Andy Munro writes about the latest potential owners at St Andrews.
With yet another imminent new owner in the frame I sought the advice of the Blues Trust to clear up a few matters regarding any potential sale. We have lost, or borrowed, something like £111 million over the past half a dozen years. Given this eye-watering sum I wondered whether the reported asking price of £35 million to buy the club was a total figure, or if the £111 million debt was to be added on top of that asking price?
My comments were based on the details from the abortive Richardson deal, but I understand the current Jim Dale one is very similar. The figures I use are estimates and not that accurate but used to show the principles.
The Trust replied that the sale price is indeed around £35 million. This is for the club and the parent company in this country (BCFC PLC and BCPLC). It also includes the ground, which is valued at something in the region of £23 million. Therefore the club is being sold for about £12 million in a staged sale over 2 1/2 years, but control passes to the new owners at the start.
The debt which the parent company BCPLC owes to BHSL/ORI is the £111 million figure, although the club only owe £50 million to the parent BCPLC after some share issues about a year ago. A Trust spokesman told me that they believed this sum would be written down as shares transfer over the next two years, but it is difficult imagining that any prospective new owner would countenance the debt remaining and being at the whim of the current owners. The previous deal was said to include a bonus payment of £10 million to the current owners if the club were promoted to the Premier League within a stated number of years and, in a sense, this would compensate the owners to a degree for writing off the debt.
Thanks to Peter Bull of the Blues Trust for his help.