50 +1

Sky_Blue_Dreamer

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Also what happens if one guy buys 51% of the 51% given to fans? Does he basically have control of the other half, or is it one vote per purchase regardless of the size?

I like the idea of the 51%, but fuck knows how they can sort it out..
Also how would you prove you were a supporter? How would you stop a stooge buying all those shares and just voting with what they want? Also without the ability to own at least 51% would put a lot of larger investors off. They like being able to do whatever they please.
 

Sky_Blue_Dreamer

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So people who have bought clubs are going to give 51% away?
Could have a share issue. But the rules state that anyone currently with shares be given the option to buy shares in the issue first to maintain their overall shareholding, so they'd have to be got around and that's not going to end up in the courts for years is it!
 

oldskyblue58

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It is a nice idea but I really don't see how English football gets to it.

None or very very few of the current owners are going to give up the value they have in the 51%+ that they currently control. Partly because that value largely underpins the sums that they have put in to most clubs.

I don't see how government could impose anything without coming in to serious conflict in three areas. Firstly fifa rules that ban government interference, to impose in that way risks the national team being banned and England losing its position at the top table which is currently guaranteed.

Second the number of law suits that would be brought would be many, lengthy and costly, putting FA and EFL at risk of ruin (they are not rich organisations). Why would the owners take the increased risk to their investment and at the same time devalue their "security ". Collectively the owners have massive wealth with which to challenge this, and any rule change requires their agreement as they control the members of FA or EFL

Third the FA and EFL are both private members clubs with their own rules and regulations. A factor that has defeated HMRC many times in the past.

It is also going to be very difficult to transfer assets such as stadiums to the fans. Usually those assets are secured against loans, not just from owners but from banks and other sources. To change the ownership requires the satisfaction of the charge.

Comparing with Germany is fine at first glance but their situation I think developed long ago and from a different position where fans already had control. Do those clubs for example secure stadiums against loans? The debt in English football is huge and removing the charges that underpin it risks it all collapsing.

Ultimately I think what will be the "solution " in the end is proper representation on the club boards by fans. Fans will think they have some power, but the decisions will still be with the owners.

Just a thought but the proposal banning clubs moving away from its natural geographical fan base ....... where would that have left ccfc had they not been able to move to St Andrews if a solution could not be found at the ricoh?
 

Sky Blue Pete

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It is a nice idea but I really don't see how English football gets to it.

None or very very few of the current owners are going to give up the value they have in the 51%+ that they currently control. Partly because that value largely underpins the sums that they have put in to most clubs.

I don't see how government could impose anything without coming in to serious conflict in three areas. Firstly fifa rules that ban government interference, to impose in that way risks the national team being banned and England losing its position at the top table which is currently guaranteed.

Second the number of law suits that would be brought would be many, lengthy and costly, putting FA and EFL at risk of ruin (they are not rich organisations). Why would the owners take the increased risk to their investment and at the same time devalue their "security ". Collectively the owners have massive wealth with which to challenge this, and any rule change requires their agreement as they control the members of FA or EFL

Third the FA and EFL are both private members clubs with their own rules and regulations. A factor that has defeated HMRC many times in the past.

It is also going to be very difficult to transfer assets such as stadiums to the fans. Usually those assets are secured against loans, not just from owners but from banks and other sources. To change the ownership requires the satisfaction of the charge.

Comparing with Germany is fine at first glance but their situation I think developed long ago and from a different position where fans already had control. Do those clubs for example secure stadiums against loans? The debt in English football is huge and removing the charges that underpin it risks it all collapsing.

Ultimately I think what will be the "solution " in the end is proper representation on the club boards by fans. Fans will think they have some power, but the decisions will still be with the owners.

Just a thought but the proposal banning clubs moving away from its natural geographical fan base ....... where would that have left ccfc had they not been able to move to St Andrews if a solution could not be found at the ricoh?
Non existence
 

hamil99

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Also how would you prove you were a supporter? How would you stop a stooge buying all those shares and just voting with what they want? Also without the ability to own at least 51% would put a lot of larger investors off. They like being able to do whatever they please.

It's a massive quagmire, and I don't see it happening. Adding on top the points oldskyblue has made, it's a non starter really.
 

cov donkey kick

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I don't think you do buy in. I think its something like the fans get the goldenseal which equates to 51% ofthe club
I don't know if the PL,FA,EFL,would buy into it as there funded by big businesses,it would be the awnser from our point of view
Not sure I can see it happening.
Think I can see fans representative on board meetings reporting to fans.
 

shmmeee

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Such lack of imagination here.

Set up an organisation that has veto power on key elements of the club (golden share/stadia/naming rights/club badge/etc), supporters gain membership through season tickets or similar for those that can’t attend.

No money has to change hands, no ownership changes, but the club can’t move cities/change name/change badge/leave the league without the majority of fans agreeing. Any owner not trying to be an arse will be fine.
 
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clint van damme

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Such lack of imagination here.

Set up an organisation that has veto power on key elements of the club (golden share/stadia/naming rights/club badge/etc), supporters gain membership through season tickets or similar for those that can’t attend.

No money has to change hands, no ownership changes, but the club can’t move cities/change name/change badge/leave the league without the majority of fans agreeing. Any owner not trying to be an arse will be fine.
The whole super league malarky came and went far too quickly forit to have been a serious attempt at setting one up.

It was either a flexing of muscle before the CL restructure originally was testing the water.

If its the latter then it will be back and football supporters need to be prepared.
 

oldskyblue58

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Such lack of imagination here.

Set up an organisation that has veto power on key elements of the club (golden share/stadia/naming rights/club badge/etc), supporters gain membership through season tickets or similar for those that can’t attend.

No money has to change hands, no ownership changes, but the club can’t move cities/change name/change badge/leave the league without the majority of fans agreeing. Any owner not trying to be an arse will be fine.
imaginative ideas then of course you have to deal with the practicalities.

some of which are

- who is setting up the organisation?
- who funds it
- what powers will it have and how does it enforce them
- who regulates the organisation?
- how do you make it binding on all clubs? Rule changes in EFL requires 75% of members to approve. Members basically being the owners
- what standing would it have in law say vs The Companies Act
- the golden share is the key value alongside the stadium for all owners and they give power of veto to the fans? it is not just a way in but also a way out for them too
- how do fans investigate any golden share transfer ? when such deals are usually subject to an NDA
- If fans given a right to be involved even in just oversight of a deal wont they be subject to an NDA also so cant disclose anything even to their own group or committee.
- will the fans have the necessary knowledge or skills to investigate such a murky and less than transparent environment
- how do you compel directors & owners to disclose all facts?
- how do you compel directors & owners to act on a fans veto. How do you resolve a possible conflict between directors statutory responsibility to act in best interests of the Company vs fans acting in best interests of fans (not necessarily the same thing)
- How does a fan representative investigate a proposed purchaser without being subject to an NDA
- are you just providing another layer of non transparency and someone else to blame
- the considerations are the same for stadia but in addition
- what if the club doesn't own the stadium? is just a tenant
- what is the minimum tenancy required?
- most stadiums owned by clubs are secured by legal charges, giving the fans veto over the stadium affects the security of the lender. That could get costly to remedy. Fans wont have power over the lender
- how do fans veto actions on the stadium when the club doesnt actually own it
- Company Laws sets legal limits as to minimum disclosure can clubs be required to disclose potentially commercially sensitive info above those minimums. No good complying with Co Acts only to give it all away in a separate fans statement it could affect income of the club and therefore its future
- naming rights - as above the club might not own the stadium, the naming rights deal might well be covered by NDA's
- Clubs should and generally do consult fans on badge but who is classed as a fan ?
- are fans classed as fans on an annual basis, is there a membership fee what is classed as unable to be season ticket holder
- how many fans need to be involved to be able say that the fans body represents the whole fan base?
- is this going to require a complete overhaul of the FA, EFL Premier League rules ............... which are controlled by the owners
- if imposed by government does that threaten the FA's standing and that of the national team
- if imposed by government does that threaten the football creditors rule because new rules set a precedent
- does the EFL retain its powers of discretion so will that circumvent things
- how many times have clubs left their own stadium to move to another city ( i dont mean temporary)
- what is meant by a clubs geographic area
- how are conflicts between owners and fans settled in such a new set up
- who pays for it
- what legal protections are there for fans representatives
- has anyone got the bottle to take this on and take on all sides?

Thats just a few of the things that come to mind.

Sorry to be so negative just trying to point out some of the many obstacles because i think fan involvement is a good idea. BUT with the myriad of different set ups, owners, lenders i think it is going to very very difficult to achieve. I can see such a system for things like Club colours, club name, club badge, but the more commercial stuff like naming rights, sponsorship, new owners, golden share i can see an element of consultation but power of veto i dont think so. We are not i think heading for 50+1 I just dont see how that can be achieved. However hopefully we are heading for a closer relationship between owners & fans brought about by consultation, greater transparency ................ basically communication

I do think that football governing bodies need to take a long hard look at themselves,

This will take years to sort out, and i cant help thinking that is exactly what those who govern want to happen
 
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shmmeee

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imaginative ideas then of course you have to deal with the practicalities.

some of which are

- who is setting up the organisation?
- who funds it
- what powers will it have and how does it enforce them
- who regulates the organisation?
- how do you make it binding on all clubs? Rule changes in EFL requires 75% of members to approve. Members basically being the owners
- what standing would it have in law say vs The Companies Act
- the golden share is the key value alongside the stadium for all owners and they give power of veto to the fans? it is not just a way in but also a way out for them too
- how do fans investigate any golden share transfer ? when such deals are usually subject to an NDA
- If fans given a right to be involved even in just oversight of a deal wont they be subject to an NDA also so cant disclose anything even to their own group or committee.
- will the fans have the necessary knowledge or skills to investigate such a murky and less than transparent environment
- how do you compel directors & owners to disclose all facts?
- how do you compel directors & owners to act on a fans veto. How do you resolve a possible conflict between directors statutory responsibility to act in best interests of the Company vs fans acting in best interests of fans (not necessarily the same thing)
- How does a fan representative investigate a proposed purchaser without being subject to an NDA
- are you just providing another layer of non transparency and someone else to blame
- the considerations are the same for stadia but in addition
- what if the club doesn't own the stadium? is just a tenant
- what is the minimum tenancy required?
- most stadiums owned by clubs are secured by legal charges, giving the fans veto over the stadium affects the security of the lender. That could get costly to remedy. Fans wont have power over the lender
- how do fans veto actions on the stadium when the club doesnt actually own it
- Company Laws sets legal limits as to minimum disclosure can clubs be required to disclose potentially commercially sensitive info above those minimums. No good complying with Co Acts only to give it all away in a separate fans statement it could affect income of the club and therefore its future
- naming rights - as above the club might not own the stadium, the naming rights deal might well be covered by NDA's
- Clubs should and generally do consult fans on badge but who is classed as a fan ?
- are fans classed as fans on an annual basis, is there a membership fee what is classed as unable to be season ticket holder
- how many fans need to be involved to be able say that the fans body represents the whole fan base?
- is this going to require a complete overhaul of the FA, EFL Premier League rules ............... which are controlled by the owners
- if imposed by government does that threaten the FA's standing and that of the national team
- if imposed by government does that threaten the football creditors rule because new rules set a precedent
- does the EFL retain its powers of discretion so will that circumvent things
- how many times have clubs left their own stadium to move to another city ( i dont mean temporary)
- what is meant by a clubs geographic area
- how are conflicts between owners and fans settled in such a new set up
- who pays for it
- what legal protections are there for fans representatives
- has anyone got the bottle to take this on and take on all sides?

Thats just a few of the things that come to mind.

Sorry to be so negative just trying to point out some of the many obstacles because i think fan involvement is a good idea. BUT with the myriad of different set ups, owners, lenders i think it is going to very very difficult to achieve. I can see such a system for things like Club colours, club name, club badge, but the more commercial stuff like naming rights, sponsorship, new owners, golden share i can see an element of consultation but power of veto i dont think so. We are not i think heading for 50+1 I just dont see how that can be achieved. However hopefully we are heading for a closer relationship between owners & fans brought about by consultation, greater transparency ................ basically communication

I do think that football governing bodies need to take a long hard look at themselves,

This will take years to sort out, and i cant help thinking that is exactly what those who govern want to happen
Stadia are a bit separate as a physical asset. But things like the golden share just need EFL/FA rule changes.

I fail to believe it’s an insurmountable task to get fan approval for fundamental changes to a club.

The mechanisms are in place with Trusts and the like in terms of ownership models etc. Funding can be centralised. Etc etc

Like everything if there’s political will there’s a way. You say owners won’t vote for it, I’d argue there’s more who don’t want to go the super league route than do.
 

oldskyblue58

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Stadia are a bit separate as a physical asset. But things like the golden share just need EFL/FA rule changes.

I fail to believe it’s an insurmountable task to get fan approval for fundamental changes to a club.

The mechanisms are in place with Trusts and the like in terms of ownership models etc. Funding can be centralised. Etc etc

Like everything if there’s political will there’s a way. You say owners won’t vote for it, I’d argue there’s more who don’t want to go the super league route than do.
But who approves the rule changes in EFL/FA? They are rules & regulations not statute
do owners want fundamental changes to their clubs? or EFL etc?
who needs to maintain their control - it is owners isnt it
Anything less than 25% ownership gives little control and what if an owner doesnt want to sell any of the ownership/control shares? You cannot force someone to sell shares in a private company (most clubs are private companies).
Haven't the Premier League clubs pretty much dealt with the prospect of the ESL as it is proposed - it is not going to happen because of fan pressure, governing pressure and importantly the commercial realities of those 6 clubs being cut adrift.
A lot of what you put forward will come down to finances - give someone control or veto over a stadium and that means new terms in the security offered. Most loans security cover all assets of the company (no club actually owns the golden share but it does own the right to use it to trade and that right is an asset)

Do clubs need to change rules to basically consult more with fans? Of course not. Which begs the question why haven't they.

Do most fans want control or do they just want to be better informed?

Do the regulators need more resource to enforce and oversee the rules

I am not arguing against fan involvement. Just not going to be as easy as you are trying to make it out to be and then to apply it to all clubs. It is going to take a lot of time to make the fundamental changes regarding control and ownership of club assets if it happens at all.

This makes interesting reading


(we are ranked 68 out of 91 btw despite the Boddy efforts)
 

clint van damme

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Stadia are a bit separate as a physical asset. But things like the golden share just need EFL/FA rule changes.

I fail to believe it’s an insurmountable task to get fan approval for fundamental changes to a club.

The mechanisms are in place with Trusts and the like in terms of ownership models etc. Funding can be centralised. Etc etc

Like everything if there’s political will there’s a way. You say owners won’t vote for it, I’d argue there’s more who don’t want to go the super league route than do.
If its good enough for the current European champions......
 

HuckerbyDublinWhelan

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Couldn’t it be that every club has to set up a club membership which the fans buy into (raising funds for the club in the process) and then all club decisions have to be given the green light by the club members - the club membership has 51% voting power

Club owners keep the club but the 50+1 is in place
 
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Sky_Blue_Dreamer

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There are ways that supporters can have more say without "ownership", like board level representation. Millwall are a good example of this.
But who represents them on the board? How do you know that representative won't just be swayed into agreeing with the 'owner'? Would we be happy with a member of the trust on the board representing us?
 

wingy

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Could have a share issue. But the rules state that anyone currently with shares be given the option to buy shares in the issue first to maintain their overall shareholding, so they'd have to be got around and that's not going to end up in the courts for years is it!
Be interesting for cases where the shares have been taken,rather than purchased wouldn't it?
 

Sky_Blue_Dreamer

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Be interesting for cases where the shares have been taken,rather than purchased wouldn't it?
Possibly, but I'm sure that action was within company law under compulsory acquisition. I think they used the argument that without them they wouldn't take over the club, it would've gone under and the shares become worthless anyway.

Don't know if other clubs have undergone the same experience but they'd have probably used a similar argument.
 

oldskyblue58

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But Bayern were essentially 100% fan owned, then rules changed to allow 49% private ownership. It's very different going from private ownership to 51% fan owned.
So basically German investors were gaining something by putting their money in whereas English investors are expected by some to give up something for little or no compensation having already substantially invested.

Not going to happen.
 

letsallsingtogether

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Chelsea have offered a supporter a chair at board meatings where they talk about the Club in general.
They will not attend financial or any meetings to do with playing staff etc.
 
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shmmeee

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Chelsea have offered a supporter a chair at board meatings where they talk about the Club in general.
They will not attend financial or any meetings to do with playing staff etc.
Chelsea’s naming rights and ground freehold are also held by supporters. Good enough for Abramovich it’s good enough for anyone else.

You need to separate “the club” as a business and “the club” as a community entity. Sisu don’t own Coventry City’s culture, just the players and staff and leases. We saw that during the Northampton season. Same for MK Dons and Wimbledon.

Fundamentally we already accept its fact, just needs formalising.
 
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letsallsingtogether

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Chelsea’s naming rights and ground freehold are also held by supporters. Good enough for Abramovich it’s good enough for anyone else.

You need to separate “the club” as a business and “the club” as a community entity. Sisu don’t own Coventry City’s culture, just the players and staff and leases. We saw that during the Northampton season. Same for MK Dons and Wimbledon.

Fundamentally we already accept its fact, just needs formalising.
I beleive the fans own the pitch not the whole ground.
 

shmmeee

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I beleive the fans own the pitch not the whole ground.
Just called Chelsea Pitch Owners I believe but own the freehold to Stamford Bridge and lease it to the club: Chelsea Pitch Owners - Wikipedia

Owning the ground isn’t essential at all really, but I’d argue some level of ability to stop clubs leaving their area would be needed. That said, being locked into a leasehold didn’t stop Sisu.
 

SBAndy

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Would need a sea-change of opinion, but if the PL/EFL were to vote to require any entrants to be a Community Interest Company structure by, say, 2030, would that see the current owners just sell and fuck off? Or do we then risk stadia sold to other entities to keep control? Curious as to whether there is any way back from this at all.
 

Hullinho87

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So basically German investors were gaining something by putting their money in whereas English investors are expected by some to give up something for little or no compensation having already substantially invested.

Not going to happen.
You need to research less of the black & white facts and speak to German fans in the know.

There is much more to this than meets the eye or a Google search.

Look deep into who the original Munich and Dortmund private investors were and the journey it took for the ownership structure to take shape.

It’s only a small part of what you are laying out is actually how it played out.

Not just Germany either.

Also, the German’s also started at a point and were for a long long time at a point that “this would never happen”
 
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oldskyblue58

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So enlighten us and apply it to how it would work in the English situation
 

Magwitch1

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Just a thought but the proposal banning clubs moving away from its natural geographical fan base ....... where would that have left ccfc had they not been able to move to St Andrews if a solution could not be found at the ricoh?
St. Andrews wouldn’t have happened which would have earned ccfc about £200k a home game more, pre-pandemic I still ask the question what did it achieve ?
Then there’s Northampton all that achieved was losing the Ricoh to another business.
 

Sky Blue Pete

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St. Andrews wouldn’t have happened which would have earned ccfc a about £200k a home game more, pre-pandemic I still ask the question what did it achieve ?
Then there’s Northampton all that achieved was losing the Ricoh to another business.
Northampton failed Birmingham was not as avoidable
 

Hullinho87

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So enlighten us and apply it to how it would work in the English situation
It’s a long old road to go down on a forum but my main point is that there is no evidential justification for a simple broad statement saying it would never work under any circumstance.

What I do agree on, is that I can see no way in which this can be applied to current ownership it would have to be a reset stage at the point ownership change - how this plays out is another sub conversation of course.

I am not or can’t say we can get close to the German model in England but what I can say is that we don’t know how close we can get to it.
We need to start that conversation now, or at least those who believe in the cause to do so, do.

What fan groups of Dortmund and Munich collectively started with other clubs groups was a discussion about what are the Cultural Artefacts that belong to a Football Club and then deciding who owns these, such as club crest, name, colours, brand (although that is a bit more of a complicated rabbit hole) etc.
This then became a formation of a roadmap to “what decisions can be stopped” that owners make rather than decisions that can be made.

In a financial sense, alongside this, there now clearly needs to be a plan to align with government law and FA/Prem law etc that stops owners taking dividends out of a profit earned from a football club. Currently only the Glazers do this in the PL .. then go from there on all legal avenues and discussions etc of how a fan ownership model could work in England. As a bespoke model for England, not a copy of the German model.

In regards to getting owners out in the first place, direct action, whether you agree with it or not, like with Man U on Sunday, seems the only viable option right now.

Before Sunday afternoon, most, if not majority were saying fans couldn’t achieve much other than a bit of press coverage.
Man U fans proved without any doubt that if they wanted to get the next 5 games called off, they could in all likelihood do that.