It has been widely reported that the Aussies don’t have large financial resources available to them and therefore cannot afford to pay Roland’s £40m valuation.
That ridiculous figure comes from a commercial valuation of the underlying land at The Valley and Sparrows Lane. Since the Aussies can’t afford £40m, it appears that they are enlisting American financial investors to fund (and therefore have ownership of) those physical assets, whilst the Aussies run the club from a commercial perspective.
This has massive downside risk for us fans. The financial investors are likely to charge commercial interest on their loan of c.10%, giving the Aussies an annual bill of c £4m just to use The Valley and Training Ground. In the medium term, without a very significant investment in players, the most likely scenario is that the club are a mid to lower Championship side and the Aussies will run out of money within 3 to 4 seasons. If that happens, we then have a football club effectively owned by financial investors with zero interest in owning a football club who just want to liquidate their land asset or sell it on for significantly more than they paid for it. Think what has happened to Coventry City for a parallel situation where they don’t own the ground.
Then we come onto what value the Aussies can actually add to the club. Well, it would certainly be difficult not to run it better from a commercial perspective and fan engagement than Roland, although even that has improved since the idiot Katrien moved on. We already have a good manager and the basis for a good young progressive squad. The one thing we need now is a sensible investment in additional players to push us over the line. That will need additional funding, which apparently the Aussies are fairly short of- which brings you to the fundamental question which is – what value are they actually bringing to the ownership of the club?
Now, I may be wrong on all of this because I don’t know anything for sure and I am only piecing together snippets of info from various sources who claim some knowledge- although Jim White on talksport continues to refer to the Australian led takeover with American investment – so I suspect I’m not far from the mark.
I would certainly be more comfortable if Roland sells to someone who has the resources to buy the football club lock stock and barrel – and then supports the club by investing sensibly and actually coming to matches – surely one of these supposed 5 interested parties fits that bill because it doesn’t sound like the Aussies do .