Our AGM Questions Answered By Alistair Mackintosh
Last week we mentioned the three questions we would like to ask at the AGM. We attended the AGM and Colin Savage has written his report which we published here. As Bobster kindly pointed out re Colin's report we didn't mention if we had asked our questions or not so here's the lowdown.
Colin S asked our first question during the time available to consider the year end accounts. The full question was "Can the board confirm what exactly compromises our Freehold Land & Buildings and also confirm the details of the sale of the Reebok City property? In particular when it was sold, who to, for how much and why this was done? Are there any other plans to sell off further assets in this way?"
Alistair Mackintosh confirmed that the Reebok City shop had been sold to "City investors" and went on to say that whilst these investors were not Manchester City fans they were now. Alistair Mackintosh did also add that the reason why the asset was sold was to get rid of the Council's interest. He did not elaborate what that interest was so we can only presume what it could be. Perhaps it was some sort of revenue sharing situation (like the stadium deal) or maybe the Council were owed monies secured against Reebok City or maybe something else.
Alistair Mackintosh did not give away the names of the new owners of Reebok City or the terms of the deal or indeed if there are plans to sell off further assets in this way.
I asked our second question during the open question session. The full question was "If it wasn't for the sale of Shaun Wight-Phillips the club would have made a significant loss from normal activities and we note that the loan interest due to John Wardle & David Makin continues to be added to their loan balances on an annual basis. What plans have the club put in place to ensure that the club does not have to continue to rely on selling off its best young players to avoid significant losses in the future and start to reduce the loans owing to the club's major shareholders or at least pay the annual loan interest due?"
Alistair Mackintosh said that John Wardle & David Makin had not requested payments of their loans or interest and intimated that if they did it may take away funds from other areas. He praised John Wardle & David Makin's current stance as I am sure we all do. Personally (and I've said this many times before) I feel that John Wardle and David Makin should be applauded for being saviours of our club who have not only risked large sums of money providing finance to the club but in doing so have also brought stability to our club. According to Alistair Mackintosh they do not want payments at the moment as they may affect others areas of the club, that in itself is commendable but it would be nice if the club could afford to at least pay these gentlemen the loan interest due each year.
Alistair Mackintosh did not comment if there were plans in place to start making loan repayments or paying the loan interest in the future. He also did not make any comment about selling off our best young players to avoid significant losses in the future and that was the main thrust of the question. I suppose only time will tell what action the club may take in this regard.
We didn't ask our third question "The current board have overseen a continued decrease in attendances at the ground that not only contributes to a loss of atmosphere but has an affect on matchday income and may affect the marketability of the club when trying to attract new players and/ or new investors. What does the club think is the cause of this alarming slide and what plans has it put in place to deal with this?". There were many questions being asked and some had already been asked touching on areas raised by this question.
All in all, the answers we received weren't satisfactory and would make some politicians envious but that is not to say that there was anything untoward in that. Alistair Mackintosh answered the questions honestly and to the best of his ability appearing to give as much insight and information as he could at that time.
From a personal point of view, I thoroughly enjoyed the AGM. Colin mentioned the comedic fella near the end of the questioning, he stood up and started by saying "I used to be a Manchester United fan" immediately I felt the whole room was against him as numerous comments and noises were made, he then proceeded with what I can only describe as a number of incoherent unplanned personal observations. I don't actually think he was making any point or indeed raising a question and I don't think anyone answered anyway!
I met a lot of shareholders at the AGM many of whom have subscribed to our newsletter or I had exchanged e-mails with or spoken to on the phone. It's always great to meet people face to face and I look forward to meeting and talking with more of you.