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Ashley Taking Out £18m This Season + No Players Bought – Could There Be A Link…

8 years ago

Can somebody out there with a better grasp of the financial workings of the club please provide an explanation to my questions, and how the way the club is run actually benefits it?

Why did Mike Ashley pay off ALL debt in 2007?

When I looked at the books it appeared that a fair bit of it, about £43m, was actually scheduled debt for the ground extension, and around £36m for player purchases, which we were servicing over varying amounts of time.

I understand he didn’t want to be charged the interest on those repayments, but he actually incurred a £4m+ early repayment charge in doing so. Is that not false economy? At least we knew how much we owed and till when. Is that not good housekeeping in the financial world? Could he have spent that £79m on better things like funding players?

Why do we have a policy of buying and selling players in cash?

You can’t tell me that Tottenham have the cash to buy the players they have this summer even with the TV windfall and I can’t believe they will receive any fee for Gareth Bale in cash either. Are we unique in doing business like this? Because I see Tottenham with the ability to manoeuvre in the transfer market, while we have to sell to buy. Where is the benefit to the club in that?

The TV deal money has given most clubs some cash to spend. Why then, did Mike Ashley negotiate – with himself – £29m of loan repayments over two years, based upon that TV income?

It should be the ideal time to invest what is in effect a £20m+ boost to your income, and it seems like most other clubs agree. Where is the benefit of taking £29m (think about that figure!) out of the club if you want them to self-finance? That to me means when other clubs have that £20m we are starting with £2m (Ashley took £11m out last season and intention is £18m this season)? Is the reported loan fee for Loic Remy a £2m co-incidence?

When your plan is so dependent on maximising income, why make decisions like coming out of a £10m a year sponsorship deal early, to accept a £6m a year deal. And with a company who aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, shall we say?

We have lost something like £12m in commercial income since 2007. Due mainly to the fact of the association with Mike Ashley appears to be poison to most companies. And bonkers decisions?

Why do we have no plan or agreement to repay the outstanding loans of £111m to Mike Ashley, other than if someone buys him out?

Is it not in everyone’s interest to have a sensible repayment plan in place? Not £29m over two years either. Even Wonga don’t charge those rates!

So there are a few questions which are making me a tad confused to be honest.

Because the way I see it we have as much debt as we did in 2007, but have no plan to repay it now.

We had access to finance which enabled us to spend money on players without selling them first, which we don’t have now.

So if those questions make sense to any of you financial sorts out there, please let me know. I’ll have a better understanding and maybe a bit more (!) patience.

If they don’t, we need a way of showing the bloke the door.



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