Sunday, December 03, 2006

Who Owns Manchester City Plc?

It is some time since we started our planning and research. Our research lead us to many areas of interest including looking at the shareholdings in Manchester City Plc. We have now finished our review and we’ll share with you our findings here.

The information we are about to provide was taken from an old share register and having taken a look at the trades since it is unlikely that the share register has changed materially so for the purposes of this article we feel that the information we have is adequate.

The first four shareholders are well known to most Manchester City supporters and they own (together) 65.71% of the shares. Those four are John Wardle & David Makin who own 29.95%, the Trustees of the S E Boler Settlement (a trust set up by Stephen Boler) who own 18.75%, BSkyB which owns 9.88% and Francis Lee who owns 7.13%.

The next ten shareholders (held in individual and nominee names) own 13.38%. In that list includes the late Peter Swales' wife Brenda together with ex-directors David Holt, John Dunkerley and David Bernstein.

The remaining shareholders number over 5,000 (we are lead to believe that this figure may be over 6,000 now) and they hold the remaining 20.9% of the issued shares.

So who represents BSkyB and/ or Francis Lee? That’s a good question it would appear from the information available that nobody on the board represents these shareholdings. What about the remaining 34.29% of the shares? Well they too appear not to be represented on the board.

So in summary, it would appear from our research that only 48.7% of the shareholders are represented on the board of Manchester City Plc with the majority of shareholders not represented.

We must make it clear that for the purpose of this article we did not include Alistair Mackintosh, Dennis Tueart or Bryan Bodek’s shareholdings as being represented on the board and their total shareholding of 55,358 shares represents only 0.1% of the issued shares.

During our research we did come across some interesting information taken from the accounts. As at 31 May 1998 Dennis Tueart owned 9,800 shares and as at 31 May 2006 he owned 36,258 shares. As at 31 May 2000 Alistair Mackintosh owned 9,100 shares and as at 31 May 2006 he still owned 9,100 shares. As at 31 May 2002 Bryan Bodek owned 10,000 shares and as at 31 May 2006 he still owned 10,000 shares.

Why the board, with the exception of John Wardle and David Makin, haven't added to their share holdings over the last few years or so can only be answered by those board members themselves. However, what message that puts out to the current shareholders, the supporters and perhaps critically potential investors is another matter.


At 11:00 pm, Anonymous European Dreamer said...


Can't help but thinking this is over simplistic commentary especially regarding the nominal shareholdings of the board members. I'm sure it will appeal to the rabble rousers that you are trying to attract though!

If the current Directors had added to their shareholdings, I'm sure you would have commented on them trying to profit on the low share price!!

Why would F Lee have a seat on the board after being ousted as chairman by the current majority shareholders? Who's going to vote him on?

One of the reasons why MCFC is so unattractive is that there is no Major shareholder with overall control. Ownership is fragmented and nobody want to buy 33% of a club for example. Boler, Lee etc are in no rush to sell as the share price is rock bottom. How would a Trust help to achieve investment? I'm sure it would be viewed with cinicsm and caution by any would be investor.

Please stop reporting on things that haven't changed over the past few years. It is pointless.

I cannot see how your Trust can be viable but perhaps you should really try and explain what EXACTLY you think it will achieve.

No more propaganda.

What shareholding do you think you reallistically need to make a difference. Forget all this nonsense about 1 or 2% that will achieve absolutely nothing.

At 11:49 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Euro Dreamer, I believe you missed the point, my guess is that the article was pointing out that it is only the two biggest shareholders represented on the board and that over 50% of the shares are not represented. No where in the article does it mention that Francis Lee should have a place on the board, it merely points out that the third and fourth shareholders downwards are not represented.

You say that a trust would be viewed with cinicsm (sic) and caution. I suggest that this is a good thing, surely we want to frighten off potential investors who would be wary of a supporters run shareholders group? Unless of course you want our club to be taken over by a Glazer or Madaric type?

I believe the trust is not just about owning shares itself but pulling together current shareholders under their umbrella. If together the trust and other shareholders has a decent sized shareholding that could be a good thing.

By the way, it is widely reported in the press that Boler's shares are available at the right price. I understand that he has commented on this publicly.

Finally, you draw quite a few negative conclusions and I must admit I am a little wary of the trust myself however, I am happy to see how things progress and fully intend to attend the public Open Meeting to listen to their proposals.

Mike, Middleton

At 7:14 am, Anonymous Richard Stott said...

The fragmented share ownership is perhaps an issue but no different to many quoted companies. In addition the outstanding loans from John Wardle and David Makin give them extra sway. One of the main criticisms which seems to have been voiced recently by fans is that the club has a lack of financial muscle. This however is only likley to be achieved with one major shareholder in charge and a change in the nature of how the club is run. Whislt at times certain actions taken by the club may seem slightly contrary to the interests of the fans I have no doubt that those in charge of the club are sincere in trying to act in the best interests of the club in the long term and that in general they are much closer to the fans than at many other Premiership clubs.
Whilst I admire your aims for the Trust I am still uncertain as to how much value it would add to the way the club is currently run - the running of club these days is a fine balancing act between commercial reality and the interests of the various groups involved - fans, shareholders etc. Given the right approach and understanding from the members of the Trust I'm sure it could be a useful voice but fear that there may be a conflict between the fans and business reality in many areas.

At 9:46 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The nail has been hit on the head here. City's biggest problem is the fractured shareholding. So what if Wardle and Makin own only 30%. If they had bought shares with the additional money they had lent to keep the club afloat, then they could own the club in full But hey, lets just blame the guy for being Chairman even though he only owns 30%. Franny Lee is not on the board as he took control of the club on a wave of supporter goodwill ( but no cash ). Do the people writing these articles realise the state of the club at that time ?? However, lets ignore that and make the club even more fractured. This trust really is the beginning of the end of City as we know it. Wardle will bail out within 6 months and withdraw the financial support keeping the club alive. The rotting corpse can then be run in administration by a supporters trust. Power to the people eh ? Good luck guys !!

At 10:15 pm, Anonymous Che Guevara said...

Anonymous, you say that "City's biggest problem is the fractured shareholding" yet the trust is trying to pull together the minority shareholders (mainly the supporters) thereby dealing with an element of the fractured nature of the shareholdings.

No where in this article or throughout this website does the trust guys lay any blame at Wardle or Makin in fact I still have the MEN at home where they said "We are not about regime change. John Wardle and David Makin are saviours of the club and should be applauded. We want to work with the board towards a positive future." Again, your argument does not stack up and I seriously doubt that the trust guys are going to say these sort of things to the media unless they mean it, if they didn't then they have lost all credibility and haven't got past the first hurdle.

You also say "This trust really is the beginning of the end of City as we know it." Well that is a good thing but different to the apocalyptic future you detail. The board have lost their way over the last two or three years and need to be woken up from their slumber to tackle the issues at hand not use smoke and mirrors to portray the wounded animal that is City as something it is not. The custodians of the club are failing on their watch and somebody has to do something about it. If anything, I can see one or two of the main protagonists of the current regime leaving and that does not include Wardle & Makin.

At 11:00 pm, Anonymous I Really Am The Invisible Man said...

Anonymous you have missed something else. If blues fans Wardle & Makin withdrew their loans and placed the club into bankruptcy and the catastrophic events that would follow, they would never watch a blue match at the stadium again, I also severely doubt if they would want to reside in the North West again. Just a thought.

At 5:18 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the way you threatened John Wardle there. So let me get this straight, you dont want him in control of the club, but dont want to pay him back his loans. If it wasnt for Wardle and Makin the club would of collapsed under Franny Lee's control. I dont see him getting hounded out of the country ?? Yes Wardle has been a terrible Chairman, but without his cash or somebody to replace him there is no club. It really is that simple. The trust simply makes it even less likely that anybody with money would be daft enough to get involved.

At 7:31 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

European Dreamer are you the club spokesman in disguise? Why insult fans who are genuinely concerned about our plight by calling them "rabble rousers"? Propaganda comes from the club, not the fans.


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