Sunday, March 25, 2007

Premiership Supporters Trusts In The News

There are currently eight Premiership football clubs with Supporters Trusts and within the next week or so there will be nine!

During our planning and research stage we looked at all of the Premiership Supporters Trusts and many outside. We continue to continue to keep an eye on them and two in particular were in the news last week for different reasons.

There have been rumours circulating for some time of Arsenal being lined up for a takeover. Their recent partnership with the Colorado Rapids helped the speculation but the activity in Arsenal's shares is the main reason for all the questions being asked. Arsenal, like our Club, is listed on Plus Markets.

Arsenal's share price started the year at £4,900 per share (yes, that's right four thousand nine hundred pounds!) and last Friday closed at £6,450 per share. It would appear that one of the directors has been selling shares and an un-named person/ party have been buying.

With speculation rife, fuelled by the share activity, The Times ran a story last week. As part of their story they spoke to the Arsenal Supporters Trust who commented “It is all very intriguing. We know who is selling, but we don’t know who is buying the shares or why. And the movement in the price has been so rapid that it makes us wonder what is going on. We are not worried, but it is unsettling.” The Times' story is here, not only does it make interesting reading but it again raises the possibility of another Premiership club falling into foreign ownership.

It is conceivable that such a situation (large amounts of share activity) could happen at our Club but at this point in time activity in Manchester City Plc shares is pretty low especially whilst we wait for an update on the takeover/ investment talks. Of course, the price of City shares has increased somewhat of late however, that is not so connected with share activity.

Across London town to Arsenal's rivals a different situation has arisen. The board at Tottenham Hotspur after consultation with the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Trust had decided to increase season tickets prices! This drew a firm statement from their Supporters Trust confirming that "the Trust Board is totally opposed to any increase in ticket prices." The full statement can be read here. We will have to wait and see what happens there.

Supporters Trusts represent their members and at times must react quickly to situations as they arise. The same will apply to the Manchester City Supporters Trust. Issues will arise that will effect the trust's membership, of that there is no doubt, when that happens we want a trust that can make a quick yet considered response to the situation at hand.

Best wishes



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