Stadium matters

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Old Abingdonian
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Re: Stadium matters

Post by Old Abingdonian » Fri May 26, 2017 10:09 am

It might just be that Sartori has indicated he might pay Kassam's asking price.

Isaac
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Re: Stadium matters

Post by Isaac » Fri May 26, 2017 10:48 am

Old Abingdonian wrote:
Fri May 26, 2017 10:09 am
It might just be that Sartori has indicated he might pay Kassam's asking price.
Which is probably true, but given Sartori doesn't own the club and may not ever own the club, it makes sense to assume the status quo will continue. Anything else is naive wishful thinking.

ty cobb
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Re: Stadium matters

Post by ty cobb » Fri May 26, 2017 12:26 pm

I think this is really disappointing. Oxvox negotiating with Kassam has clearly pissed Eales off so I would hope they would have had a good reason for doing so and something to show from it. We still seem to have the status quo - clearly the rent would go up if we take more income or the cost of the stadium would go down if Kassam is given prime land to build housing.

I feel OxVox should shame him into leaving and as KE start taking some more direct action. Work out how much money Kassam has made out of Oxford United take that off the cost of the stadium and say this should be the price (I suspect there won't be anything left to pay) and start a campaign to boycott any business he is associated with. Kassam has made a killing out of his association with the club and it is completely unreasonable for him to try and squeeze more out of it. I still remember him telling everyone the club was unsustainable on its own and it needed the facilities around it to make it work. Well all that money is going to him now whilst he makes a pretty penny on our rent and service charge without investing anything back.

People may say that this will just make him dig his heels in more, but I suspect he is concerned about his image more than he lets on and a prolonged campaign against him will have a better impact than the current position where he carries on milking us.

OxVox put an end of season to deadline on talks, fair play for them for trying, but that time has passed now - time to call him out and admit a deal which will secure the long term future of OUFC is not possible.

Kairdiff Exile
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Re: Stadium matters

Post by Kairdiff Exile » Fri May 26, 2017 12:43 pm

ty cobb wrote:
Fri May 26, 2017 12:26 pm
I still remember him telling everyone the club was unsustainable on its own and it needed the facilities around it to make it work.
Let us not also forget that he promised not to sell the club without including the ground in the same deal. Granted, Woodstock Partners have to share the blame for that - but the fact remains that he reneged on his promise.

Kernow Yellow
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Re: Stadium matters

Post by Kernow Yellow » Fri May 26, 2017 2:36 pm

Isaac wrote:
Fri May 26, 2017 9:47 am
I don't understand why they have stopped negotiating while the supposed "takeover" talks are ongoing either. Seems like a convenient excuse for a lack of progress to me.
Maybe they have reason to believe the takeover talks are further on than DE is admitting? OxVox aren't doing this for their own personal benefit, it's for the good of the club and because DE has failed to do anything about it. They probably want to make sure they're not wasting any more of their time if there is a chance that a third party (presumably Sartori) might buy club and ground in the near future.

Anyway, over on the Other Place people who were at the meeting claim that the Mail's report bears little resemblance to what was actually said, so I think I'll wait for the OxVox minutes before making any judgement.

ty cobb
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Re: Stadium matters

Post by ty cobb » Fri May 26, 2017 3:39 pm

But has DE been unable to do anything about it because Oxvox emerged as a excuse to Kassam to not deal with him. Eales threw his toys out the pram earlier in the season when Oxvox said a heads of term won't be coming until end of season. Why was he so upset about it? Maybe it was because he thought (and it probably has) it weakened his hand by having another bidder on the table.

I also don't get this obsession some on the other side have with Satori. Eales said he would struggle to make us competitive in the championship. Well if he is able to make us competitive in league 1 and enables us to play good football and go on cup runs that's fine with me. I would have no issue with getting up, struggling and coming down and being one of the best teams in league 1. All this talk about being competitive in the championship is someone farcical I think. He's the best chairman we've had for years both in terms of investment and the way he conducts himself and runs the club (that is assuming he does write all that debt off like he said he would).

Radley Rambler
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Re: Stadium matters

Post by Radley Rambler » Fri Jun 02, 2017 9:21 am

I've now read the Oxvox AGM minutes and whilst as written they paint a positive picture, the hard fact remains that we are at the end of the season (the self-imposed deadline) and there are no Heads of Terms in place. I am slightly itk and am aware that Sartori has met Kassam in Monaco re ground purchase and the meeting did not go well.

So imho Oxvox need to outline a clear plan of action with key milestones (that need to be hit) otherwise we should really be looking elsewhere, I do realise this is not easy/straightforward.

My overall concern is that whilst no deal is done, FK's hand strengthens all the time. 8 years to go and the clock is ticking - does anyone know what occurs at the end of those 8 years, could FK literally lock the gates or are there some protections for OUFC in place?

Isaac
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Re: Stadium matters

Post by Isaac » Fri Jun 02, 2017 10:21 am

I've read the minutes now too and it still seems like a fudge to me. No mention of the missed heads of terms agreement and to say the discussions about the stadium are on hold as there might be a new buyer, but then also state that Kassam won't sell the stadium to a single individual means the justification to pause just isn't there.

The impression I get is that we're getting nowhere talking to Kassam, whether this is because the deal itself is too complicated to fund (with too many parties, OxVox, OUFC, OCC, Stewart Donald etc etc) or Kassam is too difficult to deal with isn't clear, but I think asking for a ballot so they have permission to stop is an indirect admission that they've failed in these talks. Now there's nothing wrong with trying and failing, but I'd rather they came out and said "it's not going to happen" and instead concentrating on what happens at the end of the current lease, rather than asking to stop. That way we (fans and the current owner) have clarity.

Kernow Yellow
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Re: Stadium matters

Post by Kernow Yellow » Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:07 pm

Isaac wrote:
Fri Jun 02, 2017 10:21 am
I think asking for a ballot so they have permission to stop is an indirect admission that they've failed in these talks.
That's the bit that confused/worried me too. Why ballot members now? It's a bit like calling a general election now - they started discussions without a mandate, and are now asking for one when there's no deal to vote on!

Not that I'm accusing OxVox of being as Wrong and Unable(TM) as the Tories, by the way, just drawing a slightly tortured analogy...

Hog
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Re: Stadium matters

Post by Hog » Sat Jun 03, 2017 10:34 pm

Hog wrote:
Sat Oct 08, 2016 9:41 am
Blah, blah, blah. Let us know when it's done.
Etc etc. Up the garden path springs to mind ... and round the block a couple of times ... and back where 'we' started.

ty cobb
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Re: Stadium matters

Post by ty cobb » Wed Jun 07, 2017 2:34 pm

Takeover deal off - hopefully we can now get on with signing some players and OxVox with sorting the stadium out or admitting Kassam won't deal.

I for one am pleased, although the possibility of someone willing to spunk loads of their cash on us to take us up the leagues, there was just as much chance that we ended up with someone who quickly lost interest and we did a Orient. And we also have an excellent chairman in place (assuming he writes those debts off) and have seen real progress on the field of late - why rock that boat?

Dr Bob
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Re: Stadium matters

Post by Dr Bob » Wed Jun 07, 2017 6:28 pm

I agree with that. It does, however, seem to put the onus on him (and, currently it seems, him alone) to put his hand further down into his pockets than last year.

Myles Francis
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Re: Stadium matters

Post by Myles Francis » Fri Jun 09, 2017 8:35 am

ty cobb wrote:
Wed Jun 07, 2017 2:34 pm
And we also have an excellent chairman in place (assuming he writes those debts off) and have seen real progress on the field of late - why rock that boat?
Shame it's been absolutely decimated off the field though...

Kernow Yellow
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Re: Stadium matters

Post by Kernow Yellow » Mon Jun 12, 2017 2:14 pm

Myles Francis wrote:
Fri Jun 09, 2017 8:35 am
ty cobb wrote:
Wed Jun 07, 2017 2:34 pm
And we also have an excellent chairman in place (assuming he writes those debts off) and have seen real progress on the field of late - why rock that boat?
Shame it's been absolutely decimated off the field though...
This article on the club website seems to imply that the Academy role is being sorted at least, and we're not just relying on Les Taylor to fill in permanently.

Not sure I necessarily share Ty's (blind?) faith in Eales though. Yes he's been a good chairman, and of course the club has had some great seasons with him at the helm, and I'm very happy that he's continuing if he has the desire and finances to continue doing so - I'm certainly not one of these fans who craves a mega-bucks owner to buy instant success. But he's clearly been happy to look at selling OUFC, despite his protestations to the contrary, and the delay seems to have set us back a bit in terms of summer recruitment.

Eales has been talking loudly about 'top 6 budgets', but carefully qualifying it with terms like 'hopefully' and 'I don't see why not'. Indeed Appleton today has said 'We won’t have a recruitment budget of the size [of] the top-six clubs in this league'. Not that I think we should necessarily expect one, but I think it's a reminder not to take everything a football club chairman says at face value, especially one that seems to have got into the habit of falling out with people (including fans groups) over the past 12 months or so...

Kernow Yellow
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Re: Stadium matters

Post by Kernow Yellow » Wed Jul 05, 2017 2:01 pm

The recent OxVox committee meeting minutes don't shed much light on the stadium situation. I assume I'm not breaking any confidentiality by copying and pasting the relevant sections here:
OxVox wrote:"(b) The meeting discussed recent communications with Firoz Kassam and that the Trust had laid out the various options to FK. FK will revert during July, but remains amenable to previously indicated moves to see a different stadium arrangement and/or a move to community control/ownership.
(c) The Trust will update the club on the current status over the next few weeks.
(d) It was resolved at the AGM that the Trust would seek a mandate from members to continue discussions with FK. A background/overview and questionnaire will be sent to members by the end of July and the results published as soon as they can be. It remains the view of the committee that continuing to talk is desirable, but the Trust will obviously abide by the wishes of the membership.
(e) It was noted by JH that there had been a recent property advertisement which had invited applications for the use of parts of the stadium (East Stand space) for ‘storage’ and/or office accommodation. It also spoke of the potential for a restaurant (top floor). This has been advertised before, but JF will pick this up with Firoz Kassam at the earliest opportunity."
If OxVox want a mandate from members to continue discussions, why wait until the end of July to start this process? Given the previous stated desire to get to a Heads of Terms agreement by the end of May, there now seems a surprising lack of urgency to progress things from wherever we've got to. Part (e) above doesn't make it sound like FK thinks a deal is on the horizon [Indeed I would be very worried about the security implications of the East Stand being used for 'storage' by a third party].

I think that OxVox probably feel a bit caught in the middle of the FK/DE dispute, and are wondering why they're bothering given the hassle they're getting from all sides. I'm also guessing that Oxvox and/or some of the associated 'stakeholders' in the stadium deal might have been a little more invested in the Sartori bid than has been let on, hence not quite knowing what to do as they find DE is still in charge.

But I personally don't feel in a position as an OxVox member to give/withhold a mandate without quite a lot more information...

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