Podcast Episode 5 – Hibs Takeover ?

ByBig Pink

Podcast Episode 5 – Hibs Takeover ?

A consortium led by David Low has been in talks with Sir Tom Farmer seeking to purchase Hibernian Football Club. The story has been embargoed for a few weeks, but David agreed to speak to TSFM to give us an exclusive interview and provide us with information about his intentions for the Edinburgh club.

Highlights of the interview include the similarities and differences between the Hibs situation and the one he found at Celtic Pak in 1994; how Scottish Football’s “new level playing field” as Low calls it has created an opportunity for a club like Hibs to be the main challenger to Celtic for honours; the contrast of his consortium’s approach to that of the recent debacle at Ibrox; the role of the fans at every level of the club; the future of Allan Stubbs and Leanne Dempster; and the journey back to the Premiership.

Low is frank about his reputation as a well-known Celtic fan, but highlights his Hibbee credentials and his affection for the club, eschewing the “I was always a Hibbee” line taken by so many people seeking to ingratiate themselves with the locals at various clubs.

Certainly, the experience and finance rolling around Low’s consortium is something that any club could do with, but the fans are crucial to their involvement and interest.

He says he won’t go ahead with the purchase unless the fans are behind them.

“Fans have never been so powerful as they are today, especially with the advent of social media like TSFM”

“We have seen in recent years what a body of fans are capable of when they re together”

“We want to have that togetherness at Hibs, because the only way forward is to have trust between the boardroom and the fans, you only have to look at the levels of distrust between board and fans at Rangers to see that it is a recipe for disaster”


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About the author

Big Pink administrator

Big Pink is John Cole; a former schoolteacher based in the West of Scotland, He is also a print and broadcast journalist who is engaged in the running of SFM . Former gigs include Newstalk 106, the Celtic View, and Channel67. A Celtic fan, he is also the voice of our podcast initiative.

2,528 Comments so far

justshateredPosted on7:59 pm - Aug 17, 2014


So Mile Ashley is the next “new” billionaire who will ride to the rescue!!
Now for the sanity question; Why would Mike Ashley, who by all accounts is a good businessman, sell Newcastle United where he can make money, all be it on a modest scale, for “The Rangers” who for the last twenty years have been addicted to spending other peoples money?
He may not be liked in Newcastle but just imagine how disliked he’ll be down Govan way when he won’t spend large sums of money on their every whim. Particularly when they know he is loaded and he isn’t spending his cash on them. It’s spoiled child syndrome on a grand scale.

This is the warped reality that is prevalent in Govan. The desire, no demand, for someone, anyone to spend their money to give the support a “silver hit”. There is never any talk of balancing the books. Being sustainable is for other people.

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johnnymancPosted on8:24 pm - Aug 17, 2014


martin c says:
August 17, 2014 at 4:46 pm
http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/newcastle-united-owner-mike-ashley-4065649

Why would he, very little chance of a return on investment and what chance of getting his loan back? Has the Letham or Easdale loans been repaid?
———————————————————————-
I’d just like to translate the above link as it will save anyone clicking and adding to the DR’s coffers,

Memo From;Rangers Shareholders (not sure which ones)
To; Rangers PR Department (aka Daily Record)

Please write some nonsense to boost the share price!
Possible scenarios;
1) Dave King has been cleared by SARS to invest in TRFC
2) The Blue Knights are back
3) Walter Smith is heading a consortium of ‘Rangers Men’
4) Ally McCoist is about to be sacked
5) Roman Abramovitch is bored with Chelsea and wants a new challenge from a Blues Brother …..scrap that, too ridiculous
6) Some made up Mike Ashley rubbish

Just get it out there before Monday’s must win game Mark II

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easyJamboPosted on8:27 pm - Aug 17, 2014


I’m always wary of people using net debt as providing an accurate assessment of the financial state of a company.

I think that it is always better to assess indebtedness by looking at the Creditors numbers for longer term loans and mortgages. In Hibs case the last set of published accounts (to June 2013) showed indebtedness from these loans in isolation of much more than £6M.

i.e. The have £1.5M recorded under “Amounts due to Parent Company” and a separate “Parent Company Loan” of £250K.

They also have three separate “Stadium Mortgages” all of which are on variable interest rates, with outstanding amounts as follows:
1) £2.56M repaid at £20K a month with a lump sum of £1.6M in Aug 2018
2) £1.24M repaid in quarterly instalments until Oct 2023
3) £2.5M repayable in one lump sum in July 2020

That is over £8M in total with a couple of onerous single payments totalling more than £4M due in 4 years and 6 years time, unless the loans can be rolled over.

In the meantime (as at Jun 2013) the club was just about keeping pace with current repayments and interest from their normal cash flow of the back of their success in getting to the Cup Final in successive seasons.

Their relegation has probably hit them harder than most clubs, mainly due to it’s unpreparedness, but the impact will be reflected in their accounts for last season (2013/14) and this. A double whammy effect of lower than expected Season Ticket revenue for this season will further impact their figures for 2014/15.

As Dundee United and Kilmarnock have done recently, they need a radical reconstruction of their debts, or they are likely to be constrained on the park for some years to come.

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bailemeanachPosted on8:33 pm - Aug 17, 2014


Perhaps the super one needs to draft in some of these big hitters

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/28828061

I’m sure the compliance officer will sanction it

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Big PinkPosted on9:33 pm - Aug 17, 2014


Smugas says:

August 17, 2014 at 6:35 pm

Big pink,

Apologies ~6m debt and 1.5m ‘injected’ I beg your pardon. But my original point still stands. “Covering the debt” simply allows the shareholder to walk away with whatever is left in cash ie. nada hence the wonderfully lyric if slightly unfair “blue knightiness” allegation. To then inject 1.5 m is great but if it is set up as hibs effectively drawing on a new overdraft then neither they, nor the principle shareholder are any better off!

_______________________________________________________________

Two points Smugas

That kind of offer was exactly what Fergus McCann had in mind for the old Celtic board – although he was forced to remunerate them against his own sense of fairness. That predates TBKs I think.

Secondly, you are making a bit of a leap by assuming the extra money would be a draw down of a loan. That is certainly not my understanding, but given your inference, perhaps you know something I don’t.

UPDATE:

I certainly did not ask Low to specify how the £1.5m was to be disbursed when I spoke to him for the podcast, but I have asked him today.

He says there is no question of either the payment of debt or the working capital element, “At least £1.5m”, being a loan, but money put into the club in exchange for new shares.

Low also says that unlike the Blue Knights, his consortium has cash to spend – cash that they have on the table.

“The shares in the club are worthless because Hibs are the most indebted club in Scotland right now.
“We will clear the debt and put new capital into the club. There will be no loan.
“Hibs will emerge from this process completely debt-free”

He thinks that the bank, the same bank that put pressure on David Murray to pay down Rangers’ debt, will do the same with Hibs.

“This is similar to the McCann takeover in many respects except that there is no stadium to build”, said Low
“A debt-free Hibs living within its means with the backing of the fans is in a good position to begin to mount a challenge at the very top of the game.”

I think that there are two main constituencies that Low’s consortium need to satisfy with regard to his intentions for the club;
First is Tom Farmer. He is after all the man who saved Hibs from extinction. He will jealously guard his legacy and will not tolerate it being tarnished,
Second is the Hibs supporters. They have an even longer and richer tradition to uphold and will – especially in the light of the recent goings-on at Ibrox – have their BS-detectors set at kill.

Despite my own association with David Low for many years, I don’t think I am being conflicted when I say he deserves credit for at least engaging and responding to doubts and questions.

The rest is down to the folks at Leith.

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upthehoopsPosted on9:39 pm - Aug 17, 2014


justshatered says:
August 17, 2014 at 7:59 pm

So Mile Ashley is the next “new” billionaire who will ride to the rescue!!
==================================

I seriously doubt there can be many fans of the club from Ibrox who buy into this type of nonsense now. Whatever game the media are trying to play is losing its impact in my view. Why don’t they just write the only way ahead for the current entity is to live within its means and take as long as it takes to challenge. On a topical note that is exactly what Fergus McCann did when he took over Celtic. It is exactly what Anne Budge is doing with Hearts. It is what Stewart Milne now knows is the only way ahead for Aberdeen, etc etc.

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Big PinkPosted on9:49 pm - Aug 17, 2014


EJ

Your figures are in line with the up-to-date position. Relegation has most likely concentrated the mind of the bank – especially with a big payment due very soon.

I think that Hibs fans are doubtful that the club can easily trade their way out of this – especially in view of the fact that a return to the Premiership will be three times harder than usual given the competition in the Championship.

The alternative would be for Farmer to dig deep to keep the club afloat. My sense is that he would do so to protect his legacy, but over and above the bank debt, he has been putting funds into the club on a drip-drip basis, much like Turnbull Hutton described so eloquently and entertainingly for us back in May.

The future for him is maybe that he is destined to forever bail the club out to protect his earlier achievements. At 74, he might see an exit strategy as the best one for him, but he will look for assurances – and will look a lot longer and deeper than David Murray did.

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SmugasPosted on9:50 pm - Aug 17, 2014


BP,

Firstly, thank you for the time and effort you’ve put in to answer my query, and I’d ask you to extend that gratitude to Mr Low too.

I did not mean to infer for one second any level of knowing something you didn’t.

Ok, so fair do’s. The Low consortium appear to be writing a cheque for >7m. Hibs will use this to repay the long term debt and put the rest in the proverbial war chest.

I wish him well, whatever the outcome.

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Big PinkPosted on9:56 pm - Aug 17, 2014


Smugas,

I was not being facetious when I asked if you knew something I didn’t. I am well aware that people will leave out any negatives when they have conversations with the media.

In fact you gave me specific questions to ask which left DL with no wiggle room if he had been disingenuous during the podcast.

The wisdom of the crowd as Stuart Cosgrove says 🙂

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redlichtiePosted on10:03 pm - Aug 17, 2014


If I am picking this up correctly, Tom Farmer wants to ensure that his legacy is not turned over to a bunch of spivs (I am paraphrasing, where would such an idea come from?) and David Low’s team have only good intentions.

On that basis is there not some middle course possible with a phased takeover based on milestones achieved by the new team in terms of investment and performance?

Scottish Football needs a strong Hibs.

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ecobhoyPosted on10:07 pm - Aug 17, 2014


upthehoops says:
August 17, 2014 at 9:39 pm
justshatered says:
August 17, 2014 at 7:59 pm

So Mike Ashley is the next “new” billionaire who will ride to the rescue!!
==================================
I seriously doubt there can be many fans of the club from Ibrox who buy into this type of nonsense now. Whatever game the media are trying to play is losing its impact in my view. Why don’t they just write the only way ahead for the current entity is to live within its means and take as long as it takes to challenge.
=============================================================
The Record piece states:

Any deal could prove complicated with rules in place to bar any individual from owning two football clubs in the same competition.

However that is unlikely for the foreseeable future with Rangers currently playing in the Scottish Championship.

Does meeting Newcastle in UEFA competitions not count? I hesitate to check UEFA Rules on the matter 😆

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John ClarkPosted on10:12 pm - Aug 17, 2014


Big Pink says:
August 17, 2014 at 9:49 pm
‘ At 74, he might see an exit strategy as the best one for him, but he will look for assurances – and will look a lot longer and deeper than David Murray did.’
——
Among the matters that Mr F might want to have assurances about will ( surely?) be how any proposed buyer will relate to Hibs fans’ desire to participate in ownership.Do we know where exactly Mr F stands in relation to the concept? DL did not, if I recall from the podcast, have an awful lot to say on the subject, except to point out possible difficulties when fans become directors and have to exercise legal responsibilities as directors.

Think you may have misheard or misunderstood Low on that score John. He had quite a lot to say about it.
TSFM

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ecobhoyPosted on10:22 pm - Aug 17, 2014


The Union of Fans seem to think there might be more than media hot-air in the Ashley story:

‘It has come to our attention that the Rangers board are considering a move which could see Mike Ashley underwrite the £4m share issue they previously announced. This has been necessary due to understandably poor take up from existing investors. We believe the SFA have been approached to find out what would be required to give clearance for this, due to Mr Ashley’s ownership of Newcastle United.

‘We would question the wisdom of approaching someone who, despite his obvious wealth, cannot significantly invest in the club without removing himself from his ownership position at Newcastle. Why are the board persisting with these short term, desperate measures? The club needs urgent, substantial investment – not a short term fix which will be lucky to see us past Christmas. Even if they are successful in raising the £4m, almost half the money will immediately have to be used to repay overdue loans.

‘The board indicated to us that they could raise this money “at the push of a button”. Sandy Easdale also indicated that investors were lined up. Clearly neither of these statements have turned out to be true. Also, the vast bulk of this money could have been raised by greatly increased season ticket sales if the board had been prepared to properly safeguard the club’s assets.

‘If the SFA give special dispensation to Mr Ashley to up his stake in Rangers will it be irreversible and without any possible future sanction? Will the board get an unequivocal assurance that the SFA will not use this issue as a stick to beat the club with further down the line? The SFA have a track record of attempting to impose draconian sanctions on Rangers using tenuous methods. It would be extremely unwise of this board to unnecessarily put the club into a situation that allowed the SFA to act in this manner again.

‘We are also concerned that, under UEFA regulations on dual ownership of clubs, Mr Ashley cannot have a “decisive influence over decision making” at Rangers without it leading to the possibility of us not being able to compete in European competition. He could find himself holding around 20% of the shares in our club, having control of all club merchandise and being the largest single shareholder if he underwrites this share issue. Will the board clear this unequivocally, and in advance, with UEFA to ensure that Rangers will not miss out on European football in the future because of Mr Ashley’s ownership of Newcastle?

‘It would be negligent of the board not to gain the above assurances from the relevant football authorities. We would ask them to publicly confirm that they will have full written clearance for Mr Ashley from both UEFA and the SFA before moving ahead with any plans for him to underwrite this share issue. We would also ask them to confirm that any such clearance is free from any caveat which could negatively affect Rangers in the future.

‘Finally, Mr Ashley’s initial purchase of shares in Rangers appears to have been linked to his Sports Direct merchandise deal. The only man inside Rangers who liked that deal at the time it was put in place was Charles Green. We hope that any possible assistance given to the board by Mr Ashley at this time will not see him clinch another favourable deal, perhaps to rename Ibrox at a knock down price. Can the board confirm that renaming of Ibrox will not be part of any underwriting deal with Mr Ashley and that we will not be seeing garish Sports Direct signage defacing our iconic Main Stand?’

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helpmaboabPosted on10:33 pm - Aug 17, 2014


John Clark at 11:16am
Brilliant as usual John.

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paulsatimPosted on11:31 pm - Aug 17, 2014


Cant wait to see the big sign outside Ibrox,
Ashley’s Sports Direct Arena, the initials ready for its ultimate destiny!

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StevieBCPosted on11:40 pm - Aug 17, 2014


ecobhoy says:
August 17, 2014 at 10:22 pm

The Union of Fans…

“…The SFA have a track record of attempting to impose draconian sanctions on Rangers…”
======================
I have been following the Rangers/TRFC saga like a true anorak for the last 3 years or so – but I seem to have missed these attempted ‘draconian sanctions’.

[And if they are referring to giving up titles, then this pales into insignificance when their club should – absolutely – have been expelled.]

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yourhavingalaughPosted on11:40 pm - Aug 17, 2014


Ecobhoy
And when are the UOF expecting a reply ,they are now asking the questions that should have been asked a long time ago,but to be fair ,before their time.I think ,no ,I know they should also be asking who is paying the bills at the present time and do the UOF have a clear vision of who is paying certain bills,if they are not aware of who the paymasters are at present then there is no point of asking questions of who will be the future paymasters ,the outstanding loans ,the Flamingo involvent ,it really is a sleight of hand ,AIM and the NOMAD are embarasing one another with the continual lack of truth and must be looking for a way out of this without losing to much face ,maybe a bit late,why are the guys that are owed not asking ,where is some sort of repayment ,if this cannot be repayed then it has got to be the Peter & Paul scenario and we are back at sqare one ,Hearts seem to be leading the way and well done to them.

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BarcabhoyPosted on11:57 pm - Aug 17, 2014


Having had the Hibs numbers clarified, my view is that the valuation is extremely optimistic from an investment perspective.

Taking EJ’s breakdown of the debt & BP’s passing on of information it seems that £9.5 million is the starting point.

Now the bank may take a haircut on the debt, equally they may not , however It’s difficult to see how any decent return can be achieved on that initial outlay.

What is going to change Hibs valuation ?

A full stadium paying SPL level ticket prices ?

Access to CL revenues ?

A new batch of talented young players who will be sold for significant sums ?

I’d suggest none of these are even on a medium term timeframe. The opportunity to give investors a return via dividends therefore seems more than remote. The opportunity of an exit sale return looks even more remote given the high price of entry.

The valuation baffles me for those reasons and also based on the recent benchmark prices paid for Rangers , Hearts & Dunfermline

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Big PinkPosted on11:58 pm - Aug 17, 2014


John Clark says:

August 17, 2014 at 10:12 pm

Big Pink says:
August 17, 2014 at 9:49 pm
‘ At 74, he might see an exit strategy as the best one for him, but he will look for assurances – and will look a lot longer and deeper than David Murray did.’
——
Among the matters that Mr F might want to have assurances about will ( surely?) be how any proposed buyer will relate to Hibs fans’ desire to participate in ownership.Do we know where exactly Mr F stands in relation to the concept? DL did not, if I recall from the podcast, have an awful lot to say on the subject, except to point out possible difficulties when fans become directors and have to exercise legal responsibilities as directors.
_______________________________________________________________

Actually it was me who expressed doubt about fan participation at board level. David on the other hand was quite certain about his aim to achieve fan participation in terms of ownership and board membership.

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John ClarkPosted on12:35 am - Aug 18, 2014


ecobhoy says:
August 17, 2014 at 10:22 pm
‘.The Union of Fans seem to think there might be more than media hot-air in the Ashley story:’
—————-
Dave King ( and surely he is behind the Union of Fans statement?) is getting a wee bit anxious, I think.

His fear is clearly that someone else will again thwart what appears to be the obsessive need on his part to gain control – (but only on his own terms i.e. on the absolute cheap).

It undoubtedly rankles with him that he has several times been outsmarted by sharper sharks than he, but is psychologically unable to see that his failure to date is a function of his essential tight-wad mentality.

I think he really cannot accept that someone like CW must be smarter than him, having gained control of ‘RFC- as- was’ for a lousy pound!

And for such as him to be treated by such as CG and the rest of the alphabet of initials commonly used to denote the principal characters in this ‘Mousetrap’ of a saga, must cause him the keenest pain.

(And it’s interesting that The Union of Fans clearly expect that the SFA might be ready to give ‘special dispensation’to Ashley. Now, how on earth could they ever have got that idea? Has there ever been a time when the SFA has favoured a particular club in difficulties? Of course not.That would be sooooo against sporting integrity and fair competition.Unthinkable, quite without precedent!)

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paulsatimPosted on12:58 am - Aug 18, 2014


Re Mr Ashley, a geordie tells sevco fan the truth….
https://twitter.com/C_N_Paterson/status/501149834183966720

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John ClarkPosted on1:01 am - Aug 18, 2014


Big Pink says:
August 17, 2014 at 11:58 pm
‘…Actually it was me who expressed doubt about fan participation at board level…’
——
Thanks for that clarification, Big Pink.My old memory is, well… old!
But there is that problem, surely, of a fans’ representative on the Board having legally to be a ‘director’ first, and a fans’ rep second? At least in the UK legal framework?

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upthehoopsPosted on6:57 am - Aug 18, 2014


I must admit my Monday morning has been considerably brightened by the UOF claiming the SFA have a history of draconian measures against Rangers. Going on the basis there will proportionally be as many intelligent people among them as any other group then it looks like they’ll never get beyond the denial stage. Anyone with some level of intelligence knows fine well the SFA could simply have applied its rules and there would be no ‘Rangers’ for them to watch in the senior leagues, and there would have been nothing ‘draconian’ about that happening. It would simply have been the SFA applying the existing rules the Rangers of that time had agreed to with the other clubs.

The various sores in Scottish football will never heal as long as the truth is denied to this extent.

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Danish PastryPosted on8:59 am - Aug 18, 2014


John Clark says:
August 18, 2014 at 12:35 am
17 0 Rate This

ecobhoy says:
August 17, 2014 at 10:22 pm
‘.The Union of Fans seem to think there might be more than media hot-air in the Ashley story:’
—————-
Dave King ( and surely he is behind the Union of Fans statement?) is getting a wee bit anxious, I think…
———

Very perceptive JC, it is rather quiet in South Africa.

The fans spokesman (Chris Graham, for it is he) appears to think that even any short-term Ashley funding will be lucky to see them past Christmas (DR). Yet, no calls for immediate measures to streamline the whole operation and attempt to play within the available budget?

All quiet on the audit/accounting front, too.

I suppose since they’ve been allowed to start the season the SFA must have assurances that they can see out the season?

Never a dull moment.

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ecobhoyPosted on9:14 am - Aug 18, 2014


yourhavingalaugh says:
August 17, 2014 at 11:40 pm

Ecobhoy
And when are the UOF expecting a reply ,they are now asking the questions that should have been asked a long time ago,but to be fair ,before their time.I think ,no ,I know they should also be asking who is paying the bills at the present time and do the UOF have a clear vision of who is paying certain bills,if they are not aware of who the paymasters are at present then there is no point of asking questions of who will be the future paymasters.
——————————————
Tbh I doubt if the UoF expect a reply. I have the feeling that like other groups who ‘have seen the light’

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GoosyGoosyPosted on9:38 am - Aug 18, 2014


John Clark says:
August 18, 2014 at 12:35 am
20 0 Rate This

ecobhoy says:
August 17, 2014 at 10:22 pm
‘.The Union of Fans seem to think there might be more than media hot-air in the Ashley story:’
“The club needs urgent, substantial investment”
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
Nope
The club needs urgent, substantial donations which will not be repaid

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ecobhoyPosted on9:56 am - Aug 18, 2014


yourhavingalaugh says:
August 17, 2014 at 11:40 pm

Ecobhoy
And when are the UOF expecting a reply ,they are now asking the questions that should have been asked a long time ago,but to be fair ,before their time.I think ,no ,I know they should also be asking who is paying the bills at the present time and do the UOF have a clear vision of who is paying certain bills,if they are not aware of who the paymasters are at present then there is no point of asking questions of who will be the future paymasters.
———————————-
Tbh I doubt if they expect a reply – at least not one in plain English which provides actual answers.

I think a growing number of thinking Bears seriously doubt if their club can survive this season financially. In a way McCoist has become the lightning-rod for their angst and I have no doubt that the PR agenda is to throw fuel on the flames to distract Bears from the off-field problems that could once again destroy Rangers.

IMO UoF are simply laying down benchmarks for what comes after a Blue Armageddon and how the club will be reformed and I use ‘reformed’ to mean ‘start again with more fan control’.

I don’t blame many Bears for dreaming of a sugar-daddy rescue or the Board finding enough investment to continue the dream which shows all the signs of becoming a nightmare. This is the easy way for many fans and perhaps their future disilusion is an essential part of the journey they must make to finally accept the hard reality that all clubs must live within their means. Not even a single one is too big to fail.

As to the UoF repeating some of the old-claptrap well I hope that those behind the scenes know what needs to change but I reckon a lot of the Rangers Support is way too fragile to be hit with the truth at this stage. It would also reduce the numbers opposing the Board and current way of working.

Obviously the time for accepting the truth will need to come and if it doesn’t then we will see this tragic comedy continually replayed. The only rightful place any club has IMO is to be allowed to compete in Scottish Football within the rules. There is no one-way ticket to dominance although sometimes it may take a while to reach the end of the journey’s return leg 🙄

Btw @yourhavingalaugh many of the other question you say should be asked have already been asked but I doubt if any – other than Board supporters – accept that truthful answers have been given from a succession of Boards.

Again it’s easy to ridicule the unquestioning traditional Blue mentality but we have almost a generation with a ‘Rightful Place’ belief created and fed by Murray, the SMSM, Footballing Authorities and other people’s money.

Breaking an addiction and going ‘cold turkey’ is never easy and I – for the ultimate good of Scottish Football – hope that many in the Blue Ranks are well awake for the need to stop searching for quick-fixes rather than tackling the undelying structural problems and, who knows, eventually the cultural ones.

However most of the issues faced by footballing Bears can only really IMO be successfully resolved by them. Outsiders have a role – especially as the SMSM and SFA have abdicated responsibility – in helping signpost the way and warning of hazards and cul-de-sacs ahead but we cannot dictate the route taken let alone the desired destination. That is for the Bears alone IMO and mistakes will be made but hopefully lessons will be learnt.

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ecobhoyPosted on10:23 am - Aug 18, 2014


GoosyGoosy says:
August 18, 2014 at 9:38 am
ecobhoy says:
August 17, 2014 at 10:22 pm

‘.The Union of Fans seem to think there might be more than media hot-air in the Ashley story:’
“The club needs urgent, substantial investment”
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
Nope The club needs urgent, substantial donations which will not be repaid
===========================================================

I think it’s worth using the full UoF quote on this point which is:

The club needs urgent, substantial investment – not a short term fix which will be lucky to see us past Christmas. Even if they are successful in raising the £4m, almost half the money will immediately have to be used to repay overdue loans

No matter whether you call it an investment or a loan it seems generally accepted that £4 million is required asap. Whoever puts-up that dosh will require security for it and that will be based on property IMO.

And in Ashley’s case the ‘loan’ arrangement between Rangers Retail Ltd – controlled by Ashley – and TRFCL is secured on TRFCL leases and property albeit unspecified) so I think it’s a reasonable assumption that ‘property’ is what he is interested in as security.

The UoF suggestion that Ashley will ‘underwrite’ a £4 million share issue doesn’t necessarily mean that this is secured by issuing the balance of unsold shares to Ashley. Especially not when those shares would be diluted by the subsequent ‘BIG’ share issue in the New Year if the agm manages to pass the requisite 75% resolution.

I would normally check to see what AIM rules apply to underwriting share issues but hey-ho why get involved in the trivia and pesky rules especially when they are AIM Rules 😆

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ecobhoyPosted on10:49 am - Aug 18, 2014


I noted and sympathised with TSFM’s comments about the way some comments didn’t pay enough attention to the excellent podcast featuring David Low’s bid for Hibs.

I remained quiet on commenting on the podcast which has undoubtedly raised the public profile of TSFM because I had some reservations.

It was a journalistic ‘scoop’ but I’m afraid I saw a lack of balance and objective analysis of the Low Bid. I also quite simply don’t know enough about the Hibs situation to come to any informed conclusions on the David Low move.

I can see why it makes good sense for the bid to be announced on TSFM by the Low Camp. However I would have been happier if Tom Farmer – or suitable alternative – was offered the right to reply in a separate podcast or guest post. It might well be that he has already been offered this and declined.

However it sits uneasily with me that we give a platform to a ‘Green & White Knight’ to present and justify his takeover bid and yet don’t allow the incumbents a voice.

As I say they may well have been offered and refused but if that is the case it should be noted. We are different from the SMSM and should IMO demonstrate that and I think we owe it to Hibs’ fans to do our best to present all sides of the argument.

As I say I have no wish to detract from the ‘scoop’ and I hope we have many more but if that comes to pass I hope we try to remember the ‘balance’ issue which might not bother the SMSM but is crucial to TSFM in so many ways.

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Cluster OnePosted on10:51 am - Aug 18, 2014


ecobhoy says:

August 18, 2014 at 9:56 am
Breaking an addiction and going ‘cold turkey’ is never easy and I – for the ultimate good of Scottish Football – hope that many in the Blue Ranks are well awake for the need to stop searching for quick-fixes rather than tackling the undelying structural problems and, who knows, eventually the cultural ones.
—————-
I don’t blame many Bears for dreaming of a sugar-daddy rescue
———————
The problem is that to many bears want a quick fix and that includes a sugar daddy,No matter how many have woken up and seem to stop searching and live within their means, If you put a sugar daddy on the hill they will run to it like a rat up a drain pipe

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ecobhoyPosted on11:22 am - Aug 18, 2014


Cluster One says:
August 18, 2014 at 10:51 am

The problem is that to many bears want a quick fix and that includes a sugar daddy,No matter how many have woken up and seem to stop searching and live within their means, If you put a sugar daddy on the hill they will run to it like a rat up a drain pipe
===============================================
I agree with you but eventually I believe the ‘balance’ in the support will change although I have no idea when that will be. I have often thought that it can never actually happen till they end-up in the Premiership and find their ‘Rightful Place’ which won’t be where they think it should be 😈

Their big problem is that there is no sign of any sugar daddy on the horizon and from how I see Ashley operate he most certainly will never be one but will make business decisions which are to his financial advantage.

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GoosyGoosyPosted on11:22 am - Aug 18, 2014


ecobhoy says:
August 18, 2014 at 9:56 am
0 0 Rate This
I don’t blame many Bears for dreaming of a sugar-daddy rescue or the Board finding enough investment to continue the dream which shows all the signs of becoming a nightmare. This is the easy way for many fans and perhaps their future disilusion is an essential part of the journey they must make to finally accept the hard reality that all clubs must live within their means. Not even a single one is too big to fail.
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
When you have bought into a dream that your club is intrinsically superior, can play by its own rules, expects the nation to rally round in times of difficulty, cannot die, etc. etc.
It’s really difficult to waken up
So
Perhaps we are witnessing how institutions really depart this earth?
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
Think about the Cooperative “Institution” and where it is heading
They started off with high ideals about serving the underclasses
They grew into an Institution
They fell into the hands of people with narrow agendas
They patronised the very people who made them great
They got caught up in rows about rules that “shouldn’t apply to THEM”
Circumstances combined to prevent an Establishment rescue
Sound Familiar?
So
most likely
The Coop will die
And most likely
A pretend Institution will be created with the same nameplate
But
Only the Dreamers will continue to believe
Eventually
They will vanish

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SmugasPosted on11:31 am - Aug 18, 2014


Eco,

I shared your concerns re the balance in the Low story. There is a key difference in this and other recent examples of investigative journalism. I acknowledge that it is only within the confines of tsfm as opposed to the lesser quality mainstream, and it also had to rely and abuse a personal arrangement between Low and Big Pink.

That said, fundamentally through BP I asked a couple of clear questions that left no wriggle room (apparently)! mr low then responded with equally straightforward answers.

Not the worst model to follow!

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ecobhoyPosted on12:12 pm - Aug 18, 2014


Smugas says:
August 18, 2014 at 11:31 am

Eco,

I shared your concerns re the balance in the Low story. There is a key difference in this and other recent examples of investigative journalism. I acknowledge that it is only within the confines of tsfm as opposed to the lesser quality mainstream, and it also had to rely and abuse a personal arrangement between Low and Big Pink.

That said, fundamentally through BP I asked a couple of clear questions that left no wriggle room (apparently)! mr low then responded with equally straightforward answers.

Not the worst model to follow!
=============================================
I make absolutely no criticism of David Low, Big Pink, TSFM or the ‘model’. All I am saying is that it would help enhance the reputation and integrity of TSFM if the same ‘model’ had been offered to the incumbents.

They might not take-up the offer but that’s their decision and I just feel that it’s important that it is made and it’s by no means too late to do so.

I’m not attacking or disparaging what has been done but looking for ways to further advance TSFM and its reach.

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AmFearLiathMòrPosted on1:07 pm - Aug 18, 2014


Having read about the Union of Fans demanding answers….. do they ever merely ‘ask’ for anything? Every single story in the press seems to involve them ‘demanding’ something, and, I note, with little success. Perhaps if they were a bit politer they might get somewhere?

Also, it’s taken until now for me to find a story about The Rangers/ Clyde match tonight that actually mentions anything about Us! If I was a casual football fan, I would have been forgiven for thinking that there wasn’t a match taking place at all, merely Bazza popping round to his old mate’s house for a re-union. I guess The Bully Wee had better get used to our fortunes being viewed through a Rangers-centric prism from now, although Bazza’s column in the Record doesn’t help in conflating the two.

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torrejohnbhoy(@johnbhoy1958)Posted on1:08 pm - Aug 18, 2014


Latest from Phil:

http://www.philmacgiollabhain.ie/the-need-for-pain-at-ibrox/#comment-66678

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Danish PastryPosted on2:37 pm - Aug 18, 2014


torrejohnbhoy(@johnbhoy1958) says:
August 18, 2014 at 1:08 pm
6 0 Rate This

Latest from Phil:

http://www.philmacgiollabhain.ie/the-need-for-pain-at-ibrox/#comment-66678
———

That certainly joins some of the puzzling dots.

I had to look this up to make sense of the last bit — but turns out it was connected to the first bit 🙂

Individuation is a process of transformation whereby the personal and collective unconscious are brought into consciousness (e.g., by means of dreams, active imagination, or free association)…

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PhilMacGiollaBhainPosted on2:41 pm - Aug 18, 2014


Danish Pastry says:
August 18, 2014 at 2:37 pm
—————————————————————
Apologies, but this is what happens when a psychology graduate and psychotherapist writes about Fitba.
For the avoidance of doubt I reject the Jungian approach.
Scottish Football needs a strong Carl Rogers…

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Danish PastryPosted on2:58 pm - Aug 18, 2014


PhilMacGiollaBhain says:
August 18, 2014 at 2:41 pm
1 0 Rate This

Apologies, but this is what happens when a psychology graduate and psychotherapist writes about Fitba.
For the avoidance of doubt I reject the Jungian approach.
Scottish Football needs a strong Carl Rogers…
———

Nae bother Phil. I saw several interpretations of the word. Is the above quote what you had in mind-ish?

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PhilMacGiollaBhainPosted on3:09 pm - Aug 18, 2014


Danish Pastry says:
August 18, 2014 at 2:58 pm
————————————————–
Spot on

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torrejohnbhoy(@johnbhoy1958)Posted on3:10 pm - Aug 18, 2014


Just heard on the news that the Easdales could maybe save their local shipyard.Have they had enough of RIFC?.

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Cluster OnePosted on3:27 pm - Aug 18, 2014


AmFearLiathMòr says:

August 18, 2014 at 1:07 pm
I would have been forgiven for thinking that there wasn’t a match taking place at all, merely Bazza popping round to his old mate’s house for a re-union. I guess The Bully Wee had better get used to our fortunes being viewed through a Rangers-centric prism from now, although Bazza’s column in the Record doesn’t help in conflating the two.
—————–
Something i asked on here some weeks ago, How do the clyde support feel their manager is a mouth piece in his collum for TRFC

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AuldheidPosted on3:38 pm - Aug 18, 2014


Danish Pastry 2.58

I’ve added the poetic version in the comments section that I have posted on TSFM in the past.

The tender hand of the Unseen is possibly too much of a bitter potion for some of Phil ‘ s blue readership to swallow. 🙂

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oddjobPosted on3:47 pm - Aug 18, 2014


Auldheid says

August 18 2014 @ 3.38

….

Thoroughly enjoyed your Gibran quote, on pain.

When he talks later about death, the line

” and when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb”.

Maybe a lesson there for some.

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ecobhoyPosted on4:25 pm - Aug 18, 2014


Oh Dear the Land Bears have had a big disappointment from the Scottish Information Commissioner in their deluded attempt to smear Celtic with having received illegal State Aid.

It’s all very sad to think of all that effort that could have been expended on something useful like saving their club has just been flushed down the pan.

For any anoraks – like myself – the complete decision can be viewed at: http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/ApplicationsandDecisions/Decisions/2014/201400471.aspx.

However at its simplest ‘Mr L’ in the Blue Corner demanded that Glasgow City Council produce a geotechnical report which had been prepared to assist in establishing the value of the Westthorn site. The council refused to release the information on the grounds that:

Disclosure of the report would, or would be likely to prejudice substantially relations between the United Kingdom and an international organisation, i.e. the European Commission.

In its submissions to the Commissioner, the Council stated:

That there was a real risk that the European Commission’s consideration of the complaint would be undermined if information relating to the subject matter of the complaint was placed in the public domain before its preliminary investigations were concluded.

Mr L demanded the report’s immediate release citing the well-worn and totally incorrect argument that the £3.5 million deducted from the land valuation was because of hazardous levels of contamination which should see the land fenced-off and public entry denied. He even cited the adjacent council allotment where vegetables are grown for human consumption although he managed to stop just short of claiming the carrots glowed in the dark.

The fact of the matter is that there there is no serious contamination present and the deduction for ‘abnormal costs’ to develop the site is down to ground conditions mainly created by historic mining activities and the hazard zone – reducing the useable development area – relating to bulk ethanol storage in the adjacent whisky and spirit bond.

However when the Commissioner’s decision was issued to Mr L a week ago he launched into a litany of internet abuse accusing a senior GCC official of lying over the geotechnical report – such was the hurt and impotence he felt over the Information Commissioner upholding Glasgow City Council’s decision not to release the geotechnical report which identified the ground problems.

The fact that the geotechnical report in question was actually commissioned by Celtic in 2004 to establish the site value has sent the State Aiders into orbit. However once the State Aid case is concluded by the EC I have no doubt that some of the crazy statements made might result in an unwelcome response for one individual in particular.

Not that I have seen the report in question but having seen others then there would be nothing strange IMO in GCC being able to accept it considering where the information it contained would have been obtained from.

One of the boasts of the State Aiders has been that the length of time the preliminary investigation is taking is some kind of proof that the State Aiders are going to win. The Commissioner’s report indicates the delay is simply down to a change in EC personnel. That doesn’t surprise me as the mass bile received in Brussels has probably worn-out more than one Eurocrat.

However let’s leave the last word with the Scottish Information Commissioner report:

She has not reached this conclusion lightly, but is satisfied that there is a substantial public interest in ensuring that the European Commission can complete its investigation without undue influence or distraction, and that this outweighs the public interest in releasing the contents of the report at this time.

Very telling words: ‘Without undue influence or distraction’. I wonder what she means 🙄

Of course Mr L can appeal the decision to the Court of Session on a point of law but as that would require his identity being revealed I think we can safely conclude the matter is at an end until the EC decision rejecting the State Aid allegations is announced.

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torrejohnbhoy(@johnbhoy1958)Posted on4:32 pm - Aug 18, 2014


This won’t keep the bears happy either:

@STVSport: Celtic will play Maribor on Wednesday after CAS threw out Legia Warsaw’s bid to be provisionally reinstated http://t.co/bnaYrYTaij

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ecobhoyPosted on4:45 pm - Aug 18, 2014


torrejohnbhoy(@johnbhoy1958) says:
August 18, 2014 at 4:32 pm

@torrejohnbhoy

You know I really am beginning to wonder if an unseen hand is at work 😆

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AmFearLiathMòrPosted on5:22 pm - Aug 18, 2014


Cluster One says:

August 18, 2014 at 3:27 pm

Something i asked on here some weeks ago, How do the clyde support feel their manager is a mouth piece in his collum for TRFC

I can’t really speak for any other Clyde fans, but personally I’m none too happy about it.

I was of the opinion that he should have given up his column when he became our manager.

Without knowing the ins and outs of exactly what a manager’s day entails, I’d like to think that he should be devoting his time to his duties as manager of our team. Admittedly, how much time it takes to read an email from a DR staffwriter, telling you what you’ve said this week, I’m not too sure.

Secondly, I more afraid that it would be used as a sort of ‘Me! The Great Bazza! Managing a Diddy Club! What am I like, eh?’ piece, but fortunately, it hasn’t gone that way yet.

However, of more concern, is the notion that our manager is being used a mouthpiece for TRFC, although if the Story about McCoist bringing up boozegate again is anything to go by, I would hope it would be shortlived. Manager’s of one team should not be passing comment on the situation of another. It’s that simple. You concern yourself with the business of your own team and that’s it.

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upthehoopsPosted on5:31 pm - Aug 18, 2014


torrejohnbhoy(@johnbhoy1958) says:
August 18, 2014 at 4:32 pm
=========================================
I may get warned about derailing the blog but as the matter was extensively discussed previously I will make my point. Reading the CAS press release it appears clear Legia had made an actual complaint against Celtic. Pathetic behaviour and deserving of no sympathy at all now in my view.

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TrisidiumPosted on7:29 pm - Aug 18, 2014


Regarding balance on the Hibs issue, some of you will remember BP saying he had tried to track down Rod Petrie without success. In fact it was first thing he tried to do after speaking to Low.

He has continued to chase down Petrie and Tom Farmer, but telephone calls have not been returned and emails thus far have not been replied to.

David Low has offered to do a live Q&A on TSFM this week. We will consider that if there is enough interest. Low is willing to go directly to the fans on this. The merits of his consortium’s plans notwithstanding, why on earth would we NOT pass on that information? Should we fail to report on the issue because Hibs have nothing to say?

And should the MSM do the same if the fans accuse the board of selling Ibrox and Graham Wallace refuses to comment?

I don’t really see this as a virulently adversarial situation either. It may become that, but at the moment, I have not seen or heard any language from the Low camp or from Hibs which would make it a partisan issue.

All we have done is reported the situation – and gone back with follow-up questions. Perhaps Hibs’ reluctance to comment is an indication that they are not offended by the offer or the circumstances in which it became public?

We shall see, but I am surprised – and not a little irked – that people should think we lack balance in reporting this. No comments of that kind when Ann Budge put together a deal for Hearts.

I’ll be sorry for asking, but what possible motive could we have for taking sides?

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gunnerbPosted on8:06 pm - Aug 18, 2014


TSFM says:
August 18, 2014 at 7:29 pm

We shall see, but I am surprised – and not a little irked – that people should think we lack balance in reporting this. I’ll be sorry for asking, but what possible motive could we have for taking sides?

TSFM..I don’t think anybody believes the monitor is taking sides on this issue , only that the perception of lacking balance prevailed due to the forum not being aware of overtures to to the Hibs board to respond.

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wottpiPosted on8:12 pm - Aug 18, 2014


I note that James Alexander Gordon has passed away. RIP

For those of a certain age his voice is ingrained in our memories as the only true way to hear the results on a Saturday.
Stuff all today’s apps and web based nonsense!!

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TrisidiumPosted on8:13 pm - Aug 18, 2014


gunnerb says:

August 18, 2014 at 8:06 pm

TSFM says:
August 18, 2014 at 7:29 pm

TSFM..I don’t think anybody believes the monitor is taking sides on this issue , only that the perception of lacking balance prevailed due to the forum not being aware of overtures to to the Hibs board to respond.

_______________________________________

Fair enough gunnerb,

Two points though,

1. The blog was aware of those overtures
http://www.tsfm.net/podcast-episode-5-takeover-plans-for-hibernian/comment-page-6/#comment-27345

2. I don’t remember any such equivocation when Ann Budge started her campaign to buy Hearts. We took her at face value – as we should have. Why is this any different?

In fact I think this story has defined what I want the blog to be all about. We bring a story to you, it gets studied and monitored by people like Barcabhoy (and others), and we investigate on the basis of those questions and reservations. It has been handled EXACTLY as I would have hoped, and I hope we can repeat the process with other stories. My focus – as it ever is – is to bring some credibility to TSFM.

I thought that BP had done exactly that.

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gunnerbPosted on8:31 pm - Aug 18, 2014


Two points though,

1. The blog was aware of those overtures
http://www.tsfm.net/podcast-episode-5-takeover-plans-for-hibernian/comment-page-6/#comment-27345

2. I don’t remember any such equivocation when Ann Budge started her campaign to buy Hearts. We took her at face value – as we should have. Why is this any different?

Point 1. I think this needed to be presented more overtly as an a definite invitation to the board and a subsequent lack of response.

Point 2. Shakier ground here but the David Low proposal looks less white knight than Ann Budge. Hearts were in a situation where they were hanging on by their fingertips.The Budge offer was debated here and found advocacy from some prominent Hearts supporters and I defer to them on the suitability of the Budge offer but it certainly didn’t look like a Charles Green Blue Knights fiasco,not that i am inferring anything of the sort with David Low. It is just that the situations are not quite the same. A drowning man will clutch at a straw but Hearts got lucky with a sensible proposal and business plan.

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TrisidiumPosted on8:35 pm - Aug 18, 2014


gunnerb says:

August 18, 2014 at 8:31 pm
_______________________________________

I give up. I really do …

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gunnerbPosted on8:53 pm - Aug 18, 2014


TSFM says:
August 18, 2014 at 8:35 pm

3

0

Rate This

gunnerb says:

August 18, 2014 at 8:31 pm
_______________________________________

I give up. I really do …

Whoa TSFM ! .If ,in my ignorance, my comments exasperate so much. then please at least do me the courtesy of an explanation and education.That is why I enjoy this forum so much….school day an aw that.

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Danish PastryPosted on8:55 pm - Aug 18, 2014


TSFM says:
August 18, 2014 at 8:13 pm
5 0 Rate This

In fact I think this story has defined what I want the blog to be all about. We bring a story to you, it gets studied and monitored by people like Barcabhoy (and others), and we investigate on the basis of those questions and reservations. It has been handled EXACTLY as I would have hoped, and I hope we can repeat the process with other stories. My focus – as it ever is – is to bring some credibility to TSFM.
————–

A sort of ‘think tank’?

At present each thread does become a sort of open forum. There is obviously a lot of non David Low / Hibs stuff popping up as topical issues arise.

I know this has been up many times, but would few extra, active sub-topics help focus minds on the current issue?

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ecobhoyPosted on8:55 pm - Aug 18, 2014


gunnerb says:
August 18, 2014 at 8:06 pm
TSFM says:
August 18, 2014 at 7:29 pm

We shall see, but I am surprised – and not a little irked – that people should think we lack balance in reporting this. I’ll be sorry for asking, but what possible motive could we have for taking sides?
=========================================
TSFM..I don’t think anybody believes the monitor is taking sides on this issue , only that the perception of lacking balance prevailed due to the forum not being aware of overtures to to the Hibs board to respond.
====================================
I certainly raised the issue of balance and it was done not even as a constructive criticism but more as a positive route to be followed if possible to show the important difference between TSFM and the SMSM.

I only decided to comment because TSFM mentioned the opportunities lost to comment on the David Low podcast because of a ‘feeling’ – which I personally didn’t share – that the blog had been sidetracked by the LW story.

I certainly had no intention in ruffling feathers and I made clear that I wasn’t criticising anyone. However, I wasn’t aware that any overtures had been made to Hibs and even if I had been I would probably have encouraged that TSFM as a blog continued trying to engage the Hibs incumbents – not solely to provide balance – but probably primarily to enhance the status of the blog in how it presents and tackles relevant issues.

As to the question that some sort of bias was being displayed then I can honestly say the thought never crossed my mind.

On the issue of Hearts I posted very little and relied on the excellent posts from our Jambo posters which seemed to cover the salient points. However I’m not sure what’s to be gained by comparing the Hearts and Hibs situations. Budge didn’t do a podcast IIRC and I doubt that the liquidator would have been prepared to do one anyway.

I would also hope that the use of the word ‘equivocation’ isn’t aimed at my contribution on the current podcast as I feel that would be very unfair as I voiced an honest opinion genuinely meant to enhance the blog.

I will be more careful in future of voicing any suggestions.

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upthehoopsPosted on9:11 pm - Aug 18, 2014


An interesting thought tonight re the recent debates of perceived media bias towards the club from Ibrox. For what is a minor cup tie at Ibrox tonight our licence fee is funding live TV coverage, and live radio coverage. The radio coverage I am told (haven’t listened) has four people in total working on the game including the commentator. What possible justification can the BBC have for this excessive level of coverage for a game that has attracted what must surely be a four figure crowd by the looks of things?

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ecobhoyPosted on9:16 pm - Aug 18, 2014


upthehoops says:
August 18, 2014 at 9:11 pm
——————————–
I assume the ban on the BBC no longer applies ❓

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Danish PastryPosted on9:23 pm - Aug 18, 2014


upthehoops says:
August 18, 2014 at 9:11 pm
2 0 Rate This
————

Lots of interesting and hilarious comments in twitterland on the very topic. The coverage to date seems out of all proportion to their importance or relevance. Have any of their games not been televised?

Wee Barry’s Clyde getting a real royal pumping, too.

Got to be other clubs that could do with a bit of TV income.

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StevieBCPosted on10:07 pm - Aug 18, 2014


Torrejohnbhoy(@johnbhoy1958) says:
August 18, 2014 at 3:45

Just heard on the news that the Easdales could maybe save their local shipyard.Have they had enough of RIFC?
============================================
Heard that on the car radio, and was immediately intrigued.

Then one of the Easdales gave a short soundbite, sounding serious and even magnanimous, but spoiled it when he stated that as a local businessman he felt ‘obligated’ to save the shipyard.
But, to be fair, I do hope the 70 lost jobs can be ‘saved’.

My first reaction though was to think that the Easdales were looking to acquire relevant expertise on how to save a sinking ship…mibbes… 🙄

Or maybe there is synergy to be derived from combining shipbuilding with various ‘offshore’ activities… 🙂

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No1 BobPosted on10:38 pm - Aug 18, 2014


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-18148818

Tonight of all nights we should remind ourselves that Barry received the second highest EBT totalling £2.5m. Only Sir Dave got more.

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easyJamboPosted on10:42 pm - Aug 18, 2014


The Hearts and Hibs situations cannot be compared given that Hearts was an insolvent reconstruction of the business and the finances with distressed asset values, and what David Low is proposing is a solvent but discounted purchase of Hibs.

Some info on the Ann Budge deal with Hearts:

Let me say that without Ann Budge’s involvement Hearts recovery would have been at much greater risk, but I don’t view her as a white knight in the sense that she is a wealthy philanthropist who happens to support Hearts and is ploughing her own money into the club without any great expectation of it being paid back. I see her much more in the Fergus McCann mode of fronting up the money to procure the club, then looking for a return on her investment by encouraging others to invest in the future of the club. The “others” in Hearts case are the 8,000+ fans who have pledged via FoH.

I am a season ticket holder, a shareholder and I contribute to the Foundation of Hearts. However, I have been critical of how the deal between HMFC, FoH and Bidco (Ann Budge’s holding company) has been structured.

That said, I do have every confidence that Ann Budge is a shrewd and able business woman and will deliver on her promises to facilitate the transfer of ownership to the fans as specified in the various legal agreements between the parties, probably early in 2019.

However, Ann has protected her interests throughout the process to the n’th degree, with the cost of that being borne by the fans through their contributions.

I could probably write chapter and verse about my reservations about how the deal is set up, but I will try to summarise the key points in a few paragraphs.

You will probably be aware that Ann fronted up the cash to fund the CVA. That was £2.4M, with a further £100K to purchase the majority shareholding from UBIG/Ukio.

The £2.4M was in the form of a loan from Bidco to HMFC, secured with a standard security on Tynecastle plus a Floating Charge. The loan has an arrangement fee of £110K and a 6% interest rate.

Integral to the deal is the money raised from FoH pledges:
£1M handed over in May 2014 to cover immediate working capital needs
£1.4M to be handed over in monthly instalments from fan contributions during 2014/15 to be used solely for working capital.
£1.4M to be handed over in monthly instalments from fan contributions during 2015/16 to be used solely for working capital.
Interest payments (6% p.a.) on the £2.4M to be paid quarterly.
Repayment of the £2.4M loan isn’t scheduled to commence until the summer of 2016, with a long stop date of summer 2019. The actual date will depend on how much of the fan contributions will go to pay off the loan and how much will be needed/retained for working capital during years 3 to 5.
Once the loan + interest + fees have been paid off in full, a 75.1% shareholding will be transferred from Bidco to FoH for a further £100K. I’m guessing that Ann will still own something like 13% of the club following the transfer of the majority shareholding to FoH.

“Fan ownership” will thus not be delivered for up to five years, and may not happen at all if FoH are unable to handover the requisite amounts at each stage. Indeed I own more shares that FoH will do for the next five years.

Over a five year period the fans will have effectively bought the club for a total outlay of £8M, with only £3M of that being used to pay off Ann Budge’s loan. The other £5M will be used for working capital (only the first £1M of it being essential).

It’s not quite the fantastic deal that has been portrayed in the press, but it has been set up with a 20% boost to turnover to achieve promotion within two years. That in itself creates a risk should promotion not be achieved within those timescales, The risk being that the club’s income and pledge income could fall to such an extent that “fan ownership” is not achieved and austerity measures have to be implemented.

Personally my contribution to FoH was aimed at 1) saving the club and 2) facilitating “fan ownership” through a majority shareholding.

I’m disappointed that “fan ownership” was not delivered from day one, which could have been achieved had the deal been structured differently. I certainly didn’t envisage my FoH contributions being used for working capital, beyond that required immediately on the exit from administration. I actually feel that Hearts are in the risky sphere of speculating to accumulate over the next two seasons. But let’s hope they will be successful and that my fears and concerns will not be put to the test.

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TrisidiumPosted on11:19 pm - Aug 18, 2014


easyJambo says:

August 18, 2014 at 10:42 pm
________________________________________

Excellent post eJ,

I wasn’t comparing both situations for substance – merely the uncritical reception that AB’s initiative received here compared to the Low proposals for Hibs.

I’m pretty sure that there is no single way forward for either club which will satisfy everyone either, and as your post suggests, the AB proposal has it detractors. One thing I do think is similar in both cases is that the incumbent regimes at both clubs had or (in Hibs case) seem to have come to the end of their usefulness.

My own reading of the Hibs situation is that relegation is far more serious for the club (given the debt situation which you outlined yesterday) than most are aware. I don’t see how STF can turn it around.

If, as Barcabhoy has suggested, the bank may be inclined to take a haircut for a new owner on some of the outstanding loans (as Ukio Bankas did at Hearts), then that might convince Tom Farmer that the long term interests of the club are best served by selling.

He is no fool though, and won’t be manoeuvred into a corner by Low & Co. Relegation however may have already put him in that corner.

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ianagainPosted on11:22 pm - Aug 18, 2014


Re Fergusson’s and a bit OT Should anyone save them I for one would be glad.
I worked on the railway for a Liverpool guy Jim who’s dad had served on one of the I think flower class corvettes (wee ships) built at the yard.

His dad always said they were the luckiest ships about. He was variously swept off the deck (twice) and rescued and sunk by e boat once. The ship survived.

For his dads 85th we built him a model of his ship and gave him a photo of the ship on the slips.

His only comment was I wouldn’t have survived falling from the deck there.

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wottpiPosted on11:26 pm - Aug 18, 2014


upthehoops says:
August 18, 2014 at 9:11 pm

A few weeks more of your team pumping the rest of the league 6-1 and the rest of us will be asking the same question of why the Beeb is bothering to give coverage to Celtic games that are a non event 🙂

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wottpiPosted on11:37 pm - Aug 18, 2014


Seriously, we know that the TV guys are always going to cover Celtic and Rangers. The same way that the papers will mostly lead on stories regarding them as well. Regardless of the fans in attendance and what division they are in, from the marketing numbers it probably does stack up in terms of viewers and readers

Unbalanced coverage maybe but I can’t see it changing any time soon.

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JimBhoyPosted on11:50 pm - Aug 18, 2014


With his accentuation per score I could almost predict a score….RIP

Gordon retired in July 2013 after having his larynx removed to treat throat cancer, which meant his voice was no longer strong enough to broadcast. He was replaced by former Radio 4 newsreader Charlotte Green.

“I think 5 Live and the football results have lost a friend today,” Armfield said on Radio 5 Live.

“Before he came into it, I can remember before I joined the BBC, the style was more regimented. He came in and he put a slightly different slant on it. He knew when to go up with the voice, down with the voice and he just seemed to pitch it just right. And he did it all with perfect annunciation.

“That lovely voice, with the little trace of Scot in it, had the highs and lows just right.

“The thing about him was altogether, he’s actually become synonymous with it. Over those three decades we had together I always thought he really was something special.

“He was a consummate pro, he really was.”

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gunnerbPosted on12:05 am - Aug 19, 2014


TSFM says:
August 18, 2014 at 11:19 pm

the incumbent regimes at both clubs had or (in Hibs case) seem to have come to the end of their usefulness
———————————-

Ok TSFM I get it that the site should be pleased about the exclusive with David Low.I am not a Hibs supporter and I am content with Easyjambo’s explanation of the difference between his club and the detail he goes into to explain his discomfort and pragmatism.I listened to the podcast again and
it all sounds very positive BUT are you suggesting that the current regime have lost interest in the club and are now merely hoping to exploit their shareholding…I would be surprised and disappointed if it was the case
with TF.

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John ClarkPosted on12:28 am - Aug 19, 2014


ianagain says:
August 18, 2014 at 11:22 pm
‘..Jim who’s dad had served on one of the I think flower class corvettes (wee ships) built at the yard..’
——
The fictional ‘HMS Compass Rose’ in Nicholas Monsarrat’s “The Cruel Sea” (1951) was a Flower class corvette. I didn’t read the book until 1956, round about the time I read Alistair McLean’s “HMS Ulysses” .
Younger folk who have not read these and want to get some kind of realistic idea of the reality of war at sea ( albeit in works of fiction) would find these, along with “HMS Marathon” by A E Langford, really gripping and informative stories.

” The Cruel Sea” was made into a movie ( tolerably good in its day, as was the general run of 1950s English war movies [ full of stiff upper lip Jack Hawkins- type officers, and token Jock and Taffy and ‘cheeky Cockney’characters, but I don’t hold that against them, really].

But do read “The Cruel Sea”, if you haven’t already.And read it again if you have!

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upthehoopsPosted on6:04 am - Aug 19, 2014


wottpi says:
August 18, 2014 at 11:37 pm

Seriously, we know that the TV guys are always going to cover Celtic and Rangers.
================================
Last season when Celtic played Morton in the League Cup (and got knocked oot!) the only coverage available anywhere was on the Celtic TV channel, audio only. I’m not saying it should have been given blanket coverage, just making the point. What you say is not true, and last night on the BBC was completely disproportionate for a game in a basically nothing trophy at the end of the day, where you could have taken a picture of the crowd and played ‘join the dots!’

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Danish PastryPosted on7:45 am - Aug 19, 2014


John Clark says:
August 19, 2014 at 12:28 am

ianagain says:
August 18, 2014 at 11:22 pm
———-

Fascinating OT stuff John and Ian.

Never knew the Easdales had the financial clout to jump ship mid-stream. But a worthy cause. We all know about closed-down shipyards on the Clyde.

Out of even more OT interest, a maritime site worth visiting on some your next Euro jaunts, if the Scottish teams pass this way, is the former shipyard in Helsingør. It’s in the shadow of Kronborg and has been build into and under an old dry dock. Outstanding piece of engineering and re-use of dockland. I remember Danish frigates were serviced there during the 80s when it was still the Cold War. Now it’s all open-air culture and museums. Swords into plough shares most definitely.

As you were, Hibs on the starboard bow …

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rougvielovesthejunglePosted on8:18 am - Aug 19, 2014


No1 Bob says:
August 18, 2014 at 10:38 pm
43 1 Rate This

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-18148818

Tonight of all nights we should remind ourselves that Barry received the second highest EBT totalling £2.5m. Only Sir Dave got more.

===========================

A slight correction. Of those EBT’s that were revealed, wee Barry got the second highest sum. Was there not another 15 recipients of EBT’s who were never revealed?

I daresay some of those may have been for fairly significant sums!

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wottpiPosted on8:36 am - Aug 19, 2014


upthehoops says:
August 19, 2014 at 6:04 am

BBC Alba have been covering the Challenge Cup over a number of years now.

The BBC (and indeed most channels) have always had a tradition of covering or giving first billing to matches involving Celtic and Rangers.

Celtic are not in the Challenge Cup so the BBC Alba have taken their default position and given the bulk of coverage to T’Rangers because to justify covering football on Alba the producers will probably want/need to have some viewer numbers in the bank, otherwise the football coverage could get pulled in the future.

As you can see from the link below they have also given coverage to other games that in terms of importance of competition, interest and crowd numbers would, by your argument, not be worth using the licence payers money to cover and fill the airwaves in non prime time slots. Partick v Raith Ramsdens 3rd round, Falkirk friendlies, Scotland women’s world cup qualifiers.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0107tcg/episodes/guide

Presumably the radio coverage last night was on MW, so not harm their being those who wanted would listen to the usual fayre on FM

To be frank, while like many others on here, I probably take too much interest in the problems down Govan way, however the picking away at every single little perceived bit if bias is becoming a bit tiring.

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