Monday, April 30, 2007

Barcelona Turned Themselves Around - City Can Too

FC Barcelona is currently top of La Liga, if they manage to win the title this season it will be their third in succession. Last season's Champions League winners are currently the world's second largest club in the world in revenue terms but they haven't always held that lofty position.

In the Deloitte 2004 Football Money League (which looked at the previous year’s figures) Barcelona were ranked 13th in the World. Manchester City is currently ranked 17th in the world, so not too far away from Barcelona a few years ago.

At the end of the 2002/03 season Barcelona finished the league in sixth place and were seriously down on their luck. Average crowds were in the low 60,000s (well below the 98,000 capacity) and debts of approximately £130m threatened their very existence. Wages were excessive at 88% of turnover (the recommended percentage is 50%) and the Club’s operating loss was approximately £50m.

You will probably know that Barcelona is a mutual organisation, owned and run by its membership. The Club motto “more than a club” reflects its philosophy and status as a symbol of Catalan pride and commitment to democracy and freedom. FC Barcelona explains that their motto defines “the complexities of FC Barcelona’s identity, a club that competes in a sporting sense on the field of play, but that also beats, every day, to the rhythm of its people’s concerns.”

One of Barcelona’s oldest statutes decrees that the Club promotes “social, cultural, artistic, scientific or recreational activities” for it’s club members and citizens of Catalonia. This is one of the main reasons why Barcelona also operates teams in other sports including basketball, handball, roller hockey, athletics, rugby, baseball, volleyball and field hockey.

Almost four years ago in June 2003 the members of Barcelona voted in a new Club President called Joan Laporta who won with an agenda of implementing a radical programme to improve both the Club’s two key principles – spectacular football and social commitment. Following that election, the majority of the Board were replaced and the new Board set about reviewing the Club from top to bottom with the aim of identifying and implementing opportunities to increase revenues whilst controlling costs.

Key appointments were made both on and off the pitch with a series of high earning players moved on. One of the main cost controlling strategies employed, resulted in the introduction of performance related pay throughout the playing squad, not only to incentivise players but also to protect the business model against performances on the pitch. All contracts included fixed and bonus elements, with bonus elements relating to both individual and team performances.

Barcelona’s debt was also restructured with a number of financial institutions, which also gave them the option to borrow additional funds if or when required.

The new board’s strategy didn’t take long to work and by 2003/04 revenues had increased by 37% while player costs fell to 50% of turnover. This strategy has continued to pay dividends both on the off the pitch ever since.

A new and revitalised Barcelona board didn’t just work on the financial and playing side, in 2003 they launched “The Big Challenge” aimed at growing the Club’s membership significantly from the 105,000 members at that time. This was another successfully implement strategy resulting in a much increased membership which as at today stands at 153,315.

In 2003 season ticket prices were increased substantially (20-40%) however, prices have only risen by inflation since then and the most expensive season ticket is still competively priced at approximately £600. Recognising that not all Barcelona supporters attend every game, Barcelona also introduced a scheme whereby they facilitated the resale of up to 5,000 tickets per match with the Club receiving 50% of the proceeds. By the 2005/06 season average attendances had risen to 73,000 and continue to rise.

Where Spanish football differs from Premiership football is the ability for individual teams to negotiate their own TV deals. Barcelona used to receive a minimum £36m a season however, under a new deal will now receive approximately £140m over the next two years. In addition, Barcelona also runs their own TV channel which has over 25,000 subscribers and makes a profit.

Whilst Barcelona do not carry any traditional sponsorship on their shirts (they pay for Unicef to be on their shirts) they do have a 50/ 50 partnership with Nike with reference to all of Barcelona’s merchandising. Barcelona also has a number of commercial partnerships with big brands including Coca Cola and Audi.

Barcelona also continues to invest for the future by spending money on their training facilities, running soccer schools outside of Spain and continue to look at international opportunities aimed at expanding their fanbase.

Whilst our Club has vast amounts of potential to be bigger and better than it is, it will not be another Barcelona however, by studying other clubs both here and abroad perhaps lessons can be learned and changes made for the best of our Club.

Source: various including Deloitte 2007 Money League and FC Barcelona

Friday, April 27, 2007

City Share Price Movements (Week Ending 27.4.07)

This is the weekly article charting Manchester City Plc's share price movements during the last week. The price doesn't usually move very much and not many shares are usually traded, so you can pick up here at the end of each week our summary of the week gone by.

What a week! On 24 April 2007 Manchester City Plc were forced to give a statement to Plus Markets following Stuart Pearce speculating in the media about takeovers and investment. Manchester City Plc also confirmed that it "remains in preliminary discussions with third parties that may or may not lead to an offer being made for the Company."

What followed after that appears to be a "tit for tat" exchange between Ray Ranson and Manchester City Plc with both parties issuing statements about their views of the situation. To the neutral observer it would appear that Ray Ranson has been trying for some time to obtain sufficient financial information & due diligence to enable him to make a formal offer however, for various reasons he has been unable to attain it.

Rumours continue that an anonymous American consortium remain interested and the rumour that the ex-Thai Prime Minister was interested seems to have disappeared as quickly as it appeared.

We ended the week with a quirky situation. Manchester City Plc shares are only traded by one market maker and to a certain degree the price is at their mercy. Following the speculation and rumours, the bid/ offer price was moved to 30p/ 50p yesterday resulting in share activity in Manchester City Plc stopping. With no regulatory reason to suspend the shares it is more than likely that the market maker decided to place the wide spreads as a way to stop speculation and possible loss (to them).

Will there be more of the same next week? Who knows! We'll have to wait and see!

Last week:-
Finishing price (mid): 40p
Bid price: 30p
Offer price: 50p

Share price movement for the week:-

23/4 0
24/4 100
25/4 1,000
26/4 0
27/4 0

Total volume for the week: 1,100

All information taken from Plus Markets Group

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Supporters Trust Sends Ten Questions To The Board Of Manchester City Plc

Following this week's takeover speculation and announcements, we believe that our Club have a duty to inform the shareholders and supporters of Manchester City Plc/ Football Club what is happening.

We have therefore submitted ten questions to the Manchester City Plc Board and look forward to their responses:-

1 When are the board of Manchester City, rather than the manager, going to tell their shareholders what is going on?

2 The board declared they were in talks that may lead to a potential offer back in December. Are any of the parties referred to in that statement still actively talking to the club? If not, will the club give us a timeline showing who they have been talking to and when, in order to justify the claim that we have been in a takeover period since then?

3 Why will you not let the shareholders of Manchester City hear the details of Ray Ranson's offer, when the Manchester United board told their shareholders about the Glazer offer even though they weren't in favour of it?

4 What governance processes are in place to ensure that John Wardle & David Makin are not putting their interests before the interests of the other 70% of Manchester City shareholders?

5 Will the board tell the shareholders what they believe represents a fair offer for the clubs' shares?

6 Is the US consortium proposing a full offer or just an offer for John Wardle & David Makin's shares? If the latter, can the board still justifiably claim to be in a takeover period?

7 There are persistent rumours from well-informed sources that the Chief Executive is involved with the US consortium. Can he categorically deny this?

8 Why are senior players saying the club has no plan and no ambition and were these players given club permission to make these statements?

9 We understand that the club did not discourage the media from linking them with a rumoured bid from Thaksin Shinawatra. Has there been any contact between representatives of Manchester City and Mr Shinawatra?

10 Can the board tell the shareholders what timescale they are prepared to put on the takeover period, given that the continued uncertainty must be damaging to preparations for next season?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Your City. Your Trust.

The keen eyed amongst you would have seen that we settled on a strapline for the Manchester City Supporters Trust which now appears below the logo on the right hand side and adorns the membership forms.

We hope you agree that "YOUR CITY. YOUR TRUST" sums up nicely what the Manchester City Supporters Trust is all about.

Contact The Manchester City Supporters Trust

Significant numbers of City supporters are contacting us daily to ask for membership forms, subscribe to our newsletter, ask questions about the trust, enquire if we are still doing presentations to supporters branches/ groups etc. To help deal with all these enquiries we have set up three dedicated e-mail addresses to deal with your specific enquiries:-

All membership enquiries or requests for membership forms should be sent to

All PR enquiries (including media enquiries) should be sent to

All newsletter subscriptions and general enquiries should be sent to

We look forward to hearing from you.

Expert Views On City

The Manchester Evening News has today published an article of Henk Potts's views on Manchester City Football Club and the reason why our Club is attractive from an investment perspective. Henk Potts is an equity strategist at Barclays Wealth and his comments/ the MEN article can be read here

On 27 February 2007, our Club announced their half yearly results. At that time, we had an independent accountant review the Club's finances. To read again this great article please click here

Supporters Trust Statement On Ray Ranson Takeover Bid

The Manchester City Supporters' Trust notes with interest the breaking news today regarding the potential bid for Manchester City from Ray Ranson's consortium, and Mr Ranson's subsequent confirmation of the offer.

The Trust continues to speak to fellow supporters, shareholders, potential providers of finance/ donations, interested parties, various industry professionals and most importantly continue to have the full support and regular input of Supporters Direct, the organisation that assists and supports the establishment and operation of Supporters' Trusts.

We are aware, in very broad terms, of the nature of Ray Ranson's proposals, including his vision for the future of Manchester City Football Club. Whilst the proposals are interesting and appear progressive, we must make it clear that we have not seen any detailed proposals and therefore cannot make any substantive comment on his offer.

The Manchester City Supporters' Trust has made it clear that it believes the supporters are the real custodians of our Club's best long-term interests and that the best way forward for Manchester City is for the owners and supporters to work in partnership.

Therefore we would welcome any investment that we believed was in the long-term interest of the club and its supporters but feel that a substantial shareholding under the umbrella of the Supporters' Trust, held both directly and indirectly, and working with the club management is the best solution.

Manchester City Supporters' Trust

Monday, April 23, 2007

Takeover Speculation Continues At Pace

The Manchester City Supporters Trust has noticed the continued speculation surrounding our Club. We cannot comment on any of the current investment/ takeover stories circulating until we are aware of the full details or a formal offer has been made.

It is clear that our Club needs investment at the moment but it also needs the right investment to move in the right direction. We strongly feel that our Club requires a long term sustainable plan that fully involves the shareholders, community and most importantly supporters. If, for example, someone wanted to invest in City but didn't want any involvement from the supporters, then you might have to question their motives. It is therefore vital that the the supporters and shareholders interests in the future of our Club are taken into consideration at a very early stage in any investment/ takeover process.

Many shareholders/ supporters have contacted us who wish to pledge their voting rights (known as a "proxy") from their shares in Manchester City Plc to the Trust. In such circumstances the shares remain the property of those shareholders, however an element of power would be ceded to the Trust. Please note that proxying your shares does not affect your right to attend the AGM or any other general meeting of shareholders. What it does, is give the named proxy the ability to cast your vote as part of a block that includes all other shares proxied to that named party. We are currently preparing the documentation to enable this proxy to happen. We will publish an update here and will be forwarding the appropriate forms to the many who have contacted us shortly.

We have also had a number of supporters offering to donate their Manchester City Plc shares to the Trust. We have made our position clear on this before and confirm that this action is not actively encouraged by the Trust. The donation of shares is admirable and would be gratefully received if the donor was adamant with reference to their intent, but for now we would recommend that those shareholders/ supporters who share the Trust's aims (link here) and identify with the Trust's mission statement (link here) consider proxying their shares to the Trust.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Joey Barton And Supporters Trust Ask What Is The Plan?

For those of you who attended our Open Meeting back in March you would know that one of our areas of concern is the apparent lack of a long term plan at our Club. If there is such a plan in place, it has not been communicated to the shareholders or the supporters.

Following comments by Joey Barton yesterday it would appear that this is also an area of concern for the players. Barton said “There has to be a plan. Everyone seems to have one in place but at the moment it just feels like this club is praying to get the right players in the summer.” Barton also followed this up by commenting to “There has got to be a plan for two, three, four years down the line, maybe even ten. Everyone seems to have that in place, the likes of Arsenal and Man United. It’s no coincidence that we are underachieving at the moment because things are not geared towards us succeeding.”

Following our Open Meeting in March, we expanded on our concerns on 1 April 2007 in an article entitled “What Is Our Club’s Long Term Plan?”. Other Clubs are putting plans in place and communicating them to their shareholders and supporters, our Club should be no different. You can read our full article on the important topic here.

The Manchester City Supporters Trust has no intention of involving itself with "on the field" issues but does have a big concern about certain “off the field” areas of our Club. We want all shareholders and supporters to know our Club’s long term plan and if new investors are being lined up, isn’t it time the shareholders and supporters knew them too?

Premier League Clubs Agree Fairer TV Money Sharing Deal

According to the Observer today, Premier League clubs have agreed to change the way money from their lucrative television deal is distributed in a bid to stop the growing financial divide between richer and poorer sides becoming even wider. Read the full article here

City Share Price Movements (Week Ending 20.4.07)

This is the weekly article charting Manchester City Plc's share price movements during the last week. The price doesn't usually move very much and not many shares are usually traded, so you can pick up here at the end of each week our summary of the week gone by.

As last week, there is little share activity but the share price has finished 2p on on the week. It is more than possible that speculation in the media is responsible for on the gain.

Last week:-
Finishing price (mid): 39.5p
Bid price: 37p
Offer price: 42p

Share price movement for the week:-

16/4 550
17/4 0
18/4 2,848
19/4 0
20/4 0

Total volume for the week: 3,398

All information taken from Plus Markets Group

Friday, April 20, 2007

FA Centres Of Excellence In Decline

Our Club’s academy is one of the success stories producing more quality players than most academies in the land and is a credit to our Club, Jim Cassell and his team. This view is held by many and it is clear that other Premiership clubs look at our Club's academy with envy.

Whilst we are in some ways fortunate to have such a great academy, other Clubs and areas of the country are less fortunate to have such a quality set up or indeed access to such a fine facility.

Martin Samuel wrote an interesting piece in the Times about the decline of centres of excellence and how it would affect young players. You can read his article here

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

City Supporters Worldwide To Join Trust

City supporters continue to contact us daily to subscribe to our newsletter and register their interest in becoming members of the Manchester City Supporters Trust. Due to the amount of e-mails currently being received we are unable to reply to each e-mail subscribing to our newsletter/ registering interest. Later this week we will be e-mailing all subscribers the trust membership forms and details of the membership packages.

In our e-mailbag recently, we received a question which it is important to answer now:-

"Do you have to be a UK based City supporter to become a member of the trust?"

The answer is a resounding no. All City supporters wherever they live will be welcomed as trust members.

To subscriber to our newsletter and receive details of how to join please send us an e-mail to

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Highs And Lows Of Supporting City

We all know that Manchester City is the football club of Manchester and being a City fan is all about enduring a roller coaster ride of emotions. Urbis in Cathedral Gardens, Manchester focuses their exhibitions on city life and so it is quite fitting that an exhibition chronicling the highs and lows of supporting City starts there tomorrow.

The "City Til I Die" exhibition runs until 31 August and has over 200 photographs from around the world telling the stories of many "die hard" fans. Entrance is free and you can find out more information here

Monday, April 16, 2007

Trust To Accept Members This Week

Later this week we will be sending membership forms and details of the membership packages to all subscribers to our newsletter. If you are already a subscriber we look forward to welcoming you as members soon. If you have not registered and want the forms to be sent directly to you, please send us an e-mail to

We look forward to hearing from you.

City Silence On Season Ticket Sales

This time last year our Club confirmed how many season tickets had been sold (link here). Today, our Club has issued their annual statement but chosen not to detail how many season tickets have been sold (link here).

Recently Paul Tyrell, our Club's Head of Communications, commented that "No leading club communicates so frequently and on so many levels with their supporters as we do." We look forward to the update on season ticket sales shortly, an issue which we are sure interests the majority of supporters and shareholders alike.

New Kit Suppliers Confirmed

It would appear that JJB Sports have pipped Manchester City Football Club to the post in confirming the new kit supplier. JJB Sports recently confirmed on their website when next season's replica kits will be available in their stores, and at the same time confirmed the kit supplier for City as a return to Le Coq Sportif. JJB Sports' schedule can be read here

Hopefully JJB Sports' announcement will not affect our Club's PR campaign around the new kit supplier, nor indeed harm the start of a business relationship before it has begun!

Over the last few months we ran a number of articles suggesting that a great opportunity lay ahead for our Club to engage with supporters when the change of kit supplier happened by canvassing their views and opinions. In particular, we felt that supporters could be asked to put forward their designs for the next home shirt with the winning three designs chosen by an independent panel and put forward for inclusion in the choice of home shirts available which would then be voted on by the supporters. This process would ensure that our Club are keen to include their supporters in important decisions that affect them but perhaps even more importantly the first home shirt manufactured by the new kit supplier may become a sell-out/ commercial success.

It seems that such a great initiative to start a new relationship has fallen on deaf ears.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

City Share Price Movements (Week Ending 13.4.07)

This is the weekly article charting Manchester City Plc's share price movements during the last week. The price doesn't usually move very much and not many shares are usually traded, so you can pick up here at the end of each week our summary of the week gone by.

A small amount of share activity on the last day of the week saw the share price recover the 2p per share lost the week before. With no update on takeover/ investment talks given by the Club for over a month share activity remains low.

Last week:-
Finishing price (mid): 37.5p
Bid price: 35p
Offer price: 40p

Share price movement for the week:-

09/4 Market closed
10/4 0
11/4 0
12/4 0
13/4 12,600

Total volume for the week: 12,600

All information taken from Plus Markets Group

Thursday, April 12, 2007

City Links Updated - Take A Look

Over the last few days we have updated our links to City websites/ forums/ blogs etc. In particular, we have added links to the MCFC Centenary Supporters Association and MCFC Official Supporters Club.

If you love all things City there are plenty of sites out there that will cater for your tastes or thirst for knowledge! Many City supporters put alot of time and effort running sites for us supporters, please take the time to look and support them.

We will continue to review and update the links on this blog on, if we have omitted a City link or an interesting football link please send us an e-mail to your input and feedback is always welcomed.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Re-Designed Trust Logo Completed

Further to our previous article, the Manchester City Supporters Trust logo has been re-designed replacing "Man City" with "Manchester City". We've also slightly changed the colours.

Here it is:-

Monday, April 09, 2007

Trust Membership Coming Soon - Register Now

In the next few weeks, the Manchester City Supporters’ Trust will be accepting members. There will be many membership packages on offer including adult, OAP, family (two adults & two children) as well as life membership. More news on the individual packages and prices will be published on here soon.

The opportunity to become members of the trust will be offered to all readers of our newsletter. If you want to take the opportunity to be amongst the first to join, please register for the newsletter (if you do not already receive it) by e-mailing us at

We look forward to receiving your e-mails.

Best wishes

Manchester City Supporters’ Trust

Manchester City Supporters' Trust Mission Statement

Now that the Manchester City Supporters Trust is formed and registered with the Financial Services Authority we are working hard on formally launching the trust and opening the doors to take on members. More news on this will follow over the coming weeks.

We are getting new readers and subscribers to our newsletter every week and for those who didn't know already the Trust has a mission statement which was first published on 25 September 2006. Please take the time to read it and if it is something you agree with, perhaps joining the trust is something for you.

"The supporters of Manchester City appear to be increasingly disillusioned about their club and generally feel remote from it. Crowds are falling as fans see themselves as less important than other external stakeholders. We see a democratically constituted Supporter's Trust as the ideal vehicle to try to reverse this, being independent from the club management but ideally working with them, to ensure that the paying fans are recognised as key stakeholders in Manchester City's future.

We want to create a mass-membership organisation, covering every element of our fantastic support, where everyone has an equal stake and whose actions are democratic and transparent. We see a trust as a channel that is run by the fans, for the fans and with the club's best interest at its heart. We also recognise the excellent work that Manchester City already does in the community and wish to support that and spread it further, wherever possible. We do not see the trust as simply a pressure group but do see it engaging with and challenging management where we feel their actions are not conducive to the best interests of the club and its supporters.

We see a trust as the appropriate umbrella for existing shareholdings and also as a vehicle for potentially acquiring further shares, wherever possible. However membership will not be limited to existing shareholders of Manchester City plc but all members will become shareholders in the trust for an affordable subscription, thereby ensuring it is accessible to the widest possible constituency."

We actively encourage input, feedback and questions, please send us an e-mail to

Sunday, April 08, 2007

CoMS To Turn The Air Green This Year

In these modern times many companies and individuals are making concerted efforts to be "environment friendly" or "carbon neutral" and our Club is no different. Back in 1982 Thomas Dolby was singing about “Windpower” who would have thought that some 25 years later our Club would be installing a wind turbine at our stadium.

Last year, the announcement that the wind turbine would be installed passed many (including the wider media) by and although, at the time, we had every intention of drawing attention to it, we were busy going through our research and development stage and attempting to enter into discussions with our Club on how our “un-radical” idea that our Club, the shareholders, community and most importantly the supporters could pull together as one to play a positive part in the future success of our Club.

The wind turbine at our Club will be erected later this year and should generate enough electricity for the stadium itself with any excess being made available to sell to the local community. Its design is being handled by renowned architect Sir Norman Foster and it will be one of the largest in Europe.

We understand that the idea to erect a wind turbine was not originally our Club’s but they and the Manchester City Council have fully backed/ endorsed the plan. A company called Ecotricity will be installing (which should take approximately two weeks) and will also run it.

Our Club is not the only club trying to do their bit for the environment. Arsenal's stadium has been designed so that it does not need air conditioning and Ipswich are currently running a scheme to become the UK's first "carbon neutral" football club.

Ipswich's groundbreaking project asks their supporters and the wider Suffolk community to pledge energy saving measures in return for various "money can't buy" prizes involving their Club. If their pledges reflect savings equivalent to Ipswich's 3,220 tons of carbon dioxide generated over a season then E.ON their main sponsor has pledged to give a five figure substantial sum to Ipswich's transfer kitty.

We fully intend the trust to be as "environment friendly" as possible, for instance we would prefer to send out our newsletters by e-mail as much as possible. This is just one area and in due course we will give serious consideration to other areas as we evolve.

Please take the time to read the following informative articles:-

Ecotricity's press release with reference to the wind turbine can be read here

Manchester City Council's press release with reference to the wind turbine can be read here

The Times wrote an article about Ecotricity and it's founder which can be read here

Ex-Manchester City player David James draws attention to the wind turbine/ environment friendly initiatives in his Observer article here

More Premiership Clubs To Fall Into Foreign Ownership?

Two months ago Arsenal Football Club entered into a strategic partnership with the Colorado Rapids (owned by Kroenke Sports Enterprises). It was stressed at the time that such an arrangement would not lead to a takeover of Arsenal.

A few weeks ago activity in Arsenal's shares and a big rise in their share price prompted much media speculation. Again a denial was issued, when Kroenke Sports Enterprises said that they were not about to acquire ITV's 9.9% stake in Arsenal. Arsenal Supporters Trust were also involved in giving a statement on their views surrounding the speculation.

Arsenal, like Manchester City, is quoted on Plus Markets. After the market had closed last Thursday, Kroenke Sports Enterprises confirmed what the media had been speculating about, that they had acquired ITV's stake! Arsenal Supporters Trust then issued this statement "The trust is not automatically opposed to a takeover; we will judge it on its merits and the long-term benefit it brings to Arsenal. However we are opposed to a takeover based purely on the extraction of profits from the club. The AST hopes Kroenke learns from the Glazers' takeover of United and enters into early and full dialogue with the Trust on his plans."

According to reports today, Danny Fiszman a major shareholder in Arsenal has now indicated that he may sell his 24% stake and if this is the case, perhaps this may lead to a takeover of Arsenal after all.

If Arsenal was to be taken over by Kroenke it would mean that all four of the biggest Clubs in the Premiership had succumbed to foreign ownership in the last few years with three of them under American control/ ownership.

For those of you who attended our Open Meeting just over a month ago, you would have heard Sean Hamil talk about his views on the Premiership becoming a target for American investors with plans to possibly turn it into a "franchise" system.

Going back to the takeover speculation that continues apace. Manchester City is not the only club rumoured to be on the verge of foreign ownership. In recent weeks rumours have circulated that Blackburn Rovers are already in talks. John Madjeski, the owner of Reading, has already confirmed in the last few days that he is open to offers. Sheffield United also confirmed recently that they had been approached by foreign investors.

It has been widely reported that our Club continue to talk to American investors however, our Club has never confirmed or denied this. The last statement issued on the subject was back on 21 February 2007 "The Board of Manchester City notes the recent press speculation regarding the possibility of an offer being made for the Company. Further to the Company's announcement on 7 December 2006, the Board of Manchester City confirms that it remains in preliminary discussions with third parties that may or may not lead to an offer being made for the Company. A further announcement will be made in due course as appropriate."

Not many know when our Club will make another statement with reference to these discussions, which we presume are ongoing. Until an update is given or the full details of any potential transaction is known, we (very much like the Arsenal Supporters Trust) we will not be able to accurately assess any proposal.

City Share Price Movements (Week Ending 6.4.07)

This is the weekly article charting Manchester City Plc's share price movements during the last week. The price doesn't usually move very much and not many shares are usually traded, so you can pick up here at the end of each week our summary of the week gone by.

With no update on takeover/ investment talks given by the Club for over a month share activity remains low. Until there is a chance in this respect, the share price will probably continue to drift lower.

Last week:-
Finishing price (mid): 35.5p
Bid price: 33p
Offer price: 38p

Share price movement for the week:-

02/4 0
03/4 0
04/4 1,350
05/4 2,000
06/4 Market Closed

Total volume for the week: 3,350

All information taken from Plus Markets Group

Friday, April 06, 2007

The Aims Of The Manchester City Supporters Trust

Now that the Manchester City Supporters Trust is formed and registered with the Financial Services Authority we are working hard on formally launching the trust and opening the doors to take on members. More news on this will follow over the coming weeks.

We are getting new readers and subscribers to our newsletter every week and for those who didn't know already the Trust has five aims which are detailed below together with links to each article explaining them in detail:-

Aim One


Full Article (Aim One)

Aim Two


Full Article (Aim Two)

Aim Three


Full Article (Aim Three)

Aim Four


Full Article (Aim Four)

Aim Five


Full Article (Aim Five)

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Trust Representatives Attend Prestwich & Whitefield Supporters Branch

Last night, representatives from the Supporters Trust attended the Prestwich and Whitefield Branch meeting following Noel Bayley's invite. It was an ideal opportunity to meet face-to-face with a large number of supporters and answer their questions. We had a great time and enjoyed the company.

This is the third supporters branch presentation we have made, and we are only too pleased to attend other similar events - be it supporters branches, groups or other organisations - to explain the Trust formation, Aims & Objectives, activities and to answer questions. If you have a meeting and would like us to attend, please contact us at and we will come back to you.

In the meantime, if you have any questions that you would like answering with reference to the Trust please drop us an email at and we will publish them with answers in our next FAQ.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

UEFA Wants Fans To Have Voice Whilst Big Clubs Plan Breakaway

Two interesting stories have surfaced over the last few days.

Michel Platini/ UEFA have announced plans to give fans an official say in the running of football. More of this story here.

The Guardian, meanwhile, report of a secret meeting of "top" clubs looking to lead a breakaway if UEFA & FIFA "run wild" in their governance of the game. Their story can be read here.

City Supporters Worldwide

Last year Roy Morgan International's research put Manchester City as the tenth well supported Club in the UK with 886,000 supporters. Their report can be read here. We understand that the worldwide figure has been estimated at 2m.

We are able to track where in the world the readers of this blog are based and this figure recently reached the 100 countries mark. The top countries for reading the blog are:-

1) United Kingdom
2) United States
3) Norway
4) Australia
5) Ireland
6) Canada
7) France
8) Germany
9) Sweden
10) Iceland

We really appreciate your continued support. It is supporters, like you, who want to play a positive part in the future of our Club that will make the Manchester City Supporters Trust successful.

We welcome your queries, input and feedback. Even if you simply want to say "hello" please e-mail us at we look forward to hearing from you.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

What Is Our Club's Long Term Plan?

At our Open Meeting last month we mentioned that we wanted to know what Manchester City's business plans were and for these to be communicated to the supporters and shareholders.

Some years ago David Bernstein talked about our Club's "five year plan" and the vast majority of supporters and shareholders backed it. There has been no long term plan communicated by our Club for some time and perhaps with the current football season coming to an end, the time is right to tackle this important area.

As you may know, a business plan is a written document that describes a business, its objectives, its strategies, the market it is in and its financial forecasts. It has many functions, from securing external funding to measuring success within a business.

In December 2005, the Football Association issued a document entitled "Governance: A Guide To Football Clubs". The introduction of that document sums it up nicely "Good governance (ie good leadership, direction and control) is essential for a football club to be managed effectively and to demonstrate accountability and transparency. In addition, adopting the principles of good governance contained in this Guide benefits football clubs in terms of engaging the trust of all stakeholders. It is in the interest of all clubs and the game that clubs adopt and can demonstrate good governance. Good governance will not itself ensure success, but it should improve a club's management, stewardship and, most importantly, sustainability." The full document can be read here

The FA's guide is just that, a guide, and is not enforceable however, it does make interesting reading on many issues and not just about business plans.

The FA's views on business plans for football clubs are clear "The executive body should prepare and approve a rolling one year business plan, including budget, in detail. Larger clubs may also consider developing a three year business plan in outline."

We are not suggesting that should our Club forumlate a plan that it publishes detailed financial information but there are other areas in a business plan that could or should be communicated to the supporters/ shareholders.

What exactly is the Club's aims and objectives over the next three years? By setting these out we would have a good idea where we our Club is heading or at least wants to head. If we had a three year business plan in place then three years from now we could measure performance on and off the pitch.

We have heard some people comment that football is not a "normal business" or that you "cannot have long term plans in football". To a certain degree that might be right however, football clubs are employing good management/ business principles and business plans are being put in place at other clubs.

One of the Clubs that we have looked at during our research and planning stage was Ajax. Ajax actually have a lot in common with our Club and probably more than you might think. Ajax are a publicly quoted company, they do not have access to large sums of funds (they are self-funding), they do not own their stadium (they own 13% of it) and they have not enjoyed any relative footballing success for quite some years now.

Ajax are not in the world's top twenty richest clubs (in terms of revenue) and as mentioned do not have access to large sums of money. Ajax are though founded on good business principles and as we all know have a youth academy second to none (much like our Club) which underpins everything that they are about.

Last year the board of Ajax published their long term (five year) plan. It makes very interesting reading and a brief summary can be read here. Ajax's board formulated the plan and then set about communicating to their supporters and shareholders. The following quotes have been taken from Ajax's year end accounts which details the plan in full:-

"The 2006-2011 Policy Plan

In the past year, the Executive Board formulated a stratgic policy plan, which was formally approved by the Supervisory Board in May 2006. In this plan, the Executive Board sketched a vision with ambitious targets, strategies and activities designed to bring Ajax to a higher plane on a structural basis.

The aim of Ajax is "To win the UEFA Champions League"

It's targets are:-
1) to win the Dutch league title at least once every two years;
2) to consistently rank among the best 16 teams in Europe;
3) to increase turnover by 5-6% per annum.

The principles on which these targets are based are:-
1) Ajax plays attacking, creative and dominant football;
2) Ajax inspires football fans all over the world;
3) Ajax has an excellent climate for sporting success and a unique youth training program;
4) Ajax has a professional organisation which focuses on quality and continuity;
5) Ajax strives to preserve its historic club culture and is conscious of its responsibility to society.

The success of this plan will be largely determined by the way in which it is implemented, the focus and the consistency of the policy."

Ajax's plan then goes on to detail each of the areas targeted and their views in that respect. The report is too long to list here in full but there are some interesting points they make:-

When talking about success on the pitch Ajax says "Ajax believes it can achieve this, first and foremost, by working with a team that is balanced in every respect, and especially in terms of age, experience and background. This is extremely important consideration when signing new players. The point of departure for picking the first selection is that half the team should be "home-grown" players we have trained ourselves."

When talking about coaching and finding young players Ajax says "If the access to young players stagnates for whatever reason, it will be necessary to call on players from outside Ajax. This is simplified by Ajax's scouting department, which numbers many scouts domestic and abroad...Ajax attaches great importance to the quality of its scouts and the size and structure of its scouting organisation. In order to improve the return, Ajax has made a clearer separation between scouting for the professional football organisation on the one hand and for its youth academy on the other. The position of technical advisor was created for this very reason."

When talking about finances Ajax confirms that "Ajax's financial aim is to break even in operations."

When talking about strategic partnerships Ajax says "...Ajax still has a 51% interest in Ajax Cape Town. This joint venture has everything it takes to become profit-making certainly in light of the World Cup in South Africa in 2010. Ajax also continues to invest in Ajax America, a more commercial form of collaboration which mainly focused on the organisation of soccer camps....there is also a technical joint venture in the Netherlands with HFC Haarlem and FC Omniworld, which is especially geared to training young players."

Time will tell if Ajax's long term plan works and in 2011 their supporters/ shareholders will be able to review/ measure progress in terms of that plan.

We strongly feel that it is time for a similar plan to be put in place at our Club. In doing so, the supporters and shareholders would be sold a vision with attainable aims; we are sure such a plan would receive much support at a time when all of us have a role to play in contributing towards the future success of our Club.

As is normal, if you have any questions, input or feedback please leave a message on this article or send us an e-mail to

City Share Price Movements (Week Ending 30.3.07)

This is the weekly article charting Manchester City Plc's share price movements during the last week. The price doesn't usually move very much and not many shares are usually traded, so you can pick up here at the end of each week our summary of the week gone by.

Last week's share activity was minimal with only two trades completed totalling 8,089 shares. As reported in the past, until an update on the takeover/ investment talks is made share activity may remain low.

Last week:-
Finishing price (mid): 37.5p
Bid price: 35p
Offer price: 40p

Share price movement for the week:-

26/3 0
27/3 0
28/3 8,089
29/3 0
30/3 0

Total volume for the week: 8,089

All information taken from Plus Markets Group

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