I love Aussies and my experience of them in business is great . They are generally straightforward and intelligent with loads of common sense and lets face it, Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue could have managed Charlton more intelligently than clueless Katrien and Relegation Roland.
However, this deal does not look good for our club. People will tell me we should not judge and wait for further details and they may be correct , but if you need further evidence of the speculative and alarming nature of this whole deal, go and have a look at this http://www.australianfc.com.au/
which is the website where they are seeking investors to raise £33m . I quote from their fundraising document
”Attractive returns on investment are expected to result from promotion to the Premier League where the earnings profile of clubs increases dramatically as a result of lucrative media rights arrangements. Upon achieving Australian Football Consortium Ltd’s vision of promoting the Club to the Premier League, all investors will share in the value created. It is envisaged that liquidity will be provided through an IPO at that stage”
So , first of all , they haven’t even raised the funds to do the deal yet and lets face it , if they think £33m is going to get us to the Premier League, they are likely to be sorely disappointed. Football clubs are not really ‘investable’ unless you are unbelievably lucky or have very deep pockets indeed. For these Aussie ‘investors’ the closest parallel would be betting on a 25-1 horse in the Grand National.
Finally , their suggestion to investors that they will get their money back plus profit through an IPO is frankly laughable. Manchester United is the only English football league club that is listed on a public exchange and that’s in New York. I think Celtic are listed on the smaller AIM market and Charlton tried this route years ago with total lack of liquidity.
To make the potential for disaster higher and to reduce their deal cost, Roland gets to keep The Valley and charge them rent , thereby splitting the club from its home – just like we had before when Michael Glikstein drove us from The Valley last time.
We are in very dangerous waters indeed now, because this looks like a bad deal and we are approaching the time when the club needs a complete refresh on the playing staff- which presumably Roland won’t fund whilst this deal is in the offing. I wondered if there was more to Karl Robinson’s comment in the press conference the other day when ,amazingly, he said that everyone on the playing staff was re-contracted for next season – sounds like a fall back position for new owners but without lots of fresh legs its also likely to signal another long miserable season next year.
Finally, on the day that details of the bid emerge is the day that the club spokesperson confirms that the club is not for sale. Any other professional organisation would have kept quiet, but not the incompetents at Charlton. Karl Robinson will be waking up this morning – having recently received assurances that the club is not for sale realising that he has just been welcomed to our world.