The Value Of Shareholder Democracy At Rangers & Watford

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12 Responses

  1. Pete says:


    Your article has both its pros and cons.

    You clearly have a handle on the financial situation at WFC, however your uneducated slant at Graham Taylor leaves a lot to be desired.

    Taylor knows the club better than anyone. As you state, Russo has every right to his money back and as a fan i have been grateful for the work he has done. Taylor has merely asked for his patience in the situation for the good of the club.

    Further, Russo was recently quoted as saying he would match any investment by Lord Ashcroft, yet he has bottled it at the last. If Russo is serious he needs to further invest to up his stake to the required level.

    Neither the russos or Ashcroft et al are blameless in the situation and should stop their over-blown game of chicken with our club.

    Anyway, i think your village is missing you…….

  2. Hornet318 says:

    So who was threatening us with administration?

    It wasn’t the bank as we cleared the overdraft so was it just scaremongering to lower the share value so he could buy it cheaper?

    And the loan was 3.5% above Barclays base rate.

    Also Simpson bought back the freehold, so luckily the Russo’s have aground to secure their loans and hold the club to ransom.

    This is a case of a couple of small fishes trying to swim in a big pond.

  3. Best casinos says:

    Bringing money from another country to purchase a house here?

  4. Albert Ross says:

    Hornet318 – I suspect that you have little idea of commercial realities if you seriously think any bank would consider lending at base rate to any company – let alone a football club – whose main reason for needing the loan was to fund the sort of losses Watford have been putting up. The existence of the likes of the Sterling Consortium a few years back, lending money to hard-up clubs at interest rates of up to 30% ( at a time when banks were lending much more easily argues against that.

    The point seems to be that the Russos haven’t got the sort of money to fund the lavish excesses of the recent past, and those who might be thought to have the money to do so aren’t, despite owning a large chunk of the club. Close to £5million is hardly back pocket money unless you’re worth a few hundred million. All this is proving is the maxim that if you want to make a small fortune, you start off with a big fortune and then buy a football club….

  5. ejh says:

    All this is proving is the maxim that if you want to make a small fortune, you start off with a big fortune and then buy a football club

    How many actual examples of this phenomenon can you name?

  6. Mark Murphy says:

    Thanks for your comments. I knew criticising the legend that is Graham Taylor wasn’t going to win me any popularity polls. But I stand by what I wrote about him – especu=ially the bit about his passion and honesty, whic appears to have been missed

    As you rightly suggest, Pete, Taylor knows the club better than anyone. All the more reason then that he should have known what was going to happen to the Russos at the AGM.

    Whether he agreed with the Russos repayment demands or not, he must have understood that they would be extremely dischuffed at the treatment meted out to them. And calling Jimmy Russo a “bad man”…dear me.

    I do agree with your last “no-one is blameless” sentiments, though. AND I do admire Taylor greatly, as I tried to convey in the article. I just think he was horribly wrong last week.

    If that didn’t come across in the article, that’s my fault.

    Hornet 318, you may be able to correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t Simpson able to buy the VR freehold thanks to considerable loans from the Russos?

    And you are right too about the Russos being small fish in a big pond. Which is why Ashcroft’s insistence that the Russos took all the financial risk this year was so wrong.

    ejh: Tom Hicks, George Gillett, Malcolm Glazer, Arkadi Gaydamak…no…NO!!!! Alexander Gaydamak…NOT his Dad, certainly not.

    And my village isn’t missing me…I’ve never left it…

  7. ejh says:

    Have any of that list actually blown their fortunes on football? (Or is that your point? I’m not always good at irony-spotting.)

  8. Albert Ross says:

    ejh – the point I’m making is that other than a very few (mostly in the Premiership) pretty much every club in league football (and a large portion of non-league) have to be subsidised by their owners to keep them going, and at a much higher level than before. Remember Aldershot being “saved” by a 19-year old for £250K – which proved to be not quite what was going on? The debts that finished off some of those clubs are almost pittances compared to the multimillion debts that clubs from League 1 upwards, occasionally even League 2, are running up – who in their right minds would buy a football club thinking it would make money?

    There is a point to this other than just saying the above: part of the problem is fan expectations. If a club tries to set a realistic budget that will see it break even, it as often as not finds that the manager will moan about not having cash to spend, and fans saying that the owners lack ambition, should back the manager, where’s the money etc. Very few are prepared to accept that their club might have to operate without someone having to dig in their pockets for a six or seven figure sum every year, especially if this means bumping along in lower mid-table while the less economically prudent sides aim high and then crash and burn.

  9. ejh says:

    Well, up to a point, but that’s a different thing entirely from people losing the better part of their fortunes on football clubs.

    I also wonder how much it’s true. Do football club owners actually subsidise clubs? To what degree? They habitually lend money to those clubs, but they do lend rather than give and they do so at interest. Doesn’t mean they necessarily get it back, of course, just as people don’t necessarily get back, when selling a club, the price they paid for it. But I’m deeply sceptical about the general proposition that football is subsidised by club owners. I think it’s subsidised by club owners inflicting debt onto clubs.

  10. Albert Ross says:

    ejh – you do have a point on the debt issue, and that is one of the problems that seems to come up time and time again with clubs in crisis: that somewhere is a huge debt owed to someone involved with the ownership of the club, often secured on the ground which then complicates any takeover or buyout. This can then allow the whole process of Administration to be manipulated.

    Really I think the mystery is why people who presumably have made significant amounts of money as businessmen feel the need to get involved with football clubs at all. There are few obviously profitable clubs, investments are high risk, and the aggro is considerable. Whether it’s as debt or otherwise, I suspect a lot more money is going into clubs below the top few in the Prem than is coming out. Why?

  11. ejh says:

    Because successful people have big egos?

  1. December 19, 2009

    […] of the flaws of such a system, although even as I type they are trying very hard.” (twohundredpercent) Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)shareholder voting as a signal of confidenceAll […]

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