Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Our Questions For The AGM

As you may know Manchester City Plc's AGM is being held at 10am this Thursday 7 December 2006 at the CoMS. All four of us are shareholders and are looking forward to being there. We realise that the meeting is likely to be very busy and that many shareholders will be scrambling to ask questions, so getting the chance to raise any ourselves may prove difficult. We have therefore narrowed our favoured questions to three areas:-

1) 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?

2) 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?

3) 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?

If you were or are a shareholder what sort of questions would you be asking? What concerns you most about the club at the moment?

We'll publish a report of the meeting on here later this week.

17 Comments:

At 10:04 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I clearly have a perception issue when it comes to SuperMack. I am of the opinion he offers us nothing. However, this may not be the case and I would be very pleased if the board could confirm exactly what he has brought to the club given that four years ago, and each subsequent year to date, we are told his main objective is to attract investment to the club. I would like to know how much investment (£'s) he has actually attracted and what companies he has brought on board. I would then like to know what plans are in place to grow this investment with the current sponsors, along with what strategy is in place to continue to attract new investors.

Mickey H

 
At 10:29 am, Anonymous Kevin said...

Re: Tickets sales.

I live in Essex (Northern born, but moved away) and I find it very difficult to buy tickets to the game. I have applied for various cards and have heared nothing, I have emailed them and heard nothing. We can't sell tickets if the process is too extreme. People like me want to buy the occasional ticket for the occasional match, but can't because of the overly complicated process. We should simply be able to buy a ticket onlinerather than be denied over the phone then look at the empty seats on tv.

 
At 10:32 am, Anonymous paul, warwickshire blue said...

I think we should focus on the lack of investment versus the healthy bonuses for our chief exec, and the alarming fall of attendances. Regarding the last point isn't our loan arrangement based on future season ticket sales? Repeated fixture changes for Sky make it very difficult for distant blues(we can't all live in Manchester)to get to games. The standard of football has been poor and the lack of ambition shown by the board has led to a feeling of disillusionment amongst fans. I have been a season ticket holder for nearly 20 years, why should I carry on? - I can easily buy tickets on the day now and I also feel that the loyalty points scheme disregards those who have held season tickets for many years. I will be at the AGM and hope that issues such as these are raised.

 
At 11:22 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you expand on the first question ? i seem to have missed this completely.

 
At 12:04 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think they meant "what comprises..." Either way, it will indicate the attractiveness of the club to potential investors - eg Chel$ki own a significant chunk of real estate in London, not just the Stamford Bridge ground.

I was unaware Reebok City had been sold off, so it's a fair question on that front too. Again, the less we physically own, I guess the less attractive we are to an investor.

That's my take, though I'm sure the Trust lads will explain better!

 
At 12:49 pm, Blogger Ollie said...

To clarify question one a little; whilst doing our research we came across information that suggests the freehold property known as Reebok City has been sold and leased back. Since then we have have come across additional information that suggests that this is correct.

It is well used strategy to sell off property assets and lease them back to utilise the funds raised elsewhere in a business, so we are not suggesting anything untoward has happened. What we would like is confirmation that Reebok City has been sold and leased back together with the details. In addition we would like to know what freehold assets City has left and if there are any plans to sell them off and lease them back.

 
At 1:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

aaaah ! thanks ollie . didnt know about that. you can only asset strip for so long though ?

 
At 1:06 pm, Anonymous Mark said...

Ollie, regarding question 3. I think you will find that 3 years ago Premiership attendances in general were booming. Combine this with the feelgood factor of the new stadium our attendances were artificially higher than they should have been. I don't think the atmosphere at COMS is any worse when there is 35,000 there rather than 45,000. The other 10,000 "supporters" disappeared with 10 mins to go anyway!

All attendances in the Premiership are down not just City's bar the usual suspects who attract day-trippers from all over the world.

The club has already recently asked back to a meeting, long standing season ticket holders (10 years+) who have cancelled this year to find out why, so they are trying to find out what the root cause is from the horses mouth so to speak.

I think declining attendances are part of a wider problem. Too much TV exposure, away teams frightened to lose due to the loss of TV money if they are relegated which results in non entertaining games. Cost of tickets.......

Of course success brings added support but I'm sure your question will easily be explained away by the board.

 
At 3:57 pm, Anonymous Colin S said...

Mark - The attendance issue is an interesting one and the figures suggest that the fall is limited to a few clubs. Since we returned to the Premiership in 2002/3 there have been 13 other clubs who have been in the Prem for the last four full seasons and I've done a check on these. Attendances went up by an average 13,000 in 2003/4 because we moved to CoMS and increased attendances by 12,000 per game. They stayed level in 2004/5 but dipped in 2005/6 by 8,500 per game. This was mainly down to three clubs - us, Villa & Boro, plus Blackburn to a lesser degree. (Any other fall is due to the fact that the clubs change and well-supported teams like Leeds & Sunderland have been replaced by the likes of Watford). All these clubs significantly under-performed in the domestic competitions last season. So lack of entertainment is certainly a significant factor but there is plenty of evidence to suggest people are still prepared to fork out to watch good football, even if their club doesn't win anything. Fulham, Everton & Newcastle actually showed small gains in their average crowds and Charlton, Spurs & Bolton stayed pretty much the same.
The club would like people to believe that it is a general fall and outside their control but I don't think it is.

 
At 7:27 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the point regarding ticket sales in an interesting one.
I'm a season ticket holder and also member of a supporters club so i don't have a problem. Also, when friends ask me to get them a ticket for a one-off game I can usually order one through the supporters club. But common opinion is that getting a ticket for a game is a difficult process! it may only be a small market, but I would have no idea how to explain to a casual supporter or visitors to the city who just want to see a game of football how to get one!

 
At 9:29 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lets not kid ourselves the problem is not confined to City. Check out the whole league...in the last week Villa got 30k v us, Blackburn 16k, Everton 32k etc etc. The bubble has burst. We are just a statistic amongst many. The figures wont alarm the league as Utd and Arsenal have added 31k every other week. But the bubble has burst make no mistake.

 
At 11:33 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe not one for the AGM, or maybe it is however...

is my mind playing tricks on me or were we once linked investment wise to a group of super-rich oilmen from Dubai? Are they the same ones that are talking to Liverpool now? It's a terrible thing old age, so apologies if I'm barking up the wrong tree.

Mickey H

 
At 12:52 pm, Anonymous Black Francis said...

Hey chaps!

I see the club have copied you and asked for questions for the AGM! They still haven't managed to come across as wanting to be close and friendly though. At least you guys use your first names and the club asks for questions for Mr Wardle & Mr Mackintosh! Why not John Wardle & Alistair Mackintosh?

At least we can see all the comments good and bad on here I doubt the club would publish what they receive. Watch out for the purportedly received e-mails like oh Mr Wardle & Mr Mackintosh you are so brilliant (which they are bound to trot out tomorrow).

 
At 1:23 pm, Blogger blueyorkie said...

Whilst it is true to say that some clubs see a small fall in attendances ours is extreme. The fall in Season Ticket sales from 36000 to 26500 in 3 seasons is a major problem. Any business would be reeling from that

 
At 4:52 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

blueyorkie,

No other club's grem quite significantly either on the move to the new stadium and the Keegan false dawn. City have just retuened to a level which is still very healthy compared to other clubs. Unfortunately the big "Keegan" gamble did not pay off and the Johnny come lately's have gone with him. As Euro Dreamer pointed out the atmosphere is no different without these supporters but there income is. If attendances are reduced it also means that are obligations under the finance lease to the Council will be reduced and with the increased TV money next season all is not lost. Blame the board for backing Keegan financially but don't blame them for losing the fairweather supporters that came on the back of it.

 
At 6:39 am, Anonymous Colin S said...

The argument that the so-called Johnny come lately fans only are deserting does not hold water. No doubt some have come and not liked what they've seen but many of the deserters were long term season ticket holders. Plus changing kick-off times affect many people and some have reasoned that it is more cost effective to buy tickets on a match-by-match basis and avoid having to pay £30 to watch dross like Watford. The club has recently been sending out questionaires and holding focus group sessions with season ticket holders of many years standing who hadn't renewed. So clearly the numbers in this category are significant.

 
At 12:34 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

People have stopped going because of numerous factors..cost competition.. match times etc. There is nothing the club can do about this. Football for non big 4 clubs is dying a slow death. When was the last time a team out of the big 4 won a trophy ??? I cant remember. The premiership goose has been kicked. Yes our gates are down big time, but we also gained 10000 fans in one season, so we cant act surprised that these have disappeared. Sad but true.

 

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