'Let's spend a lifetime building up a shareholding'

TRUST STFC chairman John Ward hopes the news that Swindon Town is officially for sale will encourage fans to commit to buying a part of the club for themselves.

The Trust currently owns around £11,000 worth of shares in the Robins, a figure which pales into insignificance when majority investor Andrew Black’s £10million-plus contribution to the cause is taken into account.

However, with the Betfair co-founder now looking to get out of Town, the time is ripe for new shareholders to come to the fore - and Ward is keen to establish a legacy of Swindon supporters buying into their own club, asking fans to “spend a lifetime building a shareholding”.

“If it ends the way we all want it to end, with new investors taking over, we don’t want everyone to sit back and say ‘fantastic, hooray, that’s all sorted then’ and five years later the same thing happens again,” he said.

“We have got to begin to try to change the situation with the position on ownership, even if of course it’s going to be a long haul. Supporters are in for the long haul, it’s only rich people who have got the money to put into football clubs in large quantities who are maybe here today and gone tomorrow.

“As supporters we are here a lifetime, therefore let’s spend a lifetime building up a shareholding in the club and start now instead of blaming somebody else, sitting back and saying it’s all too difficult. Let’s get stuck in.

“The danger is that people will think it’s been sorted; ‘it’s not Andrew Black - it’s Mr X and Mrs Y - and we can forget about it now’. No we can’t forget about it, we’ve got to start working now.

“What I hope may happen is people at the club like Nick Watkins will not want to keep going through this again and again, so maybe we can talk to them if there are new investors about how we can help them and they can help us inject a bit of stability into it.”

When asked what the Trust would say to the next owners of Swindon Town, Ward said: “I would say first of all thank you, secondly we would like to help inject stability and sustainability into the club. Potentially there are a large number of small investors, you don’t want to bother with each of them having one pound’s worth of shares but collectively we could arrange some sort of long-term share purchase deal with the Trust.

“That way we can hold shares collectively and supporters can express their voices in a democratic way through the structure of the club. Surely that’s of interest to individuals who are investing a serious amount of money in this football club.”

Comments (11)

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8:06am Fri 18 Jan 13

old town robin says...

what is the present value of one share in STFC at the moment
what is the present value of one share in STFC at the moment old town robin

8:06am Fri 18 Jan 13

old town robin says...

what is the present value of one share in STFC at the moment
what is the present value of one share in STFC at the moment old town robin

8:58am Fri 18 Jan 13

dreamofacleansheet2 says...

OTR Less than Andrew Black thinks I'm afraid.......
OTR Less than Andrew Black thinks I'm afraid....... dreamofacleansheet2

9:54am Fri 18 Jan 13

Stilloyal says...

I used to have several hundred shares ( not a lot I know ) but they did cost me a fair bit at the time. However Mr Fitton in his wisdom decided that every "£100 worth of shares is now only worth a quid.
I won't be buying anymore and I'll probably transfer the ones I have to the supporters trust of which I am a life member.
I used to have several hundred shares ( not a lot I know ) but they did cost me a fair bit at the time. However Mr Fitton in his wisdom decided that every "£100 worth of shares is now only worth a quid. I won't be buying anymore and I'll probably transfer the ones I have to the supporters trust of which I am a life member. Stilloyal

11:01am Fri 18 Jan 13

Davethered says...

If by any chance Blacks going to walk away from this losing millions of pounds ie cutting his losses . As a good will gesture why doesn't he transfer his shares for a nominal sum , to the Supporters trust , by doing that it will stop any one person owning the whole of the club and stopping some rich Indians or Russians coming in for a couple of years then walking away leaving us with great debts again
If by any chance Blacks going to walk away from this losing millions of pounds ie cutting his losses . As a good will gesture why doesn't he transfer his shares for a nominal sum , to the Supporters trust , by doing that it will stop any one person owning the whole of the club and stopping some rich Indians or Russians coming in for a couple of years then walking away leaving us with great debts again Davethered

12:39pm Fri 18 Jan 13

Stilloyal says...

Davethered wrote:
If by any chance Blacks going to walk away from this losing millions of pounds ie cutting his losses . As a good will gesture why doesn't he transfer his shares for a nominal sum , to the Supporters trust , by doing that it will stop any one person owning the whole of the club and stopping some rich Indians or Russians coming in for a couple of years then walking away leaving us with great debts again
Then the trust would practically be the sole owner and they won't have the funds to sustain future financial support without a massive influx of new members.
Since the trust was formed I believe that membership has fallen off after the initial clamour, such is the apathy of Swindon fans.

Other trusts have raised enough money to save their club as per Pompey but there is a certain reluctance for Town fans to give the same support for some reason.
[quote][p][bold]Davethered[/bold] wrote: If by any chance Blacks going to walk away from this losing millions of pounds ie cutting his losses . As a good will gesture why doesn't he transfer his shares for a nominal sum , to the Supporters trust , by doing that it will stop any one person owning the whole of the club and stopping some rich Indians or Russians coming in for a couple of years then walking away leaving us with great debts again[/p][/quote]Then the trust would practically be the sole owner and they won't have the funds to sustain future financial support without a massive influx of new members. Since the trust was formed I believe that membership has fallen off after the initial clamour, such is the apathy of Swindon fans. Other trusts have raised enough money to save their club as per Pompey but there is a certain reluctance for Town fans to give the same support for some reason. Stilloyal

1:03pm Fri 18 Jan 13

London Red says...

Shares were split into A shares and B shares at the start of this season when the board did a equity injection in the summer
.
A shares are now 1p and the B share is 99p
.
However, B share is pretty worthless as can be cancelled by the club at anytime and don't carry any voting rights or anything
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So if you invested £100 - in the last rights issue your shares are now worth £10 - should you sell them to the new investor (not that they will bother with the small shareholders as STFC Holdings own about 95-97%)
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We have an Authorised Share Capital of £10m - with only £2.2m issued in the last set of accounts there is plenty of room to make a new major shareholder
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The club though are now only accepting offers of £50k or more!
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Transfering STFC Holdings shares to the Trust would simply transfer the debt!
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Yes we have none now if they write theirs off - but that is because AB is covering it - if gave his share completely away that would fall on to the new major shareholder
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Does the Trust have £1.5m a season to cover our losses like AB has been?
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Supporters owning a club is a fantasy which will never work!
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Its OK if one or more happens to be loaded - but when it is just working class people it will never work
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Budgets would need to be slashed and therefore, players sold and we would go into decline
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We might as well support Supermarine as that is where we would end up if we were run by the fans!
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If there was a serious appitite there would a lot more than 11,000 share purchased by the Trust and the RAF would be significantly higher than £10k after 10 years!
.
I've been slated for saying it - but its true
.
Its a great idea in theory between like minded folks on here - but outside in the real world it will never take off
.
Talk is cheap - putting ones hand in their pocket is another thing
.
The proof is the last rights issue where STFC Holdings ended up buying over 95% of it!
.
If people wanted to own a piece that badly why didn't they take it when it was on offer
.
At that time any purchase over £100 was being accepted - yet that was too much for most to act upon!
Shares were split into A shares and B shares at the start of this season when the board did a equity injection in the summer . A shares are now 1p and the B share is 99p . However, B share is pretty worthless as can be cancelled by the club at anytime and don't carry any voting rights or anything . So if you invested £100 - in the last rights issue your shares are now worth £10 - should you sell them to the new investor (not that they will bother with the small shareholders as STFC Holdings own about 95-97%) . We have an Authorised Share Capital of £10m - with only £2.2m issued in the last set of accounts there is plenty of room to make a new major shareholder . The club though are now only accepting offers of £50k or more! . Transfering STFC Holdings shares to the Trust would simply transfer the debt! . Yes we have none now if they write theirs off - but that is because AB is covering it - if gave his share completely away that would fall on to the new major shareholder . Does the Trust have £1.5m a season to cover our losses like AB has been? . Supporters owning a club is a fantasy which will never work! . Its OK if one or more happens to be loaded - but when it is just working class people it will never work . Budgets would need to be slashed and therefore, players sold and we would go into decline . We might as well support Supermarine as that is where we would end up if we were run by the fans! . If there was a serious appitite there would a lot more than 11,000 share purchased by the Trust and the RAF would be significantly higher than £10k after 10 years! . I've been slated for saying it - but its true . Its a great idea in theory between like minded folks on here - but outside in the real world it will never take off . Talk is cheap - putting ones hand in their pocket is another thing . The proof is the last rights issue where STFC Holdings ended up buying over 95% of it! . If people wanted to own a piece that badly why didn't they take it when it was on offer . At that time any purchase over £100 was being accepted - yet that was too much for most to act upon! London Red

2:57pm Fri 18 Jan 13

Last step says...

You'd prefer hoping that millionare after millionare after millionare decides to throw some money away by buying us every few years, would you?!

It ain't sustainable.

We need to up the Trust's shareholding so the supporters have more of a say, and to provide a solid base for the future.

Otherwise, eventually there won't be anyone there to bail us out and that will be the end of it. No more STFC.
You'd prefer hoping that millionare after millionare after millionare decides to throw some money away by buying us every few years, would you?! It ain't sustainable. We need to up the Trust's shareholding so the supporters have more of a say, and to provide a solid base for the future. Otherwise, eventually there won't be anyone there to bail us out and that will be the end of it. No more STFC. Last step

3:03pm Fri 18 Jan 13

Last step says...

Football clubs, especially lower league football clubs, are going to start having to live within their means.


Being owned by the fans and not hoping someone will come along and put their own money in to buy players is very much part of that.
Football clubs, especially lower league football clubs, are going to start having to live within their means. Being owned by the fans and not hoping someone will come along and put their own money in to buy players is very much part of that. Last step

6:22pm Fri 18 Jan 13

London Red says...

I'd prefer to watch a successful team!

Have you not enjoyed what this consortium brought to the CG?
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You not excited that there is he possibility one of the 7 in talks won't kick us on again?
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Obviously we (and the owners) want it to self sufficient - which we are not that far away from
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Lets not forget we turned over a profit in 2010!
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Promotion to the Championship will see our revenue over double - just from TV money alone £5m compared to £1m - our last PnL said £5m total!
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Add on to that increased Matchday revenue and sponsorship and we suddenly go from income of £5m to around £12m
.
That is where the losses are wiped out! (Providing our wage bill remains under control - £4m leads to about £1.5m loss - so if revenue goes up by £7m wages can go up by £5m to break even - so over double!)
.
Plus we then have player sales to add to the pot - anyone who thinks otherwise are deluded - even Man U are a selling club
.
We spent about £1m on Cox, Austin, Caddis, Ferry, Ritchie, Wes and Flint and already had a return of over £2.25m with more to come as Caddis is being mooted at £400k and Ritchie over £2m
.
Butland shows how inflated prices are up a league too - £6m for a keeper not fit to clean Wes' boots - so on that basis Wes would be worth £7.5m+
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If we continue to invest some of that that into the next set of stars we will continue to see profit made!
.
However to achieve that we need someone like AB to fund it in the short term
.
Strip it out now and start selling just to pay the bills will see the promotion bid fail
.
More sales occur in the summer to balance the books further and therefore fans drop away and it becomes a downward spiral as we saw at the back end of Kings days
.
If it was possible for the fans to run the club why does the Trust only own 11k of 2.2m shares?
.
2m were issued 4 years ago - surely if fans were to run it (or actually interested in running it) more than 0.5% would have been snapped up!
.
The cold fact is as I said above talk is cheap and lots will say X Y and Z - but when it comes to putting their hand I their pocket it all changes
.
I'm not having a go at individual people for not buying shares - it's their choice
.
But if they are on here giving it that it's not a pipe dream I really hope they actually got some during that issue and are prepared to hand them over to the trust - otherwise it just proves my point!
.
I await the thousands of responses now of those who fit that category!
.
I got some - but won't be handing them over
I'd prefer to watch a successful team! Have you not enjoyed what this consortium brought to the CG? . You not excited that there is he possibility one of the 7 in talks won't kick us on again? . Obviously we (and the owners) want it to self sufficient - which we are not that far away from . Lets not forget we turned over a profit in 2010! . Promotion to the Championship will see our revenue over double - just from TV money alone £5m compared to £1m - our last PnL said £5m total! . Add on to that increased Matchday revenue and sponsorship and we suddenly go from income of £5m to around £12m . That is where the losses are wiped out! (Providing our wage bill remains under control - £4m leads to about £1.5m loss - so if revenue goes up by £7m wages can go up by £5m to break even - so over double!) . Plus we then have player sales to add to the pot - anyone who thinks otherwise are deluded - even Man U are a selling club . We spent about £1m on Cox, Austin, Caddis, Ferry, Ritchie, Wes and Flint and already had a return of over £2.25m with more to come as Caddis is being mooted at £400k and Ritchie over £2m . Butland shows how inflated prices are up a league too - £6m for a keeper not fit to clean Wes' boots - so on that basis Wes would be worth £7.5m+ . If we continue to invest some of that that into the next set of stars we will continue to see profit made! . However to achieve that we need someone like AB to fund it in the short term . Strip it out now and start selling just to pay the bills will see the promotion bid fail . More sales occur in the summer to balance the books further and therefore fans drop away and it becomes a downward spiral as we saw at the back end of Kings days . If it was possible for the fans to run the club why does the Trust only own 11k of 2.2m shares? . 2m were issued 4 years ago - surely if fans were to run it (or actually interested in running it) more than 0.5% would have been snapped up! . The cold fact is as I said above talk is cheap and lots will say X Y and Z - but when it comes to putting their hand I their pocket it all changes . I'm not having a go at individual people for not buying shares - it's their choice . But if they are on here giving it that it's not a pipe dream I really hope they actually got some during that issue and are prepared to hand them over to the trust - otherwise it just proves my point! . I await the thousands of responses now of those who fit that category! . I got some - but won't be handing them over London Red

8:39am Sat 19 Jan 13

Last step says...

You're in a dreamworld. We support Swindon Town. We are not a massive club. Success, for us, is playing at Championship level. We need to consolidate, not aim to high and wish for rich folk to keep pumping money in.
You're in a dreamworld. We support Swindon Town. We are not a massive club. Success, for us, is playing at Championship level. We need to consolidate, not aim to high and wish for rich folk to keep pumping money in. Last step

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