Chairman's Programme Notes v Scunthorpe

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Myles Francis
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Re: Chairman's Programme Notes v Scunthorpe

Post by Myles Francis » Wed Jan 25, 2017 4:54 pm

Kernow Yellow wrote:It would be interesting to know whether what is proposed is a 'stand-alone' deal for the sale of the ground and associated land at an agreed price; or whether it is tied into other deals between FK and other parties eg to allow him more development opportunities in the vicinity. If the latter, then that could explain the delay in agreeing HoT's - while the basics of selling the stadium might be relatively straightforward, maybe what FK wants as his part of the deal isn't.
Without any particular inside knowledge, I'd wager that it is almost certainly a deal involving other development opportunities - hence the involvement of OCC. Probably involving the overflow car park and/or the Northfield School site.

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Re: Chairman's Programme Notes v Scunthorpe

Post by GodalmingYellow » Wed Jan 25, 2017 5:43 pm

Myles Francis wrote:
GodalmingYellow wrote:
Myles Francis wrote:Terry, you have completely ignored the point I made and making the same assumptions that the club seems to be making.
I don't think I have, on either account.

Feel free to enlighten me.
I said: The club are clearly banking on a deal providing some sort of immediate cash windfall to them either through a rent reduction, access to additional revenues, or both. And went on to explain why this may not be the case. at least in the short-term.

You said: If the stadium is in OUFC or community ownership, then the club will benefit from non-matchday revenue, reduced rent or even zero rent depending on who buys the stadium, etc Which is repeating the same assumptions the club have been making in their statements, and ignoring the point about why that may not happen.
You can't have your cake and eat it Myles.

Notwithstanding your earlier comments, I don't see any reason to believe there wouldn't be early benefits to a new stadium arrangement, and it would be an odd arrangement to community purchase the stadium and not provide those benefits at the earliest possible time. That is the fundamental raison d'etre in taking ownership of the stadium from Firoz Kassam.

"Immediate cash windfall" is perhaps unintentionally misleading of you. No there wouldn't be £3m or £5m extra income on day 1. But there would be ongoing access to new revenue streams more or less from day 1, to pay for ongoing costs of playing in the Championship, coupled with security that ownership provides as to future revenue streams, thus significantly reducing risk of present day investment.

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Re: Chairman's Programme Notes v Scunthorpe

Post by GodalmingYellow » Wed Jan 25, 2017 5:49 pm

Myles Francis wrote:
Kernow Yellow wrote:It would be interesting to know whether what is proposed is a 'stand-alone' deal for the sale of the ground and associated land at an agreed price; or whether it is tied into other deals between FK and other parties eg to allow him more development opportunities in the vicinity. If the latter, then that could explain the delay in agreeing HoT's - while the basics of selling the stadium might be relatively straightforward, maybe what FK wants as his part of the deal isn't.
Without any particular inside knowledge, I'd wager that it is almost certainly a deal involving other development opportunities - hence the involvement of OCC. Probably involving the overflow car park and/or the Northfield School site.
I don't believe it has been made public that OCC are involved.

Previous statements by OxVox refer only to OxVox and Kassam.

OCC would only need to be involved if a fundamental condition of the sale was their financial input, or planning permission. even so, that would not prevent HoT being produced.

Myles Francis
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Re: Chairman's Programme Notes v Scunthorpe

Post by Myles Francis » Wed Jan 25, 2017 6:03 pm

GodalmingYellow wrote:But there would be ongoing access to new revenue streams more or less from day 1, to pay for ongoing costs of playing in the Championship, coupled with security that ownership provides as to future revenue streams, thus significantly reducing risk of present day investment.
Again, you're making that same assumption! WHY would there be that access from Day 1? As I've already said, of course the aim of community ownership is to be mutually beneficial over the longer term, but to think that it's going to provide any significant change in the club's finances in the short term seems massively presumptuous. Particularly when there are significant sums to be spent on the stadium to bring it up to standard and increase capacity.

Regarding the bit about OCC, from the OxVox statement issued 14th Jan:
What OxVox have been carefully working on for some considerable time, in conjunction with Firoz Kassam, The City Council and professional advisors, is a long term solution to the stadium ownership issue that Darryl Eales and of course Ian Lenagan before him have been unable to resolve.

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Re: Chairman's Programme Notes v Scunthorpe

Post by Kernow Yellow » Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:12 pm

And today's OxVox statement makes it abundantly clear that OCC are heavily involved. And not best pleased with Darryl Eales! My initial thoughts were that OxVox would have been better off keeping their frustrations with the club to themselves, but I suspect they have come under pressure from FK/OCC to say something.

Anyway, it certainly isn't getting any more harmonious! Fun times...

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Re: Chairman's Programme Notes v Scunthorpe

Post by GodalmingYellow » Fri Jan 27, 2017 2:26 am

Myles Francis wrote:
GodalmingYellow wrote:But there would be ongoing access to new revenue streams more or less from day 1, to pay for ongoing costs of playing in the Championship, coupled with security that ownership provides as to future revenue streams, thus significantly reducing risk of present day investment.
Again, you're making that same assumption! WHY would there be that access from Day 1? As I've already said, of course the aim of community ownership is to be mutually beneficial over the longer term, but to think that it's going to provide any significant change in the club's finances in the short term seems massively presumptuous. Particularly when there are significant sums to be spent on the stadium to bring it up to standard and increase capacity.

Regarding the bit about OCC, from the OxVox statement issued 14th Jan:
What OxVox have been carefully working on for some considerable time, in conjunction with Firoz Kassam, The City Council and professional advisors, is a long term solution to the stadium ownership issue that Darryl Eales and of course Ian Lenagan before him have been unable to resolve.
No, it would be normal to expect benefits more or less from the start. It is your massive and wholly inexplicable assumption that you keep making that there would not be those benefits. That is bizarre and completely in opposition to the prime purpose of buying the stadium.

That OxVox statement does not specify why OCC have been involved in the talks. Unless OCC are taking a stake or subsidising the deal, there is no need and no point for them to be involved at all. That would just slow everything down. And perhaps there the answer has been let slip.

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Re: Chairman's Programme Notes v Scunthorpe

Post by GodalmingYellow » Fri Jan 27, 2017 2:28 am

Kernow Yellow wrote:And today's OxVox statement makes it abundantly clear that OCC are heavily involved. And not best pleased with Darryl Eales! My initial thoughts were that OxVox would have been better off keeping their frustrations with the club to themselves, but I suspect they have come under pressure from FK/OCC to say something.

Anyway, it certainly isn't getting any more harmonious! Fun times...
Its a very poor open letter from OxVox.

It tells us nothing new, it just repeats the mantras that have already been put in the public domain, and is almost word for word the same as Myles earlier postings. It provides no explanations for the delays, and places on record public criticism of the owner and financial underwriter of the club. Not very clever at all.

I can see things getting much worse before they get better and I hope this won't have tipped Daryl Eales into any rash considerations. The club maybe on a knife edge as a result of this statement.

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Re: Chairman's Programme Notes v Scunthorpe

Post by SmileyMan » Fri Jan 27, 2017 5:21 am

Silly of Oxvox in my not-very-humble opinion - they are supposed to be the voice of fans, not the voice of Kassam and the Council.

If I were Eales, I'd take my money and walk, because from long experience, once developers have got their claws into council officials and the brown paper bags and BMW keys start mysteriously popping through letterboxes, everyone else is going to get screwed.

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Re: Chairman's Programme Notes v Scunthorpe

Post by theox » Fri Jan 27, 2017 10:02 am

The open letter made it sound like the Oxvox committee are puppets on a string dancing to the whim of Kassam and the Council without even realising it. I am a life member of Oxvox and don't like to criticise them as ultimately they are volunteers just doing what they think is best but they seem very naïve at the moment. These statements keep going on about how much they have achieved but when you dig through it they haven't achieved anything at all. They appear to be no further forward than Eales is with the stadium buying. They have got Kassam to the table but lets face it any deal and the timing of it is going to be on his terms.

Myles Francis
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Re: Chairman's Programme Notes v Scunthorpe

Post by Myles Francis » Fri Jan 27, 2017 11:40 am

Kernow Yellow wrote:And today's OxVox statement makes it abundantly clear that OCC are heavily involved. And not best pleased with Darryl Eales! My initial thoughts were that OxVox would have been better off keeping their frustrations with the club to themselves, but I suspect they have come under pressure from FK/OCC to say something.
I suspect that they have become frustrated with the near-constant sniping which has come from the club lately and reached a point where they had to say something.

And, frankly, I'm astounded by some of the comments being made on here. There is a claim that OxVox have got no further than DE in discussions with Kassam, but then a statement that they have got Kassam to the table. Well, that's more than Eales has managed!

Of course any deal is going to be primarily dependent on Kassam. He holds the cards here and it would be naïve to suggest otherwise. It also has to be recognised that a straight cash deal for the stadium is never going to be viable to the club - the value to Kassam far outweighs what would be sensible for the club to pay. So, it's not rocket science to work out what involvement OCC may have in this process.

As for placing on record criticism of the club's "financial underwriter", words fail me.

Edit: It's probably also worth noting that OxVox have previously been very vocal in their support of Eales and what he has been trying to achieve. Maybe this change in approach should give some pause for thought as to what has caused such an apparent rift?

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Re: Chairman's Programme Notes v Scunthorpe

Post by GodalmingYellow » Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:54 pm

Those whose arguments are the sum total of "words fail me" clearly have no defensible argument.

So Kassam is at the table. Woo hoo. That means absolutely nothing if he is not serious about selling. And the only way to prove he is serious about selling is agreement on HoT.

Kassam at the table IS NO FURTHER FORWARD than Eales making an offer to buy.

The facts are simple. Very simple.

Involving OCC in the deal is really not very clever. In an age of so called austerity, there is no way government or councils can justify subsidy to a private company in a supposedly cash rich world of football. Anyone who thinks otherwise is barking mad. And if OCC are not subsidising, there is no point them being involved as all they do is slow the process and complicate it.

A community ownership model only works where funding is available that does not require an investable return.

I am now seriously questioning if OxVox have access to funding that does not require a return, and if they do not, OxVox should withdraw.
Last edited by GodalmingYellow on Fri Jan 27, 2017 1:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Chairman's Programme Notes v Scunthorpe

Post by SWA » Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:57 pm

I am not a member of OxVox

Can someone post their latest update below please?

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Re: Chairman's Programme Notes v Scunthorpe

Post by GodalmingYellow » Fri Jan 27, 2017 1:02 pm

Open letter to members of OxVox - 26th January 2017
Following a spate of recent media statements and appearances by the Board of OUFC, and after a meeting last Friday between OxVox, Firoz Kassam and Oxford City Council, your committee has decided to provide a comprehensive report and update on our attempts to facilitate the purchase of the Kassam Stadium by a community trust, or similar.
Chronology of Events
A. Last summer, with the club seemingly no nearer to solving the impasse surrounding the ownership and control of the Kassam Stadium, OxVox’s committee decided to offer its services in providing a solution. The reason for this is that as a body we are committed to promoting the sustainability of the football club, something that would clearly be aided by OUFC improving its potential to earn additional match-day revenues outside of ticketing. Before embarking on any meaningful negotiations with interested parties, the committee sought the ‘buy-in’ of the club’s owner, Darryl Eales. Without that ‘buy-in’, OxVox would never have sought to get involved at all, as our aim is to assist the club (whoever owns it), not hinder it in its attempts to progress and further its sustainability. The Board of OUFC stated explicitly that it both supported those efforts and would continue its own endeavours to purchase the stadium. Indeed, it subsequently made another offer to Firoz Kassam and has made that offer public. B. Following promising early discussions with Firoz Kassam and the City Council, we announced publicly in October that we were in formal discussions. This was confirmed by the two other parties. The news was welcomed by the Board of OUFC, who said that while it had its own offer in, it welcomed our progress and that if a deal could be negotiated by the end of season 2016/2017, it would be hugely beneficial to the club. C. Our discussions continued in the late autumn, with Firoka, OCC and OxVox tabling their concerns, ‘red lines’ and objectives, and we ascertained that whilst these were many and complex (see later), there was still a good chance of us meeting our self-imposed deadline of summer 2017 to reach a framework agreement. The club has been kept informed of progress and joint meetings have taken place with OCC, Oxvox and the club since September. A meeting (called by OUFC board) updated latest progress in mid December. At this meeting, the club called for an end of January resolution. Oxvox reiterated the complexities involved, the current status, and also made the board aware of dates of upcoming meetings that were already planned with Firoz Kassam and OCC. D. Soon after that update, the Board announced - in a series of match day programme notes, Oxford Mail articles and Radio Oxford interviews - that it did not consider this satisfactory progress and that the framework deal should be announced by the end of January 2017 at the latest. E. Last Friday, January 20th, we met with Firoz Kassam and Oxford City Council for the latest in our series of meetings aimed at bringing matters to a head by summer 2017. It was a constructive and positive meeting, which enables us to report that we are optimistic that we will indeed be able to present a new and better stadium situation to the Board of OUFC and community in the timescale originally envisioned. However, a good part of that meeting was spent with the other two parties questioning the recent statements by the Board of OUFC, and leaving us in little doubt that these interventions – by the company that everyone is trying to assist - are not overly helpful in bringing matters to a positive and timely conclusion. F. We formally communicated with the board of OUFC on the morning of Saturday 21st January to inform them of progress from the meeting on January 20th and to reconfirm that the end of January
deadline that they had wished to see was not possible and that our consistent view of ‘end of season’, remained our best estimate.
Complexity of the issues at hand
The detail of these negotiations must remain confidential, to protect the interests, not of OxVox, but our two other negotiating parties. The same would certainly be true were OUFC to be conducting them.
A. The issues are many and complex, and defy a ‘Quick-Fix’ solution. Nor should anyone involved with Oxford United ever again complete a short unsatisfactory negotiation that leads to the club being disadvantaged for decades to come. B. Neither of our two fellow negotiating parties are in a situation where they want or need to hurry to a swift public declaration. It is critical for both that all the major issues are properly bottomed out and addressed in detail BEFORE they get presented to public scrutiny. C. In any case, it is our position that to complete these complex and multi-faceted negotiations in around 9 months would be an admirably swift conclusion, given that successive Boards of OUFC have never been able to get close to such a situation in over ten years of trying. D. Several of the issues at stake require goodwill, if they are to be concluded in a way that benefits OUFC long-term. To jeopardise those benefits for the not altogether-obvious benefits of short-term certainty seems to us irresponsible, and your committee is simply not going to act in that way. E. The goodwill generated by the manner in which we are conducting discussions has, for example, resulted in a couple of weeks ago, Firoz Kassam offering to allow the club to put up a temporary 4th stand for the Newcastle United FA Cup game. We forwarded that offer to the club, but were informed that it was not possible due to operational difficulties.
In short, discussions are going well, the club is being kept informed as much as possible and we remain hopeful that we are on track. However, there are some issues that we want to raise that go beyond the simple question of when a framework deal can be reached by.
Further issues
A. OxVox is helping facilitate the negotiations outlined above on the premise that the club was not likely to succeed in its own negotiations. We do not understand, therefore, why this issue has so quickly become one of such over-whelming urgency, when the alternative was the status quo that the current ownership bought into only two and a half years ago. B. Whilst control of the stadium may well alleviate some of the club’s issues – and, over the long-term, provide an opportunity to build towards true sustainability - in the short-term we are doubtful of the material impact on budgeting. As it would do with other ‘known unknowns’ (Cup runs, player trading, commercial sponsorships). We have advised the club that, in our view, it would be unwise to budget for large immediate windfalls from any potential change in stadium ownership. C. Even if there were a ‘Heads of Terms’ between the respective parties, this would not include what the subsequent deal would be with OUFC. That would be for the new owning entity to negotiate with the OUFC Board. That will itself be a complex discussion, as that entity has not yet been formed and Firoz Kassam and the City Council will need to ensure for their own sake that the new owner is properly organised and robust. A legal framework/proposal is however currently being worked on. D. The Board has said publicly that it can fund the club in League 1. We are pleased that this is the case, as the Player Trading model put in place by Mark Ashton has proven so successful and should, we hope, see the current ownership being stronger from an operating perspective, having also progressed up the pyramid. This development, after years of endless losses, is welcomed by OxVox, & Darryl Eales is to be applauded for his acumen.
E. So it appears that the issue at stake here is potential promotion to the Championship, rather than current sustainability. This, again, is a complex matter and will not be resolved alone, or even in major part, by a community trust owning the current facility. As Darryl Eales has acknowledged, for Championship sustainability the stadium’s capacity would need to be significantly increased, which could involve a large capital expenditure. If a community trust controls the stadium, is the Board suggesting that it will provide the funds to expand the stadium itself, given the beneficial effect of such a move on the capital value of the club? F. We should point out that Oxvox has worked with specialist stadium architects who have confirmed that (at a cost) the Kassam Stadium’s capacity can be significantly increased. G. Finally, we note – with some concern – that Darryl Eales has suggested he is considering ‘all options’, including taking the club away from the Kassam Stadium, which would necessarily mean a move away from the county, given League safety requirements. We will be seeking reassurances from the club that this ‘option’ – if such it is – will only be considered with due concern for the medium and long-term future of the club. It is hard to see how such a move could lead to greater sustainability as a Championship club. Furthermore, our voluntary abdication of the Kassam Stadium would lead to the loss of the club’s one remaining bit of leverage with the stadium’s owner: Occupancy. Take that away, and it is hard to see who could resist considering the suitability of the site for other purposes.
Conclusion
Your committee is working hard to improve the stadium situation for OUFC. We are optimistic of so doing, even while acknowledging that it will not be a ‘silver bullet’ solution in and of itself. The process, however, will not be assisted by pressure being brought to bear on it – indeed, it is a risk that such pressure ‘could’ make discussions significantly more difficult.
Given its stated ambition to take the club into the Championship (an ambition we and all fans naturally support), we will be seeking a meeting with the club to ascertain what the business plan is for such an eventuality, given how inter-linked that plan appears to be with community ownership of the stadium. That meeting should also consider the club’s stated ‘option’ of moving the club to another county.
We will report back to members on the club’s response to these questions as soon as they have taken place. In the meantime, we ask our members to please be patient concerning the negotiations over the stadium until material progress has been made. We are already testing the boundaries of what we can say without breaking confidentiality.
Please be assured that OxVox will quickly communicate any deal once it has been agreed and then open things up to all interested parties for approval and then to agree the best way forward. Conversely, if we feel that a deal is not possible, we will also communicate that news, quickly and publicly, to everyone. Whilst we remain in talks and we feel there is a likelihood of success, we will press on.
Thank you for all your support.
Jem, Simon, Terry, Matt, Michael, Trevor, Maurice, Colin, Graham

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Re: Chairman's Programme Notes v Scunthorpe

Post by Kairdiff Exile » Fri Jan 27, 2017 1:27 pm

I must be on a different planet from most of you. When the statement came through last night, I read it as mostly just an articulation of facts and recap of events. Not quite sure what the controversy is. Having said that, I do think it'd be in all parties' interests if they agreed to have a ceasefire on the constant issuing of all statements - it's distracting their attention from the main objectives and is just whipping up a frenzy amongst the supporters.

Myles Francis
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Re: Chairman's Programme Notes v Scunthorpe

Post by Myles Francis » Fri Jan 27, 2017 1:47 pm

GodalmingYellow wrote:Those whose arguments are the sum total of "words fail me" clearly have no defensible argument.
Oh come on Terry, you're better than that. I just find it absolutely gob-smacking that you are having a pop at OxVox for what you perceive as "public criticism of the owner". I could understand it from others, but you're a smart individual.

If calling out Eales on his behaviour and statements (moving the club out of the county for Christ's sake!) upsets him, so what? If that causes him to leave, so what? Owners come and go and being a "good owner" for a period doesn't make them a "good owner" in perpetuity cf. Robin Herd. In many ways, the club is in a stronger and more attractive position than it was two and a half years ago, and Eales' wasn't the only bid on the table now. So why people seem to think he's now untouchable/irreplaceable I don't know.

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