debt which is tied against the ground. It is our understanding that the debt in the holding company of around £9million, owed to Andrew Black, Sir Martyn Arbib, Andrew Fitton and Jeremy Wray, will be removed.
Until the board is named we can only speculate on their actual roles. Steve Murrall has a background in company structure and operations, Gary Hooper is an experienced commercial manager, Martin King is good with communications. We'll have to wait and see.
10:13am Fri 15 Feb 13
Why decide to come here?
My usual question... What's there favourite cheese?
Why did they fail taking over Luton?
My understanding is they are football fans who saw a club in a very difficult situation and were willing to help out. They are better placed to answer that.
Regards cheese, Jed McCrory has said he is an Irish Cheddar fan on Twitter.
I don't know the ins and outs of their involvement with Luton so it would be unfair for me to speculate on that.
9:55am Fri 15 Feb 13
Wonder Strike says
If we are to be self sustaining do we know if the new consortium plan overhaul our youth system with an academy.
The youth system at Swindon Town was given a facelift in the summer. More full-time members of staff and longer coaching hours were introduced to comply with Elite Player Performance Plan standards.
Town now boast a category three academy. I don't know whether or not there is an intention to change it but after investing good money in it last year I don't see the need to do so again so soon.
9:48am Fri 15 Feb 13
Is Messi coming to Swindon? Loan maybe?
Wouldn't that be wonderful.
9:43am Fri 15 Feb 13
the wizard says
Sam, from your understanding of affairs, should the deal not be ratified for what ever reason, how close are we to either selling players or going into admin ?
Sorry to be down beat, but I'd like to be prepared for the worse should it happen.
Obviously this is a little too close to scaremongering for comfort, but to answer your question the club was very close to a firesale of players.
Remember that fax that was sent out to clubs across the Football League offering Town's entire squad up for sale? That was a reality had this takeover not been agreed back at the end of January.
Should it collapse now, and I'd hasten to add that there is little reason to suggest it will, it would be a very difficult time for the club.
@SamMorshead_SA From your discussions do you think the new owners plan to return to a more frugal, Fitton style, financial model? #STFCadver— @MarnMoonraker 15 February 2013
9:32am Fri 15 Feb 13
Since 1950 says
But who will be available to take the questions? The club have said there can be no comment until Monday at the earliest. Even that will depend if theFL get off their backsides and rubber stamp the deal.
This will only fuel speculation and in my view ill timed question time.
To clarify, the club have not made any comment regarding as and when the sale of Town will be discussed in public.
9:29am Fri 15 Feb 13
What will the new Board bring to STFC ?
What are their plans and when are they likely to be shared with the Supporters ?
The new owners will bring security and stability to a club which could have gone in the opposite direction.
They will of course be best able to express what they want to achieve in their own words, but my understanding is that they are football fans who did not want to see a club struggle and at worst collapse.
They have experience in property, company structure and football.
9:29am Fri 15 Feb 13
Given that there is a non-disclosure agreement in place for the potential new board what have you managed to find out about their intentions and levels of funding available?
I came home extremely down after the Hartlepool game as 3 of the names were identified but none of them would seem to have any financial liquidity of the ilk required to support a Championship team:
- Does the 4th name released this week make a difference? i.e. have any of them got significant funds available
- Is Black counted as the 5th member?
- Was the £3 million input of funding from the new board a rumour or a fact?
From the conversations I have had I get the impression the incoming board are football people with the game at heart.
Realistically, we have to realise that if it was not for this consortium then the club was under real threat of serious financial problems.
I understand the new owners will put in the money to see the club through this season and into the next, and that new investment will continuously be sought.
9:28am Fri 15 Feb 13
super red says
On one of the recent articles we had a photo of Jed and another at the Hartlepool game.
Is the other person:
A) a member of the consortium.
B) a member of the public watching Stfc.
None of the above. Well, obviously he is a member of the public. We don't have an identity for him, but I've been told he's not part of consortium.
9:20am Fri 15 Feb 13
If the takeover is completed / ratified today or Monday will there be loan players coming in ahead of the Tranny game ?
I think it is unlikely there will be any new players in before the game against Tranmere. I understand Marlon Pack will once again turn out for Cheltenham this weekend.
Good afternoon ladies and gents, welcome to the Adver's live webchat.
I'm looking forward to hearing what you have to say about the situation at the County Ground, and I'll answer as many questions as I can.