Some good points have been raised on this thread, so I thought I might add my tuppence ha’penny on what is a complex picture marked by (it seems to me) good intentions on all sides. Those good intentions seem to be underpinned by a shared sense of impotence to affect things at the club with which collectively we profoundly disagree (such as, but not limited to, the appalling record of paying salaries and taxes).
I don’t believe Carl’s proposal has legs, and it might (might!) actually help cause significant further harm in the short term. I am as sure as I can be without knowing Carl or his close confidants on here better that that is not their intention. However, well meaning intentions can have terrible unintended consequences if the consequences of any actions (particularly ‘direct action’) in support of them have either not been fully understood or if the intended outcome itself is either suboptimal or possibly much much worse than the existing situation.
Let’s say Carl’s proposal has legs, for a moment. It appears that Carl himself is not a man of independent means sufficient to sustain SUFC on his own. I may be wrong but my research tells me otherwise. That’s no slight against Carl - I’m not wealthy enough either (far from it - probably far less than Carl!). His proposal seems to be financially underpinned by a pension fund on the basis that they could see a return on their investment through the sale of properties proposed to be built. They will not give a toss IMO, or invest in, the football club (which surely is our main concern as fans). So a few thoughts here:
- How will Carl and the pension funds be able to make an offer significant enough to turn Ron’s head away from him making those profits himself - which he currently stands to do - while also preserving their own profit margin and entire reason for being involved?
- Once the pension fund has bought out Ron, sold the flats and banked the profits what will become of the rump development, i.e. the football club? The pension fund will not retain ownership of that as it will not provide the regular return on investment they need (relative to almost any other investment they could make to secure the pensions of their members). Will Carl pocket the club, stadium, facilities et al as his fee for introducing the pension fund to this opportunity?
So, without his having independent means he would obtain a club and assets for nix on the back of promising profits to moneymen. Sounds like a Poundland Glazers takeover - hardly the improvement on Ron we all want to see. He would be forced to either sell immediately or the club would be bust in a few short months. His whole premise for improving our lot by ousting Ron fails on its own terms by, if it were to succeed, leading us to financial doom on a warp speed timeline.
Out of the frying pan and into the fire springs to mind. Mass protests, blanket international media coverage AND a phoenix club didn’t budge the Glazers one iota and yet we believe this might work in Southend?
It seems to me that Carl’s bid and the protest movement are both well intentioned but catastrophically misconceived. Promotion of either on here (essentially in support of each other although careful to not be explicit in doing so) comes from, I think, genuine good intentions. However Carl’s proposal, if it is truly genuine, offers a frightening vision of the future. Removing Ron may be gratifying but there’s the small issue of the existence of the club to care for once Ron is gone.
Protests now at this point without a clear investor for the football club
(not the proposed associated developments),
with personal and independent means to sustain and grow it and the clear desire and primary aim of doing so, will only succeed in damaging the football side of the club without harming a hair on the head of the financial side of the club.
I‘d personally request that both the Carl investment story and protest agitation movement reconsider their approach. Instead let’s engage with real contacts that we have (like @StanCollymore
) to understand (privately) what we might collectively be able to do to genuinely encourage the right one of those potential investors to succeed ASAP.
To my mind, now is the time to make an offer for the club - any time between now and when the main stand (with all the flats etc) is built. Those flats could be a brake on the potential of the football club to ever do a Brentford - which in theory with good management ought to be a medium-long term possibility with the right leadership. Get in now, buy the club, stadium, car parking, training facilities and assocIated plant, equipment and access land - amend the main stand and hey presto you’ve got a reasonably viable club in a well populated area.
The investor should get the experts to assess the value of those football club assets (noting the build costs and allowing for the value of the proposed flats in the main stand) and make an offer for just those (minus build costs in line with current designs) plus a % to tempt Ron. Leave Ronnie to fill his boots with the flats etc. In other words, Ron would make more money by going with the investment proposal - without the hassle of building the thing or running it in the meantime. There is no way he wouldn’t go with that - and that is the kind of approach that would be attractive and lead him to talks.
This is all outline thinking of course, so all the detailed hole-picking this post is likely to encourage I may not know the answers to. Lots of due diligence and expert advice would be needed at all stages. Nevertheless I think there’s some salient points in here and I hope Carl (and the protest agitators - and others) might better understand why I don’t just not support their plans but want to actively discourage them. All without being a Ronnie lover or with my face surgically attached to Stan’s bottom.